We must now answer a priori the question as to all possible forms of the elementary propositions.

The elementary proposition consists of names. Since we cannot give the number of names with different meanings, we cannot give the composition of the elementary proposition.

5.551    Our fundamental principle is that every question which can be decided at all by logic can be decided off-hand.

(And if we get into a situation where we need to answer such a problem by looking at the world, this shows that we are on a fundamentally wrong track.)

5.552 (1)  The "experience" which we need to understand logic is not that such and such is the case, but that something is; but that is no experience.

Logic precedes every experience - that something is so.

It is before the How, not before the What.

5.553    Russell said that there were simple relations between different numbers of things (individuals). But between what numbers? And how should this be decided - by experience?

(There is no pre-eminent number.)

5.554 (2)  The enumeration of any special forms would be entirely arbitrary.

5.555    It is clear that we have a concept of the elementary proposition apart from its special logical form.

Where, however, we can build symbols according to a system, there this system is the logically important thing and not the single symbols.

And how would it be possible that I should have to deal with forms in logic which I can invent: but I must have to deal with that which makes it possible for me to invent them.

5.556 (3)  There cannot be a hierarchy of the forms of the elementary propositions. Only that which we ourselves construct can we foresee.

5.557 (1)  The application of logic decides what elementary propositions there are.

What lies in its application logic cannot anticipate.

It is clear that logic may not conflict with its application.

But logic must have contact with its application.

Therefore logic and its application may not overlap one another.