Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the fundamental theorem of linguistics

John Bjarne Grover

In the following I give a brief overview of how Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP) of 1918 can be understood in terms of my own fundamental theorem of linguistics.

My fundamental theorem of linguistics is this: "Two and only two items can be the same across different realities".

This means that the human psyche gets its redundant and biased shape from the recognition of two different things (from two different realities) as the same thing and thereby reduces two realities to one. Since the two things are not the same, in order for the human psyche to recognize them as the same nevertheless, the human psyche and hence reality must take on a shape which allows for this recognition - and this is the reason for the human language faculty.

With three or more occurrences the human mind can go into recognizing classes of 'sameness' - which is something very different and can be understood as related to categorical perception.

When the human spirit performs this recognition, the two items reduce to one and the same piece of matter (substance) or body, and the difference, the surplus which is ignored thereby and therefore falls outside this body, is the human soul. That is why the human soul attaches to the human body - because of an act of creation by the human spirit in its spiritual environments. If the act of creation outputs a thing, the surplus is recognized as meaning attaching to it in the human reality. It is this which is invoked in reading.

The empirical example that gives way to this theory of creation-by-reduction is in the two examples of lapis philosophorum that I made (most probably ex nihilo both of them) - in 2014 and in 2016: The first took place when I (in 'Der Dornenstrauch' part 3) reduced nearly 78 poems of 14 lines each to 64 poems of 16 lines each plus title lines, while the second took place (for 'Stillhetens åndedrag') in the context of a reduction from 105 poems of 3 stanzas each to 64 poems of 5 stanzas each. (For the latter, the stone occurred more than a month before the 105 poems were completed but it is likely that I had determined the number 105 to be reduced to 64 already then).

Einstein concluded in 1915 that information transmission by signals cannot be faster than the speed of light - and therefore remote intelligences cannot be reached by signal transmission. The Fatima revelations of 1917 seem to have encoded the idea of the human language faculty, and Wittgenstein's TLP of 1918 gives a good start to the work of constructing a 'faster' information transmission via a transcendent logical space. That is why the 20th century seems to have been mainly about Fatima and Wittgenstein.

The third millenium will see a new information technology and science based on the idea of re-constituting the two originally different items (before they collapsed into one) back into their original different realities - thereby transcending the human reality - and a new logic will be established for understanding how these original forms relate to each other in the transcendent realities. This can be the basis for a model of the human reality confined in its barriers relative to another reality in a remote part of the universe. Since this will be beyond what can be expressed in human language and its logic, it is a difficult project. It is probable that the barrier to information transmission established by Einstein is the same as the barrier to what can be understood in the logic and science of human reality. But a deeper understanding of the fundamental theorem of linguistics is likely to open up for this new knowledge-space.

Wittgenstein's TLP consists in 7 enumerated main lines or 'theses' which are explored with decimal sub-enumeration. The 7 main lines are these:

1 - Die Welt is alles, was der Fall ist.
2 - Was der Fall ist, die Tatsache, ist das Bestehen von Sachverhalten.
3 - Das logische Bild der Tatsachen ist der Gedanke.
4 - Der Gedanke ist der sinnvolle Satz
5 - Der Satz ist eine Wahrheitsfunktion der Elementarsätze.
      (Der Elementarsatz ist eine Wahrheitsfunktion seiner selbst).
6 - Die allgemeine Form der Wahrheitsfunktion ist [p/, ξ/, N(ξ/)].
      Dies ist die allgemeine Form des Satzes.
7 - Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

I explain these in the light of the fundamental theorem as follows:

1 - "Die Welt is alles, was der Fall ist": This means that the human reality is created by the acts of creation which output bodies in the 'fall-out' of recognition of sameness where there really is no sameness.

2 - "Was der Fall ist, die Tatsache, ist das Bestehen von Sachverhalten": This act of creation by the human spirit can be called a 'Tat' which leaves a 'Sache', and this 'Tatsache' will relate to other 'Tatsachen' in a spiritual network of 'Sachverhalte'. There are 'logical' interconnections between them.

3 - "Das logische Bild der Tatsachen ist der Gedanke": This 'spiritual network' of Sachverhalte is the thought of the human spirit - and Wittgenstein calls this thought 'das logische Bild' of the state of the world created thereby.

4 - "Der Gedanke ist der sinnvolle Satz": This thought makes for the meaningful sentence - and the meaning comes from the surplus left over from the reduction of two realities into one (or many realities into fewer realities).

5 - "Der Satz ist eine Wahrheitsfunktion der Elementarsätze. (Der Elementarsatz ist eine Wahrheitsfunktion seiner selbst)": The 'Elementarsatz' is defined in TLP 4.21: "Der einfachste Satz, der Elementarsatz, behauptet das Bestehen eines Sachverhaltes". It is constituted by the link of thought between two acts of creation, of reality-constitution. TLP 4.22 "Der Elementarsatz besteht aus Namen. Er ist ein Zusammenhang, eine Verkettung, von Namen". These names can be names of souls or names of 'meaning'.

6 - "Die allgemeine Form der Wahrheitsfunktion ist [p/, ξ/, N(ξ/)]. Dies ist die allgemeine Form des Satzes". This is explained in the immediately following 6.001: "Dies sagt nichts anderes, als daß jeder Satz ein Resultat der successiven Anwendung der Operation N(ξ/) auf die Elementarsätze ist". (Notation: Wittgenstein uses a stroke over the letter which here for technical reasons is a slash after it). This operation 'N' is the negation of every truth value or truth function, and the scheme given in 5.101 tells what he means by Wahrheitsfunktion. When N(ξ/) means the negation of all values of ξ, the meaning of 6.0 is simply that for every distribution of truth values, say TFFF (= True-False-False-False), the 'Satz' is the result of the successive application of this negation - that is, TFFF will automatically negate into FTTT - and, more generally, the two values will be symmetric in the scheme of 5.101 - which for 4 values is a 16-element column:

14. FTFF
15. TFFF
16. FFFF

But that is just my 'Regenbogen' or 'rainbow' of 'The Endmorgan Quartet' book 14 = TEQ function 14 - with semantic logic in one point and 'phonological' logic in the mirror point (in the other half of the 'rainbow') - which means that Wittgenstein's 6th line tells (by my natural language theorem) that there is both semantics and phonology to every 'Satz'. In my function 14, this means that the empirical phenomenon (attested in my TEQ) tells that a phonological logic exists which is not the same as the semantically based (aristotelian) logic - but probably systematically related somehow. It is possible that the combination of the two will be relevant for the new logic.

It is likely that Wittgenstein's line 6 could not really be understood before this phenomenon of semantic-phonologic symmetry of distribution was discovered by me via my TEQ function 14.

There are many interesting corollaries to this: Clearly the logic of the semantic half of the rainbow will not be the same as the logic of the phonological half, but the human spirit can recognize these as the same nevertheless and thereby create the fundamental semiotic function of attaching a meaning (arbitrarily) to a form via the distribution of linguistic items in historic time.

It is noticed that function 14 applies only with three or more diachronic occurrences in a text (or in a time interval) - when 'two and only two' it does not function but can lift these to a higher level by recognizing the point on the rainbow and its mirror point on the other side of the rainbow as 'two occurrences' which even can be reduced to one single sign.

More generally, the successive (or maybe the modern term is 'recursive' - see TLS 5.251) application of the negation of the truth values will output a script ('Zeichen') or language embodied in some format.

7 - "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen": This is likely to be just the understanding of the whole complex of human reality and language as biased and reductionistic - and if a logic for a higher space is to be constructed, for getting in contact with remote intelligences, it will have to go via a knowledge-space beyond human language. This was in 1918 the conclusion to Einstein 1915 and Fatima 1917.

Wittgenstein's impact on the 20th century seems to have been enormous. His TLP is enumerated in such a way that it contains its own logic - and hence the logic in the step from e.g. 4.21 to 4.22 (see above) can be recognized in the step from 2.21 to 2.22, from 3.21 to 3.22, from 5.21 to 5.22, and from 6.21 to 6.22. This phenomenon is the same as John von Neumann's definition of the electronic computer - that data and program run through the same Central Processing Unit. It is likely that it is by this principled and self-contained logic that Wittgenstein reaches an understanding in logic (in his line 6) of my TEQ function 14 nearly a century before it was discovered by me in natural language.

He may have understood this himself - although it seems that nobody else really understood it. Therefore he gave away his large fortune of money - and he may have had no other option - for giving the society a chance to credit him for this great progress. He even had to give his philosophical career away (when nobody would publish his work) and took an education as primary school teacher and worked (untill a 'Wörterbuch für Volksschulen' of his had been accepted and published) as teacher in Trattenbach, Puchberg am Schneeberg and Otterthal. (These three names seem contained in my 'Stillhetens åndedrag' #37 - a white metre which thereby tells how he could transcend this confinement and return to philosophy). The story of the 'Tatsache' which led to the 'Fall' of a student (he allegedly gave a student a blow to his head which threw the student unconscious to the floor - and this ended his career as primary school teacher) is thereby the mirror image of his line 2 to line 6. (See also poem #2.718 = poem 3 in the chapter '20 Gedichte' in my 'SNEEFT COEIL' for the 'lapis philosophorum' falling to the ground). I do not believe rumours that he should have been homo - but notice that the three friends of his who died had names and other aspects that with a role of the 'L' seem to parallel the three constituents - salt, mercury, incombustible sulphur - of the 'lapis philosophorum'. It is possible that the post-1918 fate of Austria could have been better if they had published his work. Is it still unpublished in Austria? It is not necessary to make a national identity out of the rejection even if it was a little advanced philosophy.

It is likely that one can interpret Wittgenstein's 7 lines in the framework of my 'zifferblatt' - with his 1-2-3 vs 4-5-6 as a correlate to the two semi-circles ('hebrew' 23-5-17 and 'sanskrit' 35-45-55) of my 'zifferblatt'. His 3.5 ("Das angewandte, gedachte Satzzeichen ist der Gedanke") immediately precedes his 4.0 ("Der Gedanke ist der sinnvolle Satz") - and the combination of the two could well be taken to mean "Wovon man nicht schweigen kann, darüber muß man sprechen".

Alas, the 20th century seems to have gone totally astray with Hitler and International Secret Intelligence Services as the interpretation of Wittgenstein's line 7. But that is not the right solution. The fundamental theorem of linguistics is a much better solution. And that is everything the opposite of that politics.

My conclusion to my recent vol.4 is that a metaphysical logic probably can be constructed but it will have to be guided by the phenomenon of 'divine revelation' (such as the inner poetic articulations of my TEQ), otherwise it will go astray and will have to be demolished later by way of war and destruction. Even Wittgenstein seems to have been on these tracks - and hence one could see an immediate relation of his work with the Fatima revelations - when one sees how his concept of 'Elementarsatz' is closely associated with the concept of greek-mythological origin in the socalled 'nomothetes' ('νομοθετης' - see Plato's 'Cratylus' 388E-389) - the divine or 'higher' authority giving a name to an element of being. Hence an Elementarsatz is the same as divine origin in this sense of it. It simply means that the divine revelation is what lifts the lonely individual out of the total solipsism which otherwise could come to clash with other solipsisms.

PS Although this really would be in a longer article, I mention that Wittgenstein in his posthumously published 'Philosophical investigations' have 693 numbered paragraphs in its part 1. This is the same number as the hebrew fragments from Talmud Erubin used for TEQ books 13, 14, 15 and 16 - these have roughly 693 poems with which the 693 hebrew fragments are aligned. TEQ function 14 is book 14. What corresponds to my book 14 is his paragraphs 215-421. Indeed his 215 starts: "But isn't the same at least the same? We seem to have an infallible paradigm of identity in the identity of a thing with itself" etc. This indeed looks relevant - but it is not the source of my book. In vol.3 'Poetic semiosis' chapter 23 I discuss the local function 14 in some other poetic works - Paul Celan: 'Fadensonnen', Jannis Ritsos: Μονοβασια' ('Monovassia'), Osip Mandelstam: 'Kamen' ('Stone'), Michelangelo Buonarroti: 'Rime', Sándor Weöres: 'Rongyszönyeg II'. Chapter 15 in vol.3 aligns the 693 hebrew fragments with 'The Dreamer' in vol.1.

Wittgenstein, L: "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus", 1918. Suhrkamp Werkausgabe Band 1, 2016.
Wittgenstein, L: "Philosophical investigations". Translated by G.E.M.Anscombe. Oxford 1988.
Schulte, J.: "Ludwig Wittgenstein", Suhrkamp BasisBiographie 2005.

© John Bjarne Grover
On the web 12 july 2019