Showing, Not Saying, Negation and Falsehood: Establishing Kimhi’s Two-Way Logical Capacities with Wittgenstein’s Samples

Open Review until 2023-11-19


  • Thomas Henry Raysmith Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Negation, Falsehood, Facts, Samples, Logical Capacities, Irad Kimhi, Wittgenstein


Irad Kimhi has argued that negation and falsehood can be made intelligible by understanding assertions/judgements as acts of two-way logical capacities. These are capacities that are, at the same time, for (1) positive and negative assertions/judgements and (2) positive and negative facts. Kimhi’s account of negation and falsehood, however, faces several problems. As Jean-Philippe Narboux has shown, it is threatened with incompleteness or inconsistency in its employment of negative ostensible assertions that are not acts of two-way logical capacities, and, as I demonstrate in this article, it does not explain the assumed logical connections between two-way logical capacities or the acknowledged differences between acts of two-way logical capacities in the world and in assertion/judgement. I argue that these problems can be avoided and that a new understanding of the negation and falsehood of predicative assertion/judgement can be achieved by, first, regarding two-way logical capacities for predicative assertion/judgement and facts as established by our treating things as what Ludwig Wittgenstein calls “samples”, and, second, drawing a distinction between predicative assertions/judgements and normative assertions/judgements that, e.g., introduce samples into our language-games and show the rules for using samples for the purpose of representation.

Author Biography

Thomas Henry Raysmith, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Thomas Raysmith completed his Ph.D. at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2022. He primarily works on the history of philosophy, with a focus on Immanuel Kant’s Critical philosophy and German Idealism and Romanticism. Yet, he also has research interests in Ludwig Wittgenstein, the philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and historical conceptions of analysis.


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