Metaphysical Language: Does it have any Meaning?
When we allege of article as metaphysical, we allege of article that is usually characterized as abnormal or article that is not apparent by our senses. Back we allocution about the things that our minds’ eyes see and not the things that our concrete eyes see, we are talking in the accent that is metaphysical.
This is one of the things that the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein looks into in his book Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. Wittgenstein argues that abstract accent does not accept any meaning. They are as acceptable as words that do not announce anything. He alike contends that the abstract statements should not be said:
The appropriate adjustment in aesthetics would be this. To say annihilation except what can be said, i.e. ,the propositions of accustomed science, i.e. article that has annihilation to do with philosophy: and afresh always, back addition abroad admired to say article metaphysical, to authenticate to him that he had accustomed a acceptation to assertive signs in his propositions. This adjustment would not be acceptable to the alternative --he would not accept the activity that we were teaching him philosophy—but it would be the alone carefully actual method. ... Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one charge be silent. (Wittgenstein, 6.53-7)
This does not beggarly that abstract propositions are all automatically false. What Wittgenstein agency is that it is above the branch of argumentation for us to accept abstract language. This is not because they are abstruse or above our absoluteness or above our senses but because, for Wittgenstein, they accept no sense.
To illuminate, let us booty for archetype this scenario. I saw a huge Blue Heron aerial in advanced of me and the abutting day, my acquaintance won the lottery. Addition day, I saw a Blue Heron afresh and two canicule afterwards that, an blow happened in advanced of my house. Now, I see a Blue Heron the third time and I achieve that the Blue Heron is a assurance of article will happen. Nobody knows what will appear but I am abiding that the assurance agency that article will appear because I see it in my mind’s eyes, my soul. My abstract account is that the Blue Heron is a assurance that things will happen. It is like adage that back we see a atramentous cat, bad things will appear to us.
For Wittgenstein, it does not accept any faculty to say that a bearings is a aftereffect of my acumen of a Blue Heron or a bad luck is the aftereffect of my seeing a atramentous cat. He says that sentences like these assignment like a picture. Since it is actual difficult to explain, let me explain it through an example. A map of the United States, for example, is a account that credibility to the acreage of the United States. The map shows that New York is added or beneath in the Eastern ancillary of the map and Washington is in the Western ancillary of the map.
If we are in the Central allotment of the United States and we appetite to go to Seattle, we will fly eastward. We will not fly westward because the map which pictures for us the area of Seattle tells us that Seattle lies east of the United States. This is what Wittgenstein agency back he says that “there charge be article identical in a account and what it depicts” (Wittgenstein 2.161). The map mimics the way absoluteness is structured. It mimics the way the absolute locations in the US are placed beside anniversary other.
Language works like a picture. It tells us what the bearings is. Wittgenstein says, “We account facts to ourselves” (2.1). For him, the acceptation of a account is whatever it pictures. The acceptation of the account tells the bearings of the apple but like the picture, it can not acquaint us if it is absolutely accurate of false. Back we accomplish a account for archetype and we feel that it is meaningful, what the book is accomplishing is that it is aloof pointing to a accessible bearings in the absoluteness but it may be accurate or false.
When we say, for archetype that a Blue Heron causes things to appear like it is the account of our neighbor’s acceptable in the action or accident, the statement’s acceptation pictures to us situations that can be accurate but we cannot be absolutely abiding because there is annihilation in the book that makes it true. Wittgenstein says, “In adjustment to acquaint whether a account is accurate or apocryphal we charge assay it with reality” (Wittgenstein, 2.223).
If we administer this with the statement, “The Blue Heron causes things to happen, things like acceptable a action or actuality the account of people’s car accident”. A Blue Heron is a big bird that lazes about the bank allotment of water. By definition, it has wings. It can fly. It has a beak, it can bolt fish. It can airing for a few steps. It can swim. These are the capabilities of a Blue Heron. In reality, annihilation in its analogue or concrete composition can acquaint us that it can accomplish a man win a action or be in a car accident.
So the account that “The Blue Heron causes things to happen, things like acceptable a action or actuality the account of people’s car accident” does not accept any sense. As Wittgenstein says, “There is no coercion authoritative on affair appear because addition has happened. The alone call that exists is analytic necessity” (Wittegenstein 6.37). We can accept the account but it is cool if we assay it afterward Wittgenstein.
In the aforementioned way, Wittgenstein would say that it does not accept any faculty to allocution about a ‘soul’ or ‘a acceptable life’. We do not apperceive what a anatomy is. Nobody has apparent a soul. Nobody has appear that he or she sees a anatomy accepting out of the anatomy of a being who has aloof died. We cannot acquisition a accord for the apple ‘soul’ in reality. We accept a assurance for anatomy but we do not accept a referent for the sign.
When somebody dies and we say that he/she has lived a ‘good life’, it is additionally nonsensical. What is a acceptable activity to one is not automatically the acceptable activity to another. There is no distinct referent for what the assurance ‘good life’. It is additionally cool back bodies at the burial say about the asleep being that lives were afflicted because of him. Again, amount statements like these are abstract and are not verifiable. How can this account be analyzed if there annihilation that can be the referent for the sign. The referent has died. For Wittgenstein says, “The apple of the blessed man is a altered one from that of the black man. . . Soo too at afterlife the apple does not alter, but comes to an end” (Wittgenstein 6.43-6.431).
Order a unique copy of this paper