Farewell to the Resolute Reading of the Tractatus?

Tuomas William Manninen

Abstract



“A main cause of philosophical disease – a one-sided diet: one nourishes one’s
thinking with only one kind of example”. Sadly, this quote from
Philosophical Investigations aptly characterizes the state of the
Tractatus-interpretations. Despite Wittgenstein’s acknowledging his debt to Frege’s
and Russell’s works, virtually all the attempts of explicating the relationship
between Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein are partisan. Either Frege is exalted as the
main source for the ideas in the Tractatus and Russell is marginalized, or vice
versa. Two recent interpretations, one, Landini’s, focusing on Russell and the other,
Conant’s, on Frege shed new light on the Tractatus, yet they, too, remain partisan.
However, textual evidence supports the adoption of bipartisan approach, acknowledging
both Frege’s and Russell’s influence (even if to a different extent). I will
delineate a bipartisan interpretation of the Tractatus, and conclude by showing how
these bipartisan considerations provide a decisive argument against the resolute
reading.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; eliminativism; resolute reading

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