Metaphysics in relation to Wittgenstein and Ayer

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Epistemology
  3. » Metaphysics in relation to Wittgenstein and Ayer

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

tune
 
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 02:14 pm
To the best of my understanding, Ayer and Wittgenstein both thought that metaphysics was a topic which could not be spoken about.

Ayer simply shows that everything which is metaphysical is completely non-sensical and therefore cannot be spoken about. Such as private languages - which is majorly adapted from Wittgenstein. This enables Ayer to discard metaphysics as a part of philosophy as he deemed it as completely unimportant and unnecessary to philosophy.

Wittgenstein also believed that metaphysics cannot be spoken about. such as his writings about a ladder (one which i do not FULLY understand.. if anyone would care to explain i would be grateful) which to my understanding he uses the path towards metaphysics so that he can prove that it is non-sensical. Yet wittgenstein apears to be supportive of metaphysics as a part of philosophy, stating that it is of importance, just we do not know it which in itself from the text is self refuting and begs the question.

Theres clearly something i have not understood fully on the topic, if anyone can set me straight i would appreciate it as i am going to be writing an essay to do with valid propositions and therefore require the clarity on the subject!

--Dan
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 03:05 pm
@tune,
tune,


1. The world is everything that is the case.
2. What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts.
3. The logical picture of the facts is the thought
4. The thought is the significant proposition.
5. Propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions.
(An elementary proposition is a truth function of itself.)
6. The general form of truth-function is [p, ξ, N(ξ)].
This is the general form of proposition.
7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

iconoclast.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 10:36 pm
@iconoclast,
Peter van Inwagen suggest that metaphysics is, at best, impossible.

Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Iconoclast and I are both fans of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I've also seen Aedes suggest this source many times. The articles are written by professionals; top shelf philosophy. The article I sight here is written by Inwagen, who also has a book, simply titled "Metaphysics". I found the text at a used book store - it may be out of print. The article given covers most of what he has to say of metaphysics, and I've learned a great deal from his work.

Maybe you will find Inwagen as useful as I have. Even if you disagree with his general conclusions about metaphysics, I imagine his perspective will be challenging and will provide plenty of food for thought. If you have any questions, I have his book handy and will happily look through it to answer any questions.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 07:06 am
@tune,
tune wrote:
To the best of my understanding, Ayer and Wittgenstein both thought that metaphysics was a topic which could not be spoken about.

Ayer simply shows that everything which is metaphysical is completely non-sensical and therefore cannot be spoken about. Such as private languages - which is majorly adapted from Wittgenstein. This enables Ayer to discard metaphysics as a part of philosophy as he deemed it as completely unimportant and unnecessary to philosophy.

Wittgenstein also believed that metaphysics cannot be spoken about. such as his writings about a ladder (one which i do not FULLY understand.. if anyone would care to explain i would be grateful) which to my understanding he uses the path towards metaphysics so that he can prove that it is non-sensical. Yet wittgenstein apears to be supportive of metaphysics as a part of philosophy, stating that it is of importance, just we do not know it which in itself from the text is self refuting and begs the question.

Theres clearly something i have not understood fully on the topic, if anyone can set me straight i would appreciate it as i am going to be writing an essay to do with valid propositions and therefore require the clarity on the subject!

--Dan


You might want to keep two things in mind:

1. You are really talking about the earlier Wittgenstein of the and not of the much later, Philosophical Investigations, and also of the earlier Ayer of, Language, Truth, and Logic, and not of the later Ayer of, for instance, The Problem of Knowledge.

2. Both were talking about what Kant called "speculative metaphysics" which transcended all empirical knowledge, and not what the philosopher, P.F, Strawson later called, "descriptive metaphysics" which does not. Analytic philosophers like Strawson and W.O. Quine (and others) have not refrained from discussing questions of metaphysics. See, for instance, Quine's famous essay, "On What there Is" and his book, Ontological Relativity.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Epistemology
  3. » Metaphysics in relation to Wittgenstein and Ayer
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 08/12/2020 at 06:56:31