What Does it Mean to "Throw Away the Ladder"?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2020v24n3p603

Keywords:

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, end of philosophy, throwing away the ladder, naturalism, Wittgenstein;

Abstract

In this paper, I will demonstrate via reductio ad absurdum that a resolute reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus should reconsider their equation of “throwing away the ladder” with the “end of philosophy.” To do this, I will show that an inconsistency arises in Wittgenstein’s view regarding the relationship of philosophy and science since he associates “the correct method of philosophy” with the propositions of science at the end of the aforementioned text. Due to this, I will maintain that it is reasonable to posit that the sharp distinction that Wittgenstein makes between philosophy and science in the Tractatus is merely illusory. An interesting consequence of this is that if this interpretation holds then this provides sufficient grounds to maintain that what some scholars refer to as “the end of philosophy” may actually be the beginning of “Wittgenstein’s naturalism.”

Author Biography

Pamela Ann Boongaling, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon Philippines

Department of Philosophy College of Social Sciences and Philosophy University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

References

Bronzo, S. 2012. The Resolute Reading and Its Critics: An Introduction to the Literature. Wittgenstein-Studein. No. 3: 45-80.

Conant, J. 1990. Introduction. In: Realism with a Human Face, pp. xv-lxxiv. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Diamond, C. 1991. The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind. Cambridge: MIT.

Hertzberg, L. 2006. Trying to Keep Philosophy Honest. In: A. Pichler and S. Säätelä (eds.) Wittgenstein: The Philosopher and His Works, pp. 82-97. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.

Hutto, D. and Satne, G. 2018. Naturalism in the Goldilocks Zone: Wittgenstein’s Delicate Balancing Act. In: K. Cahill and T. Raleigh (eds.) Wittgenstein and Naturalism, pp. 56-76. New York: Routledge.

Wittgenstein, L. 1974. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Rev. ed. London: Routledge.

Wittgenstein, L. 2009. Philosophical investigations. Fourth ed. West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Downloads

Published

2020-12-15

Issue

Section

Articles