The Tacit Dimensions of Transcendentalism in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: A Hermeneutic Exercise

Kunchapudi Srinivas


Even after more than eight decades since its publication the Tractatus of
Wittgenstein continues to be a fertile ground of ideas, for every fresh reading of it
provides us with newer and richer insights into its contents. In a way the Tractatus
is an apt text for a healthy hermeneutic exercise to unravel the intentions of its
author. Most of us are given to believe that like his mentor, Bertrand Russell, the
Tractarian Wittgenstein held that the subject matter of philosophy is language and
its legitimate method is analysis. It is also the belief of many that the Tractatus
is chiefly intended to show the isomorphic relation between language (ideal language)
and the world of facts. But this is not the case. One must see the point here that
the scope of the ideal language is restricted to those facts of the world that are
represented by it, but the scope of the Tractatus is not restricted to the supposed
scope of the ideal language. In this paper I propose to show that for Wittgenstein
what exists outside the realm of the world of facts is more significant and
meaningful than that which exists within it.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; transcendentalism; value; eternity; God; physical world; Vedanta

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