I have argued that what is both important and distinctive in Wittgenstein’s early view of and approach to philosophy is inseparably bound up with his treatment of logic in the Tractatus. Yet, apart from constituting the basis for his methodological innovation, his early approach to logic comes as part of a package, along with a host of other views on related matters concerning the nature of objects, facts, pictures, analysis, etc. As they are often misunderstood, these will need to be considered before I can make a proper case for recognising a methodological continuity between his early and later approach. I will prepare for that task by challenging the established view that the Tractarian ‘metaphysics’, ‘semantics’ and ‘analysis’ are meant to constitute a theory. This will be the main aim of this chapter. It will prove useful in any case since reviewing what Wittgenstein says about these topics is necessary in order to answer the vexed question of how we ought to understand his various remarks about the nature and function of the Tractatus’ ‘propositions’. Although this chapter makes a start on examining issues that will be relevant to this question, it will not be completely satisfactorily dealt with until the next chapter. Therefore I must beg the reader’s indulgence and patience.
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