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Re: [ontolog-forum] Wittgenstein and the pictures

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 10:30:03 -0500
Message-id: <BAE074DB-5806-42D4-B8CC-997D73B0FE70@xxxxxxxx>
On Jul 29, 2008, at 12:34 PM, FERENC KOVACS wrote:
> To supplement my comment with citation from authorities
> Translation from Hungarian of Tractatus:
> 2.1 We create images of facts
>  2.12 An image is a model of reality.
> 2.13 Objects in a picture correspond to the components of a picture.
> 2.14.1 A picture is a fact
>  2.182 All pictures are of logic at the same time
> 3. The logical picture of facts is an idea    (01)

All of which have been the source of *endless* analysis and debate  
over the last 80 years.  The general consensus among philosophers and  
linguists is that W's so-called "picture theory of meaning" (based on  
the passages above) is utterly untenable as a general semantic  
theory.  Perhaps the best shot at making something of the idea is  
Barwise and Perry's situation semantics which (a) bears at best a  
family resemblance to W's picture theory and (b) has sort of petered  
out as a research paradigm in semantics.  Situation *theory*, by  
contrast, which arose out of the efforts of Barwise and others to  
develop a rigorous mathematical foundation for situation semantics,  
has evolved into a very sophisticated mathematical theory of  
information and information flow known as "channel theory".  The  
definitive reference here is Barwise and Seligman, _Information Flow:  
The Logic of Distributed Systems_, Cambridge University Press, 1997.   
A nice overview of channel theory and some related topics can be found  
online in the paper "Logics, Situations and Channels" by the  
ridiculously prolific Aussie logician Greg Restall 
).    (02)

-chris    (03)

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