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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 13, 1998

Ontology

Yiwei Zhang
Pages 87-94

Why the Tractarian Objects Cannot Be Properties and Relations

One of the most frequently discussed notions in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus is the notion of simple object. However, among the literature on Tractarian objects, recent or classic, none has treated configurations of objects as a major and non-trivial issue. In this paper, I show that a detailed study of configurations of objects will yield a series of interesting and important results: it leads to a new understanding of the picture theory, helps us calculate the maximum numbers of internal and external properties of objects, and enables us to reinterpret and reach a solution to the notorious debate on whether properties and relations should be included as Tractarian objects.

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