Physical pictures: Engineering models circa 1914 and in Wittgenstein's "Tractatus"
Sterrett, Susan G. Physical pictures: Engineering models circa 1914 and in Wittgenstein's "Tractatus". "History of Philosophy of Science: New Trends and Perspectives." Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook , v.9. Eds. Michael Heidelberger, Friedrich Stadler. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002, pp 121-135. 10.1007/978-94-017-1785-4_10
Today I want to talk about an element in the milieu in which Ludwig Wittgenstein conceived the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that has not been recognized to date: the generalization of the methodology of experimental scale models that occurred just about the time he was writing it. I find it very helpful to keep in mind how this kind of model portrays when reading the Tractatus — in particular, when reading the statements about pictures and models, such as: That a picture is a fact (TLP 2.141 1), That a picture is a model of reality (TLP 2.12), That the “pictorial relationship” that makes a picture a picture is part of that picture (TLP 188.8.131.52), and That a picture must have its pictorial form in common with reality in order to able to depict it (TLP 2.17).
This paper was presented in Vienna in July 2000 at the HOPOS 2000 conference.
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