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L.

Wittgenstein,TractatusLogicoPhilosophicus(Gutenbergonlineedition)

Project Gutenberg's Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus, by Ludwig of our language is misunderstood. The whole sense of the book
Wittgenstein This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all
costandwithalmostnorestrictionswhatsoever.Youmaycopyit, can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass
give it away or reuse it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg overinsilence.
LicenseincludedwiththiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Thustheaimofthebookistodrawalimittothought,orrather
Title: Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein nottothought,buttotheexpressionofthoughts:forinordertobe
Release Date: June 11, 2009 [EBook #5740] Language: English abletodrawalimittothought,weshouldhavetofindbothsidesof
Charactersetencoding:ASCII the limit thinkable (i.e. we should have to be able to think what
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TRACTATUS cannotbethought).
LOGICOPHILOSOPHICUS*** Itwillthereforeonlybeinlanguagethatthelimitcanbedrawn,and
ProducedbyMatthewStapleton,andDavidWidger. whatliesontheothersideofthelimitwillsimplybenonsense.
I do not wish to judge how far my efforts coincide with those of
other philosophers. Indeed, what I have written here makes no

TRACTATUSLOGICO
claim to novelty in detail, and the reason why I give no sources is
thatitisamatterofindifferencetomewhetherthethoughtsthatI
havehadhavebeenanticipatedbysomeoneelse.
PHILOSOPHICUS IwillonlymentionthatIamindebtedtoFrege'sgreatworksandof
thewritingsofmyfriendMrBertrandRussellformuchofthestimu
lationofmythoughts.
ByLudwigWittgenstein Ifthisworkhasanyvalue,itconsistsintwothings:thefirstisthat
thoughts are expressed in it, and on this score the better the
thoughts are expressedthe more the nail has been hit on the
headthegreaterwillbeitsvalue.HereIamconsciousofhaving
Perhaps this book will be understood only by someone who has fallenalongwayshortofwhatispossible.Simplybecausemypow
himself already had the thoughts that are expressed in itor at ersaretooslightfortheaccomplishmentofthetask.Mayothers
leastsimilarthoughts.Soitisnotatextbook.Itspurposewould comeanddoitbetter.
beachievedifitgavepleasuretoonepersonwhoreadandunder Ontheotherhandthetruthofthethoughtsthatareherecommu
stoodit. nicatedseemstomeunassailableanddefinitive.Ithereforebelieve
The book deals with the problems of philosophy, and shows, I be myself to have found, on all essential points, the final solution of
lieve,thatthereasonwhytheseproblemsareposedisthatthelogic theproblems.AndifIamnotmistakeninthisbelief,thenthesec

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ondthinginwhichtheofthisworkconsistsisthatitshowshowlit 1.21Eachitemcanbethecaseornotthecasewhileeverythingelse
tleisachievedwhentheseproblemsaresolved. remainsthesame.
L.W.Vienna,1918

2.Whatisthecaseafactistheexistenceof
statesofaffairs.
2.01Astateofaffairs(astateofthings)isacombinationofobjects
(things).
Contents 2.011Itisessentialtothingsthattheyshouldbepossibleconstitu
entsofstatesofaffairs.
1.Theworldisallthatisthecase.
2.Whatisthecaseafactistheexistenceofstatesofaffairs. 2.012Inlogicnothingisaccidental:ifathingcanoccurinastateof
3.Alogicalpictureoffactsisathought. affairs,thepossibilityofthestateofaffairsmustbewrittenintothe
4.Athoughtisapropositionwithasense. thingitself.
5.Apropositionisatruthfunctionofelementarypropositions. 2.0121Itwouldseemtobeasortofaccident,ifitturnedoutthata
6.Thegeneralformofatruthfunctionis[p,E,N(E)]. situation would fit a thing that could already exist entirely on its
7.Whatwecannotspeakaboutwemustpassoverinsilence. own.Ifthingscanoccurinstatesofaffairs,thispossibilitymustbe
inthemfromthebeginning.(Nothingintheprovinceoflogiccanbe
destiny?
merely possible. Logic deals with every possibility and all possibili
tiesareitsfacts.)Justaswearequiteunabletoimaginespatialob
jectsoutsidespaceortemporalobjectsoutsidetime,sotoothereis
noobjectthatwecanimagineexcludedfromthepossibilityofcom
1.Theworldisallthatisthecase.
bining with others. If I can imagine objects combined in states of
1.1Theworldisthetotalityoffacts,notofthings. affairs,Icannotimaginethemexcludedfromthepossibilityofsuch
1.11Theworldisdeterminedbythefacts,andbytheirbeingallthe combinations.
facts. 2.0122Thingsareindependentinsofarastheycanoccurinallpos
1.12Forthetotalityoffactsdetermineswhatisthecase,andalso siblesituations,butthisformofindependenceisaformofconnex
whateverisnotthecase. ionwithstatesofaffairs,aformofdependence.(Itisimpossiblefor
words to appear in two different roles: by themselves, and in
1.13Thefactsinlogicalspacearetheworld.
propositions.)
1.2Theworlddividesintofacts.

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2.0123IfIknowanobjectIalsoknowallitspossibleoccurrencesin 2.022 It is obvious that an imagined world, however difference it


statesofaffairs.(Everyoneofthesepossibilitiesmustbepartofthe maybefromtherealone,musthavesomethingaformincom
"new natureoftheobject.)Anewpossibilitycannotbediscoveredlater. monwithit.
possibility 2.01231IfIamtoknowanobject,thoughtIneednotknowitsex 2.023Objectsarejustwhatconstitutethisunalterableform.
cannot be ternalproperties,Imustknowallitsinternalproperties.
discovered 2.0231Thesubstanceoftheworldcanonlydetermineaform,and
later?" 2.0124 If all objects are given, then at the same time all possible notanymaterialproperties.Foritisonlybymeansofpropositions
how so? statesofaffairsarealsogiven. thatmaterialpropertiesarerepresentedonlybytheconfiguration
2.013Eachthingis,asitwere,inaspaceofpossiblestatesofaffairs. ofobjectsthattheyareproduced.
This space I can imagine empty, but I cannot imagine the thing 2.0232Inamannerofspeaking,objectsarecolourless.
withoutthespace. 2.0233 If two objects have the same logical form, the only distinc
2.0131Aspatialobjectmustbesituatedininfinitespace.(Aspatial tion between them, apart from their external properties, is that
point is an argumentplace.) A speck in the visual field, thought it theyaredifferent.
need not be red, must have some colour: it is, so to speak, sur 2.02331Eitherathinghaspropertiesthatnothingelsehas,inwhich
rounded by colourspace. Notes must have some pitch, objects of casewecanimmediatelyuseadescriptiontodistinguishitfromthe
thesenseoftouchsomedegreeofhardness,andsoon. othersandrefertoit;or,ontheotherhand,thereareseveralthings
2.014Objectscontainthepossibilityofallsituations. that have the whole set of their properties in common, in which
2.0141Thepossibilityofitsoccurringinstatesofaffairsistheform case it is quite impossible to indicate one of them. For it there is
ofanobject. nothing to distinguish a thing, I cannot distinguish it, since other
wiseitwouldbedistinguishedafterall.
2.02Objectsaresimple.
2.024 The substance is what subsists independently of what is the
2.0201 Every statement about complexes can be resolved into a
case.
statement about their constituents and into the propositions that
describethecomplexescompletely. 2.025Itisformandcontent.
2.021Objectsmakeupthesubstanceoftheworld.Thatiswhythey 2.0251Space,time,colour(beingcoloured)areformsofobjects.
cannotbecomposite. 2.026 There must be objects, if the world is to have unalterable
2.0211Iftheyworldhadnosubstance,thenwhetheraproposition form.
hadsensewoulddependonwhetheranotherpropositionwastrue. 2.027Objects,theunalterable,andthesubsistentareoneandthe
2.0212 In that case we could not sketch any picture of the world same.
(trueorfalse). 2.0271Objectsarewhatisunalterableandsubsistent;theirconfigu
rationiswhatischangingandunstable.

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2.0272Theconfigurationofobjectsproducesstatesofaffairs. 2.14 What constitutes a picture is that its elements are related to
2.03Inastateofaffairsobjectsfitintooneanotherlikethelinksof oneanotherinadeterminateway.
achain. 2.141Apictureisafact.
2.031Inastateofaffairsobjectsstandinadeterminaterelationto 2.15Thefactthattheelementsofapicturearerelatedtoonean
oneanother. other in a determinate way represents that things are related to
2.032 The determinate way in which objects are connected in a one another in the same way. Let us call this connexion of its ele
stateofaffairsisthestructureofthestateofaffairs. mentsthestructureofthepicture,andletuscallthepossibilityof
thisstructurethepictorialformofthepicture.
2.033Formisthepossibilityofstructure.
2.151Pictorialformisthepossibilitythatthingsarerelatedtoone
2.034Thestructureofafactconsistsofthestructuresofstatesof
anotherinthesamewayastheelementsofthepicture.
affairs.
2.1511 That is how a picture is attached to reality; it reaches right
2.04Thetotalityofexistingstatesofaffairsistheworld.
outtoit.
2.05Thetotalityofexistingstatesofaffairsalsodetermineswhich
2.1512Itislaidagainstrealitylikeameasure.
statesofaffairsdonotexist.
2.15121 Only the endpoints of the graduating lines actually touch
2.06 The existence and nonexistence of states of affairs is reality.
theobjectthatistobemeasured.
(We call the existence of states of affairs a positive fact, and their
nonexistenceanegativefact.) 2.1514Soapicture,conceivedinthisway,alsoincludesthepictorial
relationship,whichmakesitintoapicture.
2.061Statesofaffairsareindependentofoneanother.
2.1515Thesecorrelationsare,asitwere,thefeelersofthepicture's
2.062Fromtheexistenceornonexistenceofonestateofaffairsit
elements,withwhichthepicturetouchesreality.
isimpossibletoinfertheexistenceornonexistenceofanother.
2.16Ifafactistobeapicture,itmusthavesomethingincommon
2.063Thesumtotalofrealityistheworld.
withwhatitdepicts.
2.1Wepicturefactstoourselves.
2.161 There must be something identical in a picture and what it
2.11 A picture presents a situation in logical space, the existence depicts,toenabletheonetobeapictureoftheotheratall.
andnonexistenceofstatesofaffairs.
2.17Whatapicturemusthaveincommonwithreality,inorderto
2.12Apictureisamodelofreality. be able to depict itcorrectly or incorrectlyin the way that it
2.13 In a picture objects have the elements of the picture corre does,isitspictorialform.
spondingtothem. 2.171 A picture can depict any reality whose form it has. A spatial
life imitates
2.131 In a picture the elements of the picture are the representa picture can depict anything spatial, a coloured one anything col
art? tivesofobjects. oured,etc.

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2.172Apicturecannot,however,depictitspictorialform:itdisplays 2.223 In order to tell whether a picture is true or false we must


it. compareitwithreality.
2.173Apicturerepresentsitssubjectfromapositionoutsideit.(Its 2.224Itisimpossibletotellfromthepicturealonewhetheritistrue
standpointisitsrepresentationalform.)Thatiswhyapicturerepre orfalse.
sentsitssubjectcorrectlyorincorrectly. 2.225Therearenopicturesthataretrueapriori.
2.174Apicturecannot,however,placeitselfoutsideitsrepresenta
tionalform.
2.18 What any picture, of whatever form, must have in common 3.Alogicalpictureoffactsisathought.
with reality, in order to be able to depict itcorrectly or incor 3.001'Astateofaffairsisthinkable':whatthismeansisthatwecan
rectlyinanywayatall,islogicalform,i.e.theformofreality. pictureittoourselves.
2.181Apicturewhosepictorialformislogicalformiscalledalogical 3.01Thetotalityoftruethoughtsisapictureoftheworld.
picture.
3.02Athoughtcontainsthepossibilityofthesituationofwhichitis
2.182Everypictureisatthesametimealogicalone.(Ontheother thethought.Whatisthinkableispossibletoo.
hand,noteverypictureis,forexample,aspatialone.)
3.03Thoughtcanneverbeofanythingillogical,since,ifitwere,we
2.19Logicalpicturescandepicttheworld. shouldhavetothinkillogically. logical as
2.2 A picture has logicopictorial form in common with what it de 3.031ItusedtobesaidthatGodcouldcreateanythingexceptwhat in logos
picts. would be contrary to the laws of logic. The truth is that we could (thought)?
2.201Apicturedepictsrealitybyrepresentingapossibilityofexis notsaywhatan'illogical'worldwouldlooklike.
tenceandnonexistenceofstatesofaffairs. 3.032Itisasimpossibletorepresentinlanguageanythingthat'con
2.202Apicturecontainsthepossibilityofthesituationthatitrepre tradicts logic' as it is in geometry to represent by its coordinates a
logic in
sents. figurethatcontradictsthelawsofspace,ortogivethecoordinates
what
2.203Apictureagreeswithrealityorfailstoagree;itiscorrector ofapointthatdoesnotexist.
sense?
incorrect,trueorfalse. 3.0321Thoughastateofaffairsthatwouldcontravenethelawsof
2.22 What a picture represents it represents independently of its physics can be represented by us spatially, one that would contra
truthorfalsity,bymeansofitspictorialform. venethelawsofgeometrycannot.
2.221Whatapicturerepresentsisitssense. 3.04Itathoughtwerecorrectapriori,itwouldbeathoughtwhose
2.222Theagreementordisagreementoritssensewithrealitycon possibilityensureditstruth.
stitutesitstruthorfalsity.

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3.05Aprioriknowledgethatathoughtwastruewouldbepossible 3.1432Insteadof,'Thecomplexsign"aRb"saysthatastandstobin
only it its truth were recognizable from the thought itself (without therelationR'weoughttoput,'That"a"standsto"b"inacertain
anythingatocompareitwith). relationsaysthataRb.' what's the
difference?
3.1Inapropositionathoughtfindsanexpressionthatcanbeper 3.144Situationscanbedescribedbutnotgivennames.
ceivedbythesenses. 3.2Inapropositionathoughtcanbeexpressedinsuchawaythat
3.11 We use the perceptible sign of a proposition (spoken or writ elementsofthepropositionalsigncorrespondtotheobjectsofthe
ten,etc.)asaprojectionofapossiblesituation.Themethodofpro thought.
jectionistothinkofthesenseoftheproposition. 3.201 I call such elements 'simple signs', and such a proposition
3.12Icallthesignwithwhichweexpressathoughtapropositional 'completeanalysed'.
sign.Andapropositionisapropositionalsigninitsprojectiverela 3.202Thesimplesignsemployedinpropositionsarecallednames.
tiontotheworld.
3.203Anamemeansanobject.Theobjectisitsmeaning.('A'isthe
3.13 A proposition, therefore, does not actually contain its sense, samesignas'A'.)
but does contain the possibility of expressing it. ('The content of a
3.21 The configuration of objects in a situation corresponds to the
proposition'meansthecontentofapropositionthathassense.)A
configurationofsimplesignsinthepropositionalsign.
propositioncontainstheform,butnotthecontent,ofitssense.
3.221Objectscanonlybenamed.Signsaretheirrepresentatives.I
3.14 What constitutes a propositional sign is that in its elements
canonlyspeakaboutthem:Icannotputthemintowords.Proposi
(thewords)standinadeterminaterelationtooneanother.Apro
tionscanonlysayhowthingsare,notwhattheyare.
positionalsignisafact.
3.23 The requirement that simple signs be possible is the require
3.141Apropositionisnotablendofwords.(Justasathemeinmu
mentthatsensebedeterminate.
sicisnotablendofnotes.)Apropositionisarticulate.
3.24Apropositionaboutacomplexstandsinaninternalrelationto
3.142Onlyfactscanexpressasense,asetofnamescannot.
apropositionaboutaconstituentofthecomplex.Acomplexcanbe
3.143Althoughapropositionalsignisafact,thisisobscuredbythe givenonlybyitsdescription,whichwillberightorwrong.Apropo
usualformofexpressioninwritingorprint.Forinaprintedproposi sitionthatmentionsacomplexwillnotbenonsensical,ifthecom
tion, for example, no essential difference is apparent between a plexdoesnotexits,butsimplyfalse.Whenapropositionalelement
propositional sign and a word. (That is what made it possible for signifiesacomplex,thiscanbeseenfromanindeterminatenessin
Fregetocallapropositionacompositename.) thepropositionsinwhichitoccurs.Insuchcasesweknowthatthe
3.1431Theessenceofapropositionalsignisveryclearlyseenifwe proposition leaves something undetermined. (In fact the notation
imagineonecomposedofspatialobjects(suchastables,chairs,and forgeneralitycontainsaprototype.)Thecontractionofasymbolfor
books)insteadofwrittensigns. acomplexintoasimplesymbolcanbeexpressedinadefinition.

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3.25 A proposition cannot be dissected any further by means of a 3.314Anexpressionhasmeaningonlyinaproposition.Allvariables


definition:itisaprimitivesign. canbeconstruedaspropositionalvariables.(Evenvariablenames.)
3.261 Every sign that has a definition signifies via the signs that 3.315Ifweturnaconstituentofapropositionintoavariable,there
servetodefineit;andthedefinitionspointtheway.Twosignscan isaclassofpropositionsallofwhicharevaluesoftheresultingvari
not signify in the same manner if one is primitive and the other is ableproposition.Ingeneral,thisclasstoowillbedependentonthe
definedbymeansofprimitivesigns.Namescannotbeanatomized meaning that our arbitrary conventions have given to parts of the
bymeansofdefinitions.(Norcananysignthathasameaninginde originalproposition.Butifallthesignsinitthathavearbitrarilyde
pendentlyandonitsown.) termined meanings are turned into variables, we shall still get a
3.262Whatsignsfailtoexpress,theirapplicationshows.Whatsigns classofthiskind.Thisone,however,isnotdependentonanycon
slurover,theirapplicationsaysclearly. vention,butsolelyonthenatureoftheproposition.Itcorresponds
toalogicalformalogicalprototype.
3.263Themeaningsofprimitivesignscanbeexplainedbymeansof
elucidations. Elucidations are propositions that stood if the mean 3.316 What values a propositional variable may take is something
ingsofthosesignsarealreadyknown. thatisstipulated.Thestipulationofvaluesisthevariable.
3.3Onlypropositionshavesense;onlyinthenexusofaproposition 3.317 To stipulate values for a propositional variable is to give the
doesanamehavemeaning. propositions whose common characteristic the variable is. The
stipulationisadescriptionofthosepropositions.Thestipulationwill
3.31 I call any part of a proposition that characterizes its sense an
thereforebeconcernedonlywithsymbols,notwiththeirmeaning.
expression(orasymbol).(Apropositionisitselfanexpression.)Eve
Andtheonlythingessentialtothestipulationisthatitismerelya
rything essential to their sense that propositions can have in com
description of symbols and states nothing about what is signified.
monwithoneanotherisanexpression.Anexpressionisthemarkof
Howthedescriptionofthepropositionsisproducedisnotessential.
aformandacontent.
3.318LikeFregeandRussellIconstrueapropositionasafunctionof
3.311 An expression presupposes the forms of all the propositions
theexpressionscontainedinit.
inwhichitcanoccur.Itisthecommoncharacteristicmarkofaclass
ofpropositions. 3.32Asigniswhatcanbeperceivedofasymbol.
3.312Itisthereforepresentedbymeansofthegeneralformofthe 3.321 So one and the same sign (written or spoken, etc.) can be
propositionsthatitcharacterizes.Infact,inthisformtheexpression commontotwodifferentsymbolsinwhichcasetheywillsignifyin
willbeconstantandeverythingelsevariable. differentways.
3.313Thusanexpressionispresentedbymeansofavariablewhose 3.322Ouruseofthesamesigntosignifytwodifferentobjectscan
valuesarethepropositionsthatcontaintheexpression.(Inthelim neverindicateacommoncharacteristicofthetwo,ifweuseitwith
itingcasethevariablebecomesaconstant,theexpressionbecomes twodifferentmodesofsignification.Forthesign,ofcourse,isarbi
aproposition.)Icallsuchavariablea'propositionalvariable'.

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trary. So we could choose two different signs instead, and then 3.33Inlogicalsyntaxthemeaningofasignshouldneverplayarole.
whatwouldbeleftincommononthesignifyingside? It must be possible to establish logical syntax without mentioning
3.323 In everyday language it very frequently happens that the the meaning of a sign: only the description of expressions may be
samewordhasdifferentmodesofsignificationandsobelongsto presupposed.
differentsymbolsorthattwowordsthathavedifferentmodesof 3.331FromthisobservationweturntoRussell's'theoryoftypes'.It
significationareemployedinpropositionsinwhatissuperficiallythe canbeseenthatRussellmustbewrong,becausehehadtomention
same way. Thus the word 'is' figures as the copula, as a sign for themeaningofsignswhenestablishingtherulesforthem.
identity,andasanexpressionforexistence;'exist'figuresasanin 3.332Nopropositioncanmakeastatementaboutitself,becausea
transitiveverblike'go',and'identical'asanadjective;wespeakof propositionalsigncannotbecontainedinitself(thatisthewholeof
something, but also of something's happening. (In the proposition, the'theoryoftypes').
'Greenisgreen'wherethefirstwordisthepropernameofaper
3.333Thereasonwhyafunctioncannotbeitsownargumentisthat
sonandthelastanadjectivethesewordsdonotmerelyhavedif
the sign for a function already contains the prototype of its argu
ferentmeanings:theyaredifferentsymbols.)
ment,anditcannotcontainitself.Forletussupposethatthefunc
3.324 In this way the most fundamental confusions are easily pro tionF(fx)couldbeitsownargument:inthatcasetherewouldbea
duced(thewholeofphilosophyisfullofthem). proposition 'F(F(fx))', in which the outer function F and the inner
3.325 In order to avoid such errors we must make use of a sign function F must have different meanings, since the inner one has
languagethatexcludesthembynotusingthesamesignfordiffer the form O(f(x)) and the outer one has the form Y(O(fx)). Only the
entsymbolsandbynotusinginasuperficiallysimilarwaysignsthat letter'F'iscommontothetwofunctions,buttheletterbyitselfsig
havedifferentmodesofsignification:thatistosay,asignlanguage nifies nothing. This immediately becomes clear if instead of 'F(Fu)'
that is governed by logical grammarby logical syntax. (The con wewrite'(do):F(Ou).Ou=Fu'.ThatdisposesofRussell'sparadox.
ceptualnotationofFregeandRussellissuchalanguage,though,it 3.334 The rules of logical syntax must go without saying, once we
istrue,itfailstoexcludeallmistakes.) knowhoweachindividualsignsignifies.
3.326 In order to recognize a symbol by its sign we must observe 3.34 A proposition possesses essential and accidental features. Ac
howitisusedwithasense. cidental features are those that result from the particular way in
3.327Asigndoesnotdeterminealogicalformunlessitistakento which the propositional sign is produced. Essential features are
getherwithitslogicosyntacticalemployment. thosewithoutwhichthepropositioncouldnotexpressitssense.
3.328Ifasignisuseless,itismeaningless.ThatisthepointofOc 3.341 So what is essential in a proposition is what all propositions
cam'smaxim.(Ifeverythingbehavesasifasignhadmeaning,then thatcanexpressthesamesensehaveincommon.Andsimilarly,in
itdoeshavemeaning.) general, what is essential in a symbol is what all symbols that can
servethesamepurposehaveincommon.

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3.3411Soonecouldsaythattherealnameofanobjectwaswhat 3.41 The propositional sign with logical coordinatesthat is the


all symbols that signified it had in common. Thus, one by one, all logicalplace.
kindsofcompositionwouldprovetobeunessentialtoaname. 3.411Ingeometryandlogicalikeaplaceisapossibility:something
3.342 Although there is something arbitrary in our notations, this canexistinit.
much is not arbitrarythat when we have determined one thing 3.42 A proposition can determine only one place in logical space:
arbitrarily,somethingelseisnecessarilythecase.(Thisderivesfrom neverthelessthewholeoflogicalspacemustalreadybegivenbyit.
theessenceofnotation.) (Otherwisenegation,logicalsum,logicalproduct,etc.,wouldintro
3.3421Aparticularmodeofsignifyingmaybeunimportantbutitis duce more and more new elements in coordination.) (The logical
alwaysimportantthatitisapossiblemodeofsignifying.Andthatis scaffolding surrounding a picture determines logical space. The
generallysoinphilosophy:againandagaintheindividualcaseturns forceofapropositionreachesthroughthewholeoflogicalspace.)
out to be unimportant, but the possibility of each individual case 3.5Apropositionalsign,appliedandthoughtout,isathought.
disclosessomethingabouttheessenceoftheworld.
3.343 Definitions are rules for translating from one language into
another. Any correct signlanguage must be translatable into any 4.Athoughtisapropositionwithasense.
other in accordance with such rules: it is this that they all have in
4.001Thetotalityofpropositionsislanguage.
common.
4.022 Man possesses the ability to construct languages capable of
3.344Whatsignifiesinasymboliswhatiscommontoallthesym
expressingeverysense,withouthavinganyideahoweachwordhas
bolsthattherulesoflogicalsyntaxallowustosubstituteforit.
meaning or what its meaning isjust as people speak without
3.3441 For instance, we can express what is common to all nota knowing how the individual sounds are produced. Everyday lan
tionsfortruthfunctionsinthefollowingway:theyhaveincommon guage is a part of the human organism and is no less complicated
that,forexample,thenotationthatuses'Pp'('notp')and'pCg'('p than it. It is not humanly possible to gather immediately from it
org')canbesubstitutedforanyofthem.(Thisservestocharacter whatthelogicoflanguageis.Languagedisguisesthought.Somuch
izethewayinwhichsomethinggeneralcanbedisclosedbythepos so, that from the outward form of the clothing it is impossible to
sibilityofaspecificnotation.) infertheformofthethoughtbeneathit,becausetheoutwardform
3.3442Nordoesanalysisresolvethesignforacomplexinanarbi oftheclothingisnotdesignedtorevealtheformofthebody,but
trary way, so that it would have a different resolution every time forentirelydifferentpurposes.Thetacitconventionsonwhichthe
thatitwasincorporatedinadifferentproposition. understandingofeverydaylanguagedependsareenormouslycom
3.4Apropositiondeterminesaplaceinlogicalspace.Theexistence plicated.
ofthislogicalplaceisguaranteedbythemereexistenceofthecon 4.003 Most of the propositions and questions to be found in phi
stituentsbytheexistenceofthepropositionwithasense. losophical works are not false but nonsensical. Consequently we

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cannotgiveanyanswertoquestionsofthiskind,butcanonlypoint relation of depicting that holds between language and the world.
out that they are nonsensical. Most of the propositions and ques They are all constructed according to a common logical pattern.
tionsofphilosophersarisefromourfailuretounderstandthelogic (Like the two youths in the fairytale, their two horses, and their
of our language. (They belong to the same class as the question lilies.Theyareallinacertainsenseone.)
whetherthegoodismoreorlessidenticalthanthebeautiful.)And 4.0141Thereisageneralrulebymeansofwhichthemusiciancan
it is not surprising that the deepest problems are in fact not prob obtainthesymphonyfromthescore,andwhichmakesitpossibleto
lemsatall. derive the symphony from the groove on the gramophone record,
4.0031 All philosophy is a 'critique of language' (though not in and,usingthefirstrule,toderivethescoreagain.Thatiswhatcon
Mauthner's sense). It was Russell who performed the service of stitutestheinnersimilaritybetweenthesethingswhichseemtobe
showingthattheapparentlogicalformofapropositionneednotbe constructedinsuchentirelydifferentways.Andthatruleisthelaw
itsrealone. ofprojectionwhichprojectsthesymphonyintothelanguageofmu
4.01Apropositionisapictureofreality.Apropositionisamodelof sicalnotation.Itistherulefortranslatingthislanguageintothelan
realityasweimagineit. guageofgramophonerecords.
4.011Atfirstsightapropositiononesetoutontheprintedpage, 4.015Thepossibilityofallimagery,ofallourpictorialmodesofex
for exampledoes not seem to be a picture of the reality with pression,iscontainedinthelogicofdepiction.
which it is concerned. But neither do written notes seem at first 4.016Inordertounderstandtheessentialnatureofaproposition,
sighttobeapictureofapieceofmusic,norourphoneticnotation weshouldconsiderhieroglyphicscript,whichdepictsthefactsthat
(the alphabet) to be a picture of our speech. And yet these sign itdescribes.Andalphabeticscriptdevelopedoutofitwithoutlosing
languagesprovetobepictures,evenintheordinarysense,ofwhat whatwasessentialtodepiction.
theyrepresent. 4.02Wecanseethisfromthefactthatweunderstandthesenseof
4.012Itisobviousthatapropositionoftheform'aRb'strikesusasa apropositionalsignwithoutitshavingbeenexplainedtous.
picture.Inthiscasethesignisobviouslyalikenessofwhatissigni 4.021 A proposition is a picture of reality: for if I understand a
fied. proposition, I know the situation that it represents. And I under
4.013Andifwepenetratetotheessenceofthispictorialcharacter, standthepropositionwithouthavinghaditssenseexplainedtome.
weseethatitisnotimpairedbyapparentirregularities(suchasthe 4.022 A proposition shows its sense. A proposition shows how
use[sharp]ofand[flat]inmusicalnotation).Foreventheseirregu thingsstandifitistrue.Anditsaysthattheydosostand.
laritiesdepictwhattheyareintendedtoexpress;onlytheydoitina
4.023Apropositionmustrestrictrealitytotwoalternatives:yesor
differentway.
no.Inordertodothat,itmustdescriberealitycompletely.Apropo
4.014 A gramophone record, the musical idea, the written notes, sitionisadescriptionofastateofaffairs.Justasadescriptionofan
andthesoundwaves,allstandtooneanotherinthesameinternal objectdescribesitbygivingitsexternalproperties,soaproposition

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describesrealitybyitsinternalproperties.Apropositionconstructs 4.0311 One name stands for one thing, another for another thing,
aworldwiththehelpofalogicalscaffolding,sothatonecanactu and they are combined with one another. In this way the whole
allyseefromthepropositionhoweverythingstandslogicallyifitis grouplikeatableauvivantpresentsastateofaffairs.
true.Onecandrawinferencesfromafalseproposition. 4.0312Thepossibilityofpropositionsisbasedontheprinciplethat
4.024Tounderstandapropositionmeanstoknowwhatisthecase objectshavesignsastheirrepresentatives.Myfundamentalideais
if it is true. (One can understand it, therefore, without knowing that the 'logical constants' are not representatives; that there can
whetheritistrue.)Itisunderstoodbyanyonewhounderstandsits benorepresentativesofthelogicoffacts.
constituents. 4.032Itisonlyinsofarasapropositionislogicallyarticulatedthatit
4.025Whentranslatingonelanguageintoanother,wedonotpro is a picture of a situation. (Even the proposition, 'Ambulo', is com
ceedbytranslatingeachpropositionoftheoneintoapropositionof posite:foritsstemwithadifferentendingyieldsadifferentsense,
the other, but merely by translating the constituents of proposi andsodoesitsendingwithadifferentstem.)
tions.(Andthedictionarytranslatesnotonlysubstantives,butalso 4.04Inapropositiontheremustbeexactlyasmanydistinguishable
verbs,adjectives,andconjunctions,etc.;andittreatsthemallinthe partsasinthesituationthatitrepresents.Thetwomustpossessthe
sameway.) samelogical(mathematical)multiplicity.(CompareHertz'sMechan
4.026Themeaningsofsimplesigns(words)mustbeexplainedtous icsondynamicalmodels.)
if we are to understand them. With propositions, however, we 4.041Thismathematicalmultiplicity,ofcourse,cannotitselfbethe
makeourselvesunderstood. subjectofdepiction.Onecannotgetawayfromitwhendepicting.
4.027 It belongs to the essence of a proposition that it should be 4.0411.If,forexample,wewantedtoexpresswhatwenowwriteas
abletocommunicateanewsensetous. '(x). fx' by putting an affix in front of 'fx'for instance by writing
4.03Apropositionmustuseoldexpressionstocommunicateanew 'Gen.fx'itwouldnotbeadequate:weshouldnotknowwhatwas
sense.Apropositioncommunicatesasituationtous,andsoitmust beinggeneralized.Ifwewantedtosignalizeitwithanaffix'g'for
be essentially connected with the situation. And the connexion is instance by writing 'f(xg)'that would not be adequate either: we
preciselythatitisitslogicalpicture.Apropositionstatessomething shouldnotknowthescopeofthegeneralitysign.Ifweweretotry
onlyinsofarasitisapicture. to do it by introducing a mark into the argumentplacesfor in
4.031Inapropositionasituationis,asitwere,constructedbyway stance by writing '(G,G). F(G,G)' it would not be adequate: we
of experiment. Instead of, 'This proposition has such and such a shouldnotbeabletoestablishtheidentityofthevariables.Andso
sense,wecansimplysay,'Thispropositionrepresentssuchandsuch on.Allthesemodesofsignifyingareinadequatebecausetheylack
asituation'. thenecessarymathematicalmultiplicity.

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4.0412Forthesamereasontheidealist'sappealto'spatialspecta ment,etc.etc.Butinordertobeabletosaythatapointisblackor
cles'isinadequatetoexplaintheseeingofspatialrelations,because white, I must first know when a point is called black, and when
itcannotexplainthemultiplicityoftheserelations. white:inordertobeabletosay,'"p"istrue(orfalse)',Imusthave
4.05Realityiscomparedwithpropositions. determined in what circumstances I call 'p' true, and in so doing I
determine the sense of the proposition. Now the point where the
4.06Apropositioncanbetrueorfalseonlyinvirtueofbeingapic
simile breaks down is this: we can indicate a point on the paper
tureofreality.
evenifwedonotknowwhatblackandwhiteare,butifaproposi
4.061Itmustnotbeoverlookedthatapropositionhasasensethat tionhasnosense,nothingcorrespondstoit,sinceitdoesnotdesig
is independent of the facts: otherwise one can easily suppose that nate a thing (a truthvalue) which might have properties called
trueandfalsearerelationsofequalstatusbetweensignsandwhat 'false'or'true'.Theverbofapropositionisnot'istrue'or'isfalse',
they signify. In that case one could say, for example, that 'p' signi as Frege thought: rather, that which 'is true' must already contain
fiedinthetruewaywhat'Pp'signifiedinthefalseway,etc. theverb.
4.062 Can we not make ourselves understood with false proposi 4.064 Every proposition must already have a sense: it cannot be
tionsjustaswehavedoneuptillnowwithtrueones?Solongasit given a sense by affirmation. Indeed its sense is just what is af
isknownthattheyaremeanttobefalse.No!Forapropositionis firmed.Andthesameappliestonegation,etc.
trueifweuseittosaythatthingsstandinacertainway,andthey
4.0641 One could say that negation must be related to the logical
do;andifby'p'wemeanPpandthingsstandaswemeanthatthey
placedeterminedbythenegatedproposition.Thenegatingproposi
do,then,construedinthenewway,'p'istrueandnotfalse.
tion determines a logical place different from that of the negated
4.0621 But it is important that the signs 'p' and 'Pp' can say the proposition. The negating proposition determines a logical place
samething.Foritshowsthatnothinginrealitycorrespondstothe withthehelpofthelogicalplaceofthenegatedproposition.Forit
sign'P'.Theoccurrenceofnegationinapropositionisnotenough describes it as lying outside the latter's logical place. The negated
tocharacterizeitssense(PPp=p).Thepropositions'p'and'Pp'have propositioncanbenegatedagain,andthisinitselfshowsthatwhat
opposite sense, but there corresponds to them one and the same isnegatedisalreadyaproposition,andnotmerelysomethingthat
reality. ispreliminarytoaproposition.
4.063Ananalogytoillustratetheconceptoftruth:imagineablack 4.1Propositionsrepresenttheexistenceandnonexistenceofstates
spotonwhitepaper:youcandescribetheshapeofthespotbysay ofaffairs.
ing,foreachpointonthesheet,whetheritisblackorwhite.Tothe
4.11Thetotalityoftruepropositionsisthewholeofnaturalscience
fact that a point is black there corresponds a positive fact, and to
(orthewholecorpusofthenaturalsciences).
thefactthatapointiswhite(notblack),anegativefact.IfIdesig
nate a point on the sheet (a truthvalue according to Frege), then 4.111Philosophyisnotoneofthenaturalsciences.(Theword'phi
this corresponds to the supposition that is put forward for judge losophy'mustmeansomethingwhoseplaceisaboveorbelowthe
naturalsciences,notbesidethem.)

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4.112 Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Phi with propositions somewhere outside logic, that is to say outside
losophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity. A philosophical theworld.
workconsistsessentiallyofelucidations.Philosophydoesnotresult 4.121 Propositions cannot represent logical form: it is mirrored in
in 'philosophical propositions', but rather in the clarification of them.Whatfindsitsreflectioninlanguage,languagecannotrepre
propositions. Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy sent. What expresses itself in language, we cannot express by
andindistinct:itstaskistomakethemclearandtogivethemsharp means of language. Propositions show the logical form of reality.
boundaries. Theydisplayit.
4.1121Psychologyisnomorecloselyrelatedtophilosophythanany 4.1211 Thus one proposition 'fa' shows that the object a occurs in
other natural science. Theory of knowledge is the philosophy of itssense,twopropositions'fa'and'ga'showthatthesameobjectis
psychology.Doesnotmystudyofsignlanguagecorrespondtothe mentioned in both of them. If two propositions contradict one an
studyofthoughtprocesses,whichphilosophersusedtoconsiderso other,thentheirstructureshowsit;thesameistrueifoneofthem
essentialtothephilosophyoflogic?Onlyinmostcasestheygoten followsfromtheother.Andsoon.
tangled in unessential psychological investigations, and with my
4.1212Whatcanbeshown,cannotbesaid.
methodtoothereisananalogousrisk.
4.1213 Now, too, we understand our feeling that once we have a
4.1122Darwin'stheoryhasnomoretodowithphilosophythanany
signlanguageinwhicheverythingisallright,wealreadyhaveacor
otherhypothesisinnaturalscience.
rectlogicalpointofview.
4.113Philosophysetslimitstothemuchdisputedsphereofnatural
4.122Inacertainsensewecantalkaboutformalpropertiesofob
science.
jects and states of affairs, or, in the case of facts, about structural
4.114Itmustsetlimitstowhatcanbethought;and,indoingso,to properties:andinthesamesenseaboutformalrelationsandstruc
what cannot be thought. It must set limits to what cannot be tural relations. (Instead of 'structural property' I also say 'internal
thoughtbyworkingoutwardsthroughwhatcanbethought. property'; instead of 'structural relation', 'internal relation'. I intro
4.115Itwillsignifywhatcannotbesaid,bypresentingclearlywhat ducetheseexpressionsinordertoindicatethesourceoftheconfu
canbesaid. sionbetweeninternalrelationsandrelationsproper(externalrela
4.116Everythingthatcanbethoughtatallcanbethoughtclearly. tions),whichisverywidespreadamongphilosophers.)Itisimpossi
Everything that can be put into words can be put clearly. 4.12 ble,however,toassertbymeansofpropositionsthatsuchinternal
Propositions can represent the whole of reality, but they cannot propertiesandrelationsobtain:rather,thismakesitselfmanifestin
representwhattheymusthaveincommonwithrealityinorderto thepropositionsthatrepresenttherelevantstatesofaffairsandare
be able to represent itlogical form. In order to be able to repre concernedwiththerelevantobjects.
sent logical form, we should have to be able to station ourselves

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4.1221 An internal property of a fact can also be bed a feature of 4.126 We can now talk about formal concepts, in the same sense
thatfact(inthesenseinwhichwespeakoffacialfeatures,forex that we speak of formal properties. (I introduce this expression in
ample). order to exhibit the source of the confusion between formal con
4.123Apropertyisinternalifitisunthinkablethatitsobjectshould ceptsandconceptsproper,whichpervadesthewholeoftraditional
notpossessit.(Thisshadeofblueandthatonestand,eoipso,inthe logic.) When something falls under a formal concept as one of its
internalrelationoflightertodarker.Itisunthinkablethatthesetwo objects,thiscannotbeexpressedbymeansofaproposition.Instead
objects should not stand in this relation.) (Here the shifting use of itisshownintheverysignforthisobject.(Anameshowsthatitsig
the word 'object' corresponds to the shifting use of the words nifiesanobject,asignforanumberthatitsignifiesanumber,etc.)
'property'and'relation'.) Formalconceptscannot,infact,berepresentedbymeansofafunc
tion,asconceptspropercan.Fortheircharacteristics,formalprop
4.124Theexistenceofaninternalpropertyofapossiblesituationis
erties,arenotexpressedbymeansoffunctions.Theexpressionfor
notexpressedbymeansofaproposition:rather,itexpressesitself
aformalpropertyisafeatureofcertainsymbols.Sothesignforthe
inthepropositionrepresentingthesituation,bymeansofaninter
characteristicsofaformalconceptisadistinctivefeatureofallsym
nalpropertyofthatproposition.Itwouldbejustasnonsensicalto
bolswhosemeaningsfallundertheconcept.Sotheexpressionfora
assertthatapropositionhadaformalpropertyastodenyit.
formal concept is a propositional variable in which this distinctive
4.1241 It is impossible to distinguish forms from one another by featurealoneisconstant.
sayingthatonehasthispropertyandanotherthatproperty:forthis
4.127Thepropositionalvariablesignifiestheformalconcept,andits
presupposesthatitmakessensetoascribeeitherpropertytoeither
valuessignifytheobjectsthatfallundertheconcept.
form.
4.1271 Every variable is the sign for a formal concept. For every
4.125Theexistenceofaninternalrelationbetweenpossiblesitua
variablerepresentsaconstantformthatallitsvaluespossess,and
tions expresses itself in language by means of an internal relation
thiscanberegardedasaformalpropertyofthosevalues.
betweenthepropositionsrepresentingthem.
4.1272Thusthevariablename'x'isthepropersignforthepseudo
4.1251Herewehavetheanswertothevexedquestion'whetherall
conceptobject.Wherevertheword'object'('thing',etc.)iscorrectly
relationsareinternalorexternal'.
used,itisexpressedinconceptualnotationbyavariablename.For
4.1252Icallaseriesthatisorderedbyaninternalrelationaseries example,intheproposition,'Thereare2objectswhich...',itisex
offorms.Theorderofthenumberseriesisnotgovernedbyanex pressedby'(dx,y)...'.Whereveritisusedinadifferentway,thatis
ternal relation but by an internal relation. The same is true of the asaproperconceptword,nonsensicalpseudopropositionsarethe
seriesofpropositions'aRb','(d:c):aRx.xRb','(dx,y):aRx.xRy.yRb', result. So one cannot say, for example, 'There are objects', as one
andsoforth.(Ifbstandsinoneoftheserelationstoa,Icallbasuc might say, 'There are books'. And it is just as impossible to say,
cessorofa.) 'Thereare100objects',or,'Thereare!0objects'.Anditisnonsensi
caltospeakofthetotalnumberofobjects.Thesameappliestothe

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words 'complex', 'fact', 'function', 'number', etc. They all signify 4.2 The sense of a proposition is its agreement and disagreement
formal concepts, and are represented in conceptual notation by withpossibilitiesofexistenceandnonexistenceofstatesofaffairs.
variables,notbyfunctionsorclasses(asFregeandRussellbelieved). 4.21 The simplest kind of proposition, an elementary proposition,
'1isanumber','Thereisonlyonezero',andallsimilarexpressions assertstheexistenceofastateofaffairs.
arenonsensical.(Itisjustasnonsensicaltosay,'Thereisonlyone1', 4.211Itisasignofaproposition'sbeingelementarythattherecan
asitwouldbetosay,'2+2at3o'clockequals4'.) benoelementarypropositioncontradictingit.
4.12721 A formal concept is given immediately any object falling 4.22 An elementary proposition consists of names. It is a nexus, a
underitisgiven.Itisnotpossible,therefore,tointroduceasprimi concatenation,ofnames.
tive ideas objects belonging to a formal concept and the formal
4.221Itisobviousthattheanalysisofpropositionsmustbringusto
conceptitself.Soitisimpossible,forexample,tointroduceasprimi
elementarypropositionswhichconsistofnamesinimmediatecom
tiveideasboththeconceptofafunctionandspecificfunctions,as
bination.Thisraisesthequestionhowsuchcombinationintopropo
Russelldoes;ortheconceptofanumberandparticularnumbers.
sitionscomesabout.
4.1273 If we want to express in conceptual notation the general
4.2211Eveniftheworldisinfinitelycomplex,sothateveryfactcon
proposition, 'b is a successor of a', then we require an expression
sistsofinfinitelymanystatesofaffairsandeverystateofaffairsis
forthegeneraltermoftheseriesofforms'aRb','(d:c):aRx.xRb','(d
composed of infinitely many objects, there would still have to be
x,y):aRx.xRy.yRb',...,Inordertoexpressthegeneraltermofase
objectsandstatesofaffairs.
riesofforms,wemustuseavariable,becausetheconcept'termof
that series of forms' is a formal concept. (This is what Frege and 4.23Itisonlyinthenexusofanelementarypropositionthataname
Russell overlooked: consequently the way in which they want to occursinaproposition.
expressgeneralpropositionsliketheoneaboveisincorrect;itcon 4.24Namesarethesimplesymbols:Iindicatethembysingleletters
tainsaviciouscircle.)Wecandeterminethegeneraltermofaseries ('x', 'y', 'z'). I write elementary propositions as functions of names,
offormsbygivingitsfirsttermandthegeneralformoftheopera sothattheyhavetheform'fx','O(x,y)',etc.OrIindicatethemby
tion that produces the next term out of the proposition that pre theletters'p','q','r'.
cedesit. 4.241 When I use two signs with one and the same meaning, I ex
4.1274Toaskwhetheraformalconceptexistsisnonsensical.Forno press this by putting the sign '=' between them. So 'a = b' means
propositioncanbetheanswertosuchaquestion.(So,forexample, thatthesign'b'canbesubstitutedforthesign'a'.(IfIuseanequa
the question, 'Are there unanalysable subjectpredicate proposi tiontointroduceanewsign'b',layingdownthatitshallserveasa
tions?'cannotbeasked.) substitute for a sign a that is already known, then, like Russell, I
4.128 Logical forms are without number. Hence there are no pre writetheequationdefinitionintheform'a=bDef.'Adefinition
eminent numbers in logic, and hence there is no possibility of phi isaruledealingwithsigns.)
losophicalmonismordualism,etc.

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4.242Expressionsoftheform'a=b'are,therefore,mererepresen 4.4Apropositionisan expression of agreement and disagreement


tationaldevices.Theystatenothingaboutthemeaningofthesigns withtruthpossibilitiesofelementarypropositions.
'a'and'b'. 4.41 Truthpossibilities of elementary propositions are the condi
4.243 Can we understand two names without knowing whether tionsofthetruthandfalsityofpropositions.
theysignifythesamethingortwodifferentthings?Canweunder 4.411 It immediately strikes one as probable that the introduction
stand a proposition in which two names occur without knowing ofelementarypropositionsprovidesthebasisforunderstandingall
whethertheirmeaningisthesameordifferent?SupposeIknowthe other kinds of proposition. Indeed the understanding of general
meaningofanEnglishwordandofaGermanwordthatmeansthe propositionspalpablydependsontheunderstandingofelementary
same:thenitisimpossibleformetobeunawarethattheydomean propositions.
thesame;Imustbecapableoftranslatingeachintotheother.Ex
4.42 For n elementary propositions there are ways in which a
pressionslike'a=a',andthosederivedfromthem,areneitherele
propositioncanagreeanddisagreewiththeirtruthpossibilities.
mentarypropositionsnoristhereanyotherwayinwhichtheyhave
sense.(Thiswillbecomeevidentlater.) 4.43Wecanexpressagreementwithtruthpossibilitiesbycorrelat
ingthemark'T'(true)withthemintheschema.Theabsenceofthis
4.25Ifanelementarypropositionistrue,thestateofaffairsexists:
markmeansdisagreement.
if an elementary proposition is false, the state of affairs does not
exist. 4.431 The expression of agreement and disagreement with the
truth possibilities of elementary propositions expresses the truth
4.26 If all true elementary propositions are given, the result is a
conditions of a proposition. A proposition is the expression of its
complete description of the world. The world is completely de
truthconditions.(ThusFregewasquiterighttousethemasastart
scribed by giving all elementary propositions, and adding which of
ing point when he explained the signs of his conceptual notation.
themaretrueandwhichfalse.Fornstatesofaffairs,therearepos
ButtheexplanationoftheconceptoftruththatFregegivesismis
sibilities of existence and nonexistence. Of these states of affairs
taken:if'thetrue'and'thefalse'werereallyobjects,andwerethe
anycombinationcanexistandtheremaindernotexist.
argumentsinPpetc.,thenFrege'smethodofdeterminingthesense
4.28Therecorrespondtothesecombinationsthesamenumberof of'Pp'wouldleaveitabsolutelyundetermined.)
possibilitiesoftruthandfalsityfornelementarypropositions.
4.44 The sign that results from correlating the mark 'I' with truth
4.3TruthpossibilitiesofelementarypropositionsmeanPossibilities possibilitiesisapropositionalsign.
ofexistenceandnonexistenceofstatesofaffairs.
4.441Itisclearthatacomplexofthesigns'F'and'T'hasnoobject
4.31Wecanrepresenttruthpossibilitiesbyschemataofthefollow (or complex of objects) corresponding to it, just as there is none
ingkind('T'means'true','F'means'false';therowsof'T's'and'F's' corresponding to the horizontal and vertical lines or to the brack
under the row of elementary propositions symbolize their truth ets.Thereareno'logicalobjects'.Ofcoursethesameappliestoall
possibilitiesinawaythatcaneasilybeunderstood): signsthatexpresswhattheschemataof'T's'and'F's'express.

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4.442 For example, the following is a propositional sign: (Frege's 4.46211Tautologiesandcontradictionsarenot,however,nonsensi


'judgementstroke''|'islogicallyquitemeaningless:intheworksof cal.Theyarepartofthesymbolism,muchas'0'ispartofthesym
Frege (and Russell) it simply indicates that these authors hold the bolismofarithmetic.
propositionsmarkedwiththissigntobetrue.Thus'|'isnomorea 4.462 Tautologies and contradictions are not pictures of reality.
componentpartofapropositionthanis,forinstance,theproposi Theydonotrepresentanypossiblesituations.Fortheformeradmit
tion'snumber.Itisquiteimpossibleforapropositiontostatethatit allpossiblesituations,andlatternone.Inatautologytheconditions
itself is true.) If the order or the truthpossibilities in a scheme is of agreement with the worldthe representational relations
fixedonceandforallbyacombinatoryrule,thenthelastcolumnby cancel one another, so that it does not stand in any representa
itselfwillbeanexpressionofthetruthconditions.Ifwenowwrite tionalrelationtoreality.
this column as a row, the propositional sign will become '(TTT)
4.463 The truthconditions of a proposition determine the range
(p,q)' or more explicitly '(TTFT) (p,q)' (The number of places in the
thatitleavesopentothefacts.(Aproposition,apicture,oramodel
lefthandpairofbracketsisdeterminedbythenumberoftermsin
is,inthenegativesense,likeasolidbodythatrestrictsthefreedom
therighthandpair.)
of movement of others, and in the positive sense, like a space
4.45FornelementarypropositionsthereareLnpossiblegroupsof bounded by solid substance in which there is room for a body.) A
truthconditions.Thegroupsoftruthconditionsthatareobtainable tautology leaves open to reality the wholethe infinite wholeof
fromthetruthpossibilitiesofagivennumberofelementarypropo logicalspace:acontradictionfillsthewholeoflogicalspaceleaving
sitionscanbearrangedinaseries. nopointofitforreality.Thusneitherofthemcandeterminereality
4.46 Among the possible groups of truthconditions there are two inanyway.
extreme cases. In one of these cases the proposition is true for all 4.464Atautology'struthiscertain,aproposition'spossible,acon
the truthpossibilities of the elementary propositions. We say that tradiction'simpossible.(Certain,possible,impossible:herewehave
thetruthconditionsaretautological.Inthesecondcasethepropo thefirstindicationofthescalethatweneedinthetheoryofprob
sition is false for all the truthpossibilities: the truthconditions are ability.)
contradictory.Inthefirstcasewecallthepropositionatautology;in
4.465Thelogicalproductofatautologyandapropositionsaysthe
thesecond,acontradiction.
same thing as the proposition. This product, therefore, is identical
4.461 Propositions show what they say; tautologies and contradic withtheproposition.Foritisimpossibletoalterwhatisessentialto
tions show that they say nothing. A tautology has no truth asymbolwithoutalteringitssense.
conditions, since it is unconditionally true: and a contradiction is
4.466 What corresponds to a determinate logical combination of
true on no condition. Tautologies and contradictions lack sense.
signs is a determinate logical combination of their meanings. It is
(Likeapointfromwhichtwoarrowsgooutinoppositedirectionsto
onlytotheuncombinedsignsthatabsolutelyanycombinationcor
one another.) (For example, I know nothing about the weather
responds.Inotherwords,propositionsthataretrueforeverysitua
whenIknowthatitiseitherrainingornotraining.)
tioncannotbecombinationsofsignsatall,since,iftheywere,only

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determinate combinations of objects could correspond to them. 5.Apropositionisatruthfunctionofelementary


(And what is not a logical combination has no combination of ob
jectscorrespondingtoit.)Tautologyandcontradictionarethelimit
propositions.(Anelementarypropositionisatruth
ingcasesindeedthedisintegrationofthecombinationofsigns. functionofitself.)
4.4661 Admittedly the signs are still combined with one another 5.01 Elementary propositions are the trutharguments of proposi
even in tautologies and contradictionsi.e. they stand in certain tions.
relationstooneanother:buttheserelationshavenomeaning,they 5.02 The arguments of functions are readily confused with the af
arenotessentialtothesymbol. fixesofnames.Forbothargumentsandaffixesenablemetorecog
4.5 It now seems possible to give the most general propositional nizethemeaningofthesignscontainingthem.Forexample,when
form: that is, to give a description of the propositions of any sign Russellwrites'+c',the'c'isanaffixwhichindicatesthatthesignasa
languagewhatsoeverinsuchawaythateverypossiblesensecanbe wholeistheadditionsignforcardinalnumbers.Buttheuseofthis
expressedbyasymbolsatisfyingthedescription,andeverysymbol signistheresultofarbitraryconventionanditwouldbequitepos
satisfying the description can express a sense, provided that the sible to choose a simple sign instead of '+c'; in 'Pp' however, 'p' is
meaningsofthenamesaresuitablychosen.Itisclearthatonlywhat not an affix but an argument: the sense of 'Pp' cannot be under
isessentialtothemostgeneralpropositionalformmaybeincluded stood unless the sense of 'p' has been understood already. (In the
in its descriptionfor otherwise it would not be the most general nameJuliusCaesar'Julius'isanaffix.Anaffixisalwayspartofade
form.Theexistenceofageneralpropositionalformisprovedbythe scriptionoftheobjecttowhosenameweattachit:e.g.theCaesar
factthattherecannotbeapropositionwhoseformcouldnothave of the Julian gens.) If I am not mistaken, Frege's theory about the
beenforeseen(i.e.constructed).Thegeneralformofaproposition meaning of propositions and functions is based on the confusion
is:Thisishowthingsstand. betweenanargumentandanaffix.Fregeregardedthepropositions
4.51SupposethatIamgivenallelementarypropositions:thenIcan of logic as names, and their arguments as the affixes of those
simplyaskwhatpropositionsIcanconstructoutofthem.Andthere names.
Ihaveallpropositions,andthatfixestheirlimits. 5.1Truthfunctionscanbearrangedinseries.Thatisthefoundation
4.52 Propositions comprise all that follows from the totality of all ofthetheoryofprobability.
elementarypropositions(and,ofcourse,fromitsbeingthetotality 5.101Thetruthfunctionsofagivennumberofelementaryproposi
of them all ). (Thus, in a certain sense, it could be said that all tionscanalwaysbesetoutinaschemaofthefollowingkind:(TTTT)
propositionsweregeneralizationsofelementarypropositions.) (p,q)Tautology(Ifpthenp,andifqthenq.)(pzp.qzq)(FTTT)(p,
4.53Thegeneralpropositionalformisavariable. q)Inwords:Notbothpandq.(P(p.q))(TFTT)(p,q)":Ifqthenp.(q
zp)(TTFT)(p,q)":Ifpthenq.(pzq)(TTTF)(p,q)":porq.(pCq)
(FFTT)(p,q)":Notg.(Pq)(FTFT)(p,q)":Notp.(Pp)(FTTF)(p,q)":
porq,butnotboth.(p.Pq:C:q.Pp)(TFFT)(p,q)":Ifpthenp,and

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ifqthenp.(p+q)(TFTF)(p,q)":p(TTFF)(p,q)":q(FFFT)(p,q)": 5.131Ifthetruthofonepropositionfollowsfromthetruthofoth
Neitherpnorq.(Pp.Pqorp|q)(FFTF)(p,q)":pandnotq.(p.Pq) ers, this finds expression in relations in which the forms of the
(FTFF) (p, q) ": q and not p. (q. Pp) (TFFF) (p,q) ": q and p. (q. p) propositionsstandtooneanother:norisitnecessaryforustoset
(FFFF)(p,q)Contradiction(pandnotp,andqandnotq.)(p.Pp.q. uptheserelationsbetweenthem,bycombiningthemwithonean
Pq) I will give the name truthgrounds of a proposition to those other in a single proposition; on the contrary, the relations are in
truthpossibilitiesofitstruthargumentsthatmakeittrue. ternal,andtheirexistenceisanimmediateresultoftheexistenceof
5.11 If all the truthgrounds that are common to a number of thepropositions.
propositionsareatthesametimetruthgroundsofacertainpropo 5.1311 When we infer q from p C q and Pp, the relation between
sition, then we say that the truth of that proposition follows from thepropositionalformsof'pCq'and'Pp'ismasked,inthiscase,by
thetruthoftheothers. ourmodeofsignifying.Butifinsteadof'pCq'wewrite,forexam
5.12 In particular, the truth of a proposition 'p' follows from the ple,'p|q.|.p|q',andinsteadof'Pp','p|p'(p|q=neitherpnorq),
truthofanotherproposition'q'isallthetruthgroundsofthelatter then the inner connexion becomes obvious. (The possibility of in
aretruthgroundsoftheformer. ference from (x). fx to fa shows that the symbol (x). fx itself has
generalityinit.)
5.121 The truthgrounds of the one are contained in those of the
other:pfollowsfromq. 5.132Ifpfollowsfromq,Icanmakeaninferencefromqtop,de
duce p from q. The nature of the inference can be gathered only
5.122Ifpfollowsfromq,thesenseof'p'iscontainedinthesense
from the two propositions. They themselves are the only possible
of'q'.
justification of the inference. 'Laws of inference', which are sup
5.123Ifagodcreatesaworldinwhichcertainpropositionsaretrue, posed to justify inferences, as in the works of Frege and Russell,
thenbythatveryacthealsocreatesaworldinwhichallthepropo havenosense,andwouldbesuperfluous.
sitionsthatfollowfromthemcometrue.Andsimilarlyhecouldnot
5.133Alldeductionsaremadeapriori.
createaworldinwhichtheproposition'p'wastruewithoutcreat
ingallitsobjects. 5.134 One elementary proposition cannot be deduced form an
other.
5.124Apropositionaffirmseverypropositionthatfollowsfromit.
5.135Thereisnopossiblewayofmakinganinferenceformtheex
5.1241 'p. q' is one of the propositions that affirm 'p' and at the
istenceofonesituationtotheexistenceofanother,entirelydiffer
sametimeoneofthepropositionsthataffirm'q'.Twopropositions
entsituation.
areopposedtooneanotherifthereisnopropositionwithasense,
that affirms them both. Every proposition that contradicts another 5.136Thereisnocausalnexustojustifysuchaninference.
negateit. 5.1361Wecannotinfertheeventsofthefuturefromthoseofthe
5.13 When the truth of one proposition follows from the truth of present.Beliefinthecausalnexusissuperstition.
others,wecanseethisfromthestructureoftheproposition.

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5.1362Thefreedomofthewillconsistsintheimpossibilityofknow 5.1511 There is no special object peculiar to probability proposi


ing actions that still lie in the future. We could know them only if tions.
causalitywereaninnernecessitylikethatoflogicalinference.The 5.152Whenpropositionshavenotruthargumentsincommonwith
connexionbetweenknowledgeandwhatisknownisthatoflogical one another, we call them independent of one another. Two ele
necessity.('Aknowsthatpisthecase',hasnosenseifpisatautol mentarypropositionsgiveoneanothertheprobability1/2.Ifpfol
ogy.) lowsfromq,thentheproposition'q'givestotheproposition'p'the
5.1363 If the truth of a proposition does not follow from the fact probability1.Thecertaintyoflogicalinferenceisalimitingcaseof
thatitisselfevidenttous,thenitsselfevidenceinnowayjustifies probability.(Applicationofthistotautologyandcontradiction.)
ourbeliefinitstruth. 5.153 In itself, a proposition is neither probable nor improbable.
5.14 If one proposition follows from another, then the latter says Eitheraneventoccursoritdoesnot:thereisnomiddleway.
morethantheformer,andtheformerlessthanthelatter. 5.154 Suppose that an urn contains black and white balls in equal
5.141Ifpfollowsfromqandqfromp,thentheyareoneandsame numbers (and none of any other kind). I draw one ball after an
proposition. other,puttingthembackintotheurn.BythisexperimentIcanes
5.142Atautologyfollowsfromallpropositions:itsaysnothing. tablish that the number of black balls drawn and the number of
whiteballsdrawnapproximatetooneanotherasthedrawcontin
5.143Contradictionisthatcommonfactorofpropositionswhichno
ues.Sothisisnotamathematicaltruth.Now,ifIsay,'Theprobabil
propositionhasincommonwithanother.Tautologyisthecommon
ityofmydrawingawhiteballisequaltotheprobabilityofmydraw
factor of all propositions that have nothing in common with one
ingablackone',thismeansthatallthecircumstancesthatIknowof
another.Contradiction,onemightsay,vanishesoutsideallproposi
(includingthelawsofnatureassumedashypotheses)givenomore
tions: tautology vanishes inside them. Contradiction is the outer
probability to the occurrence of the one event than to that of the
limit of propositions: tautology is the unsubstantial point at their
other.Thatistosay,theygiveeachtheprobability1/2ascaneasily
centre.
begatheredfromtheabovedefinitions.WhatIconfirmbytheex
5.15IfTristhenumberofthetruthgroundsofaproposition'r',and perimentisthattheoccurrenceofthetwoeventsisindependentof
ifTrsisthenumberofthetruthgroundsofaproposition's'thatare thecircumstancesofwhichIhavenomoredetailedknowledge.
atthesametimetruthgroundsof'r',thenwecalltheratioTrs:Tr
5.155Theminimalunitforaprobabilitypropositionisthis:Thecir
thedegreeofprobabilitythattheproposition'r'givestothepropo
cumstancesofwhichIhavenofurtherknowledgegivesuchand
sition's'.5.151Inaschemaliketheoneabovein
suchadegreeofprobabilitytotheoccurrenceofaparticularevent.
5.101,letTrbethenumberof'T's'inthepropositionr,andletTrs,
5.156Itisinthiswaythatprobabilityisageneralization.Itinvolves
bethenumberof'T's'inthepropositionsthatstandincolumnsin
a general description of a propositional form. We use probability
whichthepropositionrhas'T's'.Thenthepropositionrgivestothe
onlyindefaultofcertaintyifourknowledgeofafactisnotindeed
propositionstheprobabilityTrs:Tr.
complete,butwedoknowsomethingaboutitsform.(Aproposition

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may well be an incomplete picture of a certain situation, but it is thedifferencebetweentheforms.(Andwhatthebasesofanopera


alwaysacompletepictureofsomething.)Aprobabilityproposition tionanditsresulthaveincommonisjustthebasesthemselves.)
isasortofexcerptfromotherpropositions. 5.241 An operation is not the mark of a form, but only of a differ
5.2Thestructuresofpropositionsstandininternalrelationstoone encebetweenforms.
another. 5.242Theoperationthatproduces'q'from'p'alsoproduces'r'from
5.21Inordertogiveprominencetotheseinternalrelationswecan 'q', and so on. There is only one way of expressing this: 'p', 'q', 'r',
adoptthefollowingmodeofexpression:wecanrepresentapropo etc. have to be variables that give expression in a general way to
sition as the result of an operation that produces it out of other certainformalrelations.
propositions(whicharethebasesoftheoperation). 5.25 The occurrence of an operation does not characterize the
5.22Anoperationistheexpressionofarelationbetweenthestruc senseofaproposition.Indeed,nostatementismadebyanopera
turesofitsresultandofitsbases. tion,butonlybyitsresult,andthisdependsonthebasesoftheop
5.23Theoperationiswhathastobedonetotheonepropositionin eration.(Operationsandfunctionsmustnotbeconfusedwitheach
ordertomaketheotheroutofit. other.)
5.231 And that will, of course, depend on their formal properties, 5.251Afunctioncannotbeitsownargument,whereasanoperation
ontheinternalsimilarityoftheirforms. cantakeoneofitsownresultsasitsbase.
5.232Theinternalrelationbywhichaseriesisorderedisequivalent 5.252Itisonlyinthiswaythatthestepfromonetermofaseriesof
totheoperationthatproducesonetermfromanother. formstoanotherispossible(fromonetypetoanotherinthehier
archiesofRusselland Whitehead). (Russell and Whitehead did not
5.233Operationscannotmaketheirappearancebeforethepointat
admit the possibility of such steps, but repeatedly availed them
which one proposition is generated out of another in a logically
selvesofit.)
meaningful way; i.e. the point at which the logical construction of
propositionsbegins. 5.2521 If an operation is applied repeatedly to its own results, I
speakofsuccessiveapplicationsofit.('O'O'O'a'istheresultofthree
5.234Truthfunctionsofelementarypropositionsareresultsofop
successive applications of the operation 'O'E' to 'a'.) In a similar
erationswithelementarypropositionsasbases.(TheseoperationsI
senseIspeakofsuccessiveapplicationsofmorethanoneoperation
calltruthoperations.)
toanumberofpropositions.
5.2341Thesenseofatruthfunctionofpisafunctionofthesense
5.2522AccordinglyIusethesign'[a,x,O'x]'forthegeneraltermof
of p. Negation, logical addition, logical multiplication, etc. etc. are
the series of forms a, O'a, O'O'a,.... This bracketed expression is a
operations.(Negationreversesthesenseofaproposition.)
variable:thefirsttermofthebracketedexpressionisthebeginning
5.24Anoperationmanifestsitselfinavariable;itshowshowwecan oftheseriesofforms,thesecondistheformofatermxarbitrarily
getfromoneformofpropositiontoanother.Itgivesexpressionto

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selectedfromtheseries,andthethirdistheformofthetermthat 5.41 The reason is that the results of truthoperations on truth


immediatelyfollowsxintheseries. functionsarealwaysidenticalwhenevertheyareoneandthesame
5.2523 The concept of successive applications of an operation is truthfunctionofelementarypropositions.
equivalenttotheconcept'andsoon'. 5.42ItisselfevidentthatC,z,etc.arenotrelationsinthesensein
5.253 One operation can counteract the effect of another. Opera which right and left etc. are relations. The interdefinability of
tionscancanceloneanother. Frege'sandRussell's'primitivesigns'oflogicisenoughtoshowthat
theyarenotprimitivesigns,stilllesssignsforrelations.Anditisob
5.254Anoperationcanvanish(e.g.negationin'PPp':PPp=p).
viousthatthe'z'definedbymeansof'P'and'C'isidenticalwiththe
5.3 All propositions are results of truthoperations on elementary onethatfigureswith'P'inthedefinitionof'C';andthatthesecond
propositions.Atruthoperationisthewayinwhichatruthfunction 'C'isidenticalwiththefirstone;andsoon.
is produced out of elementary propositions. It is of the essence of
5.43Evenatfirstsightitseemsscarcelycrediblethatthereshould
truthoperationsthat,justaselementarypropositionsyieldatruth
follow from one fact p infinitely many others, namely PPp, PPPPp,
functionofthemselves,sotoointhesamewaytruthfunctionsyield
etc.Anditisnolessremarkablethattheinfinitenumberofproposi
afurthertruthfunction.Whenatruthoperationisappliedtotruth
tions of logic (mathematics) follow from half a dozen 'primitive
functions of elementary propositions, it always generates another
propositions'. But in fact all the propositions of logic say the same
truthfunction of elementary propositions, another proposition.
thing,towitnothing.
Whenatruthoperationisappliedtotheresultsoftruthoperations
on elementary propositions, there is always a single operation on 5.44 Truthfunctions are not material functions. For example, an
elementarypropositionsthathasthesameresult.Everyproposition affirmation can be produced by double negation: in such a case
istheresultoftruthoperationsonelementarypropositions. does it follow that in some sense negation is contained in affirma
tion?Does'PPp'negatePp,ordoesitaffirmporboth?Thepropo
5.31 The schemata in 4.31 have a meaning even when 'p', 'q', 'r',
sition'PPp'isnotaboutnegation,asifnegationwereanobject:on
etc.arenotelementarypropositions.Anditiseasytoseethatthe
the other hand, the possibility of negation is already written into
propositionalsignin4.442expressesasingletruthfunctionofele
affirmation. And if there were an object called 'P', it would follow
mentary propositions even when 'p' and 'q' are truthfunctions of
that'PPp'saidsomethingdifferentfromwhat'p'said,justbecause
elementarypropositions.
the one proposition would then be about P and the other would
5.32 All truthfunctions are results of successive applications to not.
elementarypropositionsofafinitenumberoftruthoperations.
5.441Thisvanishingoftheapparentlogicalconstantsalsooccursin
5.4Atthispointitbecomesmanifestthatthereareno'logicalob the case of 'P(dx). Pfx', which says the same as '(x). fx', and in the
jects'or'logicalconstants'(inFrege'sandRussell'ssense). caseof'(dx).fx.x=a',whichsaysthesameas'fa'.
5.442 If we are given a proposition, then with it we are also given
theresultsofalltruthoperationsthathaveitastheirbase.

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5.45 If there are primitive logical signs, then any logic that fails to 5.453Allnumbersinlogicstandinneedofjustification.Orrather,it
show clearly how they are placed relatively to one another and to mustbecomeevidentthattherearenonumbersinlogic.Thereare
justifytheirexistencewillbeincorrect.Theconstructionoflogicout nopreeminentnumbers.
ofitsprimitivesignsmustbemadeclear. 5.454 In logic there is no coordinate status, and there can be no
5.451Iflogichasprimitiveideas,theymustbeindependentofone classification.Inlogictherecanbenodistinctionbetweenthegen
another.Ifaprimitiveideahasbeenintroduced,itmusthavebeen eralandthespecific.
introducedinallthecombinationsinwhichiteveroccurs.Itcannot, 5.4541Thesolutionsoftheproblemsoflogicmustbesimple,since
therefore, be introduced first for one combination and later rein theysetthestandardofsimplicity.Menhavealwayshadapresen
troduced for another. For example, once negation has been intro timent that there must be a realm in which the answers to ques
duced,wemustunderstanditbothinpropositionsoftheform'Pp' tions are symmetrically combineda priorito form a self
andinpropositionslike'P(pCq)','(dx).Pfx',etc.Wemustnotintro containedsystem.Arealmsubjecttothelaw:Simplexsigillumveri.
duceitfirstfortheoneclassofcasesandthenfortheother,sinceit
5.46 If we introduced logical signs properly, then we should also
wouldthenbeleftindoubtwhetheritsmeaningwerethesamein
haveintroducedatthesametimethesenseofallcombinationsof
bothcases,andnoreasonwouldhavebeengivenforcombiningthe
them;i.e.notonly'pCq'but'P(pCq)'aswell,etc.etc.Weshould
signsinthesamewayinbothcases.(Inshort,Frege'sremarksabout
also have introduced at the same time the effect of all possible
introducingsignsbymeansofdefinitions(inTheFundamentalLaws
combinationsofbrackets.Andthusitwouldhavebeenmadeclear
ofArithmetic)alsoapply,mutatismutandis,totheintroductionof
thattherealgeneralprimitivesignsarenot'pCq','(dx).fx',etc.but
primitivesigns.)
themostgeneralformoftheircombinations.
5.452 The introduction of any new device into the symbolism of
5.461Thoughitseemsunimportant,itisinfactsignificantthatthe
logicisnecessarilyamomentousevent.Inlogicanewdeviceshould
pseudorelations of logic, such as C and z, need bracketsunlike
notbeintroducedinbracketsorinafootnotewithwhatonemight
real relations. Indeed, the use of brackets with these apparently
call a completely innocent air. (Thus in Russell and Whitehead's
primitive signs is itself an indication that they are not primitive
PrincipiaMathematicathereoccurdefinitionsandprimitivepropo
signs.Andsurelynooneisgoingtobelievebracketshaveaninde
sitionsexpressedinwords.Whythissuddenappearanceofwords?
pendent meaning. 5.4611 Signs for logical operations are punctua
Itwouldrequireajustification,butnoneisgiven,orcouldbegiven,
tionmarks.
sincetheprocedureisinfactillicit.)Butiftheintroductionofanew
device has proved necessary at a certain point, we must immedi 5.47Itisclearthatwhateverwecansayinadvanceabouttheform
atelyaskourselves,'Atwhatpointsistheemploymentofthisdevice ofallpropositions,wemustbeabletosayallatonce.Anelemen
nowunavoidable?'anditsplaceinlogicmustbemadeclear. tarypropositionreallycontainsalllogicaloperationsinitself.For'fa'
saysthesamethingas'(dx).fx.x=a'Whereverthereiscomposite
ness,argumentandfunctionarepresent,andwherethesearepre
sent, we already have all the logical constants. One could say that

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the sole logical constant was what all propositions, by their very ifwethinkthatwehavedoneso.)Thusthereasonwhy'Socratesis
nature, had in common with one another. But that is the general identical' says nothing is that we have not given any adjectival
propositionalform. meaning to the word 'identical'. For when it appears as a sign for
5.471 The general propositional form is the essence of a proposi identity, it symbolizes in an entirely different waythe signifying
tion. relation is a different onetherefore the symbols also are entirely
different in the two cases: the two symbols have only the sign in
5.4711 To give the essence of a proposition means to give the es
common,andthatisanaccident.
senceofalldescription,andthustheessenceoftheworld.
5.474 The number of fundamental operations that are necessary
5.472Thedescriptionofthemostgeneralpropositionalformisthe
dependssolelyonournotation.
descriptionoftheoneandonlygeneralprimitivesigninlogic.
5.475 All that is required is that we should construct a system of
5.473Logicmustlookafteritself.Ifasignispossible,thenitisalso
signs with a particular number of dimensionswith a particular
capableofsignifying.Whateverispossibleinlogicisalsopermitted.
mathematicalmultiplicity.
(Thereasonwhy'Socratesisidentical'meansnothingisthatthereis
no property called 'identical'. The proposition is nonsensical be 5.476Itisclearthatthisisnotaquestionofanumberofprimitive
cause we have failed to make an arbitrary determination, and not ideas that have to be signified, but rather of the expression of a
because the symbol, in itself, would be illegitimate.) In a certain rule.
sense,wecannotmakemistakesinlogic. 5.5Everytruthfunctionisaresultofsuccessiveapplicationstoele
5.4731 Selfevidence, which Russell talked about so much, can be mentary propositions of the operation '(T)(E,....)'. This opera
come dispensable in logic, only because language itself prevents tionnegatesallthepropositionsintherighthandpairofbrackets,
everylogicalmistake.Whatmakeslogicaprioriistheimpossibility andIcallitthenegationofthosepropositions.
ofillogicalthought. 5.501Whenabracketedexpressionhaspropositionsasitsterms
5.4732Wecannotgiveasignthewrongsense. andtheorderofthetermsinsidethebracketsisindifferentthenI
indicateitbyasignoftheform'(E)'.'(E)'isavariablewhosevalues
5,47321Occam'smaximis,ofcourse,notanarbitraryrule,norone
aretermsofthebracketedexpressionandthebaroverthevariable
that is justified by its success in practice: its point is that unneces
indicatesthatitistherepresentativeofallitsvaluesinthebrackets.
sary units in a signlanguage mean nothing. Signs that serve one
(E.g.ifEhasthethreevaluesP,Q,R,then(E)=(P,Q,R).)Whatthe
purposearelogicallyequivalent,andsignsthatservenonearelogi
valuesofthevariableareissomethingthatisstipulated.Thestipu
callymeaningless.
lationisadescriptionofthepropositionsthathavethevariableas
5.4733 Frege says that any legitimately constructed proposition theirrepresentative.Howthedescriptionofthetermsofthebrack
musthaveasense.AndIsaythatanypossiblepropositionislegiti eted expression is produced is not essential. We can distinguish
matelyconstructed,and,ifithasnosense,thatcanonlybebecause threekindsofdescription:1.Directenumeration,inwhichcasewe
wehavefailedtogiveameaningtosomeofitsconstituents.(Even cansimplysubstituteforthevariabletheconstantsthatareitsval

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ues;2.Givingafunctionfxwhosevaluesforallvaluesofxarethe tooitismanifestthat'q:pCPp'saysthesamethingas'q',that'pC
propositions to be described; 3. Giving a formal law that governs Pq'saysnothing.
the construction of the propositions, in which case the bracketed 5.514Onceanotationhasbeenestablished,therewillbeinitarule
expressionhasasitsmembersallthetermsofaseriesofforms. governingtheconstructionofallpropositionsthatnegatep,arule
5.502 So instead of '(T)(E,....)', I write 'N(E)'. N(E) is the nega governing the construction of all propositions that affirm p, and a
tionofallthevaluesofthepropositionalvariableE. rulegoverningtheconstructionofallpropositionsthataffirmporq;
5.503Itisobviousthatwecaneasilyexpresshowpropositionsmay andsoon.Theserulesareequivalenttothesymbols;andinthem
beconstructedwiththisoperation,andhowtheymaynotbecon theirsenseismirrored.
structed with it; so it must be possible to find an exact expression 5.515Itmustbemanifestinoursymbolsthatitcanonlybeproposi
forthis. tionsthatarecombinedwithoneanotherby'C','.',etc.Andthisis
5.51IfEhasonlyonevalue,thenN(E)=Pp(notp);ifithastwoval indeed the case, since the symbol in 'p' and 'q' itself presupposes
ues,thenN(E)=Pp.Pq.(neitherpnorg). 'C','P',etc.Ifthesign'p'in'pCq'doesnotstandforacomplexsign,
thenitcannothavesensebyitself:butinthatcasethesigns'pCp',
5.511 How can logicallembracing logic, which mirrors the
'p. p', etc., which have the same sense as p, must also lack sense.
worldusesuchpeculiarcrotchetsandcontrivances?Onlybecause
Butif'pCp'hasnosense,then'pCq'cannothaveasenseeither.
they are all connected with one another in an infinitely fine net
work,thegreatmirror. 5.5151Mustthesignofanegativepropositionbeconstructedwith
that of the positive proposition? Why should it not be possible to
5.512 'Pp' is true if 'p' is false. Therefore, in the proposition 'Pp',
express a negative proposition by means of a negative fact? (E.g.
whenitistrue,'p'isafalseproposition.Howthencanthestroke'P'
supposethat"a'doesnotstandinacertainrelationto'b';thenthis
makeitagreewithreality?Butin'Pp'itisnot'P'thatnegates,itis
mightbeusedtosaythataRbwasnotthecase.)Butreallyevenin
ratherwhatiscommontoallthesignsofthisnotationthatnegate
thiscasethenegativepropositionisconstructedbyanindirectuse
p.Thatistosaythecommonrulethatgovernstheconstructionof
ofthepositive.Thepositivepropositionnecessarilypresupposesthe
'Pp','PPPp','PpCPp','Pp.Pp',etc.etc.(adinf.).Andthiscommon
existenceofthenegativepropositionandviceversa.
factormirrorsnegation.
5.52IfEhasasitsvaluesallthevaluesofafunctionfxforallvalues
5.513Wemightsaythatwhatiscommontoallsymbolsthataffirm
ofx,thenN(E)=P(dx).fx.
bothpandqistheproposition'p.q';andthatwhatiscommonto
all symbolsthat affirm eitherpor q istheproposition'pCq'.And 5.521 I dissociate the concept all from truthfunctions. Frege and
similarly we can say that two propositions are opposed to one an Russell introduced generality in association with logical productor
other if they have nothing in common with one another, and that logical sum. This made it difficult to understand the propositions
every proposition has only one negative, since there is only one '(dx).fx'and'(x).fx',inwhichbothideasareembedded.
propositionthatliescompletelyoutsideit.ThusinRussell'snotation

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5.522Whatispeculiartothegeneralitysignisfirst,thatitindicates 5.53IdentityofobjectIexpressbyidentityofsign,andnotbyusing
a logical prototype, and secondly, that it gives prominence to con a sign for identity. Difference of objects I express by difference of
stants. signs.
5.523Thegeneralitysignoccursasanargument. 5.5301 It is selfevident that identity is not a relation between ob
5.524 If objects are given, then at the same time we are given all jects. This becomes very clear if one considers, for example, the
objects.Ifelementarypropositionsaregiven,thenatthesametime proposition '(x) : fx. z. x = a'. What this proposition says is simply
allelementarypropositionsaregiven. thatonlyasatisfiesthefunctionf,andnotthatonlythingsthathave
acertainrelationtoasatisfythefunction,Ofcourse,itmightthen
5.525Itisincorrecttorendertheproposition'(dx).fx'inthewords,
besaidthatonlyadidhavethisrelationtoa;butinordertoexpress
'fxispossible'asRusselldoes.Thecertainty,possibility,orimpossi
that,weshouldneedtheidentitysignitself.
bilityofasituationisnotexpressedbyaproposition,butbyanex
pression's being a tautology, a proposition with a sense, or a con 5.5302Russell'sdefinitionof'='isinadequate,becauseaccordingto
tradiction. The precedent to which we are constantly inclined to it we cannot say that two objects have all their properties in com
appealmustresideinthesymbolitself. mon.(Evenifthispropositionisnevercorrect,itstillhassense.)
5.526Wecandescribetheworldcompletelybymeansoffullygen 5.5303Roughlyspeaking,tosayoftwothingsthattheyareidentical
eralizedpropositions,i.e.withoutfirstcorrelatinganynamewitha isnonsense,andtosayofonethingthatitisidenticalwithitselfis
particularobject. tosaynothingatall.
5.5261Afullygeneralizedproposition,likeeveryotherproposition, 5.531ThusIdonotwrite'f(a,b).a=b',but'f(a,a)'(or'f(b,b));and
iscomposite.(Thisisshownbythefactthatin'(dx,O).Ox'wehave not'f(a,b).Pa=b',but'f(a,b)'.
tomention'O'and's'separately.Theyboth,independently,standin 5.532AndanalogouslyIdonotwrite'(dx,y).f(x,y).x=y',but'(dx).
signifyingrelationstotheworld,justasisthecaseinungeneralized f(x, x)'; and not '(dx, y). f(x, y). Px = y', but '(dx, y). f(x, y)'. 5.5321
propositions.)Itisamarkofacompositesymbolthatithassome Thus,forexample,insteadof'(x):fxzx=a'wewrite'(dx).fx.z:(dx,
thingincommonwithothersymbols. y). fx. fy'. And the proposition, 'Only one x satisfies f( )', will read
5.5262 The truth or falsity of every proposition does make some '(dx).fx:P(dx,y).fx.fy'.
alteration in the general construction of the world. And the range 5.533Theidentitysign,therefore,isnotanessentialconstituentof
thatthetotalityofelementarypropositionsleavesopenforitscon conceptualnotation.
struction is exactly the same as that which is delimited by entirely 5.534 And now we see that in a correct conceptual notation
general propositions. (If an elementary proposition is true, that pseudopropositionslike'a=a','a=b.b=c.za=c','(x).x=x','(dx).
means,atanyrate,onemoretrueelementaryproposition.) x=a',etc.cannotevenbewrittendown.
5.535 This also disposes of all the problems that were connected
with such pseudopropositions. All the problems that Russell's

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'axiomofinfinity'bringswithitcanbesolvedatthispoint.Whatthe Moore,etc.)thesepropositionshaveactuallybeenconstruedinthis
axiomofinfinityisintendedtosaywouldexpressitselfinlanguage way.)
throughtheexistenceofinfinitelymanynameswithdifferentmean 5.542Itisclear,however,that'Abelievesthatp','Ahasthethought
ings. p',and'Asaysp'areoftheform'"p"saysp':andthisdoesnotin
5.5351 There are certain cases in which one is tempted to use ex volveacorrelationofafactwithanobject,butratherthecorrela
pressionsoftheform'a=a'or'pzp'andthelike.Infact,thishap tionoffactsbymeansofthecorrelationoftheirobjects.
penswhenonewantstotalkaboutprototypes,e.g.aboutproposi 5.5421Thisshowstoothatthereisnosuchthingasthesoulthe
tion, thing, etc. Thus in Russell's Principles of Mathematics 'p is a subject,etc.asitisconceivedinthesuperficialpsychologyofthe
proposition'whichisnonsensewasgiventhesymbolicrendering presentday.Indeedacompositesoulwouldnolongerbeasoul.
'pzp'andplacedasanhypothesisinfrontofcertainpropositionsin
5.5422 The correct explanation of the form of the proposition, 'A
ordertoexcludefromtheirargumentplaceseverythingbutpropo
makes the judgement p', must show that it is impossible for a
sitions. (It is nonsense to place the hypothesis 'p z p' in front of a
judgementtobeapieceofnonsense.(Russell'stheorydoesnotsat
proposition, in order to ensure that its arguments shall have the
isfythisrequirement.)
rightform,ifonlybecausewithanonpropositionasargumentthe
hypothesis becomes not false but nonsensical, and because argu 5.5423 To perceive a complex means to perceive that its constitu
mentsofthewrongkindmakethepropositionitselfnonsensical,so ents are related to one another in such and such a way. This no
that it preserves itself from wrong arguments just as well, or as doubtalsoexplainswhytherearetwopossiblewaysofseeingthe
badly,asthehypothesiswithoutsensethatwasappendedforthat figureasacube;andallsimilarphenomena.Forwereallyseetwo
purpose.) different facts. (If I look in the first place at the corners marked a
and only glance at the b's, then the a's appear to be in front, and
5.5352Inthesamewaypeoplehavewantedtoexpress,'Thereare
viceversa).
nothings',bywriting'P(dx).x=x'.Butevenifthiswereaproposi
tion, would it not be equally true if in fact 'there were things' but 5.55Wenowhavetoanswerapriorithequestionaboutallthepos
theywerenotidenticalwiththemselves? sible forms of elementary propositions. Elementary propositions
consistofnames.Since,however,weareunabletogivethenumber
5.54 In the general propositional form propositions occur in other
of names with different meanings, we are also unable to give the
propositionsonlyasbasesoftruthoperations.
compositionofelementarypropositions.
5.541Atfirstsightitlooksasifitwerealsopossibleforoneproposi
5.551Ourfundamentalprincipleisthatwheneveraquestioncanbe
tiontooccurinanotherinadifferentway.Particularlywithcertain
decidedbylogicatallitmustbepossibletodecideitwithoutmore
formsofpropositioninpsychology,suchas'Abelievesthatpisthe
ado. (And if we get into a position where we have to look at the
case'andAhasthethoughtp',etc.Foriftheseareconsideredsu
worldforananswertosuchaproblem,thatshowsthatweareona
perficially,itlooksasifthepropositionpstoodinsomekindofrela
completelywrongtrack.)
tion to an object A. (And in modern theory of knowledge (Russell,

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5.552The'experience'thatweneedinordertounderstandlogicis 5.5561Empiricalrealityislimitedbythetotalityofobjects.Thelimit
not that something or other is the state of things, but that some alsomakesitselfmanifestinthetotalityofelementarypropositions.
thingis:that,however,isnotanexperience.Logicispriortoevery Hierarchiesareandmustbeindependentofreality.
experiencethatsomethingisso.Itispriortothequestion'How?' 5.5562 If we know on purely logical grounds that there must be
notpriortothequestion'What?' elementary propositions, then everyonewho understands proposi
5.5521Andifthiswerenotso,howcouldweapplylogic?Wemight tionsintheirCformmustknowIt.
put it in this way: if there would be a logic even if there were no 5.5563Infact,allthepropositionsofoureverydaylanguage,justas
world,howthencouldtherebealogicgiventhatthereisaworld? they stand, are in perfect logical order.That utterly simple thing,
5.553Russellsaidthatthereweresimplerelationsbetweendiffer whichwehavetoformulatehere,isnotalikenessofthetruth,but
ent numbers of things (individuals). But between what numbers? the truth itself in its entirety. (Our problems are not abstract, but
Andhowisthissupposedtobedecided?Byexperience?(Thereis perhapsthemostconcretethatthereare.)
nopreeminentnumber.) 5.557Theapplicationoflogicdecideswhatelementarypropositions
5.554Itwouldbecompletelyarbitrarytogiveanyspecificform. thereare.Whatbelongstoitsapplication,logiccannotanticipate.It
5.5541Itissupposedtobepossibletoanswerapriorithequestion isclearthatlogicmustnotclashwithitsapplication.Butlogichasto
whetherIcangetintoapositioninwhichIneedthesignfora27 beincontactwithitsapplication.Thereforelogicanditsapplication
termedrelationinordertosignifysomething. mustnotoverlap.
5.5542 But is it really legitimate even to ask such a question? Can 5.5571 If I cannot say a priori what elementary propositions there
wesetupaformofsignwithoutknowingwhetheranythingcancor are,thentheattempttodosomustleadtoobviousnonsense.5.6
respondtoit?Doesitmakesensetoaskwhattheremustbeinor Thelimitsofmylanguagemeanthelimitsofmyworld.
derthatsomethingcanbethecase? 5.61 Logic pervades the world: the limits of the world are also its
5.555 Clearly we have some concept of elementary propositions limits.Sowecannotsayinlogic,'Theworldhasthisinit,andthis,
quiteapartfrom their particularlogical forms.Butwhenthereisa but not that.' For that would appear to presuppose that we were
system by which we can create symbols, the system is what is im excluding certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case, since it
portant for logic and not the individual symbols. And anyway, is it would require that logic should go beyond the limits of the world;
really possible that in logic I should have to deal with forms that I foronlyinthatwaycoulditviewthoselimitsfromtheothersideas
can invent? What I have to deal with must be that which makes it well. We cannot think what we cannot think; so what we cannot
possibleformetoinventthem. thinkwecannotsayeither.
5.556 There cannot be a hierarchy of the forms of elementary 5.62Thisremarkprovidesthekeytotheproblem,howmuchtruth
propositions.Wecanforeseeonlywhatweourselvesconstruct. there is in solipsism. For what the solipsist means is quite correct;
only it cannot be said, but makes itself manifest. The world is my

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world:thisismanifestinthefactthatthelimitsoflanguage(ofthat soul,withwhichpsychologydeals,butratherthemetaphysicalsub
languagewhichaloneIunderstand)meanthelimitsofmyworld. ject,thelimitoftheworldnotapartofit.
5.621Theworldandlifeareone.
5.63Iammyworld.(Themicrocosm.)
6.Thegeneralformofatruthfunctionis[p,E,N(E)].
5.631Thereisnosuchthingasthesubjectthatthinksorentertains
ideas.IfIwroteabookcalledTheWorldaslfoundit,Ishouldhave Thisisthegeneralformofaproposition.
toincludeareportonmybody,andshouldhavetosaywhichparts 6.001Whatthissaysisjustthateverypropositionisaresultofsuc
weresubordinatetomywill,andwhichwerenot,etc.,thisbeinga cessive applications to elementary propositions of the operation
methodofisolatingthesubject,orratherofshowingthatinanim N(E)
portant sense there is no subject; for it alone could not be men 6.002Ifwearegiventhegeneralformaccordingtowhichproposi
tionedinthatbook. tions are constructed, then with it we are also given the general
5.632Thesubjectdoesnotbelongtotheworld:rather,itisalimit form according to which one proposition can be generated out of
oftheworld. anotherbymeansofanoperation.
5.633 Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be found? 6.01Thereforethegeneralformofanoperation/'(n)is[E,N(E)]'(n)
Youwillsaythatthisisexactlylikethecaseoftheeyeandthevisual (=[n,E,N(E)]).Thisisthemostgeneralformoftransitionfromone
field. But really you do not see the eye. And nothing in the visual propositiontoanother.
fieldallowsyoutoinferthatitisseenbyaneye. 6.02Andthisishowwearriveatnumbers.Igivethefollowingdefi
5.6331Fortheformofthevisualfieldissurelynotlikethis nitionsx=/0xDef.,/'/v'x=/v+1'xDef.So,inaccordancewiththese
5.634Thisisconnectedwiththefactthatnopartofourexperience rules,whichdealwithsigns,wewritetheseriesx,/'x,/'/'x,/'/'/'x,...,
isatthesametimeapriori.Whateverweseecouldbeotherthanit in the following way /0'x, /0+1'x, /0+1+1'x, /0+1+1+1'x,.... There
is.Whateverwecandescribeatallcouldbeotherthanitis.Thereis fore,insteadof'[x,E,/'E]',Iwrite'[/0'x,/v'x,/v+1'x]'.AndIgivethe
noaprioriorderofthings. followingdefinitions0+1=1Def.,0+1+1=2Def.,0+1+1+1=3
5.64 Here it can be seen that solipsism, when its implications are Def.,(andsoon).
followed out strictly, coincideswith purerealism.The selfofsolip 6.021Anumberistheexponentofanoperation.
sism shrinks to a point without extension, and there remains the 6.022Theconceptofnumberissimplywhatiscommontoallnum
realitycoordinatedwithit. bers,thegeneralform of a number. The concept of number is the
5.641Thustherereallyisasenseinwhichphilosophycantalkabout variablenumber.Andtheconceptofnumericalequalityisthegen
the self in a nonpsychological way. What brings the self into phi eralformofallparticularcasesofnumericalequality.
losophy is the fact that 'the world is my world'. The philosophical 6.03Thegeneralformofanintegeris[0,E,E+1].
self is not the human being, not the human body, or the human

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6.031Thetheoryofclassesiscompletelysuperfluousinmathemat tautology when combined in this shows that they possess these
ics. This is connected with the fact that the generality required in structuralproperties.
mathematicsisnotaccidentalgenerality. 6.1201Forexample,thefactthatthepropositions'p'and'Pp'inthe
6.1Thepropositionsoflogicaretautologies. combination '(p. Pp)' yield a tautology shows that they contradict
6.11Thereforethepropositionsoflogicsaynothing.(Theyarethe oneanother.Thefactthatthepropositions'pzq','p',and'q',com
analyticpropositions.) binedwithoneanotherintheform'(pzq).(p):z:(q)',yieldatautol
ogyshowsthatqfollowsfrompandpzq.Thefactthat'(x).fxx:z:
6.111 All theories that make a proposition of logic appear to have
fa'isatautologyshowsthatfafollowsfrom(x).fx.Etc.etc.
content are false. One might think, for example, that the words
'true' and 'false' signified two properties among other properties, 6.1202Itisclearthatonecouldachievethesamepurposebyusing
andthenitwouldseemtobearemarkablefactthateveryproposi contradictionsinsteadoftautologies.
tion possessed one of these properties. On this theory it seems to 6.1203Inordertorecognizeanexpressionasatautology,incases
be anything but obvious, just as, for instance, the proposition, 'All wherenogeneralitysignoccursinit,onecanemploythefollowing
roses are either yellow or red', would not sound obvious even if it intuitivemethod:insteadof'p','q','r',etc.Iwrite'TpF','TqF','TrF',
weretrue.Indeed,thelogicalpropositionacquiresallthecharacter etc. Truthcombinations I express by means of brackets, e.g. and I
isticsofapropositionofnaturalscienceandthisisthesuresignthat use lines to express the correlation of the truth or falsity of the
ithasbeenconstruedwrongly. whole proposition with the truthcombinations of its truth
6.112Thecorrectexplanationofthepropositionsoflogicmustas arguments, in the following way So this sign, for instance, would
signtothemauniquestatusamongallpropositions. representthepropositionpzq.Now,bywayofexample,Iwishto
examinethepropositionP(p.Pp)(thelawofcontradiction)inorder
6.113 It is the peculiar mark of logical propositions that one can
todeterminewhetheritisatautology.Inournotationtheform'PE'
recognize that they are true from the symbol alone, and this fact
iswrittenasandtheform'E.n'asHencethepropositionP(p.Pp).
contains in itself the whole philosophy of logic. And so too it is a
reads as follows If we here substitute 'p' for 'q' and examine how
very important fact that the truth or falsity of nonlogical proposi
theoutermostTandFareconnectedwiththeinnermostones,the
tionscannotberecognizedfromthepropositionsalone.
result will be that the truth of the whole proposition is correlated
6.12 The fact that the propositions of logic are tautologies shows withallthetruthcombinationsofitsargument,anditsfalsitywith
theformallogicalpropertiesoflanguageandtheworld.Thefact noneofthetruthcombinations.
that a tautology is yielded by this particular way of connecting its
6.121 The propositions of logic demonstrate the logical properties
constituents characterizes the logic of its constituents. If proposi
ofpropositionsbycombiningthemsoastoformpropositionsthat
tionsaretoyieldatautologywhentheyareconnectedinacertain
say nothing. This method could also be called a zeromethod. In a
way,theymusthavecertainstructuralproperties.Sotheiryieldinga
logical proposition, propositions are brought into equilibrium with

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one another, and the state of equilibrium then indicates what the things.Anungeneralizedpropositioncanbetautologicaljustaswell
logicalconstitutionofthesepropositionsmustbe. asageneralizedone.
6.122 It follows from this that we can actually do without logical 6.1232Thegeneralvalidityoflogicmightbecalledessential,incon
propositions;forinasuitablenotationwecaninfactrecognizethe trastwiththeaccidentalgeneralvalidityofsuchpropositionsas'All
formalpropertiesofpropositionsbymereinspectionoftheproposi men are mortal'. Propositions like Russell's 'axiom of reducibility'
tionsthemselves. arenotlogicalpropositions,andthisexplainsourfeelingthat,even
6.1221If,forexample,twopropositions'p'and'q'inthecombina iftheyweretrue,theirtruthcouldonlybetheresultofafortunate
tion 'p z q' yield a tautology, then it is clear that q follows from p. accident.
Forexample,weseefromthetwopropositionsthemselvesthat'q' 6.1233 It is possible to imagine a world in which the axiom of re
followsfrom'pzq.p',butitisalsopossibletoshowitinthisway: ducibilityisnotvalid.Itisclear,however,thatlogichasnothingto
wecombinethemtoform'pzq.p:z:q',andthenshowthatthisisa dowiththequestionwhetherourworldreallyislikethatornot.
tautology. 6.124 The propositions of logic describe the scaffolding of the
6.1222Thisthrowssomelightonthequestionwhylogicalproposi world, or rather they represent it. They have no 'subjectmatter'.
tionscannotbeconfirmedbyexperienceanymorethantheycanbe Theypresupposethatnameshavemeaningandelementarypropo
refutedbyit.Notonlymustapropositionoflogicbeirrefutableby sitionssense;andthatistheirconnexionwiththeworld.Itisclear
any possible experience, but it must also be unconfirmable by any thatsomethingabouttheworldmustbeindicatedbythefactthat
possibleexperience. certaincombinationsofsymbolswhoseessenceinvolvesthepos
6.1223 Now it becomes clear why people have often felt as if it session of a determinate characterare tautologies. This contains
wereforusto'postulate'the'truthsoflogic'.Thereasonisthatwe the decisive point. We have said that some things are arbitrary in
canpostulatetheminsofaraswecanpostulateanadequatenota thesymbolsthatweuseandthatsomethingsarenot.Inlogicitis
tion. onlythelatterthatexpress:butthatmeansthatlogicisnotafield
inwhichweexpresswhatwewishwiththehelpofsigns,butrather
6.1224Italsobecomesclearnowwhylogicwascalledthetheoryof
oneinwhichthenatureoftheabsolutelynecessarysignsspeaksfor
formsandofinference.
itself. If we know the logical syntax of any signlanguage, then we
6.123Clearlythelawsoflogiccannotintheirturnbesubjecttolaws havealreadybeengivenallthepropositionsoflogic.
oflogic.(Thereisnot,asRussellthought,aspeciallawofcontradic
6.125Itispossibleindeedpossibleevenaccordingtotheoldcon
tionforeach'type';onelawisenough,sinceitisnotappliedtoit
ceptionoflogictogiveinadvanceadescriptionofall'true'logical
self.)
propositions.
6.1231 The mark of a logical proposition is not general validity. To
6.1251Hencetherecanneverbesurprisesinlogic.
be general means no more than to be accidentally valid for all

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6.126Onecancalculatewhetherapropositionbelongstologic,by 6.127 All the propositions of logic are of equal status: it is not the
calculatingthelogicalpropertiesofthesymbol.Andthisiswhatwe case that some of them are essentially derived propositions. Every
do when we 'prove' a logical proposition. For, without bothering tautologyitselfshowsthatitisatautology.
aboutsenseormeaning,weconstructthelogicalpropositionoutof 6.1271 It is clear that the number of the 'primitive propositions of
others using only rules that deal with signs. The proof of logical logic'isarbitrary,sinceonecouldderivelogicfromasingleprimitive
propositionsconsistsinthefollowingprocess:weproducethemout proposition, e.g. by simply constructing the logical product of
ofotherlogicalpropositionsbysuccessivelyapplyingcertainopera Frege's primitive propositions. (Frege would perhaps say that we
tionsthatalwaysgeneratefurthertautologiesoutoftheinitialones. should then no longer have an immediately selfevident primitive
(Andinfactonlytautologiesfollowfromatautology.)Ofcoursethis proposition.ButitisremarkablethatathinkerasrigorousasFrege
wayofshowingthatthepropositionsoflogicaretautologiesisnot appealedtothedegreeofselfevidenceasthecriterionofalogical
atallessentialtologic,ifonlybecausethepropositionsfromwhich proposition.)
theproofstartsmustshowwithoutanyproofthattheyaretautolo
6.13 Logic is not a body of doctrine, but a mirrorimage of the
gies.
world.Logicistranscendental.
6.1261 In logic process and result are equivalent. (Hence the ab
6.2Mathematicsisalogicalmethod.Thepropositionsofmathemat
senceofsurprise.)
icsareequations,andthereforepseudopropositions.
6.1262Proofinlogicismerelyamechanicalexpedienttofacilitate
6.21Apropositionofmathematicsdoesnotexpressathought.
therecognitionoftautologiesincomplicatedcases.
6.211 Indeed in real life a mathematical proposition is never what
6.1263Indeed,itwouldbealtogethertooremarkableifaproposi
wewant.Rather,wemakeuseofmathematicalpropositionsonlyin
tion that had sense could be proved logically from others, and so
inferencesfrompropositionsthatdonotbelongtomathematicsto
toocouldalogicalproposition.Itisclearfromthestartthatalogical
others that likewise do not belong to mathematics. (In philosophy
proof of a proposition that has sense and a proof in logic must be
thequestion,'Whatdoweactuallyusethiswordorthisproposition
twoentirelydifferentthings.
for?'repeatedlyleadstovaluableinsights.)
6.1264 A proposition that has sense states something, which is
6.22 The logic of the world, which is shown in tautologies by the
shownbyitsprooftobeso.Inlogiceverypropositionistheformof
propositionsoflogic,isshowninequationsbymathematics.
aproof.Everypropositionoflogicisamodusponensrepresentedin
signs. (And one cannot express the modus ponens by means of a 6.23Iftwoexpressionsarecombinedbymeansofthesignofequal
proposition.) ity,thatmeansthattheycanbesubstitutedforoneanother.Butit
mustbemanifestinthetwoexpressionsthemselveswhetherthisis
6.1265 It is always possible to construe logic in such a way that
the case or not. When two expressions can be substituted for one
everypropositionisitsownproof.
another,thatcharacterizestheirlogicalform.

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6.231Itisapropertyofaffirmationthatitcanbeconstruedasdou 6.24 The method by which mathematics arrives at its equations is


ble negation. It is a property of '1 + 1 + 1 + 1' that it can be con themethodofsubstitution.Forequationsexpressthesubstitutabil
struedas'(1+1)+(1+1)'. ityoftwoexpressionsand,startingfromanumberofequations,we
6.232Fregesaysthatthetwoexpressionshavethesamemeaning advance to new equations by substituting different expressions in
but different senses. But the essential point about an equation is accordancewiththeequations.
that it is not necessary in order to show that the two expressions 6.241 Thus the proof of the proposition 2 t 2 = 4 runs as follows:
connectedbythesignofequalityhavethesamemeaning,sincethis (/v)n'x=/vxu'xDef.,/2x2'x=(/2)2'x=(/2)1+1'x=/2'/2'x=/1+
canbeseenfromthetwoexpressionsthemselves. 1'/1+1'x=(/'/)'(/'/)'x=/'/'/'/'x=/1+1+1+1'x=/4'x.6.3Theex
6.2321Andthepossibilityofprovingthepropositionsofmathemat plorationoflogicmeanstheexplorationofeverythingthatissubject
icsmeanssimplythattheircorrectnesscanbeperceivedwithoutits tolaw.Andoutsidelogiceverythingisaccidental.
being necessary that what they express should itself be compared 6.31Thesocalledlawofinductioncannotpossiblybealawoflogic,
withthefactsinordertodetermineitscorrectness. sinceitisobviouslyapropositionwithsense.Nor,therefore,can
6.2322Itisimpossibletoasserttheidentityofmeaningoftwoex itbeanapriorilaw.
pressions. For in order to be able to assert anything about their 6.32Thelawofcausalityisnotalawbuttheformofalaw.
meaning, I must know their meaning, and I cannot know their 6.321'Lawofcausality'thatisageneralname.Andjustasinme
meaningwithoutknowingwhetherwhattheymeanisthesameor chanics, for example, there are 'minimumprinciples', such as the
different. lawofleastaction,sotooinphysicstherearecausallaws,lawsof
6.2323 An equation merely marks the point of view from which I thecausalform.
consider the two expressions: it marks their equivalence in mean 6.3211 Indeed people even surmised that there must be a 'law of
ing. leastaction'beforetheyknewexactlyhowitwent.(Here,asalways,
6.233 The question whether intuition is needed for the solution of whatiscertainaprioriprovestobesomethingpurelylogical.)
mathematicalproblemsmustbegiventheanswerthatinthiscase 6.33Wedonothaveanaprioribeliefinalawofconservation,but
languageitselfprovidesthenecessaryintuition. ratheraprioriknowledgeofthepossibilityofalogicalform.
6.2331 The process of calculating serves to bring about that intui 6.34 All such propositions, including the principle of sufficient rea
tion.Calculationisnotanexperiment. son, tile laws of continuity in nature and of least effort in nature,
6.234Mathematicsisamethodoflogic. etc.etc.alltheseareaprioriinsightsabouttheformsinwhichthe
6.2341Itistheessentialcharacteristicofmathematicalmethodthat propositionsofsciencecanbecast.
it employs equations. For it is because of this method that every 6.341 Newtonian mechanics, for example, imposes a unified form
propositionofmathematicsmustgowithoutsaying. onthedescriptionoftheworld.Letusimagineawhitesurfacewith
irregular black spots on it. We then say that whatever kind of pic

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turethesemake,IcanalwaysapproximateascloselyasIwishtothe sible to describe it by these means. We are also told something


description of it by covering the surface with a sufficiently fine about the world by the fact that it can be described more simply
squaremesh,andthensayingofeverysquarewhetheritisblackor withonesystemofmechanicsthanwithanother.
white. In this way I shall have imposed a unified form on the de 6.343 Mechanics is an attempt to construct according to a single
scription of the surface. The form is optional, since I could have planallthetruepropositionsthatweneedforthedescriptionofthe
achievedthesameresultbyusinganetwithatriangularorhexago world.
nal mesh. Possibly the use of a triangular mesh would have made
6.3431 The laws of physics, with all their logical apparatus, still
thedescriptionsimpler:thatistosay,itmightbethatwecouldde
speak,howeverindirectly,abouttheobjectsoftheworld.
scribe the surface more accurately with a coarse triangular mesh
thanwithafinesquaremesh(orconversely),andsoon.Thediffer 6.3432Weoughtnottoforgetthatanydescriptionoftheworldby
ent nets correspond to different systems for describing the world. meansofmechanicswillbeofthecompletelygeneralkind.Forex
Mechanicsdeterminesoneformofdescriptionoftheworldbysay ample,itwillnevermentionparticularpointmasses:itwillonlytalk
ing that all propositions used in the description of the world must aboutanypointmasseswhatsoever.
be obtained in a given way from a given set of propositionsthe 6.35Althoughthespotsinourpicturearegeometricalfigures,nev
axiomsofmechanics.Itthussuppliesthebricksforbuildingtheedi erthelessgeometrycanobviouslysaynothingatallabouttheirac
fice of science, and it says, 'Any building that you want to erect, tual form and position. The network, however, is purely geometri
whatever it may be, must somehow be constructed with these cal;allitspropertiescanbegivenapriori.Lawsliketheprincipleof
bricks, and with these alone.' (Just as with the numbersystem we sufficientreason,etc.areaboutthenetandnotaboutwhatthenet
mustbeabletowritedownanynumberwewish,sowiththesys describes.
temofmechanicswemustbeabletowritedownanypropositionof 6.36Iftherewerealawofcausality,itmightbeputinthefollowing
physicsthatwewish.) way:Therearelawsofnature.Butofcoursethatcannotbesaid:it
6.342 And now we can see the relative position of logic and me makesitselfmanifest.
chanics.(Thenetmightalsoconsistofmorethanonekindofmesh: 6.361 One might say, using Hertt:'s terminology, that only connex
e.g. we could use both triangles and hexagons.) The possibility of ionsthataresubjecttolawarethinkable.
describing a picture like the one mentioned above with a net of a 6.3611 We cannot compare a process with 'the passage of time'
givenformtellsusnothingaboutthepicture.(Forthatistrueofall thereisnosuchthingbutonlywithanotherprocess(suchasthe
suchpictures.)Butwhatdoescharacterizethepictureisthatitcan workingofachronometer).Hencewecandescribethelapseoftime
bedescribedcompletelybyaparticularnetwithaparticularsizeof onlybyrelyingonsomeotherprocess.Somethingexactlyanalogous
mesh. Similarly the possibility of describing the world by means of applies to space: e.g. when people say that neither of two events
Newtonian mechanics tells us nothing about the world: but what (whichexcludeoneanother)canoccur,becausethereisnothingto
doestellussomethingaboutitistheprecisewayinwhichitispos causetheonetooccurratherthantheother,itisreallyamatterof

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ourbeingunabletodescribeoneofthetwoeventsunlessthereis the ancients is clearer in so far as they have a clear and acknowl
somesortofasymmetrytobefound.Andifsuchanasymmetryisto edgedterminus,whilethemodernsystemtriestomakeitlookasif
befound,wecanregarditasthecauseoftheoccurrenceoftheone everythingwereexplained.
andthenonoccurrenceoftheother. 6.373Theworldisindependentofmywill.
6.36111 Kant's problem about the right hand and the left hand, 6.374 Even if all that we wish for were to happen, still this would
which cannot be made to coincide, exists even in two dimensions. onlybeafavourgrantedbyfate,sotospeak:forthereisnological
Indeed,itexistsinonedimensionalspaceinwhichthetwocongru connexionbetweenthewillandtheworld,whichwouldguarantee
ent figures, a and b, cannot be made to coincide unless they are it, and the supposed physical connexion itself is surely not some
movedoutofthisspace.Therighthandandthelefthandareinfact thingthatwecouldwill.
completely congruent. It is quite irrelevant that they cannot be
6.375Justastheonlynecessitythatexistsislogicalnecessity,sotoo
madetocoincide.Arighthandglovecouldbeputonthelefthand,
theonlyimpossibilitythatexistsislogicalimpossibility.
ifitcouldbeturnedroundinfourdimensionalspace.
6.3751 For example, the simultaneous presence of two colours at
6.362Whatcanbedescribedcanhappentoo:andwhatthelawof
thesameplaceinthevisualfieldisimpossible,infactlogicallyim
causalityismeanttoexcludecannotevenbedescribed.
possible,sinceitisruledoutbythelogicalstructureofcolour.Letus
6.363 The procedure of induction consists in accepting as true the thinkhowthiscontradictionappearsinphysics:moreorlessasfol
simplestlawthatcanbereconciledwithourexperiences. lowsaparticlecannothavetwovelocitiesatthesametime;thatis
6.3631Thisprocedure,however,hasnologicaljustificationbutonly to say, it cannot be in two places at the same time; that is to say,
apsychologicalone.Itisclearthattherearenogroundsforbeliev particles that are in different places at the same time cannot be
ingthatthesimplesteventualitywillinfactberealized. identical. (It is clear that the logical product of two elementary
6.36311Itisanhypothesisthatthesunwillrisetomorrow:andthis propositions can neither be a tautology nor a contradiction. The
meansthatwedonotknowwhetheritwillrise. statementthatapointinthevisualfieldhastwodifferentcoloursat
thesametimeisacontradiction.)
6.37Thereisnocompulsionmakingonethinghappenbecausean
otherhashappened.Theonlynecessitythatexistsislogicalneces 6.4Allpropositionsareofequalvalue.
sity. 6.41Thesenseoftheworldmustlieoutsidetheworld.Intheworld
6.371Thewholemodernconceptionoftheworldisfoundedonthe everythingisasitis,andeverythinghappensasitdoeshappen:init
illusion that the socalled laws of nature are the explanations of novalueexistsandifitdidexist,itwouldhavenovalue.Ifthereis
naturalphenomena. anyvaluethatdoeshavevalue,itmustlieoutsidethewholesphere
ofwhathappensandisthecase.Forallthathappensandisthecase
6.372 Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them
is accidental. What makes it nonaccidental cannot lie within the
as something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past
ages.Andinfactbotharerightandbothwrong:thoughtheviewof

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world,sinceifitdiditwoulditselfbeaccidental.Itmustlieoutside present.Ourlifehasnoendinjustthewayinwhichourvisualfield
theworld. hasnolimits.
6.42 So too it is impossible for there to be propositions of ethics. 6.4312Notonlyistherenoguaranteeofthetemporalimmortality
Propositionscanexpressnothingthatishigher. ofthehumansoul,thatistosayofitseternalsurvivalafterdeath;
6.421Itisclearthatethicscannotbeputintowords.Ethicsistran but,inanycase,thisassumptioncompletelyfailstoaccomplishthe
scendental.(Ethicsandaestheticsareoneandthesame.) purpose for which it has always been intended. Or is some riddle
solvedbymysurvivingforever?Isnotthiseternallifeitselfasmuch
6.422Whenanethicallawoftheform,'Thoushalt...'islaiddown,
of a riddle as our present life? The solution of the riddle of life in
one'sfirstthoughtis,'AndwhatifIdo,notdoit?'Itisclear,how
space and time lies outside space and time. (It is certainly not the
ever,thatethicshasnothingtodowithpunishmentandrewardin
solutionofanyproblemsofnaturalsciencethatisrequired.)
the usual sense of the terms. So our question about the conse
quences of an action must be unimportant.At least those conse 6.432Howthingsareintheworldisamatterofcompleteindiffer
quences should not be events. For there must be something right enceforwhatishigher.Goddoesnotrevealhimselfintheworld.
about the question we posed. There must indeed be some kind of 6.4321Thefactsallcontributeonlytosettingtheproblem,nottoits
ethicalrewardandethicalpunishment,buttheymustresideinthe solution.
actionitself.(Anditisalsoclearthattherewardmustbesomething 6.44Itisnothowthingsareintheworldthatismystical,butthatit
pleasantandthepunishmentsomethingunpleasant.) exists.
6.423Itisimpossibletospeakaboutthewillinsofarasitisthesub 6.45Toviewtheworldsubspecieaeterniistoviewitasawholea
jectofethicalattributes.Andthewillasaphenomenonisofinter limitedwhole.Feelingtheworldasalimitedwholeitisthisthatis
estonlytopsychology. mystical.
6.43Ifthegoodorbadexerciseofthewilldoesaltertheworld,it 6.5 When the answer cannot be put into words, neither can the
can alter only the limits of the world, not the factsnot what can questionbeputintowords.Theriddledoesnotexist.Ifaquestion
beexpressedbymeansoflanguage.Inshorttheeffectmustbethat canbeframedatall,itisalsopossibletoanswerit.
itbecomesanaltogetherdifferentworld.Itmust,sotospeak,wax
6.51Scepticismisnotirrefutable,butobviouslynonsensical,whenit
andwaneasawhole.Theworldofthehappymanisadifferentone
tries to raise doubts where no questions can be asked. For doubt
fromthatoftheunhappyman.
can exist only where a question exists, a question only where an
6.431 So too at death the world does not alter, but comes to an answerexists,andanansweronlywheresomethingcanbesaid.
end.
6.52 We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have
6.4311 Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience beenanswered,theproblemsofliferemaincompletelyuntouched.
death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration Ofcoursetherearethennoquestionsleft,andthisitselfisthean
buttimelessness,theneternallifebelongstothosewholiveinthe swer.

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