A Companion to Wittgenstein by Hans-Johann Glock, John Hyman

By Hans-Johann Glock, John Hyman

The such a lot complete survey of Wittgenstein’s suggestion but compiled, this quantity of 50 newly commissioned essays by way of top interpreters of his philosophy is a keynote addition to the Blackwell sequence at the world’s nice philosophers, overlaying every little thing from Wittgenstein’s highbrow improvement to the most recent interpretations of his highly influential rules. The lucid, enticing statement additionally studies Wittgenstein’s ancient legacy and his persisted effect on modern philosophical debate.

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For the first two years of the war, he served behind the lines. For the most part, he hated it. He found it impossible to befriend the people he served alongside (“unbelievably crude, stupid and malicious” (Monk, 1990, p. 114)) and was certain that he was fighting on the losing side. His diary notes of the time show that he thought often of suicide. What saved him from that was the gospel, or, more precisely, Leo Tolstoy’s Gospel in Brief, which he bought in his first month in Poland and read and reread until he knew it by heart.

This too, emphasizes the continuity in Wittgenstein’s work. In addition, the Nestroy motto can be seen to echo the Kürnberger motto to the Tractatus (both are from Austrian nineteenth‐century writers). Although he mostly lived in an English‐speaking philosophical environment, Wittgenstein remained an author writing in his own style of German. These features set Wittgenstein aside from all other philosophical writers. In 1941 Wittgenstein said the following in conversation: It’s like this. If you find your way out of a wood you may think that it is the only way out.

On the one hand (as Bertrand Russell discovered to his dismay on his own return to Cambridge in 1944), he was by far the most influential and admired philosopher among the younger generation of academic philosophers. On the other hand, he himself had grown increasingly contemptuous of academic philosophy. He did not even think of publishing his work in academic journals and avoided academic conferences. In the years immediately after the war, the tension between holding these attitudes and being a professor of philosophy at Cambridge became harder and harder to bear, and by 1947 he could bear it no longer and resigned his chair.

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