The world and life are one: Sense and value in early Wittgenstein

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Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a work of formal precision that aims to reveal the limits of what can be said clearly. Yet Wittgenstein’s endeavour for clarity as regards human language surpasses this goal. If taken in earnest — and not as philosophical wordplay — it displays both the sphere of natural sense, that is to say, of propositions which portray facts, and what one may see once the threshold of the sayable is finally reached, namely a realm of value, true and absolute. How it does so, and what sense and value mean for the early Wittgenstein, are questions I mean to address in this chapter. The ‘Lecture on Ethics’ will thus be taken into consideration; although it was delivered in 1929 and belongs to a later period of Wittgenstein’s thought, it is still very much in the spirit of his initial views and sheds light on them. Altogether, the following will make clear how sense and value for the early Wittgenstein are at the core of the indivisible union between both world and life on the one hand and ethics and aesthetics on the other, allowing for the blending and combining of the sphere of aesthetics and values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAesthetics and Values
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Perspectives
EditorsClaudio Rozzoni, Nélio Conceição
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherMimesis International
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9788869772276
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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