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Ludwig’s Apple Tree: On the Philosophical Relations between Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle

  • Jaakko Hintikka

Abstract

There are many important questions still unresolved concerning the philosophical and personal relations between Ludwig Wittgenstein and the members of the Vienna Circle, and there are also current views on those relationships that do not bear closer scrutiny. For instance, in the last few decades, it has been fashionable to emphasize the differences between the philosophical views of Ludwig Wittgenstein and those of the members of the Vienna Circle. It has even been suggested that the members of the Vienna Circle misunderstood or otherwise misinterpreted Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. For instance, in a recent book we find the statement that the “members of the so-called Vienna Circle ... had founded logical positivism partly on a deep misunderstanding of the Tractatus”.1

Keywords

Formal Mode Apple Tree Simple Object Vienna Circle Singular Proposition 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Kerr, Fergus, Theology after Wittgenstein,Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1985, p.ix.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carnap Archive at the University of Pittsburgh, document no. 102–78–07, diary entry on 20 June 1927.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For Wittgenstein’s relation to phenomenology, see my paper, “Ludwig Wittgenstein as a Philosopher of Immediate Experience’, in: R. Haller and J. Brand! (eds.), Wittgenstein: Towards a Reevaluation, Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna, 1990, pp. 155–167.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    McGuinness, Brian (ed.), Ludwig Wingenstein and the Vienna Circle, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1979, p. 254.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Anscombe, G.E.M., An Introduction to Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus”,2nd ed., Hutchinson, London, pp.25–28.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lee, Desmond (ed.), Wittgenstein’s Lectures, Cambridge 1930–1932, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1980, p. 120.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hintikka, Merrill B. and Jaakko Hintikka, Investigating Wittgenstein,Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1986 (see ch. 5, secs. 1–5).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Op.cit., note 6, especially ch. 3, secs. 5–10 and 15.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cf. here my paper “’Die Wende der Philosophie’: Wittgenstein’s New Logic of 1928”, in: Philosophy of Law, Politics and Society–Proceedings of the 12th International Wittgenstein Symposium, ed. by Ota Weinberger, Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna 1988, pp. 380–396.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cf. here also my paper, “Wittgenstein and the Problem of Phenomenology”, Acta Philosophica Fennica, vol. 49, 1990, pp. 15–46.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The classic document is G.E. Moore, “The Refutation of Idealism”, in his Philosophical Studies, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1922, pp.1–30, originally published in Mind in 1903.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cf. here my paper “Husserl: The Phenomenological Dimension”, forthcoming in the Husserl volume of the Cambridge University Press Companions series, ed. by Barry Smith and David W. Smith.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Russell, Bertrand, “On Denoting”, in: Logic and Knowledge, ed. by Robert C. Marsh, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1956, pp.41–56, originally in Mind in 1905.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    Malcolm, Norman, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1958, p. 86.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    Carnap, Rudolf, “Die physikalische Sprache als Universalspracheder Wissenschaft”, Erkenntnis,vol. 2, nos. 5–6, 1932, pp.432–465, p.452.Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    The first two letters by Wittgenstein are in the Vienna Circle Archive in Amsterdam. Some of the later ones have been published in: M. Nedo and M. Ranchetti, Ludwig Wittgenstein: Sein Leben in Bildern und Texten,Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1983, pp.250, 254–255, 381–382. Several letters (or copies thereof) between Carnap, Schlick, and Wittgenstein are in the Carnap Archive of the University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    Letter dated 6 May 1932, in the Amsterdam archive, p.2.Google Scholar
  18. 23.
    Ambrose, Mice, “Finitism in Mathematics’, Mind, vol. 44, 1935, pp.186–202, 317–340; also ”Finitism and the Limits of Empiricism“, Mind, vol. 46, 1937, pp.379–385; cf. Malcolm, op.cit., note 16, p. 59.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    Pittsburgh Archive, document no. 029–29–09.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    McGuinness, op.cit., note 4, p.45.Google Scholar
  21. 28.
    Pittsburgh Archive, document no. 029–29–10.Google Scholar
  22. 29.
    Letter in the Amsterdam Archive, p.l.Google Scholar
  23. 30.
    This means that one is not allowed to speak of the relations of a language to reality, but only of the language as a formal system. Cf. Carnap, op.cit., note 18, pp. 435–437.Google Scholar
  24. 31.
    Nedo and Ranchetti, op.cit., note 20, p.255. A copy of the entire letter is in document no. 10278–102 of the Pittsburgh Archive.Google Scholar
  25. 32.
    Cf. here Investigating Wittgenstein,op.cit., ch. 1; and Jaakko Hintikka, “On the Model-Theoretical Tradition in the Development of Logical Theory”, Synthese,vol. 77, 1988, pp.1–36.Google Scholar
  26. 34.
    See here my paper, “Catnap’s Work in the Foundations of Logic and Mathematics in a Historical Perspective”, Synthese, vol. 93, no. 2, 1992.Google Scholar
  27. 35.
    See my paper, “Carnap, the Universality of Language, and Extremality Axioms”, Erkenntnis, vol. 35, 1991, pp. 325–336.Google Scholar
  28. 36.
    Nedo and Ranchetti, op.cit., note 20, p.254.Google Scholar
  29. 37.
    From item no. 004–21–02 in the Ramsey Archive at the University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  30. 39.
    Bertrand Russell, “The Relation of Sense-Data to Physics”, in: Mysticism and Logic,Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1918, pp.145–179.1t is important to realize that this does not imply that a sense-datum language is physicalistic in the sense used here. In a physicalistic language, the objects for which our words stand are normal physical objects, not sense-data, no matter how “physical” they may (or may not) be.Google Scholar
  31. 40.
    Lee, op.cit., note 6, p.23. The lecture in question was given in the Michaelmas Term 1930. Similar statements are found also on page 43 (Lent Term 1931 ).Google Scholar
  32. 41.
    Op.cit., note 6, p.102 (Academic Year 1931–1932).Google Scholar
  33. 42.
    Von Wright, G.H., Wittgenstein,Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1982, p.49; cf. p.56.Google Scholar
  34. 43.
    Nedo and Ranchetti, op.cit., note 20, p.255.Google Scholar
  35. 46.
    There are copies of some of the relevant letter in G.H. von Wright’s archive. I do not know where the originals are. Wittgenstein’s main letter is dated “Trinity College, 19.5.36” (i.e., May 19, 1936) and Waismann’s reply “Wien, 27.V.36” (i.e., 27 May, 1936). The offending paper was “’Ober den Begriff der Identität”, Erkenntnis, vol. 6, 1936, pp. 56–64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaakko Hintikka
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA

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