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Wittgenstein's Notes on Logic$
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Michael Potter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199215836

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215836.001.0001

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(p.151) Chapter 16 Sense
Wittgenstein's Notes on Logic

Michael Potter (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A proposition has a meaning, which is the fact that makes it true or false. But it was central to Wittgenstein's view that we can understand a proposition without knowing which of these two possibilities holds. The meaning is not something we come to know simply by virtue of understanding the proposition, since it depends also on how things stand in the world. So there must be a second ingredient in what a proposition expresses, something we can grasp in advance of finding out what its meaning is. This second ingredient Wittgenstein called the sense of the proposition. It consists in the conditions under which the proposition is true and the conditions under which it is false. This chapter shows that Wittgenstein's conception of the proposition is based on a rather different understanding from Frege's of the contributions made to it by the proposition's components.

Keywords:   Wittgenstein, Frege, proposition, meaning

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