Even among analytic philosophers whose approaches were not essentially either formalist or informalist, philosophical problems were often conceived of as problems about the nature of language.
An influential debate in analytic ethics, for example, concerned the question of whether sentences that express moral judgments (e.g., “It is wrong to tell a lie”) are descriptions of some feature of the world, in which case the sentences can be true or false, or are merely expressions of the subject’s feelings—comparable to shouts of “Bravo! ”—in which case they have no —have many interests and methods in common with contemporary analytic philosophers.
On Wittgenstein's view, the world consists entirely of facts.
(Tractatus 1.1) Human beings are aware of the facts by virtue of our mental representations or thoughts, which are most fruitfully understood as picturing the way things are.
Imagine a comprehensive list of all the true sentences.
They would picture all of the facts there are, and this would be an adequate representation of the world as a whole.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century.
Wittgenstein made a major contribution to conversations on language, logic and metaphysics, but also ethics, the way that we should live in the world.
According to one tradition in analytic philosophy (sometimes referred to as formalism), for example, the definition of a concept can be determined by uncovering the underlying logical structures, or “logical forms,” of the sentences used to express it.And although analytic philosophers have attacked some of the empiricists’ particular doctrines, one feels that this is the result more of a common interest in certain problems than of any difference in general philosophical outlook.It is difficult to give a precise definition of analytic philosophy, since it is not so much a specific doctrine as an overlapping set of approaches to problems. In Most empiricists, though admitting that the senses fail to yield the certainty requisite for knowledge, hold nonetheless that it is only through observation and experimentation that justified beliefs about the world can be gained—in other words, a priori reasoning from self-evident premises cannot reveal how the world is. By his own philosophical work and through his influence on several generations of other thinkers, Wittgenstein transformed the nature of philosophical activity in the English-speaking world.From two distinct approaches, he sought to show that traditional philosophical problems can be avoided entirely by application of an appropriate methodology, one that focuses on analysis of language.(Tractatus 2.1) These thoughts are, in turn, expressed in propostitions, whose form indicates the position of these facts within the nature of reality as a whole and whose content presents the truth-conditions under which they correspond to that reality.