About this topic

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 2010, Kenny 2006, and Sluga 2011. Kelly 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. A Wittgenstein Symposium.Josep-Maria Terricabras (ed.) - 1993 - Amsterdam: Rodopi.
    The centenary of the birth of Ludwig Wittgenstein provided an opportunity for recovering some of the great Wittgensteinian subjects, for re-examining them and for discussing their implications and relevance. This volume is the result of the interchange that took place in Girona among well-known scholars of Wittgenstein's work in different countries. The eleven contributions are organized into three main subjects: on Wittgenstein's method, on knowledge and meaning, on language and use. This volume is not only the result of the different (...)
  2. On "Directness" of Inference in Investigations.T. ?ana - 2001 - Filozofia 56:241-253.
    The paper deals with later Wittgenstein's criticism of his own early conception of ostensive definitions as well as with his criticism of general presuppositions, on which his early position was based. It was inadequate, he said, because it presupposed that language has only one function, namely, to state facts. Later Wittgenstein emphasized that there are many different uses of what we call "words" or "sentences". Words are like "tools in a tool-box" and functions of words are as diverse as the (...)
  3. Prototractatus. [REVIEW]B. W. A. - 1972 - Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):575-576.
  4. An Interpretation and Critique of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. [REVIEW]E. J. A. - 1966 - Review of Metaphysics 20 (1):150-150.
  5. Language, Persons and Belief: Studies in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and Religious Uses of Language. [REVIEW]M. A. - 1968 - Review of Metaphysics 22 (1):144-145.
  6. Linguaggio Ed Esperienza in Ludwig Wittgenstein. [REVIEW]M. A. - 1968 - Review of Metaphysics 22 (1):144-144.
  7. Wittgenstein's Tractatus: A Critical Exposition of its Main Lines of Thought. [REVIEW]P. D. M. A. - 1961 - Review of Metaphysics 14 (4):727-727.
  8. Can There Be a Private Language?S. C. A. - 1973 - Review of Metaphysics 27 (2):412-413.
  9. Wittgenstein's Theory of Universals.Richard I. Aaron - 1965 - Mind 74 (294):249-251.
  10. La noción de “uso” en el Tractatus de Wittgenstein.Jorge Ruiz Abánades - 2009 - 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 (...)
  11. Important Nonsense.Lionel Abel - 1987
  12. Commentary on Menashe Schwed, "A Wittgensteinian Approach to Rationality in Argumentation".Andrew Aberdein - 2009 - In Juho Ritola (ed.), Argument cultures: Proceedings of OSSA 2009. OSSA.
  13. Facing Up to Wittgenstein"s Diaries of Cambridge and Skjolden: Notes on Self-Knowledge and Belief.Norberto Abreu E. Silva Neto - unknown
    This sentence was taken as a methodic procedure for investigating philosophical questions regarding scientific psychology. To accomplish such a proposal is a very hard task to our mentality dominated by a certain mechanical way of seeing and thinking the world, specially for psychologists because they do not usually consider their problems from a religious point of view, even those religiously oriented. They believe all matters are liable to be subject of scientific treatment and never think they are working with religious (...)
  14. Nonsense And The Privacy Of Sensation.Juan Acero - 2007 - Sorites 18:33-55.
    This paper explores the so-called Epistemic Privacy Way, one of Wittgenstein's lines of attack on the very possibility of a private language. The Epistemic Privacy Way has it that sentences like `I know I am in pain' or `But I must know whether I am in pain!', among many others, cannot be used as vehicles of a sort of knowledge incorrigible and immediate. To substantiate such a criticism, Cora Diamonds views of nonsense are spelled out and a constraint, i.e. the (...)
  15. La autonomía de la gramática y la polaridad de la proposición.Juan José Acero - 2003 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 21 (44):7-44.
    El artículo trata de dos argumentos, los de la Circularidad y la Polaridad, que llevaron a Wittgenstein a sostener que la gramática es autónoma: que no hay hechos del mundo que justifiquen la verdad de sus reglas. Se señala que el Argumento de la Polaridad es consustancial a doctrinas centrales de la filosofía pos-tractariana de Wittgenstein y cómo la aceptación de que la gramática es autónoma le obligó a desmantelar aspectos centrales de la metafísica y la filosofía del lenguaje y (...)
  16. Wittgenstein, la definición ostensiva y los límites del lenguaje.Juan José Acero - 1999 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):5-17.
  17. Significado Y necesidad en el'tractatus'.Juan José Acero - 1991 - Daimon: Revista de Filosofia 3:213-250.
  18. Does Philosophy Only State What Everyone Admits? A Discussion of the Method of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.Felicia Ackerman - 1992 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 17 (1):246-254.
  19. Wittgenstein, Rules and Origin - Privacy.D. F. Ackermann - 1983 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 1:63-69.
  20. Wittgenstein's City.Robert John Ackermann - 1988 - 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 ...
  21. Stephen Mulhall: Inheritance & Originality. Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Kierkegaard. [REVIEW]C. Adair-Toteff - 2002 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10 (4):682-686.
  22. The Abductive Loop: Tracking Irrational Sets. [REVIEW]Addis Tom, Addis Jan Townsend, Billinge Dave, Gooding David & Visscher Bart-Floris - 2008 - 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 (...)
  23. John W. Cook, The Undiscovered Wittgenstein: The Twentieth Century's Most Misunderstood Philosopher.M. Addis - 2007 - Philosophy in Review 27 (5):324.
  24. Peter Munz: Beyond Wittgenstein's Poker: New Light on Popper and Wittgenstein; David Stern and Bela Szabados (Eds): Wittgenstein Reads Weininger.M. Addis - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):597.
  25. John W. Cook, The Undiscovered Wittgenstein: The Twentieth Century's Most Misunderstood Philosopher Reviewed By.Mark Addis - 2010 - Philosophy in Review 27 (5):324-326.
  26. Review of J. Mark Lazenby, The Early Wittgenstein on Religion[REVIEW]Mark Addis - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (1).
  27. Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument and Self Consciousness.Mark Addis - 2007 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):89-103.
  28. Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument and Self Consciousness.Mark Addis - 2007 - SATS 8 (2):89-103.
  29. Does Language Matter to Philosophy?: Aristotle and Wittgenstein on the Nature of Philosophical Enquiry.Mark Addis - 1993 - Cogito 7 (3):211-216.
  30. Wittgenstein: Making Sense of Other Minds.Mark R. Addis - 1999 - 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.
  31. Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion.Mark Addis & Robert L. Arrington (eds.) - 2004 - Routledge.
    _Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion_ sheds new light on the perennial debate between faith and reason. It highlights the disagreements between Wittgenstein and religious sceptics, resulting in a collection that is both informative and stimulating. The themes discussed include Wittgenstein's views on creation, magic and free will, and Wittgenstein's thought is compared to that of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and contemporary reformed epistemologists.
  32. Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion.Mark Addis & Robert L. Arrington (eds.) - 2001 - Routledge.
    An exciting introduction to the contribution which the later Wittgenstein made to the philosophy of religion. Although his writings on the subject have been few, Wittgenstein developed influential and controversial theories on both religion which emphasize the distinctive nature of religious discourse and how this nature can be misunderstood when viewed in direct competition with science. The contributors of this collection shed new light on the perennial debate between faith and reason. The result is a collection that is both informative (...)
  33. Contributions to a Conceptual Ontology for Wittgenstein.Mark Addis & Alois Pichler - 2015 - Wittgenstein-Studien 6 (1).
  34. Ludwig Wittgenstein Eine Existenzielle Deutung.Leo Adler - 1976
  35. Le Tractatus de Wittgenstein, Et l'Ethique de Spinoza Étude de Comparaison Structurale.Markus Aenishänslin - 1993
  36. Wittgenstein's Epistemology of Rule Following: Understanding and Evaluation.M. I. Afaqui - 1994 - Pakistan Philosophical Journal 31:35.
  37. On the Difficulty of Seeing Aspects and the 'Therapeutic' Reading of Wittgenstein.Steven G. Affeldt - 2010 - In William Day & Víctor J. Krebs (eds.), Seeing Wittgenstein Anew. Cambridge University Press.
  38. Captivating Pictures and Liberating Language: Freedom as the Achievement of Speech in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.Steven G. Affeldt - 1999 - Philosophical Topics 27 (2):255-285.
  39. Constituting Mutuality: Essays on Expression and the Bases of Intelligibility in Rousseau, Wittgenstein, and Freud.Steven George Affeldt - 1996 - Dissertation, Harvard University
    The dissertation consists of three essays titled respectively: "The Citizen as The Legislator: The Conversation of Constitution in Rousseau's The Social Contract," "On Speaking and Sharing Language: The Grounds of Intelligibility in Stephen Mulhall's Stanley Cavell," "Paths to the Other: Reading as Philosophy and as Therapy in Freud's "Delusions and Dreams in Jensen's Gradiva"." ;Beyond an overarching concern with the conditions of mutual intelligibility, with developing accounts of different kinds of efforts which are required in order to arrive at mutual (...)
  40. Aspect-Perception as a Philosophical Method.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2015 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 4 (1):93-121.
    Inducing aspect-experiences – the sudden seeing of something anew, as when a face suddenly strikes us as familiar – can be used as a philosophical method. In seeing aspects, I argue, we let ourselves experience what it would be like to conceptualize something in a particular way, apart from any conceptual routine. We can use that experience to examine our ways of conceptualizing things, and re-evaluate the ways we make sense of them. I claim that we are not always passive (...)
  41. How to Investigate the Grammar of Aspect- Perception: A Question in Wittgensteinian Method.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2012 - 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, (...)
  42. Reflecting on Language From “Sideways-On”: Preparatory and Non-Preparatory Aspects-Seeing.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2012 - 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 (...)
  43. Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought.Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.) - 2017 - Routledge.
    This book offers a radical reappraisal of the nature and significance of Wittgenstein’s thought about ethics from a variety of different perspectives. The book includes essays on Wittgenstein’s early remarks on ethics in the _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,_ on his 1929 "Lecture on Ethics", and on various aspects of Wittgenstein’s later views on ethics in the _Philosophical Investigations_ and elsewhere. Together, the essays in this volume provide a comprehensive assessment of Wittgenstein’s moral thought throughout his work, its continuity and development between his (...)
  44. When Language Gives Out: Conceptualization, and Aspect‐Seeing as a Form of Judgment.Reshef Agam‐Segal - 2014 - 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”: (...)
  45. In Wittgenstein's Shadow.Joseph Agassi - 2010 - 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.
  46. Wittgenstein and Physicalism.Joseph Agassi - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 41:67-97.
    In the light of a sketch of the history of modem Anti-Metaphysics up from Francis Bacon Wittgenstein's position - the refusal of the possibility of metaphysical assertions - is compared with the views of Mach, of Camap and Neurath and of Popper. Analysing the notions of 'nonsense', 'meaninglessness' and 'Scheinproblem', their interrelations and connections to physicalism three variants of Anti-Metaphysics are distinguished: the Enlightenment view, the positivistMachian view and the linguistic Wittgensteinian view. The present day actuality of these views is (...)
  47. Wittgenstein's Heritage. [REVIEW]Joseph Agassi - 1978 - Erkenntnis 13 (2):305 - 326.
  48. Quine or Wittgenstein: The End of Analytic Philosophi.Darlei Dall' Agnol - 2010 - 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.
  49. Wittgenstein's Solution to The Problem of Other Minds.M. Agrawal - 1981 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 8 (4):473.
  50. Simposi Wittgenstein. Gerona, 12-14 de abril de 1989.Francisco Bonnín Aguiló - 1989 - Diálogo Filosófico 15:419-422.
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