Wittgenstein 1929-1930 – the Color Exclusion Problem (in Polish)

Szymon Nowak

About author

Szymon Nowak, MA
Jagiellonian University
Department of Philosophy
ul. Grodzka 52
Pl-31-044 Kraków

E-mail: ssnowak@gmail.com


Wittgenstein introduced his claim about colour incompatibility originally in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, where he stated that there could be only one colour in one place and time. It is commonly believed that Wittgenstein abandoned his conception of logical atomism when he realized the consequences of this claim. The aim of this article is to provide an interpretation of the colour incompatibility claim in terms of Wittgenstein’s phenomenology. I will focus on two works of great significance for the claim: Some Remarks on Logical Form and Philosophical Remarks. These two works were written between 1929 and 1930, which is the beginning of the “middle period” in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. I will focus not only on Wittgenstein’s formulation of the colour incompatibility claim, but also on how this claim was justified. The explanation of Wittgenstein’s justification of this claim will help to understand his phenomenology and theory of philosophical grammar.

Full Text:

PDF (In Polish)


  1. J. Austin, Wittgenstein's Solution to the Color Exclusion Problem, “Philosophy and Phenomenological Research” (41/1,2) 1995, s. 142–149.
  2. P.M.S. Hacker, Insight and Illusion: Themes The Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1989.
  3. D. Jacquette, Wittgenstein and the Color Incompatibility Problem, “History of Philosophy Quarterly” (7) 1990, s. 353–365.
  4. S. Moss, Solving the Color Incompatibility Problem, “Journal of Philosophical Logic” (41/5) 2012, s. 841–851.
  5. R.A. Noe, Wittgenstein, Phenomenology and What It Makes Sense to Say, “Philosophy and Phenomenological Research” (54/1) 1994, s. 1-42.
  6. D. Sievert, Another Look at Wittgenstein on Color Exclusion, “Synthese” (78/3) 1989, s. 291–318.
  7. D. Stern, The “Middle Wittgenstein”: From Logical Atomism to Practical Holism, “Synthese” (87/2) 1991, s. 203–226.
  8. L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, tłum. W. Wolniewicz, PWN, Warszawa 1997.
  9. L. Wittgenstein, Kilka uwag o formie logicznej, tłum. M. Świerczyński, „Przegląd Filozoficzny – Nowa seria” (1/21) 1997, s. 151–156.
  10. L. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Remarks, Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1975.



Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/720
Polish abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/720/pl
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/720/en


All works are licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.