Theoria: An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science

Volume 9, Issue 1, Mayo 1994

José Antonio Lopez Cerezo
Pages 75-88

La naturaleza de la ciencia en el Tractatus
una lectura contemporánea

It is in the Tractatus 6.31’s that Wittgenstein, according to our view, draws a fruitful discussion framework for raising the contemporary debate on scientific realism. We argue that Wittgenstein outlines here a two-sided approach to the logical status of the most general scientific propositions; an approach inconsistent both with a realist interpretation of the nature of scientific knowledge and with a conventionalist one. After briefly commenting on the historical context underlying Wittgenstein’s approach, and tentatively considering a possible extension of the Tractarian approach (to idealized generalisations describing classes of physical systems), we defend that Wittgenstein’s sketchy approach has not been successfully extended and developed in the philosophy of science until the last decades. Such an achievement, we conclude, has been possible after the rejection of the propositional view of scientific knowledge underlying the very Wittgensteinian approach.