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Picture theory of language

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Title: Picture theory of language  
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Subject: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Billiken, Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, and Religious Belief
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Picture theory of language

The picture theory of language, also known as the picture theory of meaning, is a theory of linguistic reference and meaning articulated by Ludwig Wittgenstein in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Wittgenstein suggested that a meaningful proposition pictured a state of affairs or atomic fact.[1][2] Wittgenstein compared the concept of logical pictures (German Bild) with spatial pictures.[3] The picture theory of language is considered an early correspondence theory of truth.[4]

Wittgenstein's picture theory of language states that statements are meaningful if they can be defined or pictured in the real world.

Wittgenstein's later practice-based theory of meaning laid out in the First Part of Philosophical Investigations refuted and replaced his earlier picture-based theory. However, the second psychology-focused Part of Philosophical Investigations employs the concept as a metaphor for human psychology.[5]


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  5. ^ Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1968). Philosophical Investigations. Translated by  
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