Soames on the Tractatus
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Soames devotes the first four chapters of the second volume of his new history of analytic philosophy to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. His main topics are (1) the metaphysics of the Tractatus, (2) the nature of tractarian propositions, (3) the logic of the Tractatus, and (4) Wittgenstein’s criterion of intelligibility and its applications. My focus will be on (1) and (2), in particular on Soames’s interpretation of the substance argument for simple objects and his remarks on the tractarian idea that a proposition is “the propositional sign in its projective relation to the world,” (3.12).1
The substance argument
The object is simple.
Objects form the substance of the world. Therefore they cannot be compound.
If the world had no substance, then whether a proposition had sense would depend on whether another proposition was true.
It would then be impossible to form a picture of...
- Soames, S. The analytic tradition in philosophy: A new vision (Vol. 2). Princeton: Princeton University Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Wittgenstein, L. (1922). Tractatus logico-philosophicus (C. K. Ogden, Trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Wittgenstein, L. (1979). Notebooks 1914–1916 (2nd ed., G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar