This independent study is an examination of Wittgenstein’s Picture Theory of Language presented in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The first two chapters are an examination of the metaphysics behind the Picture Theory through explanation of the world as the logical State of Affairs as well as the limitations presented by seeing the State of Affairs through the mental picture. Once the metaphysics have been established, we break into the difference between Wittgenstein’s original conception of ‘meaningful’ propositions that were limited to extensional claims about the State of Affairs, and contrast it with a new conception where value concepts are defined through the artificial logical connections of how beliefs, desires, and feelings of the psychological self are used to describe the State of Affairs. The ‘Rules to the Game’ chapter then describes the last avenue of ‘meaningful’ language, best described as logical laws inducted from the logical connections of the State of Affairs and applied to value language and the logical possibilities in the logical nexus. Finally, I conclude with categorizing Wittgenstein’s metalinguistic propositions in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as ‘Rules to the Game’ propositions rather than his self-diagnosed metaphysical propositions. This analysis allows us to continue viewing the Picture Theory of Language as a philosophical tool of solving confusion in language.


Hustwit, Ronald





Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 John T. Cancalosi