Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Atomism (philosophy, logic): A) Atomism is the assumption that the facts can be represented by elementary sentences. Thus the question of the independence of facts is raised. See also Atomic sentences, Humean supervenience, Causality. B) In relation to the world, the atomism of ancient philosophy assumes that there are smallest units, the atoms. These are sometimes thought of as having a particular shape.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Ludwig Wittgenstein on Atomism - Dictionary of Arguments

Hintikka I 25
Atomism/Tractatus/Wittgenstein/Hintikka: Thesis: all logical forms can be constructed from the shapes of objects.
Hintikka I 175
Logical Independence/Elementary Proposition/Atomism/Wittgenstein/Hintikka: (1931) Wittgenstein eventually abandons the quest for logical independence of elementary propositions. - It was a real failure. - Reason: color attributes (color predicates) are not independent - E.g. red exists in the degree q1r and red exists in the degree q2r, then it follows: if q2>q1, q1r follows from q2r. - Later Vs: does not work with impure and opaque colors either.
I 176
Atomism/Middle Period/Wittgenstein/Waismann/Hintikka: new: atomic sentences are no longer individually compared with the world, but as a sentence systems. - ("Holistic"). - WittgensteinVsAtomism: middle period: - New: I apply the whole color scale at once. - That is the reason why a point cannot have more than one color. -> Measuring/Wittgenstein, More autors on measurements. - If I apply a set system to reality, then it is thereby said that only one fact can exist at a time.
II 138
WittgensteinVsAtomism/WittgensteinVsTractatus: 2 errors: 1) assuming the infinite to be a number and assuming that there would be an infinite number of sentences. - 2) that there are statements that express degrees of qualities - atomism; requires, however, that if p and q are contradictory, they may be further analysed until t and ~t result.
II 157
Atomism/Atom Sentence/WittgensteinVsRussell: in the analysis of atomic sentences you do not encounter "particulars", not unlike in chemical analysis.
IV 14
Atomism/Substance/Tractatus/Wittgenstein: if the world had no substance, ((s) = unchangeable objects), the atomic sentences would not be independent of each other.
ad IV 36ff
Tractatus/Atomism/Wittgenstein/(s): Atoms: undefined objects, quasi material things, (sounds), primitive signs - unclear whether thing (object) or immaterial, only components of the sentence are translated. - Thus, they are open to meaning theory which simultaneously derives from complex of objects, facts as well as connection of words, but (4.0312) the logic of the facts cannot be represented - the logical constants (and, or, not) do not represent. - Representative: sign for the object - internal properties: in the sentence different than the relations to the world (external).
WittgensteinVsRussell, VsFrege: confusion mention/use: internal/external.
>Mention, >Use, >Representation, >Logical constants, >Facts, >Signs.
VII 122
Atomism/Atom Sentence/Truth Value/Truth Functions/Tr. fnc./Laws of Nature/LoN//Tractatus/Te Tens: the truth values of the atom sentences determine the truth of all remaining sentences with logical necessity, also those of the Laws of Nature - but then you should not say that something is only possible impossible or necessary by virtue of natural law or causality. - (6.37) - Laws of Nature are the truth functions of elementary propositions. - Therefore, the world as a whole cannot be explained. >Truth values, >Truth functions.
VII 124
Laws of Nature: are not the ultimum; that is logical space. >Laws of Nature.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

L. Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein’s Lectures 1930-32, from the notes of John King and Desmond Lee, Oxford 1980
German Edition:
Vorlesungen 1930-35 Frankfurt 1989

L. Wittgenstein
The Blue and Brown Books (BB), Oxford 1958
German Edition:
Das Blaue Buch - Eine Philosophische Betrachtung Frankfurt 1984

L. Wittgenstein
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP), 1922, C.K. Ogden (trans.), London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Originally published as “Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung”, in Annalen der Naturphilosophische, XIV (3/4), 1921.
German Edition:
Tractatus logico-philosophicus Frankfurt/M 1960

Hintikka I
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
Investigating Wittgenstein
German Edition:
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

Hintikka II
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-11-26
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