On the basis of an analysis of the relevant parts of Tractatus logico-philosophicus, a definition of the property (of propositions) of saying something, and of the obviously correlated property of saying nothing, is given. By applying that definition, both tautologies and contradictions are sanctioned as saying nothing, as lacking sense, in full agreement with Wittgenstein’s explicit statements. On the other hand, a recent systematic attempt by A. Negro to extract from the Tractatus a criterion for sense containment and a criterion for saying more, that is, for comparing the amount of sense of propositions, leads to the conclusion that the sense of any proposition is contained in the sense of a contradiction and that contradictions say more than any other propositions. The problem faced in this paper is that of restoring consistency between Negro’s criteria, which on the whole give a correct interpretation of the text of the Tractatus, and Wittgenstein’s thesis that, not only tautologies, but also contradictions say nothing.

A Note on Saying Nothing and Saying More in the Tractatus

Pasquale Frascolla
2017

Abstract

On the basis of an analysis of the relevant parts of Tractatus logico-philosophicus, a definition of the property (of propositions) of saying something, and of the obviously correlated property of saying nothing, is given. By applying that definition, both tautologies and contradictions are sanctioned as saying nothing, as lacking sense, in full agreement with Wittgenstein’s explicit statements. On the other hand, a recent systematic attempt by A. Negro to extract from the Tractatus a criterion for sense containment and a criterion for saying more, that is, for comparing the amount of sense of propositions, leads to the conclusion that the sense of any proposition is contained in the sense of a contradiction and that contradictions say more than any other propositions. The problem faced in this paper is that of restoring consistency between Negro’s criteria, which on the whole give a correct interpretation of the text of the Tractatus, and Wittgenstein’s thesis that, not only tautologies, but also contradictions say nothing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/130698
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