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Intro to Linguistics: Language as the Declaration of Thought Essay

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2022

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s assertion that “The world is all that is the case” can be found in the principal work of all his life “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” as the Preposition 1. On the whole, the work does not feature specific arguments supporting ideas stated in it; however, it presents the very interesting approach to the representation of connection between reality and linguistics. The assertion that “The world is all that is the case” is a part of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s metaphysical view which he developed to explain his picture theory of language.

The Tractatus is mainly organized around the concern that there exist certain relationships between the world, reality around us and the language (Ludwig Wittgenstein, p. 2). Language can be treated as the declaration of thought in accordance to Wittgenstein’s approach. The Tractatus begins with the description of the world around us and the issue of the “voice speaking behind” this description. It argues that it is rather hard to identify this voice. Another idea connected to the voice is that it may belong to some entity of godly nature who announces pieces of wisdom concerning the logical structure of the world (Monk, p. 24). Speaking about semantics supporting the assertion by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s that “The world is all that is the case”, it should be mentioned that there exist a row of such arguments. First of all, it can be said that everything that happens to achieve something in the world is a kind of situation that may be described as ‘case’ in the universe. Thus, the universe can be defined as ‘logical space’ (Fogelin, p. 19).

In addition, facts can be defined as composers of objects which unite them in a certain relation. Objects are, in turn, represented in sentences by words and are always in a certain connection with the other objects within facts. The world is organized in a united harmony; thus, there are no objects which are “drifting alone” in the universe. Further, there exist no priory facts: nothing can “dictate” any particular object with which other objects it should create some kind of relation. Still, every object should create certain relation with the other particular object in some fact or the other one. As a result, objects are united by their logical structure to make up facts.

Finally, we imagine and picture facts to ourselves in our heads, and thus we create thoughts. If one will imagine a thought as an image of somebody’s yard with its trees, flowers, birds and so on, all these objects will be organized in a certain configuration. The same thing happens to thoughts: each word which makes up the sentence corresponds to an object, and all these objects will have certain relationships with each other. The ‘picture theory’ of meaning based on these assertions states that the meaning of a sentence or a proposition, in the other words, can be defined by the objects it is represented by and their mutual organization.

Concluding on all the information related above, it should be mentioned that Ludwig Wittgenstein’s assertion that “The world is all that is the case” can be described as an important idea behind his picture theory of language. The ‘picture theory’ of meaning states that the meaning of a proposition is defined by the objects it is represented by and their mutual organization.

Works Cited

  1. Fogelin, Robert. “Wittgenstein. The Argument of Philosophers series” (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987. Print.
  2. Ludwig Wittgenstein 2002. Web.
  3. Monk, Ray. “Wittgenstein: the Duty of Genius”. London: Jonathan Cape, 1990. Print.
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