The relationship between Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language (hereafter LSL) ([1934] 1937) and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP) ([1921] 1922) has been interpreted in several ways during past decades. One of the interpretations has gained keen advocates among Carnap scholars. It was originally provoked by what Caranp said in LSL, and it consists of two parts. First, it indicates that in TLP the possibility of speaking about the logical form of a language within the same language (which happens to be the only language that there is) had been foresworn by Wittgenstein, but Carnap proved him wrong by producing a book (LSL) written exactly in the manner which had been proscribed by Wittgenstein. This is the debate about the possibility of speaking about logical form.

Second, Wittgenstein’s dogmatism with regard to the existence of a unique correct grammar at the foundation of the language has been contrasted with Carnap’s open-mindedness in conceiving a boundless ocean of possibilities for constructing logical systems.

Interestingly enough, Wittgenstein rambled with rage in reaction to Carnap’s view about the LSL-TLP relationship. But unlike Carnap’s view, which led to a dominant interpretation of the relationship, Wittgenstein’s testimony about the case has been strangely ignored in the history of analytic philosophy. In this paper, I try to make an inquiry about the grounds for Wittgenstein’s dissatisfaction with the Carnapian reading of the LSL-TLP relationship. I will show that Wittgenstein was not totally unfair in his judgment, and that some salient aspects of LSL (recognized as the anti-Tractarian aspects of the work) could be best understood in the light, or rather the gloom, of TLP, and bear a significant resemblance to it. This, however, does not need to diminish the logical and historical significance of LSL.

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Philosophy, other