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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


L ogic, metaphysics, philosophy of language [German sinnlos ] Senseless propositions are tautologies and contradictions . A tautology is unconditionally true (true whatever way the world is), and a contradiction is unconditionally false (false whatever way the world is). Senseless propositions should be distinguished from nonsense (German Unsinn ). Like nonsensical propositions, senseless propositions say nothing about the world and can be neither confirmed nor rejected by how things are in the world. They do not give pictures of reality. But, unlike nonsensical propositions, they show the logical or structural properties of their components. Since they do not say truly or falsely that the world is such–and–such, as genuine contingent propositions do, they are senseless, but are not nonsense because they show the logical structure of language and the world and do not violate any principles of logical syntax . “Tautologies and contradictions are senseless.” Wittgenstein, Tractatus ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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