Friday, March 30, 2007

3.318 Like Frege and Russell, I take a proposition to be a function of the expressions contained in it.

So propositions are being treated here as functions. But it does not follow, Anscombe points out (p. 103), that Wittgenstein thinks propositions just are functions. We can speak of 8 as a function of 2, she notes, without meaning that 8 just is a function and nothing else, or that thinking of it this way is the right way to think of it. So Wittgenstein is not here saying anything incompatible with Frege’s view that a proposition is not a function.


N. N. said...

Of course, Wittgenstein does say that he writes an elementary proposition "as a function of names in the form 'fx'," etc.; and that, where there is complexity, there is function and argument. Her certainly seems to be saying that 'f(a)' is an elementary proposition, and therefore, that elementary propositions are functions. Anscombe has a difficult time with these passages, and ends up claiming, more or less, that Wittgenstein is mistaken (i.e., that the Tractatus doesn't mean what it says).

N. N. said...

I posted some relevant stuff about Anscombe over at my blog.

DR said...

N.N.'s excellent "stuff about Anscombe" is here:

Thank you!