Wittgenstein on Negation
In a book written recently by Wladyslaw Strózewski Wittgenstein is presented as one of the main advocates of a theory that assigns an autonomous role to negation. A closer look at his writings shows, however, that the problem is not so simple, even if we bear in mind that in the 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' Wittgenstein says unambiguously that existence and non-existence constitute reality on equal terms, and the non-existence of a state of affair is called a negative fact. This initial statement is further qualified in the 'Tractatus ...' when Wittgenstein says that a negative sentence is constructed indirectly, by transforming a positive one . A further complication arises when we turn to later Wittgenstein and to his turnabout connected with the discovery of the autonomy of grammar. This last position indicates forcefully that Wittgenstein saw negation as a particularity connected with autonomous rules of language rather than a separate problem concerning an alleged essence of negation.
CEJSH db identifier