Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus

He's sharp. He's cute. He's Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most important philosophers of modern philosophy!

In this video we look at his Tractatus, his first major work and only one to be published in his lifetime. Basically we could say that he wanted - just like Bertrand Russell - to find out how our thoughts relate to reality. In an attempt to answer this question he put forth the "Picture Theory of Language".

I try to give an easily approachable lecture that serves as an introduction to Tractatus. In the second part of the video I examine the task of his logical analysis and portray how exactly he imagined science to construct true sentences of the world by deriving at the so-called "simple objects", the elementary particles of reality. A true sentence, in this view, would be the stated relation between signs for those particles, that would reflect their relation in reality.

The logical empiricists, also known as the "Vienna circle", took the ideas of Tractatus and constructed a very interesting variation of Wittgenstein's ideas, that I will present in the next lecture - on the dispute between Rudolf Carnap and Martin Heidegger.


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