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 2002, Kenny 2006, and Sluga 2011. Dean 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. added 2019-01-11
    Współczesna analityczna filozofia języka: wybrane zagadnienia.Piotr Stalmaszczyk - 2018 - Diametros 56:131-141.
    This is a review article of a recently published guide to the philosophy of language, Przewodnik po filozofii języka, Wydawnictwo WAM, Kraków 2016). The article presents this publication against a background of other monographs and guides devoted to the topic of the contemporary philosophy of language which have been published in English. It aims at highlighting the main issues discussed by this philosophy, as well as its relation to linguistics.
  2. added 2019-01-07
    Epistemology Without Intuition.Manhal Hamdo - 2018 - International Journal of Innovative Studies in Sociology and Humanities 3 (10):49-53.
    From Plato to present, intuition plays a central role in epistemology. My concern in this paper is with the nature and epistemic status on intuition. To that end, I will be reviewing both Bealer’s and Wittgenstein’s accounts of intuition. I will be arguing that by ‘intuition’ Bealer understands modal intuition that has Platonic and metaphysical roles. Subsequently, I shall also show that although Wittgenstein’s view avoids these two issues, it amounts to the idea that intuition is a normative activity with (...)
  3. added 2018-12-30
    Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy, [Edited] by José L.Zalabardo. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, Viii + 274 Pp. ISBN 978-0-19-969152-4 £31.50. [REVIEW]Michael Price - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (S1):e9-e14.
  4. added 2018-12-29
    This New Yet Unapproachable America: Lectures After Emerson After Wittgenstein. [REVIEW]Daniel Sportiello - 2015 - American Political Thought 4 (2):340–343.
  5. added 2018-12-28
    Criticizing Forms of Life: Weighing Wittgenstein's Role in Political Theory.Bastian Reichardt - 2018 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 1 (2).
    One branch of practical philosophy in whichWittgenstein’s writings might be fruitful, is political philosophy. The concept “forms of life” gives rise to a pluralistic interpretation of society. However, the question arises how societal conflicts in such a pluralistic view con be solved. We will develop a method of criticism which relies on Wittgenstein’s later work and which combines the normative demands of practical philosophy with methodological standards from ethnology and cultural anthropology.
  6. added 2018-12-19
    On the Nature of Hinge Commitments.Eros Carvalho - manuscript
    This is a critical commentary on Pritchard's book Epistemic Angst. In Section 2, I present the closure-based radical skeptical paradox. Then in Section 3, I sketch Pritchard’s undercutting response to this paradox. Finally, in Section 4, I put forward two concerns about Pritchard’s response and I also propose a reading of hinge commitments, the ability reading, that might put some pressure on Pritchard’s own reading of these commitments.
  7. added 2018-12-08
    Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language.Andrew Inkpin - 2016 - MIT Press.
    In this book, Andrew Inkpin considers the disclosive function of language—what language does in revealing or disclosing the world. His approach to this question is a phenomenological one, centering on the need to accord with the various experiences speakers can have of language. With this aim in mind, he develops a phenomenological conception of language with important implications for both the philosophy of language and recent work in the embodied-embedded-enactive-extended tradition of cognitive science. -/- Inkpin draws extensively on the work (...)
  8. added 2018-12-02
    Ludwig Wittgenstein.Patrick K. Bastable - 1969 - Philosophical Studies 18:258-258.
  9. added 2018-11-25
    Wittgenstein and the Mystical.Cyril Barrett - 1996 - International Philosophical Quarterly 36 (3):377-379.
  10. added 2018-11-25
    The Illusion of Technique a Search for the Meaning of Life in a Technological Age.William Barrett - 1979
  11. added 2018-11-24
    “A Small, Shabby Crystal, yet a Crystal”: A Life of Music in Wittgenstein’s Denkbewegungen.Eran Guter - forthcoming - In B. Sieradzka-Baziur, I. Somavilla & C. Hamphries (eds.), Wittgenstein's Denkbewegungen. Diaries 1930-1932/1936-1937: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Innsbruck, Austria: StudienVerlag.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein's life and writings attest the extraordinary importance that the art of music had for him. It would be fair to say even that among the great philosophers of the twentieth century he was one of the most musically sensitive. Wittgenstein’s Denkbewegungen contains some of his most unique remarks on music, which bear witness not only to the level of his engagement in thinking about music, but also to the intimate connection in his mind between musical acculturation, the perils (...)
  12. added 2018-11-12
    Begriffe und Eigenschaften – Versuche eines Pragmatisten.David Hommen - forthcoming - In David Hommen & Dennis Sölch (eds.), Philosophische Sprache zwischen Tradition und Innovation. Berlin: pp. 291–320.
    There are striking similarities in the ways philosophers use to speak about concepts and properties. For example, it is commonly said that concepts and properties are ‘predicated’ of things – which, in turn, are said to ‘exemplify’ those concepts or properties. Concepts as well as properties are assumed to have ‘instances’ and ‘extensions’ and to be the semantical values of adjectives like ‘red,’ ‘round,’ and so on. Even metaphysically, concepts and properties seem to have much in common. Thus, both have (...)
  13. added 2018-11-05
    Groundless Grounds: A Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger, by Lee Braver.Jonathan Lewis - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):206-207.
  14. added 2018-10-26
    The Concept Horse Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations.Kelly Jolley & Kelly Dean Jolley - 2007 - London, UK: Routledge.
  15. added 2018-10-26
    A Philosophical Education and Philosophical Investigations.Kelly Dean Jolley - 1999 - Modern Schoolman 76 (4):293-301.
  16. added 2018-10-26
    Walden: Philosophy and Knowledge of Humankind.Kelly Jolley - 1996 - Reason Papers 21:36-52.
  17. added 2018-10-26
    Discussion.Kelly Dean Jolley - 1993 - Philosophical Investigations 16 (4):327-332.
  18. added 2018-10-23
    Wittgenstein on Rule-Following.Roderick Long - 2010 - In Kelly Dean Jolley (ed.), Wittgenstein: Key Concepts. Stocksfield NE43, UK: pp. 81-91.
  19. added 2018-10-23
    Grammatical Investigations.Roderick Long & Kelly Dean Jolley - 2010 - In Kelly Dean Jolley (ed.), Wittgenstein: Key Concepts. Stocksfield NE43, UK: pp. 169-174.
  20. added 2018-10-23
    Rule-Following, Praxeology, and Anarchy.Roderick T. Long - 2006 - New Perspectives on Political Economy 1 (2):36-46.
    JEL Classification: B41, B53, B31, B2, P48, A12 Abstract: Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox has important implications for two aspects of Austrian theory. First, it makes it possible to reconcile the Misesian, Rothbardian, and hermeneutical approaches to methodology; second, it provides a way of defending a stateless legal order against the charge that such an order lacks, yet needs, a final arbiter.
  21. added 2018-10-23
    Anti-Psychologism in Economics: Wittgenstein and Mises.Roderick Long - 2004 - Review of Austrian Economics 17 (4):345-369.
  22. added 2018-10-21
    Wittgenstein, Sources and Perspectives.Victor Balowitz - 1986 - International Studies in Philosophy 18 (3):67-67.
  23. added 2018-10-21
    Knowledge and Character. By Maxwell Garnett, C.B.E., Sc.D. (London: Cambridge University Press. 1939. Pp. Xii + 358. Price 18s. Net.). [REVIEW]P. B. Ballard - 1941 - Philosophy 16 (61):78-.
  24. added 2018-10-20
    Truth in the Investigations.Nicoletta Bartunek - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    According to a widespread interpretation, in the Investigations Wittgenstein adopted a deflationary or redundancy theory of truth. On this view, Wittgenstein’s pronouncements about truth should be understood in the light of his invocation of the equivalences ‘p’ is true = p and ‘p’ is false = not p. This paper shows that this interpretation does not do justice to Wittgenstein’s thoughts. I will be claiming that, in fact, in his second book Wittgenstein is returning to the pre-Tractarian notion of bipolarity, (...)
  25. added 2018-10-20
    Thomas McNally, Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Language: The Legacy of the Philosophical Investigations . Xi + 209, Price £75.00 Hb. [REVIEW]Claudine Verheggen - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 42 (1):101-106.
  26. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein’s Wrong Views About Language and Thought.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2018
    Wittgenstein believed linguistic competence to be the very essence of cognitive competence. This is shown to be false and the main fallacy in Wittgenstein's argument is identified.
  27. added 2018-10-20
    Function as Use. Wittgenstein's Practical Turn in the Early Manuscripts.Florian Franken Figueiredo - 2018 - Philosophical Investigations 42 (1):66-96.
    The idea that the function of language is its use is commonly ascribed to the Later Wittgenstein. In this paper, I argue that there is textual evidence already coming from the early manuscripts proving that Wittgenstein's philosophical development is culminating in the idea of function as use around 1929–30. I interpret a passage from Ms‐107 in order to show that Wittgenstein's practical turn has sources in different stages of his philosophical development, each of which is dominated by different ideas: the (...)
  28. added 2018-10-20
    ‘Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought’, Edited by Reshef Adam-Segal and Edmund Dain.Daniel Sharp - 2018 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 7 (1):109-115.
    A review of _Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought,_ edited by Reshef Adam-Segal and Edmund Dain.
  29. added 2018-10-20
    What Do Philosophers Do? Maddy, Moore and Wittgenstein.Annalisa Coliva - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (3):198-207.
    _ Source: _Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 198 - 207 The paper discusses and presents an alternative interpretation to Penelope Maddy’s reading of G.E. Moore’s and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s anti-skeptical strategies as proposed in her book _What Do Philosophers Do? Skepticism and the Practice of Philosophy_. It connects this discussion with the methodological claims Maddy puts forward and offers an alternative to her therapeutic reading of Wittgenstein’s _On Certainty_.
  30. added 2018-10-20
    Hamann's Influence on Wittgenstein.Lauri Juhana Olavinpoika Snellman - 2018 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 7 (1):59-82.
    The paper examines Johann Georg Hamann’s influence on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s late philosophy. Wittgenstein’s letters, diaries and Drury’s memoirs show that Wittgenstein read Hamann’s writings in the early 1930s and 1950s. Wittgenstein’s diary notes and the Cambridge lectures show that Wittgenstein’s discussion of Hamann’s views in 1931 corresponds to adopting a Hamannian view of symbols and rule-following. The view of language as an intertwining of signs, objects and meanings in use forms a common core in the philosophies of Hamann and Wittgenstein. (...)
  31. added 2018-10-20
    From Wittgenstein’s N-Operator to a New Notation for Some Decidable Modal Logics.Fangfang Tang - 2018 - History and Philosophy of Logic 40 (1):63-80.
    Wittgenstein’s N-operator is a ‘primitive sign’ which shows every complex proposition is the result of the truth-functional combination of a finite number of component propositions, and thus provides a mechanical method to determine logical truth. The N-operator can be interpreted as a generalized Sheffer stroke. In this paper, I introduce a new ‘primitive sign’ that is a hybrid of generalized Sheffer stroke and modality, and give a uniform expression for modal formulas. The general form of modal formula in the new (...)
  32. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein and the Xunzi on the Clarification of Language.Thomas D. Carroll - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (4):527-545.
    Broadly speaking, language is part of a social activity in both Wittgenstein and Xunzi 荀子, and for both clarification of language is central to their philosophical projects; the goal of this article is to explore the extent of resonance and discord that may be found when comparing these two philosophers. While for Xunzi, the rectification of names is anchored in a regard for establishing, propagating, and/or restoring a harmonious social system, perspicuity is for Wittgenstein represented as a philosophical end in (...)
  33. added 2018-10-20
    Is Wittgenstein Presenting a Reductio Ad Absurdum Argument in the ‘Private Language’ Sections of Philosophical Investigations §§ 243–315? [REVIEW]Derek A. McDougall - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):552-570.
    The ‘Private Language’ sections of the Philosophical Investigations §§ 243–315 serve to undermine the idea that our ordinary felt sensations, e.g., of heat, or cold, or pain, together with our experienced impressions of colour or of sound, are ‘private’ or ‘inner’ objects, where an object mirrors in the mental realm what we associate with that of the physical. This paper explores Wittgenstein's method in these sections, together with the work of several of his commentators who agree with his ‘therapeutic’ approach (...)
  34. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Language: The Legacy of the Philosophical Investigations.Thomas McNally - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Throughout his philosophical development, Wittgenstein was more concerned with language than with any other topic. No other philosopher has been as influential on our understanding of the deep problems surrounding language, and yet the true significance of his writing on the subject is difficult to assess, since most of the current debates regarding language tend to overlook his work. In this book, Thomas McNally shows that philosophers of language still have much to learn from Wittgenstein's later writings. The book examines (...)
  35. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein's Elimination of Identity for Quantifier-Free Logic.Timm Lampert & Markus Säbel - unknown
    One of the central logical ideas in Wittgenstein's Tractatus logico-philosophicus is the elimination of the identity sign in favor of the so-called "exclusive interpretation" of names and quantifiers requiring different names to refer to different objects and different variables to take different values. In this paper, we examine a recent development of these ideas in papers by Kai Wehmeier. We diagnose two main problems of Wehmeier's account, the first concerning the treatment of individual constants, the second concerning so-called "pseudo-propositions" of (...)
  36. added 2018-10-20
    Propositions, The Tractatus, and "The Single Great Problem of Philosophy".Scott Soames - 2016 - Critica 48 (143):3-19.
    El proyecto de Wittgenstein en el Tractatus consistía en reemplazar las proposiciones de Frege y Russell con una nueva concepción que capturara la esencia del pensamiento y el lenguaje representacionales. Según creía, ésta era la única tarea real de la filosofía. Argumento aquí que su explicación de las proposiciones atómicas fue una implementación incompleta de intuiciones valiosas, que, si hubieran sido ligeramente revisadas, podrían haberse extendido a todas las proposiciones tractarianas. Si Wittgenstein hubiera seguido este camino, habría hecho descubrimientos en (...)
  37. added 2018-10-20
    The Ambiguous Pictures in the Theory of Language in Wittgenstein's Tractatus.Ahmet Süner - 2016 - Acta Philosophica 25 (1):135-154.
    This paper explores the ambiguities in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that result from the conceptualization of the picture as a middle term in between the translations between language and the world. The picture is an odd inclusion that cannot help suggesting the work of the cognitive mind, odd because the analytic tendency in the Tractatus is to foreground the logical structure of the correspondences between language and the world that should not necessitate the mediation of the picturing mind. In my close (...)
  38. added 2018-10-20
    "Pictures, Models, and Measures" A Contribution to Invited Symposium: "Wittgenstein's Picture Theory" at the 2015 Pacific APA Meeting.S. G. Sterrett - unknown
    Putting Wittgenstein's writing into an historical context that includes scientific and technological developments as well as cultural and intellectual works can be helpful in understanding some of Wittgenstein's works. I focus on the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in particular in this paper, and on topics related to pictures and models: the development of audio recording technologies, the development of miniature scale models that were both aesthetically pleasing and scientifically useful, particularly in the forensics of traffic accidents, and the culmination of a centuries-long (...)
  39. added 2018-10-20
    3. Wittgenstein’s Method of Perspicuous Representation.Michael Temelini - 2015 - In Wittgenstein and the Study of Politics. University of Toronto Press. pp. 68-94.
  40. added 2018-10-20
    Being Lost and Finding Home: Philosophy, Confession, Recollection, and Conversion in Augustine's Confessions and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.Steven Affeldt - 2013 - In Wittgenstein Reading. Berlin, Germany/Boston, MA: pp. 5 - 22.
  41. added 2018-10-20
    “But What About This?”: Philosophical Investigations §§19–20.Andrew Lugg - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:221-240.
    Philosophical Investigations §§19–20 have received little critical attention and their importance has mostly gone unappreciated. In this paper these sections are examined a few sentences at a time in the order they were written with an eye to determining what Wittgenstein does and does not say and how he has been and can be misinterpreted. In addition it is suggested that the material deserves careful consideration because it sheds light on Wittgenstein’s way of tackling philosophical problems, illuminates his pronouncements about (...)
  42. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein's Private Language: Grammar, Nonsense, and Imagination in Philosophical Investigations §§243–315 – By Stephen Mulhall. [REVIEW]Steven Hall - 2008 - Philosophical Investigations 31 (3):272-280.
  43. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein’s Conception of Truth.Sorūsh Dabbāgh & Reza Mosmer - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 7 (27):25-60.
    The present article, which deals with Wittgenstein’s conception of truth, attempts to show that, contrary to the prevailing interpretation, the later and the former Wittgenstein’s view of truth was identical. Wittgenstein, as it will be mentioned, regarded truth as a redundant concept throughout his philosophical work, and as a result, he refused to provide a theory about truth. At the end, it is going to clarify that refusal to provide a theoretical formulation about truth does not mean logically being involved (...)
  44. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgenstein’s On Certainty: There – Like Our Life – Rush RheesThe Third Wittgenstein: The Post-Investigations Works – Danièle Moyal-SharrockUnderstanding Wittgenstein’s On Certainty – Edited by Danièle Moyal-Sharrock.John H. Whittaker - 2006 - Philosophical Investigations 29 (3):287-300.
  45. added 2018-10-20
    Wittgensteinian Pedagogics: Cavell on the Figure of the Child in the Investigations.M. A. Peters - unknown
    This paper discusses Stanley Cavell's approach to the Investigations,focusing upon his essay `Notes and Afterthoughts on the Opening of Wittgenstein's Investigations'. First, the paper investigates the ways in which Cavell makes central the figure and `voice' of the child to his reading of the opening of the Investigations. Second, it argues that Cavell's Notes provides a basis for a Wittgensteinian pedagogics,for not only does it hold up the figure of the child as central to the Investigations but it does so (...)
  46. added 2018-10-20
    A Note on Wittgenstein's "Notorious Paragraph" About the Godel Theorem.Juliet Floyd & Hilary Putnam - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (11):624-632.
    A look at Wittgenstein's comments on the incompleteness theorem with an inter-pretation that is consistent with what Gödel proved.
  47. added 2018-10-20
    Philosophical Investigations, § 1 - Setting the Stage.Richard Raatzsch - 1996 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 51:47-84.
    How much can and should be said about the beginning of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations on the basis of its very first section alone? Is the only thing worth mentioning that it is designed to introduce the topic for the rest of the book - may this be a "pre-philosophical", "pre-theoretical", "Augustinian" picture of Ianguage or a mentalistic picture of the use of language? These ways of interpreting leave too many aspects of the text untouched. Some of these are: Why does (...)
  48. added 2018-10-20
    The Troubled History of Part II of the Investigations.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1992 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 42:181-192.
    The typescripts from which both parts of Wittgenstein's Investigations were printed are now lost. Of the TS for Part I there exists a second copy, but not so of the TS for Part II. There is, however, a manuscript in Wittgenstein's hand which contains the whole of the printed Part II - and some additional material. A comparision of this MS with the printed text reveals some interesting discrepancies. They are noted in the paper. Moreover, a detailed comparision is made (...)
  49. added 2018-10-20
    Rule-Following in Philosophical Investigations.David Pears - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 33:249-261.
    The negative part of Wittgenstein's treatment of rule-following in the Philosophical Investigations is a critique of Platonic theories of meaning. The main argument, summarized in §§ 201-202 is a reductio: if Platonism were true, the difference between obeying and disobeying a linguistic rule would vanish. For Platonism requires the rule-follower to have in his mind something which will completely determine in advance all the correct applications of a descriptive word, but this is a requirement that could not be conceivably satisfied. (...)
  50. added 2018-10-20
    "Showing" in the "Tractatus": The Root of Wittgenstein and Russell's Basic Incompatibility.I. Block - 1975 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 17:4.
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