Tractatus 2.0122

2.0122 The thing is independent, in so far as it can occur in all possible circumstances, but this form of independence is a form of connexion with the atomic fact, a form of dependence. (It is impossible for words to occur in two different ways, alone and in the proposition.)

“never to ask for the meaning of a word in isolation, but only in the context of a proposition” -Frege

Words don’t have life outside of propositions. This was the first thing about Wittgenstein that attracted me. Though Frege said it first (and boldly), Wittgenstein put the exclamation mark on the thought. Wittgenstein puts this in a kind of logical framework. The thing is is both independent and dependent. It can occur in all logical possible scenarios, but cannot exist on its own. The thing is not independent in that it can exist alone. It only exists in atomic facts, in arrangements. Take away the thing’s connection to other things, and it can’t occur. This idea will come up again in the 3’s, and I’m wondering what the connection between 2.0122 and 3.3 is. Did Wittgenstein mean to state the same thought twice, but in a different way? If not, then what is the difference between the two thoughts? Once we embark on the 3’s, I’ll try to get clearer on this answer.

~ by Barky on February 25, 2012.

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