On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 09:40:33 -0500 c b <cb31...@gmail.com> writes:
> Rosa,
> "Marxist" philosophy without theses ? Without theory ?

I think that claim has to be understood within the
context of Wittgensteinian philosophy.  For
Wittgenstein the only genuine propositions
are those about the external world since
those are the only kinds of statements that
can be confirmed or disconfirmed.  Therefore,
statements in mathematics and logic did not
qualify as genuine propositions in Wittgenstein's
view since they can be analyzed as being either tautologies
if true, or contradictions if false.  As Wittenstein put it in the

The propositions of logic are tautologies.
Mathematics is a logical method.
The propositions of mathematics are equations, and therefore

Logical research means the investigation of all regularity. And outside
logic all is accident.
All propositions are of equal value.
For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be
The riddle does not exist.

If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.

Later on, Wittgenstein writes:

The propositions of logic therefore say nothing. (They are the analytical
The fact that the propositions of logic are tautologies shows the formal
-- logical -- properties of language, of the world.
That its constituent parts connected together in this way give a
tautology characterizes the logic of its constituent parts.

In order that propositions connected together in a definite way may give
a tautology they must have definite properties of structure. That they
give a tautology when so connected shows therefore that they possess
these properties of structure.

Logic is not a theory but a reflexion of the world.
Logic is transcendental.

Later on also:

It is the characteristic mark of logical propositions that one can
perceive in the symbol alone that they are true; and this fact contains
in itself the whole philosophy of logic. And so also it is one of the
most important facts that the truth or falsehood of non-logical
propositions can not be recognized from the propositions alone.

And eventually:

The right method of philosophy would be this: To say nothing except what
can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something
that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone
else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he
had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method
would be unsatisfying to the other -- he would not have the feeling that
we were teaching him philosophy -- but it would be the only strictly
correct method.
My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me
finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through
them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder,
after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

For Wittgenstein, propositions of philosophy
are pseudo-propositions.  At worst they
nonsensical like the propositions of traditional
metaphysics.  At best, they turn out to be
propositions of logical analysis which are
still a species of pseudopropositions.
Hence, that's why for Wittgenstein there
cannot be theses or theories in philosophy.

> CB
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/index.htm

Jim Farmelant
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