Signs of Sense: Reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Signs of Sense: Reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus


By (author) Eli Friedlander

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  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 243mm x 115mm | 545g
  • Publication date: 28 March 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
  • ISBN 10: 0674003098
  • ISBN 13: 9780674003095
  • Illustrations note: 2 line illustrations

Product description

This work seeks to shed light on one of the most engimatic masterpieces of 20th-century thought. At the heart of Eli Friedlander's interpretation is the internal relation between the logical and the ethical in the "Tractatus", a relation that emerges in the work of drawing the limits of language. To show how the "Tractatus", far from separating the ethical and the logical into distinct domains, instead brings out their essential affinity, Friedlander focuses on Wittgenstein's use of the term "form", paricularly his characterization of the form of objects. In this reading, the concept of form points to a threefold distinction in the text among the problematics of facts, objects and the world. Most important, it provides a key to understanding how Wittgenstein's work opens a perspective on the world through the recognition of the form of objects rather than through the grasping of facts -thus revealing the dimensions of subjectivity involved in having a world, or in assuming that form of experience apart from systematic logic. Bearing on the question of the divide between analytic and Continental philosophy, this interpretation views Wittgenstein's work as a possible mediation between these two central philosophical traditions of the modern age. It should be of interest not only to Wittgenstein scholars but to anyone concerned with 20th-century philosophy.

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Author information

Eli Friedlander is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Tel-Aviv University.

Table of contents

* Abbreviations * Preface * Introduction: Figures of Writing * Part One *1. Logic Apart *2. The Form of Objects *3. "We Make to Ourselves Pictures of Facts" *4. Signs and Sense *5. The Symbolic Order *6. The Grammar of Analysis *7. Making Sense and Recognizing Meaning *8. Subject and World *9. Ethics in Language *10. A Demanding Silence * Part Two *11. On Some Central Debates Concerning the Tractatus *12. On Wittgenstein's Dissatisfaction with the Tractatus * Works Cited * Index