Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction

Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction

A. C. Grayling

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0192854119

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was an extraordinarily original thinker, whose influence on twentieth-century thinking far outside the bounds of philosophy alone. In this engaging Introduction, A.C. Grayling makes Wittgenstein's thought accessible to the general reader by explaining the nature and impact of Wittgenstein's views. He describes both his early and later philosophy, the differences and connections between them, and gives a fresh assessment of Wittgenstein's continuing influence on contemporary thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Enigma code or Pepys' Diary, but 98 which cannot be understood by anyone other than its speaker: a language, in short, which is logical y private to its speaker. It is against this conception of a logical y private language that Wit genstein inveighs in the sections of the Investigations mentioned. The primary reason has already been given: to understand a language is to be able to fol ow the rules for its use, and nothing can count as private rule-fol owing for otherwise there would

left the prisoner-of-war camp in 1919 he had recognizably become the unusual, even eccentric, often prickly individual whose later years are so wel described by the chief memoirists. The second mat er of significance was that when Wit genstein was taken prisoner, he had in his big knapsack the manuscript of his book, the Logische- Philosophische Abhandlung, known to its English-language readers as the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (a name suggested for it by Moore in imitation of

accept many things (C 344); My life shows that I know or am certain that there is a chair over there, or a door, and so on (C 7). Accordingly, Moore, and the (Cartesian) philosophical tradition whose outlook informs Moore's approach to these mat ers, is in Wit genstein's view mistaken in failing to see that he does not and cannot know what he claims to know: I should like to say: Moore does not know what he asserts he knows, but it stands fast for him, as also for me; regarding it as

position remind one that the rulefol owing and privacy issues give rise to yet another serious problem. The problem has already been mentioned: it concerns the fact that if rules are constituted by agreement within a language community, and are not determined by anything external to that community's practices, then the problem facing a putative private language- user namely, that he cannot tel whether he is, or only thinks he is, fol owing a rule also faces the community as a whole. How

guide to what importance future thinkers may at ach to his work. In trying to characterize Wit genstein's place, then, it is best to leave aside judgements of the kind at issue above, and to proceed as far as possible factual y. There are certain complications in describing Wit genstein's place in recent philosophy. They result chiefly from Wit genstein's secretiveness and hesitance about his later thought. This was because he was anxious not to have his ideas disseminated until he had

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