more from Ludwig Wittgenstein

Single Idea 7088

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic]

Full Idea

Neither logical nor mathematical propositions say anything about the world, because in virtue of their always being true they are consistent with any way the world could happen to be.

Gist of Idea

Logic and maths can't say anything about the world, since, as tautologies, they are consistent with all realities


report of Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus [1921]) by A.C. Grayling - Wittgenstein Ch.2

Book Reference

Grayling,A.C.: 'Wittgenstein' [OUP 2001], p.38

A Reaction

This became the standard view for twentieth century empiricists, and appeared to rule out a priori synthetic knowledge forever. Kripke's proposal that there are a posteriori necessities, however, changes the picture.