Linguistic Philosophy: The Central Story by Garth L. Hallett

By Garth L. Hallett

Explores the function language performs within the courting among truth and utterance.

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Thus, in young Wittgenstein’s thought, no positive answer to the Issue of Language’s Authority emerged, but merely a negative verdict against existing languages’ authority. I shall first describe more fully how Wittgenstein reasoned himself into this linguistic cul-de-sac, then how, later on, he reasoned himself out of it. The Tractatus ’s Linguistic Dead End The Tractatus echoes the notebook pages just quoted. ) as a projection of a possible situation. ”7 From these two premises it follows that what we mean must be sharp,8 leaving no gap between yes and no; but how is such sharpness achieved?

From this variant we shall then turn to young Wittgenstein’s refined, very different version—the one from which he eventually freed himself when, in his later thought, he left behind the whole three-tiered, isomorphic conception of language, thought, and world that, in varied forms, long dominated Western thought. 4 Aquinas and the Primacy of Mental Truth T SEEMS ,” REMARKS Wittgenstein in his Blue Book, “that there are certain definite mental processes bound up with the working of language, processes through which alone language can function.

A nonlinguistic “Form” is superfluous. However, with regard to moral terms (Plato’s chief interest) the sufficiency of reality plus language looks more problematic. And even with regard to nonmoral terms such as “equal,” Plato may not have stumbled through sheer inadvertence. ”6 Word usage looked as fluctuating and uncertain as temporal, sensible reality; sureness and stability would have to be found elsewhere— in Equality itself, Beauty itself, Truth itself, and so forth. The Cratylus calls this solution into question.

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