Wednesday, February 07, 2007

3.032 One can no more in language present “the logically contradictory” than one can in geometry present through its coordinates a figure that contradicts the laws of space; or give the coordinates of a point that does not exist.


The “impossibility” is logical, not metaphysical. There is not something that one cannot do, just as there is no such thing as a geometric figure that contradicts geometry (not geometry as we know it, but geometry as such). Talk of such things is gibberish.

3 comments:

weislyleon said...
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N. N. said...

'The "impossibility" is logical, not metaphysical.'

By the lights of the Tractatus, is this a distinction with a difference?

DR said...

I would have thought so, but I'll think about it. By "metaphysical" I mean something pretty broad, but, perhaps I can say, something positive, while logic seems to have a normative aspect or element (or essence?). I have in mind something like Frege's distinction between the logical and the psychological, and the idea that the Tractatus might have been written deliberately to look like metaphysics only to turn out to be something else entirely. One slogan that tempts me (I'm in the process of investigating whether it is actually helpful or not) as a sort of key to the Tractatus is "logic is not metaphysics" or just "logic, not metaphysics." The overcoming of metaphysics through logic. Something like that.