Wittgenstein on Logical Necessity: Two Interpretations

Patrice Philie


In this short paper, I will look at Wittgenstein's ideas about logical necessity as
developed in the Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (RFM). Dummett's
interpretation of Wittgenstein is first discussed and criticised, and then Stroud's
interpretation is put under scrutiny. Stroud's interpretation is closer to a correct
reading of Wittgenstein in RFM than Dummett's, but it ignores an important aspect of
his thoughts on logical necessity, namely the decision element. Dummett's
interpretation, though flawed, has the merit of taking into account Wittgenstein's
notion of decision. I suggest that properly understood, the decision element can be
incorporated to Stroud's interpretation, thus yielding what I believe is the correct
and most plausible understanding of Wittgenstein's view on the subject.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; necessity; meaning; decision; rule; foundations of mathematics

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