The nature of relations and the metaphysical dilemma in Wittgenstein's Tractatus logico-philosophicus.
This thesis is concerned with an analysis ofLudwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus that centers around the dilemma in which Wittgenstein finds himself in expressing the belief that the propositions of his work, while they are nonsensical according to their own standards, remain informative. The contention is that whether the text is successful in upholding Wittgenstein's claim relies deeply on the account that it gives of relations, in particular the pictorial relation and the relations that pertain amongst objects in states of affairs. It will be argued that the Tractatus sets itself the requirement that ifits propositions are to be nonsensical yet informative, then they must display the general form of a proposition that can have 'sense.' In turn, if any proposition is to be able to have 'sense,' then the pictorial relation must serve a dual purpose in holding the situation represented in the sense of a proposition distinct from the reality it depicts, while acting as a means of comparison such that the truth or falsity of a proposition can be determined. It will then be argued that if the pictorial relation is to be able to function in this way, then propositions must be able to signify exactly which relations pertain in the situation depicted by its sense. In conclusion a case will be made that the Tractatus is unable to meet the demands that it places on itself, for the work does not give an account by which elementary propositions, to which all propositions are analyzable, can signify the specific relations which pertain in the states of affairs they represent.