Volume 2, Issue 2, Fall 2008
A Situational Formal Ontology of the Tracatus
This paper disucsses the Boolean algebraic axiomatic system of situations suggested by the Polish logician Roman Suszko (1919-1979). The paper will specifically examine the adequacy of the axioms, definitions and theorems of Suszko’s system as a model for Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tracatus Logico-Philosophicus. It will be shown how the formal properties of Suszko’s system - the atomicity and completeness of the Boolean algebraic system - can be employed in order to clarify key concepts of the situational part of the Tractarian ontology. After considering the formal reconstruction of the Tractarian concepts of teh world and logical space, a controversial issue pertaining to necessary facts in the Tracatus will be addressed. This will be followed by a formal clarification of the Tractarian concepts of logical place and possible worlds, the latter being identified as combinations of states and affairs, which are, according to the Tractarian ontology, the simplest kinds of situations.