Here is Ludwig Wittgenstein from his *Tractatus Logico Philosophicus,* a seminal text on the Philosophy of Logic:

‘*The Tautology is unconditionally true; the Contradiction is in no condition true…the Truth of Tautology is certain, of Proposition possible, of Contradiction impossible.*

*Tautology and Contradiction are without sense..Tautology leaves to Reality the whole infinite logical space; Contradiction fills the whole logical space and leaves no point to Reality.*

*Neither one of them therefore can in any way determine Reality..(They) are the limiting case of the combination of symbols, namely their dissolution.*‘

[The latter Wittgenstein, older, wiser, and burdened with a remarkable intellectual integrity, walked away from his youthful fire; but that is another long story.]

O.K. So what in heaven’s name is a ‘Tautology’? I’m glad you asked. For strictly speaking, we don’t know.

What is a Contradiction? We are not too sure either.

But here are examples of what we think they mean:

‘It is raining’ is a proposition. You can verify its truth by looking out the window. ‘It is raining or not raining’ is a Tautology: it’s truth, a Logician would say, is certain. ‘It is both raining and not raining’ is a Contradiction: it’s truth, a Logician would say, is impossible.

‘It is neither raining nor not-raining’ however is Sweet Nonsense. The Logician does not see the need to dignify it with a comment [we’ll meet up with it again on the way to *Śūnyam.*]

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