A couple of comments on the original Gutenberg edition
This visualization of the Tractatus, based on a series of nested tabs, is a little side-project I did while fiddling with a Semantic Web version (= structured) of the Tractatus I was working on (you can find more information about this work by looking at my webpage). Ideally, in the future, we will have many more philosophical and literary texts available in a structured and SW-compliant format, so that people could easily play with them, computationally!. The main reason that motivated me to do this simple but, in my opinion, interesting visualization is the fact that often new insights and understanding can be stimulated just by a novel representation of something we are accustomed to see (or read, in the case of a text) in a different format. Hopefully some of you readers will experience something like this!
The text of the Tractatus has been taken from the freely available Project Gutenberg electronic version. While comparing it with the original book I have, I found:
a few missing propositions (= proposition of the Tractatus which are not present in the Gutemberg version),
some other ones which were mistaken (= the numbers or content are not correct),
and finally, some which are just wrongly indented (= they easily generate mistakes, if the text is automatically parsed).
In the following list you can find a more detailed summary of these results - please get in touch if you have some feedback or questions!
- PARAGRAPH 4.27
With regard to the existence of n atomic facts there are Kn = SUMMATION(v=0 to n, binom-coeff(n over v)) possibilities. It is possible for all combinations of atomic facts to exist, and the others not to exist..
- PARAGRAPH 2.1513
According to this view the representing relation which makes it a picture, also belongs to the picture.
- PARAGRAPH 3.22
In the proposition the name represents the object.
- PARAGRAPH 2.21
A picture agrees with reality or fails to agree; it is correct or incorrect, true or false.
- PARAGRAPH 3.26
The name cannot be analysed further by any definition. It is a primitive sign.
- PARAGRAPH 3.251
The proposition expresses what it expresses in a definite and clearly specifiable way: the proposition is articulate.
- PARAGRAPH 4.002 (wrongly called 4.022)
Man possesses the ability to construct languages capable of expressing every sense, without having any idea how each word has meaning or what its meaning is--just as people speak without knowing how the individual sounds are produced. Everyday language is a part of the human organism and is no less complicated than it. It is not humanly possible to gather immediately from it what the logic of language is. Language disguises thought. So much so, that from the outward form of the clothing it is impossible to infer the form of the thought beneath it, because the outward form of the clothing is not designed to reveal the form of the body, but for entirely different purposes. The tacit conventions on which the understanding of everyday language depends are enormously complicated.
- PARAGRAPH 2.202
The picture represents a possible state of affairs in logical space.
- PARAGRAPH 2.203
The picture contains the possibility of the state of affairs which it represents.
- PARAGRAPH 3.25
There is one and only one complete analysis of the proposition.
- PARAGRAPH 4.4611 (wrongly called 4.46211)
Tautologies and contradictions are not, however, nonsensical. They are part of the symbolism, much as '0' is part of the symbolism of arithmetic.
Badly indented Propositions
- PARAGRAPH 4.12
Propositions can represent the whole reality, but they cannot represent what they must have in common with reality in order to be able to represent it -- the logical form. To be able to represent the logical form, we should have to be able to put ourselves with the propositions outside logic, that is outside the world.
- PARAGRAPH 4.21
The simplest kind of proposition, an elementary proposition, asserts the existence of a state of affairs.
- PARAGRAPH 5.151
In a schema like the one above in No.5.101 let Tr be the number of 'T's' in the proposition r, and let Trs, be the number of 'T's' in the proposition s that stand in columns in which the proposition r has 'T's'. Then the proposition r gives to the proposition s the probability Trs : Tr.
- PARAGRAPH 5.4611
Signs for logical operations are punctuation-marks.
- PARAGRAPH 5.6
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
- PARAGRAPH 6.3
The exploration of logic means the exploration of everything that is subject to law . And outside logic everything is accidental.
The Phantom Propositions
Note: this section has been taken from the original Jonathan Laventhol's hypertextual version of the Tractatus - being his explanation very clear, and his work (which dates back to 1996!!) so original and inspiring, I am quite pleased to link back to it!
Although Wittgenstein says that ``the propositions
n.m1, n.m2, etc., are comments on the proposition
No. n.m'' this isn't strictly true. For example,
Proposition 2 is followed by 2.01, not 2.0 -- giving rise to an
opportunity for ``angel/pinhead'' disputation.
We will try to stay with the angels: a pragmatic decision
was made to add ``phantom'' propositions, whose numbers end with
``0'', as this makes the pages shorter.
showed that the best structure for the web site was for each
proposition to have its own page, with showing the proposition
and annotations to it. In general, interactive text web sites
appear to work best when they are ``short and bushy'' (short
pages, many links) rather ``tall and sparse'' (long pages, few
To do this, fifteen phantoms were added --
you can read the notes under them yourself
and perhaps find some
significance in their absence from the original: 2.0, 2.020, 2.20, 3.00, 3.0, 3.20, 4.00, 4.0, 5.0, 5.10, 5.50, 5.530, 6.00. 6.0. 6.120.
A tabbed version of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus : some information