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Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was an Austrian philosopher whom many regard to have been the most important philosopher of the twentieth century. His work is often divided into two distinct periods, early and later, with the division occurring at some point shortly after his return to Cambridge in 1929 following a period of self-imposed exile as, among other things, a village school-teacher, monastery gardener, and architect. Wittgenstein wrote extensively on many topics including the philosophy of language, logic, mathematics and mind though he published little during his lifetime. His work is distinctive particularly for his claim that philosophy is for the most part nonsense, his aim being to bring to light the confusions that give to it the appearance of sense.

Key works Wittgenstein’s most important works are the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (first published in English in 1922) and the Philosophical Investigations (first published posthumously in 1953). The nature and extent of the continuity between these two works is a matter of great controversy, with one extreme representing them as offering fundamentally opposed philosophies and another treating the differences as largely stylistic. Among the many other works produced from his manuscripts and notebooks, Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, compiled from notes made in the two years before his death, is sometimes regarded as his third “masterpiece”.
Introductions There are many good introductions to Wittgenstein's thought. Monk 2005 and Hacker 1999 are both short and accessible. More in-depth, but still engaging, are Child 2011, Kenny 2006, and Sluga 2011. Jolley 2010 contains a good selection of essays on central topics. McGinn 2006 and McGinn 2013 provide in-depth introductions to the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, respectively.
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  1. Josep-Maria Terricabras (ed.) (1993). A Wittgenstein Symposium. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
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  2. S. C. A. (1973). Can There Be a Private Language? Review of Metaphysics 27 (2):412-413.
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  3. Richard I. Aaron (1965). Wittgenstein's Theory of Universals. Mind 74 (294):249-251.
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  4. Jorge Ruiz Abánades (2010). La noción de “uso” en el Tractatus de Wittgenstein. Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 34 (2):73-88.
    This article intends to bring the philosophies of the first and second Wittgenstein closer together, concentrating on the concept of “use”. If this concept is considered the centre of philosophy of second Wittgenstein, this article shows it as already implicit in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, as the last responsible element in the sense of the propositions. As a general conclusion to the article, we learn that the point of view or the method used by the second Wittgenstein does not represent a (...)
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  5. Juan José Acero (1991). Significado Y Necesidad En El'tractatus'. Daimon 3:213-250.
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  6. Felicia Ackerman (1992). Does Philosophy Only State What Everyone Admits? A Discussion of the Method of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 17 (1):246-254.
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  7. D. F. Ackermann (1983). Wittgenstein, Rules and Origin - Privacy. Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 1:63-69.
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  8. Robert John Ackermann (1988). Wittgenstein's City. University of Massachusetts Press.
    One PANORAMA T, HE LIFE of Wittgenstein was quite different from the lives of most of those who later extolled him as perhaps the major philosopher of the ...
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  9. M. Addis (2005). Peter Munz: Beyond Wittgenstein's Poker: New Light on Popper and Wittgenstein; David Stern and Bela Szabados (Eds): Wittgenstein Reads Weininger. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):597.
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  10. Mark Addis (2008). Review of J. Mark Lazenby, The Early Wittgenstein on Religion. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (1).
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  11. Mark Addis (2007). Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument and Self Consciousness. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):89-103.
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  12. Mark Addis (1993). Does Language Matter to Philosophy?: Aristotle and Wittgenstein on the Nature of Philosophical Enquiry. Cogito 7 (3):211-216.
  13. Mark R. Addis (1999). Wittgenstein: Making Sense of Other Minds. Ashgate.
    The difficulties about other minds are deep and of central philosophical importance. This text explores attempts to apply Wittgenstein's concept of criteria in explaining how we can know other minds and their properties. It is shown that the use of criteria for this purpose is misguided.
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  14. Tom Addis, Jan Townsend Addis, Dave Billinge, David Gooding & Bart-Floris Visscher (2008). The Abductive Loop: Tracking Irrational Sets. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 13 (1):5-16.
    We argue from the Church-Turing thesis (Kleene Mathematical logic. New York: Wiley 1967) that a program can be considered as equivalent to a formal language similar to predicate calculus where predicates can be taken as functions. We can relate such a calculus to Wittgenstein’s first major work, the Tractatus, and use the Tractatus and its theses as a model of the formal classical definition of a computer program. However, Wittgenstein found flaws in his initial great work and he explored these (...)
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  15. Steven G. Affeldt (2010). On the Difficulty of Seeing Aspects and the 'Therapeutic' Reading of Wittgenstein. In William Day & Víctor J. Krebs (eds.), Seeing Wittgenstein Anew. Cambridge University Press.
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  16. Steven G. Affeldt (1999). Captivating Pictures and Liberating Language: Freedom as the Achievement of Speech in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. Philosophical Topics 27 (2):255-285.
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  17. Reshef Agam-Segal (2012). Reflecting on Language From “Sideways-On”: Preparatory and Non-Preparatory Aspects-Seeing. Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (6).
    Aspect-seeing, I claim, involves reflection on concepts. It involves letting oneself feel how it would be like to conceptualize something with a certain concept, without committing oneself to this conceptualization. I distinguish between two kinds of aspect-perception: -/- 1. Preparatory: allows us to develop, criticize, and shape concepts. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of examining what would be the best way to conceptualize it. -/- 2. Non-Preparatory: allows us to express the ingraspability of certain (...)
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  18. Reshef Agam-Segal (2012). How to Investigate the Grammar of Aspect- Perception: A Question in Wittgensteinian Method. Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):85-105.
    I argue that the typical Wittgensteinian method of philosophical investigation cannot help elucidate the grammar of aspect-seeing. In the typical Wittgensteinian method, we examine meaning in use: We practice language, and note the logical ramifications. I argue that the effectiveness of this method is hindered in the case of aspect-seeing by the fact that aspect-seeing involves an aberrant activity of seeing: Whereas it is normally nonsense to say that we choose what to see (decide to see the White House red, (...)
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  19. Reshef Agam‐Segal (2014). When Language Gives Out: Conceptualization, and Aspect‐Seeing as a Form of Judgment. Metaphilosophy 45 (1):41-68.
    This article characterizes aspect-perception as a distinct form of judgment in Kant's sense: a distinct way in which the mind contacts world and applies concepts. First, aspect-perception involves a mode of thinking about things apart from any established routine of conceptualizing them. It is thus a form of concept application that is essentially reflection about language. Second, this mode of reflection has an experiential, sometimes perceptual, element: in aspect-perception, that is, we experience meanings—bodies of norms. Third, aspect-perception can be “preparatory”: (...)
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  20. Joseph Agassi (2010). In Wittgenstein's Shadow. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (2):325-339.
    Marc Lange offers a stale anthology that reflects the sad state of affairs in the camp of analytic philosophy. It is representative in a few respects, even in its maltreatment of Russell, Wittgenstein, and Popper. Despite its neglect of Wittgenstein, it shows again that Wittgenstein is the patron saint of the analytic school despite the fact that it does not abide by his theory of metaphysics as inherently meaningless.
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  21. Joseph Agassi (1978). Wittgenstein's Heritage. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 13 (2):305 - 326.
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  22. Darlei Dall' Agnol (2010). Quine or Wittgenstein: The End of Analytic Philosophi. Principia 7 (1-2):75-91.
    This paper deals with the question whether science and philosophy are continuous, as Quine thought, or whether they are completely separated, as Wittgenstein held. Reconstructing the reasons why the latter kept a sharp distinction between science and philosophy, it examines the attempts of the former to resolve philosophical problems in scientific terms. It maintains that Quine’s scientism is misconceived and presents further reasons for making a distinction (if not a separation) between science and philosophy.
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  23. Jorge Francisco Aguirre Sala (2013). La visión Wittgensteiniana del marco lingüístico explicativo del psicoanálisis Freudiano y Lacaniano. Escritos 21 (46):69-109.
    La filosofía de Wittgenstein, en cada una de sus dos etapas, presenta criterios para evaluar el psicoanálisis. La primera evaluación es explícita al psicoanálisis freudiano y lo rechaza. La segunda evaluación es conjeturada en este texto para aceptar la versión del psicoanálisis lacaniano. Para exponer ambas se realiza un análisis teórico conceptual de la literatura wittgensteiniana sobre Freud y sobre la pragmática lingüística aplicada a: la ruptura de la unidad del significante sobre el significado que tomó Lacan de Saussure; la (...)
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  24. A. Ahmed (2009). Review: David Pears: Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy. [REVIEW] Mind 118 (469):200-203.
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  25. Arif Ahmed (ed.) (2010). Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
    Published in 1953, Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations had a deeply unsettling effect upon our most basic philosophical ideas concerning thought, sensation, and language. Its claim that philosophical questions of meaning necessitate a close analysis of the way we use language continues to influence Anglo-American philosophy today. However, its compressed and dialogic prose is not always easy to follow. This collection of essays deepens but also challenges our understanding of the work's major themes, such as the connection between meaning and use, the (...)
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  26. Arif Ahmed (2010). Deductive Inference and Aspect Perception. In , Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
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  27. Hanne Ahonen (2005). Wittgenstein and the Conditions of Musical Communication. Philosophy 80 (4):513-529.
    If Wittgenstein's later account of language is applied to music, what seems to follow is a version of musical formalism. This is to say that the meaning of music is constituted by the rules of a given system of music, and the understanding of music is the ability to follow these rules. I argue that, while this view may seem unattractive at the outset, Wittgenstein actually held this view. Moreover, his later notion of a rule gives us resources to answer (...)
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  28. M. Shabbir Ahsen, Private Language Questions in Contemporary Analytical Philosophy Analytical Study of Wittgenstein's Treatments of Private Language and its Implications.
    Wittgenstein's treatment of private language is the dissolution of some of the major problems in traditional philosophy. Philosophical problems, for Wittgenstein, are the conceptual confusion arising due to the abuse of language. They can be fully dispensed with by commanding a clear view of language. Language, for Wittgenstein, is on the one hand, the source of philosophical problems while, on the other hand, it is a means to dispense with them. Private language is one such issue which is ultimately rooted (...)
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  29. Shabbir Ahsen (2010). Ludwig Wittgenstein: Ethics and Religion (Review). [REVIEW] Philosophy East and West 60 (3):422-424.
    No one in twentieth-century analytic philosophy was more preoccupied with the issues of ethics and religion than Ludwig Wittgenstein. In an age when religion has remained a prominent force, contrary to what some would have thought a hundred years ago, it is not surprising to see a book on Wittgenstein's concern with ethics and religion by a group of Indian philosophers. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Ethics and Religion, edited by Kali Charan Pandey—a collection of fifteen essays, some of which were presented at (...)
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  30. Debra Aidun (1982). Wittgenstein, Philosophical Method and Aspect-Seeing. Philosophical Investigations 5 (2):106-115.
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  31. Debra Aidun (1981). Wittgenstein on Grammatical Propositions. Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):141-148.
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  32. Scott F. Aikin & Michael P. Hodges (2006). Wittgenstein, Dewey, and the Possibility of Religion. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20 (1):1-19.
    John Dewey points out in A Common Faith (1934) that what stands in the way of religious belief for many is the apparent commitment of Western religious traditions to supernatural phenomena and questionable historical claims. We are to accept claims that in any other context we would find laughable. Are we to believe that water can be turned into wine without the benefit of the fermentation process? Are we to swallow the claim that there is such a phenomenon as the (...)
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  33. Rogers Albritton (1959). On Wittgenstein's Use of the Term "Criterion". Journal of Philosophy 56 (22):845-857.
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  34. V. C. Aldrich (1958). Pictorial Meaning, Picture-Thinking, and Wittgenstein's Theory of Aspects. Mind 67 (265):70-79.
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  35. Virgil C. Aldrich (1987). Kripke on Wittgenstein on Regulation. Philosophy 62 (241):375 - 384.
    Kripke's own view of the 'inner life' as comprised of '"qualia"' that have no 'natural "external" manifestation' leads him into misinterpreting wittgenstein's denials on this count. so kripke gives wittgenstein's account a paradoxical and sceptical cast which misrepresents it, making it look as if it called for a sceptical solution and a 'warranted assertibility' theory of truth. but wittgenstein was making sport of the 'inner-outer' (subjective-objective) distinction with the rapier of his suggestion that psychological talk is not regulated by the (...)
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  36. Virgil C. Aldridge (1987). Kripke on Wittgenstein on Regulation. Philosophy 62 (241):375-384.
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  37. Javier Alegre (2012). Proposals and Pragmatic Differences on Language as Institution: Wittgenstein and Habermas. Discusiones Filosóficas 13 (21):207 - 224.
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  38. Edwin B. Allaire (1963). The Tractatus: Nominalistic or Realistic? In Edwin Bonar Allaire (ed.), Essays in Ontology. Iowa City, University of Iowa.
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  39. Edwin B. Allaire (1960). Types and Formation Rules: A Note on Tractatus 3.334. Analysis 21 (1):14 - 16.
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  40. Edwin B. Allaire, A Critical Examination of Wittgenstein's Tractatus.
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  41. Edwin B. Allaire (1959). Tractatus 6.3751. Analysis 19 (5):100 - 105.
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  42. Colin Allen (2013). The Geometry of Partial Understanding. American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3):249-262.
    Wittgenstein famously ended his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Wittgenstein 1922) by writing: "Whereof one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence." (Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.) In that earliest work, Wittgenstein gives no clue about whether this aphorism applied to animal minds, or whether he would have included philosophical discussions about animal minds as among those displaying "the most fundamental confusions (of which the whole of philosophy is full)" (1922, TLP 3.324), but given his later writings on (...)
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  43. Richard Allen & Malcolm Turvey (2001). Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy. In Richard Allen & Malcolm Turvey (eds.), Wittgenstein, Theory, and the Arts. Routledge. 1.
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  44. Richard Allen & Malcolm Turvey (eds.) (2001). Wittgenstein, Theory, and the Arts. Routledge.
    This pioneering work investigates the profound implications of Wittgenstein's philosophy to the practice, theory and criticism of the arts. The essays exemplify Wittgenstein's method of conceptual investigation and highlight his notion of philosophy as a cure.
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  45. Robert Elliott Allinson (2007). Wittgenstein, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu: The Art of Circumlocution. Asian Philosophy 17 (1):97 – 108.
    Where Western philosophy ends, with the limits of language, marks the beginning of Eastern philosophy. The Tao de jing of Laozi begins with the limitations of language and then proceeds from that as a starting point. On the other hand, the limitation of language marks the end of Wittgenstein's cogitations. In contrast to Wittgenstein, who thought that one should remain silent about that which cannot be put into words, the message of the Zhuangzi is that one can speak about that (...)
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  46. David B. Allison (1978). Derrida and Wittgenstein: Playing the Game. Research in Phenomenology 8 (1):93-109.
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  47. Uri Almagor (1990). Odors and Private Language: Observations on the Phenomenology of Scent. [REVIEW] Human Studies 13 (3):253-274.
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  48. P. C. Almond (1977). Wittgenstein and Religion. Sophia 16 (2):24-27.
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  49. Bernardo Alonso (2011). Mostrar E dizer contra a Nova leitura. Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 15 (2):129-160.
    The aim of this work is to preserve the saying / showing tractarian distinction from the New Wittgenstein reading, which defends, among other things, that the Tractatus contains only strings of plain nonsense. The author presents a brief exposition of the language system of the Tractatus . Than he tries to interrelate three core theses, the analyticity theses, the contingency theses and the independency theses as unified by the picture theory. The latter provides the account of an elementary proposition, subject (...)
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  50. Anton Alterman (2001). The New Wittgenstein (Review). [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 39 (3):456-457.
    The essays in the book have two main emphases. Regarding the late Wittgenstein, they focus on the idea that skepticism about rule-following is undermined, indeed incoherent, in virtue of Wittgenstein's emphasis on context of utterance and "forms of life" (roughly the "community" view of his later work). In the early Wittgenstein they take a "resolute" position on nonsense, saying that he did not believe there was some ineffable or informative nonsense, but only pure and utter nonsense, including everything in the (...)
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