Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosopicus (TLP) advances seven propositions that are claimed to be metaphysical while it denies those propositions of any substantial sense. This reading difficulty has brought about different interpretations. Among them, there are two schools of readings: traditional reading and resolute reading. Traditional reading maintains that the propositions say nothing metaphysical but show metaphysical significance in virtue of the logic features of their linguistic expressions. In contrast, new Wittgensteinian readers proposed a brand new reading—resolute reading, according to which the propositions are austere nonsense, providing no description of metaphysical reality. TLP was not intended to offer any doctrine or theory at all, but rather it attempted to bring about disillusionment. There is no proposition as a solution to any question raised in traditional metaphysics. The metaphysical questions arise because they are framed with logically flawed working language. The task of philosophy is to disabuse the logical errors built in philosophical expressions. The resolute reading does not embrace metaphysical realism but it does not reject realistic spirit.
The talk is expected to present resolute reading of TLP, focusing on its contribution to Wittgenstein philosophical interpretation, especially its philosophical treatment of metaphysical issues.
Speaker: Yuncheng Zhou
Yuncheng Zhou got his Ph.D in philosophy at School of Humanities of Tsinghua University in 2008, joined the faculty of Foreign Languages Department in 1995. His academic interests include philosophy of language, Chinese philosophy, formal semantics and pragmatics. His papers include “Syntactic calculation of description and its ontological and epistemological significance”, “A pragmatic model of speech act theory”, “Kripke on transworld identity”, “Chosmky’s departure from empiricist tradition of analytic philosophy”. His on-going research is Wittgensteinian interpretation of issues in Chinese philosophy, such as metaphysical understanding of 礼。