Mechanıcal roots of Tractatus: the influence of Hermann von Helmholtz, Heinrich Hertz and Ludwig Boltzmann on early Wittgenstein philosophy and the Tractarian picture theory

Kaplan, Osman Baran
In this thesis, the biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, who put forward Tractarian picture theory, which is the subject of the thesis, will be told by focusing especially on his life story before he wrote the Tractatus, and then the general structure of the Tractatus will be discussed. In addition, an introduction will be made by referring to Tractarian picture theory. Then, after the "sign"-based perception theory of Hermann von Helmholtz, who was originally the grandfather of Tractarian picture theory, is explained in detail, the "mechanics" of Heinrich Hertz, a figure that Wittgenstein openly stated to be influenced, will be discussed. As it is known, Hertz was inspired by the "sign" based perception theory of his teacher Helmholtz while developing his "picture theory". Next, we will consider the similarities between Wittgenstein and Hertz and show where Wittgenstein was influenced by the Hertzian understanding of mechanics. Finally, we will talk about the famous Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann's own Bildtheorie, which had great effects on the early Wittgenstein, and we will clarify the relationship between it and the Tractarian picture theory. However, by arguing that the Boltzmannian picture theory is a naturalist epistemology based mostly on the Darwinian understanding of evolution, we will show that Boltzmann's main influence on Wittgenstein is related to the role he assigned to philosophy in the Tractatus.


Therapeutic philosophy: wittgenstein and heidegger
Temizler, Büke; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2020)
Considering comparative studies in philosophy, the relationship between philosophies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger has a remarkable place in history. In this thesis, I attempt to discuss their philosophies to reveal their common suggestion to philosophy, which could be understood as a cure to the misleading formulations of philosophical problems. Their philosophical method begins with giving attention to the pre-theoretical attitude of human beings in ordinary life, in evaluating the philosoph...
Rereading Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and Richard II : Wesker's The Merchant and Ioneco's Exit the King
Altındağ, Zümrüt; Norman, Ünal; Department of Foreign Language Education (2004)
This thesis is a comparative study of how Shakespeare̕s ideas transcend the boundaries of his own time and still remain as the major sources of inspiration for modern dramatists. Arnold Wesker and Eugéne Ionesco explore the concept of the "other" leading to loss of identity and awareness of non-being embedded in Shakespeare̕s works. The main argument is that the contemporary playwrights reinterpret Shakespeare̕s works in the light of some modern issues and ideas to reveal the entrapment of the individual.
The memory of time : virtuality in Deleuze’s philosophy
İsmet, Burçak; Ceylan, Yasin; Department of Philosophy (2007)
The main objective of this master’s thesis is to examine the concept of difference according to French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson. In order to explicate this crucial concept and its emphasis in these thinkers’ philosophies, this dissertation is focused on the notion of time and memory. Through the thesis, first Deleuze’s critical attitude towards representational and dialectical approachs for difference is elucidated. After the comprehensive examination for the meaning of difference accor...
The theory of capitalism and its ontological foundations: comparative study of Marx and Deleuze&Guattari
Kocagül, Volkan; Sol, Ayhan; Department of Philosophy (2006)
The main objective of this thesis is to examine the theory of capitalism and its ontological foundations through the major works of Marx and Deleuze&Guattari. In his monumental book called Capital, Karl Marx develops an account of capitalism based on his understanding of philosophy of which takes its roots from Hegel and Feuerbach. Additionally, English political economy and French socialism serve as reliable grounds for Marx’s analysis. In light of the writings of these historical precursors, Marx constitu...
The place of human subject in Foucault's and Deleuze's philosophies
Taner, Erdem; Ergüden, Akın; Department of Philosophy (2005)
The main objective of this master̕s thesis is to analyze the place assigned to human subjectivity by French philosophers Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. In order to fulfil the requirements of this objective, what is focused on is their shared critique which is exercised against the traditional conceptions of humanity and subjectivity. Through the thesis, first Foucault̕s analyses which demonstrate that universal man as a construction emerges as an effect of discursive practices and power relations, and ...
Citation Formats
O. B. Kaplan, “Mechanıcal roots of Tractatus: the influence of Hermann von Helmholtz, Heinrich Hertz and Ludwig Boltzmann on early Wittgenstein philosophy and the Tractarian picture theory,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.