This log was inspired by "How to Read Wittgenstein" and "Ludwig Wittgenstein: the duty of genius" by Ray Monk. It is based on reading Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein translated by D. F. Pears & B. F. McGuinness (Routledge and Kegan Paul:1963)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A matter of fact is a compound of objects.

It is in the very nature of any thing (any object of consideration whatever) to be a part of a matter of fact. There is no happenstance in logic, so a thing can only occur in a specific matter of fact, when that possibility has its precedent in the thing itself. We would call it happenstance if, in the case of a thing that can stand entirely on its own, a fitting situation in a matter of fact would be found after all.

Something in the realm of logic cannot be merely possible. Logic deals with every possibility and treats all possiblities as its facts. Just as we cannot conceive of a material object without the space it takes up, or an event without time, so we cannot consider any thing without the possibility of its relating to others. If I can associate an object with with a matter of fact, then I cannot think of it without the possibility of this association.

A thing stands on its own in that it can occur in all possible matters of fact. But this is a way to relate to a matter of fact, a form of dependence. (It is impossible for words to occur in two modes, both alone and as part of a sentence.)

If I know a thing, then I also know all the ways it occurs in matters of fact (they all must lie in the nature of the object); it cannot be possible to find an additional, new way. In order to know an object I may not need not know its external properties, but I do need to know its internal properties. So, once all objects are given, all possible matters of fact are given as well.

It is as if every thing is located in a space of possible matters of fact. I can consider this space empty, but not the thing without the space. A geometric object must be situated in infinite space. (A point in space is location as an argument.) The speck in the visual field, though it need not be red, must have some color. It has, so to speak, color space about it. Notes must have some pitch, objects of the sense of touch some hardness, etc.

Objects make matters of fact possible and how an object can be part of a matter of fact is determined by its form.

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