The Tractarian approach to language depends on the referential structure of languagewherein words stand for objects.
“A name means an object. The object
its meaning”[3.203] By way of comparison we should note that Frege’s account of
asserts that a name such as the ‘Morning star’ has a
meaning i.e.reference, in that it refers to the planet Venus. Equally the ‘Evening star’ which alsostands for the planet Venus has a different
Despite adopting such a referential position Wittgenstein did not follow Frege preciselyin the duality of reference and
of a proposition for Wittgensteinconstituted something quite different than an accompanying ‘information dossier’.
For Wittgenstein the
of the statement is not merely its
mode of presentation
. If we call‘
the statement “The morning star is bright” and ‘
the statement “The evening star is bright” Wittgenstein would say that both
have the same
because theyare both statements about a particular luminescent star. They both have the sameextension. It could be said that for Wittgenstein a proposition’s
was the mode of itsexistence. Admittedly, it could be objected that neither ‘
p’ nor ‘q’
contains a logically proper name, just a half hearted conventional description and so does not refer at all. If they are to have the same
“I must be capable of translating each into the other” andtherefore “knowing whether they signify the same thing or two different things” [4.243]As we will come to note, this pre-given knowing is a vital proviso.Propositions are seen to have
because they are bivalent – they must be true or false.If p is true then ‘~p’ is false and vice versa. The
of a situation is the possibleexistence or non-existence of its constituents. In the case of names understanding is a‘given’ and any
would be synonymous with the referent. Therefore names havereference, but no discernable
, while propositions have
and no definitional
The issues with which I deal with in the
are hotly debated in the literature, and to include anaccount of the contestants and their respective views would inevitably confuse and lengthen this essayexponentially. Therefore the reader should be aware that this essay (warts and all) is very much my readingof the Tractatus, and not representative of any particular strain of Wittgensteinean criticism that I know of.Having said that, there is possibly room for it in the confused collective that the “New Wittgensteineans”have the dubbed the ‘traditional’ readings.
On Sense and Meaning’ Translation by H. Feigl inEd. Martinich A.P.
The Philosophy of Language
fifth edition. Oxford University press. 2008.