Tractatus 2.0123

2.0123 If I know an object, then I also know all the possibilities of its occurrence in atomic facts. (Every such possibility must lie in the nature of the object.) A new possibility cannot subsequently be found.

I have two comments written in the margin of my text (from last year’s reading). The first is “deep sense of know” after the first sentence. The second is “how is independence being used here?”. The second comment refers (most probably) to the previous remark (2.0122). I suppose I’m wondering about the connection of 2.0122 to 2.0123, what does independence have to do with possibilities? Are “things” and “objects” interchangeable here? Ambiguities like this make Ogden’s translation difficult at times.

The parenthetical remark is the most interesting to me here. Again, metaphysics seems to rear it’s head. We’re talking about an object’s “nature”, something the Greeks spent a large amount of time invested in. Yet again, I must be reminded Wittgenstein is not doing metaphysics here. He’s talking about logical possibilities and their connection to atomic facts (propositions?). he also seems to be making an epistemological claim. Is this a reference to Frege’s law as well? If I “know” an object (a word?), then I know all of it’s uses in every possible way? Or maybe Witt. is referring to rules governing objects. The nature of the object defines how and where it can be used. All of those possibilities are already prejudged in the thing. If this is right, Witt. certainly revokes this idea in PI. Objects are not confined by logical space. That thought has PI casting it’s shadow backwards on the Tractatus, which I will try to avoid here, but it’s an interesting thing to keep in mind.

~ by Barky on February 27, 2012.

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