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Hacker, Peter M.S. / Puhl, Klaus / Rentsch, Thomas


Ed. by Floyd, Juliet / Jiang, Yi / Majetschak, Stefan / Raatzsch, Richard / Venturinha, Nuno / Vossenkuhl, Wilhelm

Editorial Board: Conant, James / Cesare, Donatella / Moyal-Sharrock, Danièle / Mühlhölzer, Felix / Nyíri, Kristóf C. / Pichler, Alois / Roser, Andreas / Rothhaupt, Josef G. F. / Schulte, Joachim / Weiberg, Anja / Stekeler-Weithofer, Pirmin

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Wittgenstein on Transparent White

Andrew Lugg
Published Online: 2014-03-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wgst.2014.5.1.205


No single topic receives more attention in Remarks on Colour than transparency and the impossibility of transparent white. In each of the three parts of the book, Wittgenstein explores the notion of a transparent surface (or glass) and attempts to explain why it is that a surface (or glass) can be transparent red but not transparent white. He treats transparency one way in the remarks he wrote first, a second way in the remarks he wrote later, and he offers correspondingly different explanations of the impossibility of transparent white in the two sets of remarks. While apparently content with his second account of transparency, he does not resolve the problem of why white is invariably opaque, never transparent, to his own satisfaction. However, despite remaining puzzled to the end, he makes considerable progress, and his discussion of transparency and transparent white shows especially clearly how he regarded philosophical problems and how he believed such problems should be tackled

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Published Online: 2014-03-26

Published in Print: 2014-03-01

Citation Information: Wittgenstein-Studien, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 205–226, ISSN (Online) 1868-7458, ISSN (Print) 1868-7431, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/wgst.2014.5.1.205.

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