Disputatio (Sep 2021)

Logic in its space. Wittgenstein’s philosophy of logic in the Tractatus

  • Ulrich Metschl

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 18


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The paramount role of logic in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus is undeniable and must be obvious to anyone even on a cursory reading. Yet, Wittgenstein's formulations often appear metaphorical when he sketches his ideas on logic and its relation to sentence meaning. Sometimes, they seem more apt to invite loose philosophical associations than pinning down rigorously technical details. This impression notwithstanding, the Tractatus still offers one of the deepest philosophical accounts of modern logic and it does so precisely through its suggestive exposition. It is, in particular, the spatial analogies, Wittgenstein’s ‘logical place’ and ‘logical space’, which are crucial in this connection, and while they carry a structure that is specific for Wittgenstein’s own conception of logic, they are sufficiently general to accommodate also alternative conceptions of logic. Thus, even 100 years after its first publication, Wittgenstein’s Tractatus remains a source of inspiration and a highly valuable one for the philosophy of logic.