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Philologoi : Φιλόλογοι (pl.)

lovers of words, dialectic, and conversation.

Wittgenstein’s Approach to Meaningful Philosophy that Makes No Sense

by Sean Driscoll

“Philosophy is a struggle against 

the bewitchment of our understanding 

by the resources of our language”

 

—Ludwig Wittgenstein [1]

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus challenges that “Most propositions and questions, that have been written about philosophical matters, are not false, but senseless” provokes any philosophically-minded person to question the possibility of meaningfulness in philosophical propositions. [2]  We naturally want what we say to have meaning.  We want to know that what we are talking about is true and verifiable.  In both his early and later philosophy, what Wittgenstein means by sense, senselessness, and nonsense clarifies just what positive philosophy can and cannot meaningfully assert. [3]  Understanding these delineations and delimitations helps philosophy remain within the bounds of sense, but it also quickly establishes just how little can be positively asserted.  Wittgenstein recognized philosophy’s dwindling hold on philosophical problems and, through his transition from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations, he greatly expanded his theory of what qualifies as meaningful language..  Nevertheless, his view on the essentially limited scope of language persisted.  Though he attempts to establish what can be meaningfully said, Wittgenstein indirectly demonstrates the inadequacy of philosophy’s traditional methods.  He clarifies just how little sense a positive method can make of most philosophical problems and thus tacitly invites alternative approaches to philosophical issues.  For both the early and later Wittgenstein, there are still boundaries positive philosophy cannot cross, and philosophical problems which remain “hallucination[s] of meaning.” [4]  By dismissing these problems as senseless or nonsense, Wittgenstein lays the foundation for philosophical method other than his own to make sense of philosophy.

 

In the Tractatus, statements that have sense say something about the world.  Since the world consists of a combination of facts, a statement that correctly pictures those facts has sense.  For Wittgenstein, a proposition is a “picture of reality” or a “model of the reality as we think it is.” [5]  This picture-model of reality must have not only the correct pictorial content, but it must also be ordered in a correct way for it to be a true picture.  According to Wittgenstein, the picture “consists in the fact that its elements are combined with one another in a definite way.” [6]  In other words, when “things are combined with one another as are the elements of the picture”—when the picture is ordered in the same way as reality—then “the picture is linked with reality.” [7]

 

Wittgenstein uses the picture theory “as a means to make clear the distinction between content … and form”. [8]  A proposition’s content is comprised by facts about the world.  Its form is the structure that allows the proposition to relate to its content.  Wittgenstein describes that what “every picture … must have in common with reality in order to be able to represent it at all … is the logical form, that is, the form of reality.” [9]  W. D. Hart claims that “Logical form is the form of both pictures and reality, since it is what the two must have in common in order for the former to depict, to be essentially and naturally connected with the latter.” [10]  That is how propositions are able to have sense: “propositions express their sense through sharing with reality a logical form.” [11]

 

Expressing facts through the logical form of the world allows propositions to be verifiable; if something can be meaningfully said, it can also be meaningfully said to be true or false.  Wittgenstein asserts that “The picture agrees with reality or not; it is right or wrong, true or false.” [12]  Accordingly, pictures and corresponding propositions can be meaningfully true only when they correctly correspond to reality.  Wittgenstein explains that “In order to discover whether the picture is true or false we must compare it with reality,” [13] for, “It cannot be discovered from the picture alone whether it [the proposition] is true or false.” [14]  Only when the picture is verified by comparison with reality can we understand the proposition to be true or false.  That is precisely why most philosophical propositions do not have sense—they do not correspond to the facts.  They are “neither ‘empirical’ nor ‘logical’, they are, according to Wittgenstein, attempts to say things that cannot be said.” [15]

 

In attempting to articulate that which cannot be said, philosophy makes propositions without sense.   While propositions with sense correspond to facts in the world (and are thus true), the senseless propositions of philosophy have no such correspondence or truth-value: “a proposition without a sense corresponds to nothing at all, or it signifies no thing whose properties are called ‘false’ or ‘true.’” [16]  Instead of asserting facts, senseless propositions assert nothing about the world; they are what we call tautologies and contradictions; they merely show the proposition’s internal correspondence and logical form.  In other words, “It is the characteristic mark of logical propositions that one can perceive in the symbol alone that they are true” [17]—these propositions can be seen as true or false solely by virtue of having correct or incorrect internal structure.  They are not true of the world.  Wittgenstein explains: “Tautology and contradiction are without sense ….  (I know, e.g. nothing about the weather, when I know that it rains or does not rain.).” [18]

 

So, does the statement “it rains or does not rain” say anything?  As Wittgenstein remarks, we certainly do not learn anything about the weather.  Instead of saying, this type of proposition shows.  According to Wittgenstein, “The propositions of logic demonstrate the logical properties of propositions, by combining them into propositions which say nothing.” [19]  At least this fruitless pursuit of saying nothing clarifies language.  Tautologies and contradictions say nothing about the world, but they do demonstrate (or show) logical form.  Thus, “What can be shown cannot be said”—no meaningful propositions can express or explain logical form, rather, “what language cannot say, it shows in its very deployment.” [20]

 

In the Tractatus’ model, language cannot be used to explain meaning.  Why are statements that attempt such explanation senseless? The early Wittgenstein believes that “To be able to represent the logical form, we should have to be able to put ourselves with the propositions outside logic, that is outside the world.” [21]  Such would be impossible.  Kremer explains how “We cannot use propositions to say what this logical form is.  To do so, we would need to step outside logical form, but this would be to step beyond the bounds within which meaningful discourse can occur.” [22]  Wittgenstein calls such meaningless statements senseless—that is why statements about logical form cannot be said.  They make no sense.  So, though “Propositions cannot represent the logical form,” such form nevertheless “mirrors itself in the propositions.” [23]  The propositions do not say anything about the logical form; rather, they “show the logical form of reality.  They exhibit it.” [24]

 

If propositions show logical form, then propositions about logical form are entirely without sense and unnecessary; philosophy need not waste its breath.  According to Wittgenstein, “The picture … cannot represent its form of representation” because propositions which attempt such representation make no sense. [25]  This eliminates the truthfulness of many philosophical statements.  According to Wittgenstein, “we can get on without logical propositions [they say nothing anyway], for we can recognize in an adequate notation the formal properties of the propositions by mere inspection.” [26]  We need no “philosophical” discourse.  In fact, “Theories which make a proposition of logic appear substantial are always false”—they are senseless. [27]

 

Nevertheless, propositions of “Tautology and contradiction are … not nonsensical”—they at least show. [28]  On the other hand, nonsensical propositions neither say nor show.  Unlike propositions with sense, which can be empirically verified, nonsensical claims cannot be measured with reality because they fail to establish a link between names and objects.  Kremer explains, “Nonsense arises when we construct apparent sentences containing meaningless words—words for which we have failed to make a determination of meaning.” [29] Nonsensical statements use words that have no sense and attempt to talk about that which can only be shown.  According to Genova, “Their attempt to say things that … underlie the existence of things or rise above them … results in a failed attempt to say what can only be shown or what cannot be expressed at all.” [30]  Furthermore, besides failing to have meaningful content, some nonsensical statements also fail to have correct logical form.  They appear both to say and show, but they semantically and syntactically deceive.  For Wittgenstein, much of philosophy neither says anything about the world nor shows anything about logical form.  

 

Since most philosophy, according to the early Wittgenstein, is either senseless or nonsensical, how can philosophy avoid becoming deceptively meaningless nonsense?  In the Tractatus’ model, positive philosophy could stay within the boundaries of sense and at least make senseless propositions, that is, it could make apparently meaningful propositions which say nothing but which nevertheless show logical form.  Nevertheless, “there is not much mileage in mouthing tautologies.” [31]  If philosophy wishes to make meaningful claims, its propositions must have more than flawless logical form.  They must also correspond to the facts in reality.  But, most philosophical problems transcend simple empirical statements and consequently fail to establish the necessary link—it fails to correctly depict the facts.

 

But can language ever correctly represent the facts in that way?  According to the Tractatus, language consists of sentences that stand for propositions and propositions then correspond to facts in reality (or a state of affairs).  Wittgenstein allows for this to happen in the Tractatus by dividing the proposition to its most basic level—where names correspond to objects.  At this level, it is apparent whether or not the language used correctly depicts the facts (and thus has sense).  Eventually, it became evident for Wittgenstein that this model cannot account for the use of all words.  What object, for example, does an adverb correspond to? Or a logical operator?  This atomic model of meaning cannot explain how all language gets meaning because propositions are never totally independent.  At some point, it makes no sense to further divide elements of language.  To illustrate, Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations that “It makes no sense at all to speak absolutely of the ‘simple parts of a chair’.” [32]  At what point of division do the parts of a chair cease to be relevantly related to a chair?  Similarly with language, the parts eventually become meaningless when further divided from the whole.  Though “the linchpin of the logic of the Tractatus had been the independence of the elementary proposition,” analysis can never reach a level where an atomic proposition can be independently compared to reality. [33]  If no such comparison can be made, then, according to the early Wittgenstein’s Tractatus model, making statements that have sense is impossible!

 

Furthermore, the Tractatus assumes that all meaningful language is a matter of making true or false statements.  Wittgenstein directed his analysis this way in order to account for the nature of logic.  But, logic itself has no absolute standard—at least, Wittgenstein finds that it has no source of external verification.  Thus, the question of meaning in language is not an absolute question; language can have meaning even if it does not make an empirically true statement.  More importantly, language does not usually even run into problems of meaning.  Language does not struggle to have meaning, but to be appropriate or relevant.  Subsequently, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations develops a much more comprehensive theory of meaning.  

 

Though they remain central distinctions in the attempt to understand how language is meaningfully used, in the Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein modifies the scope of sense, senselessness, and nonsense.  He does not, however, understand the root of philosophical problems differently.  Ronald Suter explains that:

 

For Wittgenstein, then, so-called philosophical problems are always seen as symptomatic of some conceptual confusion.  There are never genuine problems, because nothing can count as an answer or solution to them.  The fact that we cannot conceive of a satisfying solution to such alleged problems suggests there is something wrong with them.  Philosophy—done the right way—shows what that is; it dissolves the problem and cures us of the temptation to raise it. [34]

 

As in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein continues to believe in the Philosophical Investigations that philosophical problems result from misunderstanding the logic of our language.  To say anything meaningful in philosophy requires overcoming these misunderstandings.  Instead of basing language on a logical system of correspondence, Wittgenstein spends the Philosophical Investigations showing how language, which involves more than just propositions, needs a theory that is not based on correspondence, but on use.  

 

Wittgenstein adopted the correspondence-based theory of meaning in the Tractatus in order to provide an ontology of meaning.  In that model, it becomes possible to make a statement about reality when names stand for objects—as such, the meaning of a word is what it corresponds to in reality.  But is such ostensive definition the means whereby language is connected with reality?  P. M. S. Hacker claims that “If one thinks that the essence of words is to name things, and that naming is correlating a word with the thing it means, then it is natural to suppose that the mechanism whereby simple indefinable names are thus correlated with their meanings is ostensive definition.” [35]  But is the essence of words simply to name things?  After writing the Tractatus, it became clear to Wittgenstein that his system could not account for words which obviously have meaning and yet correspond to no object.  What object, for example, does the word “rapidly” identify?  Thus, Wittgenstein’s “ontology collapsed, and with it the whole idea of a ‘connection between language and reality’”—at least for positive philosophy. [36]

 

Instead of advocating another philosophical method, Wittgenstein modified how he understood the connection between language and reality.  According to the Tractatus, this connection is bound up in a logical structure.  Language participates in this logical structure in order to make sense.  For the early Wittgenstein, this logical structure lies behind our messy, everyday language.  He claims that “in order to avoid” the errors caused by everyday language’s inadequacy, “we must employ a symbolism which … obeys the rules of logical grammar—of logical syntax.” [37]  In other words, everyday language is too ambiguous to properly use the logical structure of language—formal notation is required to overcome this disconnect.  

 

This concept of a metaphysical relation of syntax to reality does not continue into Wittgenstein’s later philosophy.  Rather, “It rapidly became clear that the conception of language as a calculus was defective.” [38]  For Wittgenstein, this “calculus” model of language is incomplete because everyday language does have meaning.  Hacker claims that:

 

The picture of ordinary language adumbrated in the Tractatus is of a deceptive surface grammar concealing the true logical forms of logical grammar.  Natural languages are in good logical order.  For nothing can be said, nothing can be represented in a language, without the language being in a good logical order.  For there are no degrees of sense.  A sentence can no more make a little bit of sense than a child can be a little bit illegitimate. [39]

 

What would a statement that only has some sense be?  Is that not just another way of saying that the statement does not have sense?  Our ordinary language makes sense, despite its ambiguity—or perhaps even because of it.  Wittgenstein explains: 

 

… every sentence in our language ‘is in order as it is’.  That is to say, we are not striving after an ideal, as if our ordinary vague sentences had not yet got a quite unexceptionable sense, and a perfect language still had to be constructed by us.—On the other hand, it seems clear that where there is sense, there must be perfect order.—So there must be perfect order even in the vaguest sentence. [40]

 

That perfect order lies within even ordinary language.  Philosophers do not have to go outside of language to some ideal mode of expression in order to understand language’s structure.  Perfect notation is not a prerequisite to meaningful language.  

 

We use and understand ordinary language every day.  According to Wittgenstein’s thought in the Philosophical Investigations, ordinary languages are in the best logical order for what they attempt to accomplish.  We are only “under the illusion that what is peculiar, profound and essential … resides in trying to grasp the incomparable essence of language.” [41]  But, no such search is necessary.  We use language; it works for us.  Wittgenstein claims that, in order to understand language, “our considerations must not be scientific ones ....  And we [must] not advance any kind of theory.” [42]  Thus, “we come to understand how our language functions, not by means of a speculative model of language acquisition, but by paying attention to what is actually involved in a speaker’s acquiring a mastery of the practical ability to use the language.” [43]

 

This descriptivism is certainly at odds with the search for logical structure that Wittgenstein elaborated in the Tractatus.  Nevertheless, Wittgenstein does not completely abandon the idea that language has a certain structure.  If that is so, then “what becomes of logic now?  Its rigor seems to be giving way here.—But in that case doesn’t logic altogether disappear?” [44]  The logic of the Tractatus may well disappear, but the logic of what Wittgenstein calls “grammar” replaces it.  

 

This sharp change from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations fundamentally influences what can make sense.  For Wittgenstein, “the rules of grammar … determine what makes sense ….  They are constitutive of the meaning of expressions.” [45]  By following how language meaningfully functions, what is grammatically correct makes sense.  Nevertheless, as James Conant points out: 

 

… what early Wittgenstein calls the logic of language and what later Wittgenstein calls grammar is not the name of a grid of rules we lay over language in order to point out where one or another of its prescriptions are violated.  A grammatical investigation is a converging of our criteria for the employment of a particular concept. [46]

 

Grammar is not a prescribed or imposed rule-system for language.  Rather, grammar informs the rules of correctness which are extrapolated from language use.  This concept of grammar “is common between the ‘grammarian’ and the philosopher—it is simply that the two have different interests ….  The philosopher is interested in all of the constitutive rules of language, the grammarian only in a narrow class of them.” [47]

 

Wittgenstein encourages philosophers to be interested in grammatical investigations because language’s sense is bound up in its grammar.  According to O’Neil, “The rules of grammar determine the limits of sense, and hence are antecedent to judgments of truth or falsity ... for truth and falsity can only operate within the bounds of sense.” [48]  That is why Wittgenstein says that his “inquiry therefore is a grammatical one.  And this inquiry sheds light on our problem by clearing misunderstandings away.” [49]  Many of those misunderstandings are philosophical problems which, when examined clearly, disappear.  Language is not misunderstood if it is correctly placed in grammar.  It has meaning according to that placement.  

 

Because grammar’s placement rules appeal to no essential or logical super-order, Wittgenstein describes them in terms of “language-games.”  The concept of a game describes the workings of language more adequately than a calculus.  Like language, games have no unifying rule or objective.  Instead, Wittgenstein uses language-games “as objects of comparison which, through similarities and dissimilarities, are meant to throw light on features of our language.” [50]  In the place of a unifying ideology, “we see a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing.” [51]  In games, this interweaving “is not closed by a boundary.” [52]  In other words, there is no exact definition of a game.  It does not take an exact definition to make a concept usable.  Instead, the concept of a game is explained by giving examples.  Giving examples in this way is not “an indirect way of explaining,” but rather, “a better one.” [53]

 

Understanding language in light of games better shows how language can have sense (and how language use accounts make more sense than in the Tractatus).  The philosopher ought to thus be interested in the study of language-games “In order to clarify meaning and to distinguish between sense and nonsense.” [54]  Because words have sense when they function grammatically in language, Wittgenstein claims that “the meaning of a word is its use in the language.” [55]  The meaning of a word is not the object for which it stands, but the way it is used.  To describe a word’s role in a language-game is to know how that word is used; to know the use of the word is to know its meaning.  So, what has sense is what contributes in the overall use of language.   

 

This broadening of the categories of sense is encouraging to positive philosophers.  But, Wittgenstein also broadens his views of senselessness and nonsense.  In the Tractatus, senseless propositions fail to have meaning because they do not correspond to anything in the world.  Rather, the tautological or contradictory structure of senseless propositions shows the logical form of the proposition.  Like senselessness in the Tractatus, statements without sense in the Philosophical Investigations are syntactically correct, but empirically disconnected.  They appear to make sense because their form is linguistically correct, but are senseless because they do not mean anything as empirical statements.  For example, the sentence “this is called a chainsaw” is a correctly formed sentence, but it asserts nothing (empirically) about the world.  Also, while the Tractatus’ senseless statements show logical form, in the Philosophical Investigations, senseless statements show grammatical form.  The sentence “this is called a chainsaw,” though it asserts nothing empirically, shows how the word “chainsaw” is to be used.  This is why Wittgenstein claims that “When a sentence is called senseless, it is not, as it were, its sense that is senseless.” [56] That is, language is still useful (and thus meaningful) in a senseless proposition because it shows its grammatical employment.  

 

But should philosophy be content that its propositions are useful for the clarifying of language use? It could be worse: Wittgenstein further limits the value of philosophical discourse with his updated versions of nonsense; he still believes that there are many philosophical statements that neither say anything meaningful nor show anything meaningful.  Like in the Tractatus, he calls these statements nonsense.  In the Philosophical Investigations, Nonsensical propositions neither say anything meaningful about the world nor are they correctly ordered—but they appear to be both.  A sentence that is grammatically correct, but employs meaningless words, is nonsense because of semantics.  Like the verses in Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” meaningless words used in a correctly ordered sentence give the sentence no meaning.  On the other hand, a sentence that uses words that have meaning in an incorrect structure is syntactical nonsense.  Philosophy that is guilty of this “takes a perfectly good notion … and uses it in a way not allowed by its grammar.” [57]  In the Tractatus, syntactical nonsense was divided from sense by the rules of logic.  In the Philosophical Investigations, nonsense is divided from sense by the rules of grammar.  In both books, meaningful words incorrectly employed constitute nonsense—the gravest danger to positive philosophy.  

 

Though he continues to embrace these characteristics of nonsense, Wittgenstein broadens his use of the term in a way more relevant to philosophers.  What Wittgenstein comes to call “philosophical nonsense” is without sense for reasons neither syntactic nor semantic.  Nonsensical statements of this kind are syntactically and semantically possible, but would be asserted neither as an empirical nor a grammatical remark.  For example, a sentence like “numbers exist” certainly shows how words are supposed to work, but the words do not work as they are shown.  Grammatically, this sentence is supposed to show how the words “numbers” and “exist” can function in language.  The problem with this sentence is not its grammatical construction (both words can be used in the way that they are written).  Rather, the problem with this sentence is that it is not used as if it were merely a grammatical remark; it is used as if it were an empirical assertion (as such, both words cannot be used in the way that they are written).  Though the sentence is intended as an empirical claim, it cannot be verified as one.  The words “numbers” and “exist” simply do not meaningfully function together in the way the sentence has ordered them.  This kind of nonsense mistakes grammatical remarks for empirical ones.  It cannot function in either science or philosophy—or in any kind of meaningful communication.  Rather, this “most common form of philosophical nonsense arises not when a word is being used outside any language-game at all, but when it is used in a language-game other than the one appropriate to it (often the language-game misleadingly suggested by its surface grammar).” [58]  Most philosophical nonsense results from an attempt to assert something out of its appropriate context.  Almost all philosophical problems, then, result from the ultimate misunderstanding of our language.  

 

If philosophers are concerned about making meaningful statements, they must learn to recognize and avoid philosophical nonsense—a decision that could subject them to some severe limitations.   According to Conant, “Wittgenstein’s reasons for proposing that we explicitly exclude an expression from the language are … because ‘we are tempted to confuse’ the expression on occasions on which it occurs senselessly with meaningful propositions of our language.” [59]  This is what Wittgenstein means when he claims that “The confusions which occupy us arise when language is, as it were, idling, not when doing its work.” [60]  That is, when language is not stretching to use words outside of their appropriate sphere, it will not fall into nonsensical confusions.  Philosophical nonsense results from “Misunderstandings concerning the use of words” which are “brought about … by certain analogies between the forms of expression in different regions of our language.” [61]  When we are using language appropriately, we will have no such confusions.  But, as occurs almost systematically in philosophy, when we attempt to impose concepts on inappropriate language-games, we will fall into nonsense.

 

We want to be able to talk about the world meaningfully.  If Wittgenstein is correct, then philosophical nonsense is the greatest obstacle to philosophers being able to do so.  In fact, if Wittgenstein is correct, then most philosophical discourse inevitably succumbs to this obstacle and fails to meaningfully confront philosophical problems.  Despite Wittgenstein’s categorical expansions, the essential limitations of philosophy remain from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations: the boundaries of our language leave positive philosophy with little or nothing it can meaningfully do.  In light of such exacting restrictions, important philosophical problems are snuffed.  

 

Though Wittgenstein deems many philosophical problems worthy of abandonment, philosophers nevertheless seem to find meaning in their  pursuit.  Have centuries of philosophers been engaged in meaningful philosophical discourse, or have they really just pursued an illusion?  Have their pursuits resulted in nothing more than the clarification of logic and language’s boundaries?  Positive philosophers who accept Wittgenstein’s conclusions but intend to continue pursuit of the same questions are implicitly committed to either modify or leave their method.  If philosophers wish to ensure that they are expressing themselves meaningfully within the more analytic traditional method, then, according to Wittgenstein, they must first discern the “unobvious nonsense [from] obvious nonsense.” [62]  But as more and more conversations which once were considered meaningful are categorized by Wittgensteinian philosophy as “obvious nonsense,” philosophers are bound to wonder just how far an analytic method can lead.  If Wittgenstein is correct about just how little positive philosophy can meaningfully say, then it will be the job of another method to find meaning in the “obvious nonsense.”  For, if Wittgenstein is correct, losing philosophy in a mirage of meaning is an intrinsic danger—at least for positive philosophy.

 

  1. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans.  G. E. M.  Anscombe, P. M. S.  Hacker and Joachim Schulte (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2009), §109.

  2. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, trans. C. K. Ogden (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1922), 4.003.

  3.  I use this terminology throughout the paper in order to distinguish philosophy’s traditional “positive” or “ascertorial” method of addressing philosophical issues from other methods (such as negative or mystical) In doing so, I invite the connotation to positivism.  

  4. James Conant, “Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use,” Philosophical Investigations 21, 3 (1998): 247.

  5. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 4.01.

  6. Ibid., 2.14.

  7. Ibid., 2.151 and 2.1511, respectively.

  8. Marie McGinn, “Between Metaphysics and Nonsense: Elucidation in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus,” The Philosophical Quarterly 49, 197 (1999): 500.

  9. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 2.18.

  10. W. D. Hart, “The Whole Sense of the Tractatus,” The Journal of Philosophy 68, 9 (1971): 278.

  11. Michael Kremer, “The Purpose of Tractarian Nonsense,” NOÛS 35, 1 (2001): 43.

  12. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 2.21.

  13. Ibid., 2.223.

  14. Ibid., 2.224.

  15.  K. T. Fann, Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy (Berkley: University of California Press, 1969), 23.

  16. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 4.063.

  17. Ibid., 6.113.

  18. Ibid., 4.461.

  19. Ibid., 6.121, emphasis mine.

  20. Ibid., 4.1212 and Judith Genova, Wittgenstein: A Way of Seeing, (New York: Routledge, 1995), 101, respectively.

  21. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 4.12.

  22. Kremer, “The Purpose of Tractarian Nonsense,” Op. Cit., 43.

  23. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 4.121.

  24. Ibid., 4.121.

  25. Ibid., 2.172.

  26. Ibid., 6.122.

  27. Ibid., 6.111.

  28. Ibid., 4.4611.

  29. Kremer, “The Purpose of Tractarian Nonsense,” Op. Cit., 41-42.

  30. Genova, Wittgenstein: A Way of Seeing, Op. Cit., 103.

  31. Ibid., 103.

  32. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §47.

  33.  P. M. S. Hacker and G. P. Baker, Wittgenstein: An Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations, Vol.  1, Understanding and Meaning (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005), 45.

  34. Ronald Suter, Interpreting Wittgenstein: A Cloud of Philosophy, a Drop of Grammar (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 11.

  35. Hacker and Baker, Wittgenstein, Op. Cit., 81.

  36. Ibid., 46.

  37. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Op. Cit., 3.325.

  38. Hacker and Baker, Wittgenstein, Op. Cit., 50.

  39. Ibid., 45.

  40. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §98.

  41. Ibid., §97.

  42. Ibid., §109.

  43. McGinn, “Between Metaphysics and Nonsense”, Op. Cit., 65.

  44. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §108.

  45. Hacker and Baker, Wittgenstein, Op. Cit., 48.

  46. Conant, “Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use,” Op. Cit., 249.

  47. Martin O’Neil, “Explaining ‘The Hardness of the Logical Must’: Wittgenstein on Grammar, Arbitrariness and Logical Necessity,” Philosophical Investigations 24, 1 (2001): 2.

  48. Ibid., 3.

  49. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §90.

  50. Ibid., §130.

  51. Ibid., §66.

  52. Ibid., §68.

  53. Ibid., §71.

  54. Anthony Kenny, Wittgenstein (London: Allen Lane and The Penguin Press, 1973), 164.

  55. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §43.

  56. Ibid., §500.

  57. Steven Hall, “Book Review: Wittgenstein’s Private Language: Grammar, Nonsense, and Imagination in Philosophical Investigations §§243–315 by Stephen Mulhall” Philosophical Investigations 31, 3 (2008): 278.

  58. Kenny, Wittgenstein, Op. Cit., 164.

  59. Conant, “Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use,” Op. Cit., 246.

  60. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Op. Cit., §132.

  61. Ibid., §90.

  62. Ibid., §464.