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friends of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4(3). 1–39. Erbacher Christian 2016b Wittgenstein and his Literary Executors – Rush Rhees, Georg Henrik von Wright and Elizabeth Anscombe as students, colleagues and friends of Ludwig Wittgenstein The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 3 1 39 Erbacher, Christian. 2017 (in appearance). ‘Gute’ philosophische Gründe für ‘schlechte’ Editionsphilologie. In M. Endres, C. Zittel & A. Pichler (eds.), Textologie. Theorie und Praxis interdisziplinärer Textforschung , 41 p



This paper discusses the problems of an ontological value of the variable in Russell’s philosophy. The variable is essential in Russell’s theory of denotation, which among other things, purports to prove Meinongian being outside of subsistence and existence to be logically unnecessary. I argue that neither Russell’s epistemology nor his ontology can account for the ontological value of the variable without running into qualities of Meinongian being that Russell disputed. The problem is that the variable cannot be logically grounded by Russell’s theory of denotation. As such, in so far as being is concerned, Meinong and Russell’s theories are much closer than is typically thought. The arguments are supported with concerns raised by Russell, Frege, and Moore regarding the ontological value of the variable. The problem can be summarised as follows: the variable is the fundamental denoting-position of a formal theory that is meant to explain the structure of the ontological. If such a formal theory is meant to ground the ontological, then the formal must also represent the actual structure of the ontological. Yet the variable, the fundamental symbol of denotation in a theory that defines objects, is ontologically indefinable.

empiricist: Materials and perspectives. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company. Kuusela, O. (2012). Carnap and the Tractatus’ philosophy of logic. The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, 1(3), 1-25. Schulte, J. (1992). Wittgenstein: An introduction. New York: SUNY Press. Sarkar, S. (1992). “The boundless ocean of unlimited possibilities”: Logic in Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language. Synthese, 93(1), 191-237. Wittgenstein, L. (1921). TLP. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. C.K. Ogden (trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Wittgenstein, L. (2004

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