22 July 2006

On Certainty + The End

I finished reading Wittgenstein's OC yesterday afternoon. It builds rather slowly, and--to use a cliche--the end is a foregone conclusion long before it's even close. Still, there are many things going on here; the most obvious connections are to the PI: language-games, appropriateness of use and so forth. But there are tons of connections to the TLP. The relation between fact, picture and language game, for instance,
[T]he possibility of a language-game is conditioned by certain facts. (617)
which connects to two passages from the TLP,
again and again the individual case turns out to be unimportant, but the possibility of each individual case discloses something about the essence of the world (3.3421)
We are also told something about the world by the fact that it can be described more simply with one system of mechanics than with another. (6.342)
and others: i.e., that a "logical picture of facts is a thought" (3). The quote from OC, that facts condition possible language-games is important. There may not be any a priori pictures, but there seem to be necessary a posteriori pictures. The way things are is a limiting condition. The way things are also gives us a rough idea of something we may call logic. The "essence of the world". Our empirical pictures let us in on what must be the case.

I really appreciate OC, but I'm glad to be done with it. I'm going to start Cora Diamond's The Realistic Spirit and Wittgenstein's Culture and Value today.