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From a review of "Elucidating the Tractatus" - ♠Anti-Philosophy♠ [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
♠Anti Philosophy♠ - Against Philosophy

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From a review of "Elucidating the Tractatus" [Jan. 17th, 2008|07:03 am]
♠Anti Philosophy♠ - Against Philosophy


I find McGinn's discussion of the details of the Tractatus' logic engaging and illuminating. She also manages to give a concrete feel to Wittgenstein's idea of philosophy as the dissolution of problems, as illustrated by her discussion of Wittgenstein's response to Russell's paradox, for example (168-171). This is the general pattern of Tractarian clarifications as described by McGinn: rather than answering problems, Wittgenstein aspires to make them disappear by rendering perspicuous the logic or function of relevant expressions (31). Here philosophical progress then emerges as a matter of coming to see matters more clearly and in sufficient detail, rather than as something achieved by theory construction, the postulation of theoretical entities and principles. When logic is clarified, the problems that seemed to demand answers no longer arise and, therefore, there is no need for theories that were intended to solve those problems. But this is not because one comes to realize the necessity of being quietist about such problems, or their illegitimacy. (This would leave the desire for theory in tact, and not bring the right kind of satisfaction.) Rather, when clarity is achieved what seemed problematic loses its problematic character.

From Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2007-07-21 : View this Review Online : View Other NDPR Reviews

Marie McGinn, Elucidating the Tractatus: Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy of Logic and Language, Oxford University Press, 2006, 316pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199244448.

Reviewed by Oskari Kuusela, Academy of Finland/University of Helsinki