Impact of Picture Theory on Epistemology

Maiser Hussain Untoo


The author of Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus advanced the picture theory of language .Early   Wittgenstein accepts Russell’s distinction between compound and simple propositions. The simple or the simplest propositions derived from the complex propositions are ultimate propositions or unanalyzable propositions. They are atomic propositions which refused to be further simplified. Such atomic propositions are logical pictures of atomic facts which comprised the world outside the language. This picturisability of atomic facts by atomic propositions imparts meaningful atomic propositions. Every atomic proposition is meaningful in so far as it works out a logical picture of a corresponding atomic fact.

 For Early Wittgenstein, only tautologies, contradictions and empirical statements can be meaningful. The non- tautologies, non- contradictory and non- empirical propositions such as metaphysical, ethical, mystical, theological, ideological, religious propositions can be neither true nor false but meaningless and non-sense. While a false statement can be meaningful, a meaningless proposition   can be neither true nor false and thus never a component of our stock of knowledge.


Wittgenstein, epistemology, propositions, Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus.

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