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The Possibility of Language cover

The Possibility of Language

Internal Tensions in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

María Cerezo

In this volume, María Cerezo examines Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as a response to some of Frege's and Russell's logical problems. In analyzing the tractarian conditions for the possibility of language, she explains the three main theories of the proposition in Tractatus: the truth-functions theory, the picture theory, and the theory of expression. Cerezo shows that Wittgenstein initially separates the account of the structure of a proposition from the explanation of its expression. However, contrary to his intention, the combination of these theories creates new difficulties, since the requirements of each theory cannot be fully respected by the others. Cerezo also shows that Wittgenstein might have been somehow aware of these tensions.

María Cerezo is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Navarra (Spain) and the author of Lenguaje y Lógica en el Tractatus de Wittgenstein.


  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • 1 Introduction: What is Tractatus
  • 2 The Proposition as a Truth-function
  • 3 The Picture Theory I: What Makes it Possible to Represent the Facts?
  • 4 The Picture Theory II: How Does a Picture Actually Depict the World
  • 5 The Expressional Power of Language
  • 6 Logical Notations and the Pseudo-Language of Tractatus
  • 7 Ontology: Further Consequences and Difficulties
  • Epilogue: Trying to Reconcile the Tractatus
  • Terminological Appendix
  • References
  • Index of Wittgensteing's Texts
  • Index


ISBN (Paperback): 157586438X (9781575864389)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869411 (9781575869414)

Subject: Logic; Philosophy of Language

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