The Substance Argument of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

  • Michael Morris University of Sussex

Abstract

In Morris (2008) I presented in outline a new interpretation of the famous ‘substance argument’ in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (Wittgenstein 1922). The account I presented there gave a distinctive view of Wittgenstein’s main concerns in the argument, but did not explain in detail how the argument works: how its steps are to be found in the text, and how it concludes. I remain convinced that the interpretation I proposed correctly identifies the main concerns which lie behind the argument. I return to the argument here in order to elaborate in fuller detail the relation between those concerns and the actual course of the text.

Author Biography

Michael Morris, University of Sussex
Professor of Philosophy

References

Conant, James, 2000. ‘Elucidation and Nonsense in Frege and Early Wittgenstein.’ In The New Wittgenstein, edited by A. Crary and R. Read, pp. 174–217. London: Routledge.

Diamond, Cora, 1991. ‘Throwing Away the Ladder: How to Read the Tractatus.’ In The Realistic Spirit, pp. 179–204. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kant, Immanuel, 1997. Critique of Pure Reason, translated by P. Guyer and A. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Monk, Ray, 1996. Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude. London: Jonathan Cape.

Morris, Michael, 2008. The Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus. London and New York: Routledge.

Potter, Michael, 2009. Review of M. Morris, The Routledge GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/24137/, accessed 1 July 2016.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 1922. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, translated by C. K. Ogden. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

———, 1973. Letters to C. K. Ogden with Comments on the English Translation of the Tractatus, edited by G. H. von Wright. Oxford: Blackwell.

———, 1979. Notebooks 1914–1916, 2nd ed., edited by G. H. von Wright and G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Blackwell.
Published
2016-08-01