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20th century philosophy
|Full name||Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein|
|Born||26 April 1889
|Died||29 April 1951 (aged 62)
Cambridge, United Kingdom
|School/tradition||Analytic philosophy, Post-Analytic Philosophy|
|Main interests||Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mathematics, Philosophy of mind, Epistemology|
|Notable ideas||“Meaning is use,” private language argument, Philosophical Investigations, conceptual therapy, saying/showing distinction, seeing-as.|
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian–British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.
Described by Bertrand Russell as “the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating,” Wittgenstein is considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. He helped inspire two of the century’s principal philosophical movements: the Vienna Circle and Oxford ordinary language philosophy. According to an end of the century poll, professional philosophers in Canada and the U.S. rank both his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP) and Philosophical Investigations among the top five most important books in twentieth-century philosophy, the latter standing out as “…the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations”. Wittgenstein’s influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna on 26 April 1889, to Karl and Leopoldine Wittgenstein. He was the youngest of eight children, born into one of the most prominent and wealthy families in the Austro-Hungarian empire. His father’s parents, Hermann Christian and Fanny Wittgenstein (who was a first cousin of the violinist Joseph Joachim), were both born into Jewish families but later converted to Protestantism, and after they moved from Saxony to Vienna in the 1850s, assimilated into the Viennese Protestant professional classes. Ludwig’s father, Karl Wittgenstein, became an industrialist and went on to make his fortune in iron and steel. By the late 1880s, Karl controlled an effective monopoly on steel and iron resources within the empire, and was one of the richest men in the world. Eventually, Karl transferred much of his capital into real estate, stocks, shares, precious metals, and foreign currency reserves, which were spread across Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and North America. Consequently, the family’s colossal wealth was insulated from the inflation crises that followed in subsequent years. Ludwig’s mother, Leopoldine Kalmus, was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, and was an aunt of the Nobel Prize laureate Friedrich von Hayek on her maternal side. Despite his paternal grandparents’ conversion to Protestantism, the Wittgenstein children were baptized as Roman Catholics—the faith of their maternal grandmother—and Ludwig was given a Roman Catholic burial upon his death.
 Early life
Ludwig grew up in a household that provided an exceptionally intense environment for artistic and intellectual achievement. His parents were both very musical and all their children were artistically and intellectually educated. Karl Wittgenstein was a hugely successful steel tycoon, but also became a leading patron of the arts. He commissioned works by Rodin and Klimt, and fully financed the Vienna Secession Building. The Wittgenstein house hosted many figures of high culture—but above all, musicians. The family was often visited by composers such as Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. Brahms had given piano lessons to Ludwig’s two eldest sisters, and debut recitals for some of his major works were performed in the family’s music rooms. Ludwig’s older brother Paul Wittgenstein went on to become a world-famous concert pianist, even after losing his right arm in World War I. Ludwig himself had absolute pitch perception, and his devotion to music remained vitally important to him throughout his life: he made frequent use of musical examples and metaphors in his philosophical writings, and was said to be unusually adept at whistling lengthy and detailed musical passages. He also played the clarinet and is said to have remarked that he approved of this instrument because it took a proper role in the orchestra.
His family also had a history of intense self-criticism, to the point of depression and suicidal tendencies. Three of his four brothers committed suicide. The eldest of the brothers, Hans—an early musician who started composing at age four—killed himself in April 1902 in Havana, Cuba. The third son, Rudolf, followed in May 1904 in Berlin. Their brother Kurt shot himself at the end of World War I, in October 1918, when the Austrian troops he was commanding deserted en masse.
Until 1903, Ludwig was educated at home; after that, he began three years of schooling at the Realschule in Linz, a school emphasizing technical topics. For one school year Adolf Hitler was a student there at the same time but two grades below Wittgenstein, when both boys were 14 or 15 years old. It is a matter of controversy whether Hitler and Wittgenstein even knew of each other, and if so whether either had any memory of the other.
At the school, Wittgenstein spoke with a slight stutter, wore very elegant clothes, and was highly sensitive and extremely unsociable. It was one of his idiosyncrasies to use the formal form of address with his classmates and to demand that they too (with the exception of a single acquaintance) address him formally, with “Sie” and “Herr Ludwig”.
Ludwig was interested in physics and wanted to study with Ludwig Boltzmann, whose collection of popular writings, including an inspiring essay about the hero and genius who would solve the problem of heavier-than-air flight (“On Aeronautics”) was published during this time (1905). However, Boltzmann committed suicide in 1906.
In 1906, Wittgenstein began studying mechanical engineering in Berlin, and in 1908 he went to the Victoria University of Manchester to study for his doctorate in engineering, full of plans for aeronautical projects. He registered as a research student in an engineering laboratory, where he conducted research on the behaviour of kites in the upper atmosphere, and worked on the design of a propeller with small jet engines on the end of its blades. During his research in Manchester, he became interested in the foundations of mathematics, particularly after reading Alfred N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell‘s Principia Mathematica and Gottlob Frege‘s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, vol. 1 (1893) and vol. 2 (1903). In the summer of 1911 Wittgenstein visited Frege and, after having corresponded with him for some time, was advised by Frege to attend the University of Cambridge to study under Russell.
In October 1911 Wittgenstein arrived unannounced at Russell’s rooms in Trinity College and was soon attending his lectures and discussing philosophy with him at great length. He made a great impression on Russell (who soon became convinced of his genius) and G. E. Moore, and started to work on the foundations of logic and mathematical logic.
Russell was, by this time, increasingly tired of philosophy and envisaged Wittgenstein as his successor who would carry on his work in the foundations of mathematics. He was also frequently overpowered by the latter’s forceful personality and criticisms. Faced with criticisms of his work by Wittgenstein, Russell wrote “I saw that he was right, and I saw that I could not hope ever again to do fundamental work in philosophy.” During this period Wittgenstein’s other major interests were music and travelling (he went to Iceland, in September 1912), often in the company of David Pinsent, an undergraduate who became a firm friend. He was also invited to join the Cambridge Apostles, an elite secret society that Russell and Moore had both belonged to as students. Whilst in Cambridge Wittgenstein often liked to go to the cinema.
Wittgenstein’s father died in 1913. On receiving his inheritance, Wittgenstein became one of the wealthiest men in Europe. He donated some of it, initially anonymously, to Austrian artists and writers, including Rainer Maria Rilke and Georg Trakl. In 1914 he went to visit Trakl when the latter wanted to meet his benefactor, but Trakl died (an apparent suicide) days before Wittgenstein arrived.
Although he was invigorated by his study in Cambridge and his conversations with Russell, Wittgenstein came to feel that he could not get to the heart of his most fundamental questions while surrounded by other academics. In 1913 he retreated to the relative solitude of the remote village of Skjolden at the end of the Sognefjord in Norway. Here he rented the second floor of a house and stayed for the winter. The isolation from academia allowed him to devote himself entirely to his work, and he later saw this period as one of the most passionate and productive times of his life. While there he wrote a book entitled Logik, a ground-breaking work in the foundations of logic which was the immediate predecessor and source of much of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
 World War I
The outbreak of World War I in the next year took him completely by surprise, as he was living a secluded life at the time. He volunteered for the Austro-Hungarian army, first serving on a ship and then in an artillery workshop. In 1916 he was sent as a member of a howitzer regiment to the Russian front, where he won several medals for bravery, then in the Italian southern Tyrol (today Trentino, in Italy), where he was taken as a prisoner of war by the Italian army in November 1918 near Trento.
His notebook entries during the war reflect his contempt for the baseness, as he saw it, of his fellow soldiers. Throughout the war, Wittgenstein kept notebooks in which he frequently wrote philosophical and religious reflections alongside personal remarks. The notebooks reflect a profound change in his religious life: an agnostic during his stint at Cambridge, Wittgenstein discovered Leo Tolstoy‘s The Gospel in Brief at a bookshop in Galicia. He devoured Tolstoy’s commentary and became an evangelist of sorts; he carried the book everywhere he went and recommended it to anyone in distress (to the point that he became known to his fellow soldiers as “the man with the gospels”). Wittgenstein’s other religious influences include Saint Augustine, Fyodor Dostoevsky and, most notably, Søren Kierkegaard, whom Wittgenstein referred to as “a saint”..
 Developing the Tractatus
Wittgenstein’s work on Logic began to take on an ethical and religious significance. With this new concern with the ethical, combined with his earlier interest in logical analysis, and with key insights developed during the war (such as the so-called “picture theory” of propositions), Wittgenstein’s work from Cambridge and Norway was transfigured into the material that eventually became the Tractatus. Towards the end of the war in 1918 Wittgenstein was promoted to reserve officer (lieutenant) and sent to northern Italy as part of an artillery regiment. On leave in the summer of 1918 he received a letter from David Pinsent’s mother telling Wittgenstein that her son had been killed in an airplane accident. Suicidal, Wittgenstein went to stay with his uncle Paul, and there completed the Tractatus, which he dedicated to Pinsent. The book was then sent to publishers, but without success.
In October 1918, Wittgenstein returned to the Italian front but was captured by the Italians shortly thereafter. While he was a prisoner of war at Cassino (Central Italy), through the intervention of his Cambridge friends Russell and Keynes, Wittgenstein managed to get access to books, prepare his manuscript, and send it back to England. Russell recognized it as a work of supreme philosophical importance and worked with Wittgenstein to get it published after his release in 1919. An English translation was prepared, first by Frank P. Ramsey and then by C. K. Ogden, with Wittgenstein’s involvement. After some discussion of how best to translate the title, G. E. Moore suggested Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, an allusion to Baruch Spinoza‘s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Russell wrote an introduction, lending the book his reputation as one of the foremost philosophers in the world.
However, difficulties remained. Wittgenstein had become personally disaffected with Russell and was displeased with Russell’s introduction, which he thought evinced a fundamental misunderstanding of the Tractatus. Wittgenstein grew frustrated as interested publishers proved difficult to find. To add insult to injury, those publishers who were interested proved to be so mainly because of Russell’s introduction. Finally Wilhelm Ostwald‘s journal Annalen der Naturphilosophie printed a German edition in 1921, and Routledge’s Kegan Paul printed a bilingual edition with Russell’s introduction and the Ramsey-Ogden translation in 1922.
 The “lost years” after the Tractatus
By then Wittgenstein was a profoundly changed man. He had embraced the Christianity that he had previously opposed, faced harrowing combat in World War I, and crystallized his intellectual and emotional upheavals with the exhausting composition of the Tractatus. It was a work which transfigured all of his past work on logic into a radically new framework that he believed offered a definitive solution to all the problems of philosophy. These changes in Wittgenstein’s inner and outer life left him both haunted and yet invigorated to follow a new, ascetic life. One of the most dramatic expressions of this change was his decision in 1919 to give away the portion of the family fortune he had inherited when his father died. The money was divided between his sisters Helene and Hermine and his brother Paul, and Wittgenstein insisted that they promise never to give it back. He felt that giving money to the poor could only corrupt them further, whereas the rich would not be harmed by it.
Since Wittgenstein thought that the Tractatus had solved all the problems of philosophy, he left philosophy and returned to Austria to train as a primary school teacher. He was educated in the methods of the Austrian School Reform Movement which advocated the stimulation of the natural curiosity of children and their development as independent thinkers, instead of just letting them memorize facts. Wittgenstein was enthusiastic about these ideas but ran into problems when he was appointed as an elementary teacher in the rural Austrian villages of Trattenbach, Puchberg-am-Schneeberg, and Otterthal. During his time as a school teacher Wittgenstein wrote a pronunciation and spelling dictionary for his own use in teaching students. The publishers insisted upon the removal of Wittgenstein’s introduction (on the grounds that it contained poor grammar) and some additions to the list of words, and it was moderately well received by his colleagues (although not reprinted in his lifetime). This would be the only book besides the Tractatus that Wittgenstein published in his lifetime.
Wittgenstein had unrealistic expectations of the rural children he taught, and his teaching methods were intense and exacting—he had little patience with those children who had no aptitude for mathematics. However, he achieved good results with children attuned to his interests and style of teaching, especially boys. His severe disciplinary methods (often involving corporal punishment, not unusual at the time)—as well as a general suspicion amongst the villagers that he was somewhat mad—led to a long series of bitter disagreements with some of his students’ parents, and eventually culminated in April 1926 in the collapse of an eleven year old boy whom Wittgenstein had struck on the head. The boy’s father attempted to have Wittgenstein arrested, and despite being cleared of misconduct he resigned his position and returned to Vienna, feeling that he had failed as a school teacher. After abandoning his work as a school teacher, Wittgenstein worked as a gardener’s assistant in a monastery near Vienna. He considered becoming a monk, and went so far as to inquire about the requirements for joining an order. However, at the interview he was advised that he would not find in monastic life what he sought.
Two major developments helped to save Wittgenstein from this despairing state. The first was an invitation from his sister Margaret (“Gretl”) Stonborough (who was painted by Gustav Klimt in 1905) to work on the design and construction of her new house. He worked with the architect, Paul Engelmann, who had become a close friend of Wittgenstein’s during the war, and the two designed a spare modernist house after the style of Adolf Loos (whom they both greatly admired). Wittgenstein found the work intellectually absorbing and exhausting; he poured himself into the design in painstaking detail, including even small aspects such as doorknobs and radiators, spending a year on each as they had to be exactly positioned to maintain the symmetry of the rooms. As a work of modernist architecture the house evoked some high praise; G. H. von Wright said that it possessed the same “static beauty” as the Tractatus. The effort of totally involving himself in intellectual work once again did much to restore Wittgenstein’s spirits. Of the house, Ludwig’s eldest sister, Hermine, wrote: “Even though I admired the house very much, I always knew that I neither wanted to, nor could, live in it myself. It seemed indeed to be much more a dwelling for the gods”.
|“I am not interested in erecting a building, but in […] presenting to myself the foundations of all possible buildings.”|
|— Wittgenstein |
Secondly, toward the end of his work on the house, Wittgenstein was contacted by Moritz Schlick, one of the leading figures of the newly formed Vienna Circle. The Tractatus had been tremendously influential to the development of the Vienna positivism and, although Schlick never succeeded in drawing Wittgenstein into the discussions of the Vienna Circle itself, he and some of his fellow circle members, especially Friedrich Waismann, met occasionally with Wittgenstein to discuss philosophical topics. Wittgenstein was frequently frustrated by these meetings—he believed that Schlick and his colleagues had fundamentally misunderstood the Tractatus, and at times would refuse to talk about it at all. (Much of the disagreements concerned the importance of religious life and the mystical; Wittgenstein considered these matters as a sort of wordless faith, whereas the positivists disdained them as useless. In one meeting Wittgenstein refused to discuss the Tractatus at all, and sat with his back to his guests while he read aloud from the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.) Nevertheless, the contact with the Vienna Circle stimulated Wittgenstein intellectually and revived his interest in philosophy. He also met with Frank P. Ramsey, a young philosopher of mathematics who traveled several times from Cambridge to Austria to meet with Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle. In the course of his conversations with the Vienna Circle and with Ramsey, Wittgenstein began to think that there might be some “grave mistakes” in his work as presented in the Tractatus—marking the beginning of a second career of ground-breaking philosophical work, which would occupy him for the rest of his life.
 Return to Cambridge
In 1929 he decided, at the urging of Ramsey and others, to return to Cambridge. He was met at the railway station by a crowd of England’s greatest intellectuals, discovering rather to his horror that he was one of the most famed philosophers in the world. In a letter to his wife, Lydia Lopokova, Wittgenstein’s old friend John Maynard Keynes wrote: “Well, God has arrived. I met him on the 5.15 train.”
Despite this fame he could not initially work at Cambridge as he did not have a degree, so he applied as an advanced undergraduate. Russell noted that his previous residency was in fact sufficient for a doctoral degree, and urged him to offer the Tractatus as a doctoral thesis, which he did in 1929. It was examined by Russell and Moore; at the end of the thesis defence, Wittgenstein clapped the two examiners on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, I know you’ll never understand it.” Moore commented in the examiner’s report: “I myself consider that this is a work of genius; but, even if I am completely mistaken and it is nothing of the sort, it is well above the standard required for the Ph.D. degree.” Wittgenstein was appointed as a lecturer and was made a fellow of Trinity College.
Although Wittgenstein was involved in a relationship with Marguerite Respinger (a young Swiss woman he had met as a friend of the family), his plans to marry her were broken off in 1931 and he never married. Most of his romantic attachments were to young men. There is considerable debate over how active Wittgenstein’s homosexual life was, inspired by W. W. Bartley’s claim to have found evidence of not only active homosexuality but in particular several casual liaisons with young men in the Wiener Prater park during his time in Vienna. Bartley published his claims in a biography of Wittgenstein in 1973, claiming to have his information from “confidential reports from… friends” of Wittgenstein, whom he declined to name, and to have discovered two coded notebooks unknown to Wittgenstein’s executors that detailed the visits to the Prater. Wittgenstein’s estate and other biographers disputed Bartley’s claims and asked him to produce the sources that he claims. What has become clear, at least, is that Wittgenstein had several long-term homoerotic attachments, including an infatuation with his friends David Pinsent, Francis Skinner, and Ben Richards.
|“It’s impossible for me to say one word about all that music has meant to me in my life. How, then, can I hope to be understood?”|
|— Wittgenstein, 1949 |
Although some commentators have assumed that Wittgenstein’s political sympathies lay on the left, and while, despite being entirely contemptuous of Lenin’s philosophical work, he once described himself as a “communist at heart” and romanticized the life of labourers, in many ways he was a reactionary. He abhorred the idea of scientific progress (for the traditional Romantic reason that it was meaningless without moral progress), was conservative in his musical tastes, and was ambivalent about the invention of nuclear weapons, stating that “the people making speeches against producing the bomb are undoubtedly the scum of the intellectuals, although even this does not prove beyond question that what they abominate is to be welcomed”. He particularly admired the philosophy of the Austrian Otto Weininger. Wittgenstein distributed copies of Weininger’s theories to bemused colleagues at Cambridge, and the famous last sentence of the Tractatus is perhaps somewhat influenced by Weininger. (Weininger says: “Kant’s solitary man laughs not, nor dances, shouts not, nor rejoices. For him, no need to make a noise, so deeply does the world expanse its silence keep.”.) It should be noted that after WW2, when discussing Weninger, Wittgenstein was careful to distance himself from Weninger’s misogyny and anti-semitism. In 1934, attracted by his friend Keynes’ description of Soviet life in Short View of Russia, he conceived the idea of emigrating to the Soviet Union with Skinner. They took lessons in Russian and in 1935 Wittgenstein traveled to Leningrad and Moscow in an attempt to secure employment. He was offered teaching positions but preferred manual work and returned three weeks later.
From 1936 to 1937 Wittgenstein lived again in Norway, leaving Skinner behind. He worked on the Philosophical Investigations. In the winter of 1936/37, he delivered a series of “confessions” to close friends, most of them about minor infractions like white lies, in an effort to cleanse himself. In 1938 he traveled to Ireland to visit Maurice Drury, a friend who was training as a doctor, and considered such training himself, with the intention of abandoning philosophy for psychiatry. The visit to Ireland was at the same time a response to the invitation of the then Irish Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera, himself a mathematics teacher. De Valera hoped that Wittgenstein’s presence would contribute to an academy for advanced mathematics.
While he was in Ireland, Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss; the Viennese Wittgenstein was now a citizen of the enlarged Germany and a Jew under its racial laws. He found this intolerable and started to investigate the possibilities of acquiring British or Irish citizenship with the help of Keynes, but this put his siblings Hermine, Helene and Paul, all still living in Austria, in considerable danger. Wittgenstein’s first thought was to travel to Vienna, but he was dissuaded by friends. Had the Wittgensteins been classified as Jews their fate would have been the same as other Austrian Jews, only a minority of whom survived the war. Their only hope was to be classified as Mischlinge: Aryan/Jewish crossbreeds, whose treatment, while harsh, was less brutal than that reserved for Jews. This reclassification was known as a “Befreiung”. The successful conclusion of these negotiations required the personal approval of Adolf Hitler. “The figures show how difficult it was to gain a Befreiung. In 1939 there were 2,100 applications for a different racial classification: the Führer allowed only twelve.”
Gretl, an American citizen by marriage, started negotiations with the Nazi authorities over the racial status of their grandfather Hermann, claiming that he was the illegitimate son of an “Aryan”. The Reichsbank was keen to get its hands on the large amounts of foreign currency owned by the Wittgenstein family, and this was used as a bargaining tool. Paul, who had escaped to Switzerland and then the United States in July 1938, disagreed with the family’s stance.
In the summer of 1937 Wittgenstein had been introduced to Alan Turing by Alister Watson. After G. E. Moore’s resignation in 1939, Wittgenstein, who was by then considered a philosophical genius, was appointed to the chair in Philosophy at Cambridge. He acquired British citizenship soon afterwards, and in July 1939 he traveled to Vienna to assist Gretl and his other sisters, visiting Berlin for one day to meet with an official of the Reichsbank. After this, he traveled to New York to persuade Paul, whose agreement was required, to back the scheme. The required Befreiung was granted in August 1939. The unknown amount signed over to the Nazis by the Wittgenstein family, a week or so before the outbreak of war, included amongst many other assets 1.7 tonnes of gold. At 2008 prices (US$900 per ounce), this amount of gold alone would be worth in excess of US$50 million. Had the transfer occurred only weeks later, it would have counted as aiding an enemy state in time of war, for which the maximum penalty was death by hanging. There is also a report that Wittgenstein went on in 1939 from Berlin to visit Moscow a second time and met again the philosopher/academician Sophia Janowskaya.
After exhausting philosophical work Wittgenstein would often relax by watching a western movie, where he preferred to sit at the very front of the cinema, or reading detective stories. These tastes are in stark contrast to his preferences in music, where he rejected anything after Brahms as a symptom of the decay of society.
By this time Wittgenstein’s view on the foundations of mathematics had changed considerably. Earlier he had thought that logic could provide a solid foundation, and he had even considered updating Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica. Now he denied that there were any mathematical facts to be discovered and he denied that mathematical statements were “true” in any real sense: they simply expressed the conventional established meanings of certain symbols. He also denied that a contradiction should count as a fatal flaw of a mathematical system. He gave a series of lectures on the foundations of mathematics discussing this and other topics, documented in a book. The book contains lectures by Wittgenstein as well as discussions between Wittgenstein and several attending students including the young Alan Turing.
During World War II he left Cambridge and volunteered as a hospital porter in Guy’s Hospital in London and as a laboratory assistant in Newcastle upon Tyne’s Royal Victoria Infirmary. This was arranged by his friend John Ryle, a brother of the philosopher Gilbert Ryle, who was then working at the hospital. After the war, Wittgenstein returned to teach at Cambridge, but he found teaching an increasing burden: he had never liked the intellectual atmosphere at Cambridge, and in fact encouraged several of his students, including Skinner, to find work outside of academic philosophy. There are stories, perhaps apocryphal, that if any of his philosophy students expressed an interest in pursuing the subject, he would ban them from attending any more of his classes.
 Final years and death
|“Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.”|
|— Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.431|
Wittgenstein resigned his position at Cambridge in 1947 to concentrate on his writing. He was succeeded as professor by his friend Georg Henrik von Wright. He stayed at Kilpatrick House guesthouse in East Wicklow in 1947 and 1948. Much of his later work was done on the west coast of Ireland in the rural isolation he preferred. By 1949, when he was diagnosed as having prostate cancer, he had written most of the material that would be published after his death as Philosophische Untersuchungen (Philosophical Investigations), which arguably contains his most important work.
He spent the last two years of his life working in Vienna, the United States, Oxford, and Cambridge. He worked continuously on new material, inspired by the conversations that he had had with his friend and former student Norman Malcolm during a summer spent at the Malcolms’ house in the United States. Malcolm had been wrestling with G.E. Moore’s common sense response to external world skepticism (“Here is one hand, and here is another; therefore I know at least two external things exist”). Wittgenstein began to work on another series of remarks inspired by his conversations, which he continued to work on until two days before his death, and which were published posthumously as On Certainty.
Wittgenstein wrote the final entry, in manuscript MS 177,, less than a day before he completely lost consciousness:
|“||“If someone believes that he has flown from America to England in the last few days, then, I believe, he cannot be making a mistake.
And just the same if someone says that he is at this moment sitting at a table and writing.
But even if in such cases I can’t be mistaken, isn’t it possible that I am drugged?”
If I am and if the drug has taken away my consciousness,
then I am not now really talking and thinking. I cannot seriously suppose that I am at this moment dreaming.
Someone who, dreaming, says “I am dreaming”, even if he speaks audibly in doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream “it is raining”, while it was in fact raining.
Even if his dream were connected with the noise of the rain.”
Wittgenstein died from prostate cancer at the home of Edward Vaughan Bevan, his doctor, in Storey’s Way, Cambridge in 1951. His last words were: “Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life”. He was given a Roman Catholic burial and interred at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge.
Although many of Wittgenstein’s notebooks, papers, and lectures have been published since his death, he published only one philosophical book in his lifetime, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in 1921. Wittgenstein’s early work was deeply influenced by Arthur Schopenhauer, and by the new systems of logic put forward by Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege. He was also influenced by the ideas of Immanuel Kant, especially in relation to transcendentality. When the Tractatus was published, it was taken up as a major influence by the Vienna Circle positivists. However, Wittgenstein did not consider himself part of that school and alleged that logical positivism involved grave misunderstandings of the Tractatus.
With the completion of the Tractatus Wittgenstein believed he had solved all the problems of philosophy and he abandoned his studies, working as a schoolteacher, a gardener at a monastery, and as an architect, along with Paul Engelmann, on his sister’s new house in Vienna. However, in 1929, he returned to Cambridge, where he was awarded a Ph.D. for the Tractatus and took a teaching position. He renounced or revised much of his earlier work, and his development of a new philosophical method and a new understanding of language culminated in his second magnum opus, the Philosophical Investigations, which was published posthumously.
 The Tractatus
Now I’m afraid you haven’t really got hold of my main contention to which the whole business of logical propositions is only corollary. The main point is the theory of what can be expressed by propositions, i.e., by language (and, which comes to the same thing, what can be thought) and what cannot be expressed by propositions, but only shown; which I believe is the cardinal problem of philosophy
This corresponds to the Preface where he writes:
The whole sense of the book might be summed up in the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.
Those things that cannot be expressed in words make themselves manifest; Wittgenstein calls them the mystical (6.522). They include everything which is the traditional subject matter of philosophy because what can be said is exhausted by the natural sciences.
4.1 Propositions represent the existence and non-existence of states of affairs.
4.11 The totality of true propositions is the whole of natural science (or the whole corpus of the natural sciences)
4.111 Philosophy is not one of the natural sciences. (The word ‘philosophy’ must mean something whose place is above or below the natural sciences, not beside them.)
So with respect to Frege’s and Russell‘s efforts in logic (which is part of philosophy) Wittgenstein responds:
4.121 Propositions cannot represent logical form: it is mirrored in them. What finds its reflection in language, language cannot represent. What expresses itself in language, we cannot express by means of language. Propositions show the logical form of reality. They display it.
5.132 If p follows from q, I can make an inference from q to p, deduce p from q. The nature of the inference can be gathered only from the two propositions. They themselves are the only possible justification of the inference. ‘Laws of inference’, which are supposed to justify inferences, as in the works of Frege and Russell, have no sense, and would be superfluous.
The Vienna Circle, broadly speaking, took this to mean that only empirically verifiable sentences were meaningful, and on these grounds flatly dismissed traditional metaphysical and ethical discourse. This is how Rudolf Carnap reacted to the TLP. He thought the lesson was to conceive of philosophy as a strictly meta-logical task in the service of a scientific epistemology. His project of logical syntax was meant to provide philosophers with formalized rational reconstructions of scientific reasoning such that the difference between pseudo-questions (which are about languages) and genuine scientific questions (which are about the world in a theory-laden sense) would be clearly displayed. Once disputes about a choice of language were recognized as such they could simply be settled pragmatically. This work, in Carnap’s view, was all that was left for philosophers to do after traditional philosophy had been relegated to the realm of nonsense.
Although we may be able to see in the TLP what led Carnap to his ideas, it is pretty clear that this account of philosophy was never quite what Wittgenstein had in mind. This is not very surprising seeing as the two men had decidedly different temperaments and approaches to philosophical problems in general. Carnap was harshly critical of Heidegger, for instance, while Wittgenstein stated that he could “readily think what Heidegger means”, and was sincerely respectful of “the impulse to run up against the limits of language”. In Carnap’s autobiography he notes: “…there was a striking difference between Wittgenstein’s attitude toward philosophical problems and that of Schlick and myself. Our attitude toward philosophical problems was not very different from that which scientists have toward their problems.”
As for Wittgenstein:
His point of view and his attitude toward people and problems, even theoretical problems, were much more similar to those of a creative artist than to those of a scientist; one might almost say, similar to those of a religious prophet or a seer… When finally, sometimes after a prolonged arduous effort, his answers came forth, his statement stood before us like a newly created piece of art or a divine revelation…the impression he made on us was as if insight came to him as through divine inspiration, so that we could not help feeling that any sober rational comment of analysis of it would be a profanation.
Wittgenstein, according to Carnap, “tolerated no critical examination by others” either–an attitude very different from that of analytic philosophers and scientists who assume that facing the doubts and objections of others is an important way of testing their hypotheses.
Knowing this, we should perhaps expect that Carnap’s interpretation of the TLP is incorrect. Carnap is close to Wittgenstein, however, insofar as he detects the importance of paying attention to language in resolving philosophical disputes. He maintains that some disputes are fruitless because we fail to see that they are linguistically superficial; that there are many possible ways of talking about, say, numbers, each of which may have its legitimate use in a different context. The young Wittgenstein would probably have replied to Carnap, however, (as did the elder W.V.O. Quine) that the logical analysis of scientific language is better left to the scientists themselves. His idea in the TLP, after all, was not to turn philosophy into meta-logic, but rather to secure as philosophical everything that lies outside the scope of science and therefore beyond the reach of language. A letter written to Ficker makes Wittgenstein’s own understanding of the scope and goal of the TLP clear:
[T]he point of the book is ethical. I once wanted to give a few words in the foreword which now actually are not in it, which, however, I’ll write to you now because they might be a key for you: I wanted to write that my work consists of two parts: of the one which is here, and of everything which I have not written. And precisely this second part is the important one. For the Ethical is delimited from within, as it were, by my book; and I’m convinced that, strictly speaking, it can ONLY be delimited in this way. In brief, I think: All of that which many are babbling today, I have defined in my book by remaining silent about it.
The Tractatus is probably most well known for the logical atomism that Russell himself stressed in it: the picture theory of meaning.
- The world consists of independent atomic facts—existing states of affairs—out of which larger facts are built.
- Language consists of atomic, and then larger-scale propositions that correspond to these facts by sharing the same “logical form”.
- Thought, expressed in language, “pictures” these facts.
On this theory any piece of language that is not representative of some fact, i.e. is not a proposition, is to be classified as nonsense. The Tractatus itself is constructed of such pseudo-propositions, however, as Wittgenstein readily admits:
6.54 My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them – as steps – to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.
This leads him to reassert the main point of the book.
7 What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
Some have chosen to interpret this as deliberate irony, others as outright performative contradiction.
Wittgenstein may be fairly compared in some respects to Immanuel Kant who similarly seeks to delimit the sphere of the ethical and save it from the encroachment of science and theoretical reason. Kant is concerned, like Wittgenstein, with antinomies which point out the limits of language and human thought. Moreover, Wittgenstein’s project is transcendental: he is investigating the conditions of possibility of representation.
|The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena.Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them as something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past ages. And in fact both were right and both wrong; though the view of the ancients is clearer insofar as they have an acknowledged terminus, while the modern system tries to make it look as if everything were explained|
|— Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371-2|
In the preface to the Tractatus Wittgenstein says “the truth of the thoughts that are here communicated seems to me unassailable and definitive”. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was submitted by Wittgenstein for the degree of PhD upon his return to Cambridge University in 1929. At his oral defense Russell, who was one of his examiners, expressed doubts about Wittgenstein’s ability to express unassailable truths with meaningless sentences. Wittgenstein might have countered with another line from the preface: “Perhaps this book will be understood only by someone who has himself already had the thoughts that are expressed in it—or at least similar thoughts.” What he did reply was harsher still: “Don’t worry, I know you’ll never understand it.”
In his examiner’s report, G.E. Moore stated “It is my personal opinion that Mr. Wittgenstein’s thesis is a work of genius”. Wittgenstein was awarded his PhD.
 Intermediate works
Wittgenstein wrote copiously after his return to Cambridge, and arranged much of his writing into an array of incomplete manuscripts. Some thirty thousand pages existed at the time of his death. Much, but by no means all, of this has been sorted and released in several volumes. During his “middle work” in the 1920s and 1930s, much of his work involved attacks from various angles on the sort of philosophical perfectionism embodied in the Tractatus. Of this work, Wittgenstein published only a single paper, “Remarks on Logical Form,” which was submitted to be read for the Aristotelian Society and published in their proceedings. By the time of the conference, however, Wittgenstein had repudiated the essay as worthless, and gave a talk on the concept of infinity instead. Wittgenstein was increasingly frustrated to find that, although he was not yet ready to publish his work, some other philosophers were beginning to publish essays containing inaccurate presentations of his own views based on their conversations with him. As a result, he published a very brief letter to the journal Mind, taking a recent article by R. B. Braithwaite as a case in point, and asked philosophers to hold off writing about his views until he was himself ready to publish them. Although unpublished, the Blue Book, a set of notes dictated to his class at Cambridge in 1933–1934, contains seeds of Wittgenstein’s later thoughts on language (later developed in the Investigations), and is widely read today as a turning point in his philosophy of language.
 Philosophical Investigations
Alongside Tractatus, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (Philosophische Untersuchungen) is his other major work. In 1953, two years after Wittgenstein’s death, the long-awaited book was published in two parts. Most of the 693 numbered paragraphs in Part I were ready for printing in 1946, but Wittgenstein withdrew the manuscript from the publisher. The shorter Part II was added by the editors, G.E.M. Anscombe and Rush Rhees.
It is difficult to find consensus among interpreters of Wittgenstein’s work, and this is particularly true in the case of the Investigations. Wittgenstein asks the reader to think of language and its uses as a multiplicity of language-games within which the parts of language function and have meaning. As a result of this perspective, many conventional philosophical problems (i.e., what is truth?) become meaningless wordplay.
The conventional view of the task of the philosopher is to solve seemingly intractable problems of philosophy using logical analysis (for example, the problem of free will, the relationship between mind and matter, what the good or the beautiful or the true consist of, and so on). However, Wittgenstein argues that these problems are, in fact, “bewitchments” that arise from philosophers’ misuse of language.
In Wittgenstein’s view, language is inextricably woven into the fabric of life, and as part of that fabric it works relatively unproblematically. Philosophical problems arise when language is forced from its proper home and into a metaphysical environment, where all the familiar and necessary landmarks and contextual clues are absent—removed, perhaps, for what appear to be sound philosophical reasons, but which lead, for Wittgenstein, to the source of the problem. Wittgenstein describes this metaphysical environment as like being on frictionless ice: where the conditions are apparently perfect for a philosophically and logically perfect language (the language of the Tractatus), where all philosophical problems can be solved without the confusing and muddying effects of everyday contexts; but where, just because of the lack of friction, language can in fact do no actual work at all. There is much talk in the Investigations, then, of “idle wheels” and language being “on holiday” or a mere “ornament”, all of which are used to express the idea of what is lacking in philosophical contexts. To resolve the problems encountered there, Wittgenstein argues that philosophers must leave the frictionless ice and return to the “rough ground” of ordinary language in use; that is, philosophers must “bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.”
In this regard, one can see affinities between Wittgenstein and Kant. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argues that when concepts grounded in experience are applied outside of the range of possible experience, the result is contradictions and confusion. Thus the second part of the Critique consists of refutations, typically by reductio ad absurdum, of logical proofs of the existence of God and the existence of souls, and attacks on strong notions of infinity and necessity. In this way, Wittgenstein’s objections to applying words outside the contexts in which they have an established meaning mirror Kant’s objections to the non-empirical use of empirical reason.
Returning to the rough ground of ordinary uses of words is, however, easier said than done. Philosophical problems have the character of depth and run as deep as the forms of language and thought that set philosophers on the road to confusion. Wittgenstein therefore speaks of “illusions”, “bewitchment”, and “conjuring tricks” performed on our thinking by our forms of language, and tries to break their spell by attending to differences between superficially similar aspects of language which he feels lead to this type of confusion. For much of the Investigations, then, Wittgenstein tries to show how philosophers are led away from the ordinary world of language in use by misleading aspects of language itself. He does this by looking at the role language plays in the development of various philosophical problems, to some general problems involving language itself, then at the notions of rules and rule following, and then on to some more specific problems in the philosophy of mind. Throughout these investigations, the style of writing is conversational, with Wittgenstein in turn taking the role of the puzzled philosopher (on either or both sides of traditional philosophical debates), and that of the guide attempting to show the puzzled philosopher the way back: the “way out of the fly bottle.”
Much of the Investigations, then, consists of examples of how philosophical confusion is generated and how, by a close examination of the actual workings of everyday language, the first false steps towards philosophical puzzlement can be avoided. By avoiding these first false steps, philosophical problems themselves simply no longer arise and are therefore dissolved rather than solved. As Wittgenstein puts it, “the clarity we are aiming at is indeed complete clarity. But this simply means that the philosophical problems should completely disappear.”
Some have criticized Wittgenstein for his position on the limits of language, and his abandonment of empirical explanation for linguistic description in his later works. His friend Friedrich Waismann, who had spent much of the 1930s unsuccessfully attempting to co-author a book with Wittgenstein, eventually accused him of “complete obscurantism” because of his apparent betrayal of logical positivism and empirical inquiry. This criticism has been further developed by Ernest Gellner. Frank Cioffi discusses the various senses of obscurantism in Wittgenstein, which he designates as “limits obscurantism”, “method obscurantism”, and “sensibility obscurantism”.
Both his early and later work have been major influences in the development of analytic philosophy. Former colleagues and students include Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, Gilbert Ryle, Friedrich Waismann, Norman Malcolm, G. E. M. Anscombe, Rush Rhees, Georg Henrik von Wright and Peter Geach.
Contemporary philosophers heavily influenced by him include Richard Rorty, Michael Dummett, Donald Davidson, P.M.S. Hacker, John R. Searle, Saul Kripke, John McDowell, David Pears, Hilary Putnam, Anthony Quinton, Peter Strawson, Paul Horwich, Colin McGinn, Daniel Dennett, D. Z. Phillips, Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, James F. Conant, Isaiah Berlin, Iris Murdoch, Anthony Kenny, Jürgen Habermas and Jean-François Lyotard.
With others, Conant, Diamond and Cavell have been associated with an interpretation of Wittgenstein sometimes known as the New Wittgenstein.
However, it cannot really be said that Wittgenstein founded a “school” in any normal sense. The views of most of the above are generally contradictory. Indeed there are strong strains in his writings from the Tractatus onwards which would probably have regarded any such enterprise as fundamentally misguided.
Wittgenstein has also had a significant influence in the social sciences. Psychologists and psychotherapists inspired by Wittgenstein’s work include Fred Newman, Lois Holzman, Brian J. Mistler, and John Morss. American anthropologist Clifford Geertz heavily grounded his development of linguistic symbolism in Wittgenstein’s work. While the influential French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, stated that “Wittgenstein is probably the philosopher who has helped me most at moments of difficulty. He’s a kind of saviour for times of great intellectual distress”.
Wittgenstein’s influence has extended beyond what is normally considered philosophy and may be found in various areas of the arts. For example, the writings and art work of conceptual artist, Joseph Kosuth, is heavily influenced by Wittgensteinian thought. American composer Steve Reich has twice set quotes from Wittgenstein to music. “How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life!” is the basis for Proverb (1995) while the third movement of You Are (Variations) (2004), uses a sentence from Philosophical Investigations: “Explanations come to an end somewhere.” Reich received a B.A. in philosophy from Cornell University in 1957, having written his thesis on Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein was the last person considered in the final edition of the six-part BBC documentary, “Sea of Faith”. The only known fragment of music composed by Wittgenstein was premiered in November 2003. The piece of music comprises four bars and lasts less than half a minute.
- Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung, Annalen der Naturphilosophie, 14 (1921)
- Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, translated by C.K. Ogden (1922)
- Philosophische Untersuchungen (1953)
- Philosophical Investigations, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe (1953)
- Bemerkungen über die Grundlagen der Mathematik, ed. by G.H. von Wright, R. Rhees, and G.E.M. Anscombe (1956) (a selection from his writings on the philosophy of logic and mathematics between 1937 and 1944)
- Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe, rev. ed. (1978)
- Bemerkungen über die Philosophie der Psychologie, ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright (1980)
- Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology, Vols. 1 and 2, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe, ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright (1980) (a selection of which makes up ‘Zettel’)
- The Blue and Brown Books (1958) (Notes dictated in English to Cambridge students in 1933–35)
- Philosophische Bemerkungen, ed. by Rush Rhees (1964)
- Philosophical Remarks (1975)
- Philosophical Grammar (1978)
- Bemerkungen über die Farben, ed. by G.E.M. Anscombe (1977)
- On Certainty — A collection of aphorisms discussing the relation between knowledge and certainty, extremely influential in the philosophy of action.
- Culture and Value — A collection of personal remarks about various cultural issues, such as religion and music, as well as critique of Søren Kierkegaard‘s philosophy.
- Zettel, another collection of Wittgenstein’s thoughts in fragmentary/”diary entry” format as with On Certainty and Culture and Value.
A collection of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s manuscripts is held by Trinity College, Cambridge.
 Works online
- Review of P. Coffey’s Science of Logic (1913): a polemical book review, written in 1912 for the March 1913 issue of the The Cambridge Review when Wittgenstein was an undergraduate studying with Russell. The review is the earliest public record of Wittgenstein’s philosophical views.
- Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922/1923), German text and Ogden-Ramsey translation
- Works by Ludwig Wittgenstein at Project Gutenberg
- Some Remarks on Logical Form
- Cambridge (1932–3) lecture notes
- The Blue Book
- Lecture on Ethics
- (A Few) Remarks
- On Certainty
 Further reading
- Bartley, William Warren (1985). Wittgenstein. La Salle, Ill.: Open Court. ISBN 9780875484419.
- Brockhaus, Richard R. (1990). Pulling Up the Ladder: The Metaphysical Roots of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. La Salle, Ill.: Open Court. ISBN 9780812691252. Explores the continental influences on Wittgenstein, often overlooked by traditional analytic works.
- Drury, Maurice O’Connor; David Berman (ed), Michael Fitzgerald (ed), John Hayes (ed) (1973). The Danger of Words and Writings on Wittgenstein. Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp. 225. ISBN 1-85506-490-1. A collection of Drury’s writings concerning Wittgenstein, edited and introduced by David Berman, Michael Fitzgerald and John Hayes.
- Edmonds, David; John Eidinow (2001). Wittgenstein’s Poker. New York: Ecco. pp. 288. ISBN 978-0571227358. A review of the origin of the conflict between Karl Popper and Wittgenstein, focused on events leading up to their volatile first encounter at 1946 Cambridge meeting.
- Fonteneau, Françoise : L’éthique du silence. Wittgenstein et Lacan. Paris: Seuil. 1999
- Glock, Hans-Johann (1996). A Wittgenstein Dictionary. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference. ISBN 0-631-18112-1.
- Grayling, A. C. (2001). Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-285411-9. An introduction aimed at the non-specialist reader.
- Guetti, James (1993). Wittgenstein and the Grammar of Literary Experience. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-1496-X.
- Hacker, P. M. S. (1986). Insight and Illusion: Themes in the Philosophy of Wittgenstein. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-824783-4.
- Hacker, P. M. S. (1996). Wittgenstein’s Place in Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference. ISBN 0-631-20098-3. An analysis of the relationship between Wittgenstein’s thought and that of Frege, Russell, and the Vienna Circle.
- Harré, Rom; Tissaw, Michael A. (2005). Wittgenstein and Psychology: A Practical Guide. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate. Looks at practical uses of Wittgenstein’s later theories in a hands-on psychological context.
- Kitching, Gavin (2003). Wittgenstein and Society: Essays in Conceptual Puzzlement. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-3342-X. http://www.gavinkitching.com/marx_4.htm.
- Klagge, James C. (2001). Wittgenstein: Biography and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00868-9. Reviewed here.
- Malcolm, Norman (1958). Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir. London, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199247595. A portrait by someone who knew Wittgenstein well.
- McGuiness, Brian (1988). Young Ludwig: Wittgenstein’s Life, 1889–1921. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-927994-2.
- McGuiness, Brian (2008). Wittgenstein in Cambridge: Letters and Documents 1911-1951. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405147019. Collects the most substantial correspondence and documents relating to Wittgenstein’s long association with Cambridge.
- Monk, Ray (2005). How To Read Wittgenstein. New York: Norton. ISBN 1-86207-724-X. Using key texts from Wittgenstein’s writings the author gives insight into how his philosophy can be interpreted.
- Monk, Ray (1990). Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. New York: Free Press, Maxwell Macmillan International. ISBN 0-14-015995-9. A biography that also attempts to explain his philosophy.
- Schulte, Joachim; trans. William H. Brenner and John F. Holley (1992). Wittgenstein: An Introduction. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-1082-X. A concise introduction to Wittgenstein’s philosophy illuminated with passages from his work.
- Sterrett, Susan G. (2005). Wittgenstein Flies a Kite: A Story of Models of Wings and Models of the World. New York: Pi Press. ISBN 0-13-149997-1. Accessible study of early years up to writing of Tractatus, interweaving history of flight, science and technology with logic and philosophy.
For an in-depth exegesis of Wittgenstein’s later work, see the 4-volume analytical commentary by P.M.S. Hacker, volumes 1 and 2 co-authored with G. P. Baker:
- G.P. Baker & P.M.S. Hacker. (1980). Wittgenstein: Understanding and Meaning. Oxford: B. Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-12111-0.
- G.P. Baker & P.M.S. Hacker. (1985). Wittgenstein: Rules, Grammar, and Necessity. Oxford, OX, UK: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-13024-1.
- P. M. S. Hacker (1990). Wittgenstein: Meaning and Mind. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-18739-1.
- P. M. S. Hacker (1996). Wittgenstein: Mind and Will. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-18739-1.
 Works referencing Wittgenstein
- The Jew of Linz, by Kimberley Cornish, puts forward the controversial thesis that Hitler’s antisemitism arose from his dislike of Wittgenstein, and that Wittgenstein was a Soviet agent who recruited the “Cambridge Five“. Century Books (1998). ISBN 0712679359
- City of God depicts an imaginary rivalry between Wittgenstein and Einstein, with Wittgenstein assuming the role of the narrator. Authored by E. L. Doctorow. Plume (2001). ISBN 0452282098
- The World as I Found It by Bruce Duffy, a recreation of the life of Wittgenstein. Ticknor & Fields (1987). ASIN B001PGGD54
- Wittgenstein, a film by avant-garde filmmaker Derek Jarman (1993). The script and the original treatment by Terry Eagleton have been published as a book by the British Film Institute. BFI Publishing (1993). ISBN 0851703968
- The Fifth Wittgenstein, a discussion of the connection between Wittgenstein’s architecture and his philosophy by Kari Jormakka, Datutop 24, 2004. University of Technology Tampere, 2004. ISBN 9521511613
- A Philosophical Investigation, a dystopian thriller by Philip Kerr set in 2012. London: Chatto & Windus, 1992. ISBN 0-7011-4553-6
- The Architecture of Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Documentation by Bernhard Leitner, Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1973). ISBN 0919616003
- Feminist Interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein, edited by Naomi Scheman and Peg O’Connor, offers a look at Wittgenstein’s philosophies through a feminist perspective. ISBN 0-271-02198-5.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, Architect, an extensive account of Wittgenstein’s design of the house for his sister in Vienna. Written by Paul Wijdeveld, MIT Press, 1994. ISBN 0262231751.
- Wittgenstein’s Mistress, an experimental novel by David Markson, is a first-person account of what it would be like to live in the world as described in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Dalkey Archive Press (1988). ISBN 1564782115
 See also
 Notes and references
- ^ “Time 100: Scientists and Thinkers”. Time Magazine Online. http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/. Retrieved on 29 April 2006.
- ^ The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, pg. 329.
- ^ Lackey, Douglas. 1999. “What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century”. Philosophical Forum. 30 (4): 329-46
- ^ Lackey, Douglas. 1999. “What Are the Modern Classics? The Baruch Poll of Great Philosophy in the Twentieth Century”. Philosophical Forum. 30 (4): 329-46
- ^ “Karl Wittgenstein, Business Tycoon and Art Patron”. http://faculty.frostburg.edu/phil/forum/KarlWittgenstein.htm. Retrieved on 12 December 2008.
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius: p.5
- ^ “Karl Wittgenstein, Business Tycoon and Art Patron”. http://faculty.frostburg.edu/phil/forum/KarlWittgenstein.htm. Retrieved on 2008-12-12.
- ^ >“The Cambridge Wittgenstein Archive: Ludwig Wittgenstein: Background”. http://www.wittgen-cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/text/biogre1.html. Retrieved on 2008-12-12.
- ^ Ludwig Wittgenstein at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius: p.8
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius: p.6
- ^ Edmonds, Eidinow, “Wittgenstein’s Poker”
- ^ Bartley, Wittgenstein, 34–35.
- ^ Hamann, p.15
- ^ Hamann, pp.15-16.
- ^ p 75 Sterrett
- ^ Ludwig Boltzmann, biography from Corrosion Doctors
- ^ Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell Principia Mathematica to *56, Cambridge University Press, 1997 ISBN 0521626064; 3 vol. (1950) ASIN: BOOOWWCRCA; 1st ed. 1910
- ^ Michael Beaney, editor The Frege Reader, pp. 194-223 and pp. 258-289, Blackwell Publishers, 1997 ISBN 0-631–19444-4
- ^ a b c Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, biography by J. J. O’Connor and E. F. Robertson
- ^ Russell and Wittgenstein: A Study in Civility and Arrogance, article by Justin Leiber
- ^ The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, pg. 282.
- ^ Malcolm, Norman (1958). “A Memoir”. Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir. G. H. von Wright. U.S.: Oxford University Press. pp. 26. ISBN 0199247595. “Often [He] would rush off to a cinema immediately after the class ended. As the members of the class began to move their chairs out of the room he might look imploringly at a friend and say in a low tone, ‘Could you go to a flick?’ On the way to the cinema Wittgenstein would buy a bun or cold pork pie and munch it while he watched the film.”
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius: p.71
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, pp. 44, 116, 382–84
- ^ Creegan, Charles. “Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard”. Routledge. http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/ccreegan/wk/chapter1.html. Retrieved on 23 April 2006.
- ^ Introduction by Bertrand Russell
- ^ a b c d “A dwelling for the gods“. Guardian Unlimited. 2002–01-05. http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,,627752,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
- ^ “Philosopher’s rare ‘other book’ goes on sale”. Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/feb/19/books.booksnews2. Retrieved on 29 April 2006.
- ^ Stuart Jeffries, A dwelling for the gods, The Guardian, January 5, 2002.
- ^ Lewis Hyde, Making It, New York Times, April 6, 2008.
- ^ Vienna Circle, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, p. 271
- ^ R.B.Braithwaite George Edward Moore, 1873 – 1958, in Ambrose, Alice. G.E. Moore: Essays in Retrospect (Muirhead Library of Philosophy). Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-29537-6.
- ^ p.160 Bartley
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, Pinset: p. 361, 428; Skinner: p. 331-334, 376, 401-402; Richards: p. 503-506
- ^ Drury, Recollections p. 160; cf. The Danger of Words (1973) p. ix, xiv)
- ^ Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, p. 343
- ^ Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, p 48-9, 1946
- ^ p216, Philosophical Tales, Cohen, M., Blackwell 2008
- ^ p218, Philosophical Tales, Cohen, M., Blackwell 2008
- ^ Ludwig Wittgenstein: Return to Cambridge from the Cambridge Wittgenstein Archive
- ^ “Jews in Linz”. http://www.linz.at/archiv/nationalsoz/ekapitel7.html. Retrieved on 29 April 2006.
- ^ Edmonds and Eidinow, pp. 98, 105
- ^ Hodges, A. Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence. London: Unwin, 1985.
- ^ Edmonds, David and Eidinow, John. “Wittgenstein’s Poker”, Faber and Faber, London 2001, p.98.
- ^ “Treason Act 1708 (c.21)”. HMSO. http://www.england-legislation.hmso.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/apgb/1708/capgb_17080021_en_1.
- ^ Moran, John. “Wittgenstein and Russia” New Left Review 73 (May-June, 1972), pp. 83-96.
- ^ Hard-boiled Wit: Ludwig Wittgenstein and Norbert Davis, by Josef Hoffmann
- ^ Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1989–10-15), Diamond, Cora, ed., Wittgenstein’s Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics, University Of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226904261
- ^ Tracking the Meaning of Life, Yuval Lurie, University of Missouri Press, 2006, page 111
- ^ http://www.wittgen-cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/text/biogre11.html
- ^ John, Peter C. (July – Sep., 1988). “Wittgenstein’s “Wonderful Life”“. Journal of the History of Ideas 49 (3): 510. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-5037(198807%2F09)49%3A3%3C495%3AW%22L%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.
- ^ Letter from Wittgenstein to Russell, cited in Edwards, James C. 1982. Ethics Without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life, University Presses of Florida
- ^ Letter from Wittgenstein to Ludwig von Ficker, Bad Modernisms, book by Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz. October or November 1919, translated by Ray Monk.
- ^ a b c Monk, 1990
- ^ The Manuscripts, from the Wittgenstein Archive in Cambridge
- ^ Philosophical Investigations, §23.
- ^ Philosophical Investigations, §107.
- ^ Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: Critical Essays by Meredith Williams
- ^ Cf. Philosophical Investigations, §309.
- ^ see Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
- ^ Shanker, S., & Shanker, V. A. (1986), Ludwig Wittgenstein: critical assessments. London: Croom Helm, 50-51.
- ^ Words and things: An examination of, and an attack on, linguistic philosophy. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979, originally published in 1959.
- ^ Cioffi, F. (1998), Wittgenstein on Freud and Frazer. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 183ff, chapter 7, “Wittgenstein and obscurantism”.
- ^ Michael Dummett, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- ^ Actions, Reasons, and Causes, by Donald Davidson, a response to the Wittgensteinian views on rationalization
- ^ Wittgenstein meets Neuroscience, book review by Axel Kohler
- ^ “Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary”. Wittgenstein’s Ladder Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary. http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/perloff/witt_intro.html. Retrieved on 2008-12-28.
- ^ “New York Times interview with Reich”. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DEED8173BF93BA15752C0A9639C8B63.
- ^ “First Aphorism from Philosophical Investigations“. http://users.rcn.com/rathbone/lw1-10c.htm.
- ^ “Cornell Chronicle article”. http://www.news.cornell.edu/Chronicle/00/10.26.00/music.html.
- ^ “Wittgenstein’s Symphonic Premiere”. http://www.utne.com/2003-11-01/Wittgensteins-Symphonic-Premiere.aspx.
 External links
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews
Learning resources from Wikiversity
- The Wittgenstein Portal
- Ludwig Wittgenstein entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Works are edited in an electronic edition at the University of Bergen in Norway.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) is a comprehensive resource of material
- Wittgenstein program from In Our Time (BBC Radio 4).
- T.P. Uschanov’s page Wittgenstein links
- British Wittgenstein Society’s Annotated Wittgenstein Bibliography Project; Wiki editor: Dr. Constantinos Athanasopoulos
- Cambridge Wittgenstein Archive – German and English, includes pictures, biography, searchable database of manuscripts
- An article in the online music magazine La Folia discusses Wittgenstein’s attitude towards music and music inspired by Wittgenstein