Wednesday, February 28, 2007

3.201 I call these elements “simple signs” and the proposition “completely analyzed”.

Black (p. 108) points out that, since we have no way to know when we have reached a complete analysis, this remark does not usefully define ‘simple sign.’


N. N. said...

Cf. Philosophical Grammar, p. 211:

Formerly I myself spoke of a 'complete analysis', and I used to believe that philosophy had to give a definitive dissection of propositions, so as to set out clearly all their connections and remove all possibilities of misunderstanding. I spoke as if there was a calculus in which such a dissection would be possible. I vaguely had in mind something like the definition that Russell had given for the definite article, and I used to think that in a similar way one would be able to use visual impressions [Gesichtsbildern], etc. to define the concept, say, of a sphere."

DR said...

Thanks. If he only had a vague idea of what he had in mind when he wrote the Tractatus, then this could explain the shortcoming that Black points out.