Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: 5.621- 5.633 Notes

2 Jun

These 4 propositions in the fifth part of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus  are the ones that denote his solipsist views. I like this part of the Tractatus because it has so much room for argumentation because of how it leads to neutral monism and solipsism.

Lets start with the proposition 5.621: “The world and life are one” (Wittgenstein). This idea highly paves the way for solipsism. In todays world, it is obvious that the world and life are 2 different things to discuss in philosophy. The world is obviously this place we live in and exist about. As we perceive it, we exist upon this world and not a part of it. Life is the existence of ourselves. Life is obviously understood. Thinking about the world and life as 2 different things, do you think it is possible that the 2 are 1 together in themselves?

My opinion about 5.621 is that the world is just a place for us to exist for our short lives on earth. We exist to serve God and prove that we have committed to Him. After being on this earth we will go to either hell or heaven, but either way, the world is just a place for us to be in the short time we live physically. I do not feel that our life is connected to the world we live in. Our life is connected to God because He created us and will determine where we live in all points of our existence. The world we live in has no connection to our life. I disagree with Wittgenstein’s 5.621, because the world and life are not connected in any way and are in no way ‘one’. Because of this, I also disagree with solipsism and neutral monism (as you may have seen in other works on this site).

5.63- “I am my world” (Wittgenstein).

To go really far into solipsism, each person has their own perception creating their own world. I feel that this cannot be because, each person has their own thing and wouldn’t each person’s world intersect with each other? (this argument coming up in another work). This is a key solipsist proposition because it states that you are your world.  Each world is different based on the difference of the person. This states that ‘I’ am ‘my’ world because perception creates the world, directly relating perception to existence of the ‘my’ world. I feel that this is clearly wrong. I believe that there is no ‘my’ world because the world is a what is created by God and is perceived the same by each person. Each person is not the world. The person’s existence is totally separate from the world.

5.631- “There is no such thing as the subject that thinks or entertains ideas” (Wittgenstein).

By subject, Wittgenstein means a part of the person, life or world. This states that a part of a person that perceives things cannot think or entertain ideas like the whole can. 5.631 points out that the subject parts cannot function by themselves, and do not think by themselves. These subjects function as a whole together.

I think this is true to some extent. I think in most things, subjects do not function without being together as a whole, but the world has subjects that think and entertain ideas. In the self, many people are known to exist as subjects and those people do think and entertain ideas. I think  in this case, this is not true.

5.632- “The subject does not belong to the world: rather it is a limit of the world” (Wittgenstein).

I do understand why subject parts are understood as limits of the world.  Subjects may change the whole to modify it and end up limiting it. I also understand that subject parts cannot belong to the world. The world is a physically created thing for us to live on and it belongs to God. Nothing belongs to the world. The world is just another part of the creatum. I totally  agree with this proposition because I think that the subject does not belong to the world that cannot have anything belong to it, and I think that subject parts can modify the world and end up limiting it. This is one of the few things I agree with Wittgenstein on.

5.633- “Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be found?…..” (Wittgenstein).

Wittgenstein goes on in the proposition to compare this to the case of the eye where things are explained to be seen by a device of sight. I think this question should be answered by declaring that different modes of sight exist that look upon the world and see metaphysical subjects within it. In God, the world, people and spirits, metaphysical phenomena and subjects exist, but are not often seen or understood. Maybe Wittgenstein says this because the solipsist neutral monist self does not see metaphysical subjects because everything comes from the self to them.

I think that metaphysical subjects exist in the creatum and outside the creatum. Metaphysical subjects exist mostly in God (Wittgenstein would not have inferred this because of his lack of belief in God).

This has been mostly a few notes on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus solipsist propositions. I am planning and researching for a big paper on the rejection of neutral monism and solipsism and wanted to note the propositions 5.621 to 5.633. I meant this to be short, and for a reference for later works.


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