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Describe Wittgenstein's picture theory of language

The picture theory of language is the central feature of Early Wittgenstein’s philosophy first articulated in the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. According to this theory language has one role (function); to paint pictures of possible states of affairs (i.e. ways in which the world could be). To do this a statement must have the following three features, 1) names (labels which stand for natural objects such as ‘cat’ and ‘mat’), 2) a structure which places the objects in relation to one another (such as ‘the cat is on the mat’), and 3) a logical form (i.e. the names are related to each other in a way that is actually possible). An example of an utterance which has names and structure but lacks logical form would be ‘the music smelt like fish’ which is nonsense because it is impossible for music to smell like anything.

Beth S. GCSE Music tutor, 11 Plus English tutor, GCSE Philosophy and ...

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