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Wittgenstein on internal and external relations, and the controversy over monism Mobile researcher: Jakub Macha, Czech Republic

Awarded: NOK 67,500

The aim of the project is to investigate an impact of the so-called controversy over monism on Wittgenstein's early philosophy and Wittgenstein's potential solution. The controversy over monism stood at the very beginning of analytic philosophy. B. Russel l and G. Moore revolted against the neo-Hegelian doctrine that reality is one as stated by F. Bradley. His supportive argument for this doctrine was that "every relation essentially penetrates the being of its terms," and is, in this sense, internal. Russ ell and Moore, in order to avoid the ontological monism, argued in favour external relations. Ludwig Wittgenstein, a student of Russell and Moore, believed that he had solved the problem of whether all relations are internal or external in his famous Trac tatus. Unfortunately, he provided no further explanation of his solution. Two main questions emerge: 1. What is the proposed solution? Does it support Russell's and Moore's critique of Bradley? 2. What are precisely Wittgenstein's arguments? I order to give an appropriate answer to these question, further points have to be investigated: 1. How is the difference between internal and external relations conceived by the respective authors, esp. in Bradley, Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein? In particu lar, how is the concept of internal relation characterized? Do the mentioned authors differ in these characterizations? 2. What sorts of internal relations are distinguished in the Tractatus and how these distinctions are justified? What is the function of internal relations in Wittgenstein?s early philosophy? 3. On what grounds conceives Wittgenstein internal relations as being improper? Answering these questions, which are aiming to resolve metaphysical problems by a critique of language, not only leads to a better understanding of the roots of analytic philosophy, but can contribute to contemporary debates in analytic metaphysics which stands on the boundary of metaphysics and the philosophy of language.

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