This paper is an analysis of the papers published by renowned authors discussing their approach and stance towards logic and rationality. This paper aims to compare the work of 4 renowned authors to come to a comprehensive understanding of the philosophy of logic and rationality and how it can be interpreted differently in different situations as according to the context and the play of words and other linguistic tools. The four renowned authors whose work will be up for comparison and evaluation in this research paper include the likes of Willard Van Orman Quine and his paper titled “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”, Ludwig Wittgenstein and his book-length philosophical work titled “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”, Gottlob Frege and his work titled “On Sense and Reference” and finally Bertrand Russell and his works titled “On Denoting” released in 1905 as well as “Logical Atomism” written in1924. All of these authors had their work published at different intervals but the thing common in this diverse group of people and this different portfolio of philosophical work is their attempt to explain the difficult and complex relation between language and how it can be written and presented in different ways to depict completely different set of thoughts.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism is a paper by systematic rationalist Willard Van Orman Quine distributed in 1951 (Quine). The paper is an assault on two focal parts of the legitimate positivists' theory. One is the logical manufactured qualification between explanatory truths and engineered truths, clarified by Quine as truths grounded just in implications and autonomous of actualities, and truths grounded in realities. The other is reductionism, the hypothesis that every compelling explanation gets its importance from some coherent development of terms that alludes solely to quick experience. "Two Dogmas" is separated into six areas. The initial four areas are centered around analyticity, the keep going two segments on reductionism. There, Quine turns the center to the intelligent positivists' hypothesis of significance. He additionally displays his own all encompassing hypothesis of importance. Analyticity would be adequate on the off chance that we took into consideration the confirmation hypothesis of importance: a scientific articulation is identical with a legitimate truth, which would be a great instance of significance where observational check is not required. "In this way, if the check hypothesis can be acknowledged as a satisfactory record of proclamation synonymy, the idea of analyticity is spared truth being told." The issue that commonly takes after is the way articulations are to be checked. An empiricist might be of the view that it must be carried out utilizing observational proof. So some manifestation of reductionism and the conviction that every serious explanation is equal to some legitimate develop upon terms which allude to prompt experience must be expected in place for the empiricist to "spare" the thought of analyticity. According to Quine, such reductionism displays generally as unmanageable an issue as analyticity. With a specific end goal to demonstrate that all serious explanations can be deciphered into some sense-datum dialect, a reductionist would unquestionably need to stand up to the assignment of pointing out a sense-datum dialect and demonstrating to decipher whatever is left of noteworthy talk, proclamation by articulation, into it. To outline the trouble of doing thus, Quine portrays Rudolf Carnap's endeavor in Der logische Aufbau der Welt.
Quine watches that Carnap's beginning stage wasn’t exactly the strictest conceivable, as his dialect included sense-occasions as well as the documentations of rationale, through hypothesis of higher sets. Nevertheless Carnap indicated extraordinary inventiveness in characterizing tangible ideas which, however for his developments, one couldn’t have imagined were determinable on so thin a premise." Even then, these splendid endeavors left Carnap, by his own particular confirmation, without finishing the entire undertaking. At last, Quine questions on a fundamental level to the proposed interpretation of explanations by Carnap like "quality q is at point-moment x; y; z; t" in his sense-datum dialect, in light of the fact that he doesn't characterize the connective "is at" (Richardson). Without explanations like this, it is hard to see on a basic level, how Carnap's undertaking would have been finished. The trouble that Carnap experienced demonstrates reductionism to be the best case scenario, dubious and exceptionally hard to demonstrate. Until the reductionist delivers a satisfactory confirmation, Quine keeps reductionism to be an alternate "otherworldly article of confidence".
The Tractatus Logico philosophicus is a book length piece of philosophy by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is a German-Austrian philosopher. The project was to identify relationship between language and reality and it was his ambition to explore the subject, and to define the limits for science. The piece is considered highly significant in philosophical literature of the twentieth century.
Wittgenstein was a soldier in World War 1 during which he wrote down the notes for Tractatus. He later completed it while he was a prisoner of war at Como and later further developed it in Cassino during 1918. The publishing was first made in German in the year 1921 as Logisch Philosophische Abhandlung. It was highly influential especially amongst the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists in that circle, such as Rudolf Carnap and Friedrich Waisman. In the article “The philosophy of Logical Atomism”, Bertrand Russell has presented the working of ideas which he learned and adapted from Wittfgenstein.
The work of Tractatus has succinct literary style and it is not based on any arguments, rather consist of declarative statements if we look at the writing style and most of the statements are self-evident. The arrangement of statements is hierarchically numbered with seven propositions, and with sub-level headings either being a comment or elaboration of the idea presented.
There are seven main propositions in the text which are:
- The world is everything and that is the case.
- The logical picture of facts may be a thought
- What may be the case for existence of states of affairs?
- A thought may be a proposition which has a sense.
- A proposition is the truth function.
- The general truth function is a general form of proposition
- One must be silent where one cannot speak.
Another important view in the Tractatus is the picture theory. It is a theory which explains and proposes a description of the relation of representation. It is also called the picture theory of language. Wittgenstein discusses various picturing relationships such as non-linguistics pictures like photographs and sculptures. The theory proposes that propositions can picture the world and represent it accurately. For example, a proposition of there is a tree in the yard, can be accurately put in a picture if there is a tree in the yard. If there is no tree in the yard, then proposition does not accurately picture the world and is not the right representation.
In this piece, the writer is also inspired by traffic courts of Paris and the automobile accidents. He thinks a toy car represents a real car, and a toy truck represents a real truck and dolls represent people. To explain the case to the judge, someone may make use of these representations to move them in the way they moved in the real incident. The spatial relation of the element of the picture, the toys, represents the automobile accident. Wittgenstein used the word “bild” which is translated as picture or a model, to explain the picturing situations.
Sinn and Bedeutung are terms used by German philosopher and mathematician Gottlob Frege, these terms are usually translated as to mean sense and reference. This accounts as two unique views of the meaning of some word or phrase, a word’s or phrase’s reference is the object that is associated with that word or phrase while the word’s or phrase’s sense is the method the word or phrase utilizes to talk about or refer to that object. These terms were introduced by the German philosopher cum mathematician in the paper that he published in 1892 titled as "Über Sinn und Bedeutung" in German which when translated to English roughly means “On Sense and Reference”. Frege utilized the use of the term Bedeutung to mainly refer to proper names while in some lesser context it was also used to refer to sentences. Even though mainly this distinguishing factor of using a word or phrase to refer to only a specific part of a language is merely associated to the philosophy of language, but the ideas and context that the author utilizes links this work to other aspects of philosophy as well which include the likes of the philosophy of mind, metaethics as well as metaphysics. Thus, according to Frege the reference is the object that is being referred to in that particular expression.
Frege however, creates a distinction so as to make sure that both these terms coined by him make sense to his readers and the whole phenomenon is making sense. Frege claims that along with a reference or a Bedeutung, a proper name also has the ability to possess what is coined as Sinn or sense by Frege, which means that a little of the way by which the reference of the term is comprehended it can also vary between two names which are used to refer to the same thing, object or person. For instance, Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens is the same person, however the only differentiating thing between these two terms or names is the method by which these names are presented to the designated reader or audience. Thus, the sense or Sinn of any expression, term or phrase is the thereby the method of presentation which has been contained. Hence, an individual can be referred to by both the names Samuel Clemens as well as Mark Twain but the person taking these names would not even comprehend that they are referring to the same person because both these terms present the person i.e. Mark Twain in a different light or scenario as compared to Samuel Clemens thus they have different senses.
Frege, Gottlob. Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege. Blackwell, 1960.
Quine, W V. Two dogmas of empiricism. NewYork: Longmans, Green & Co, 1951.
Richardson, Alan W. Carnap's Construction of the World: The Aufbau and the Emergence of Logical Empiricism. Cambidge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Russell, Bertrand. Foundations of logic, 1903-05. Routledge, 1994.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. The German text Logisch-philosophische abhandlung,. New York: Humanities Press, 1961.