Propositional unity and representation : theories of judgement from Kant to Wittgenstein
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The aim of the thesis is to provide a fresh look at the beginning of the British analytic tradition, represented by early G. E. Moore and B. Russell and later by a young L. Wittgenstein, and emphasize especially the way in which this tradition was influenced by Kant’s transcendental-idealistic epistemology in general, and the notion of judgment in particular. In doing so, I open my account by focusing on how Moore’s ground-breaking notion of a “proposition” as a mentally-independent entity emerged out of his critical reflections on Kant’s account of judgment as a mental activity of bringing representations under the unity of transcendental apperception. Subsequently, I present Russell as adopting this notion of a proposition, providing a thoroughgoing analysis of it and, after discovering its philosophical shortcomings, finally abandoning it in favour of his multiple relation theory of judgment. Based on the detailed description of the nature and changes within Russell’s multiple relation theory, I then attempt to disentangle Wittgenstein’s famous, oft discussed argument against it and introduce the notion of a “proposition” from the Tractatus as Wittgenstein’s attempt at the more appropriate theory of judgment. Eventually, I illuminate how the approaches to judgement and proposition under consideration may all be considered particular responses to Kant’s transcendental-idealistic epistemology, something I do by paying attention in particular to the notions of unity of single propositions and judgments as opposed to the overall unity within the body of all propositions or judgments.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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