Philosophy 76 (3):451-459 (2001)

Laurence Goldstein has ‘re-created’ Wittgenstein's doctoral viva, arguing that had Wittgenstein's dissertation, his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, ‘been judged by normal standards of originality and philosophical argumentation, it would have failed’. Goldstein claims that Wittgenstein ‘lifted’ central doctrines from Russell and from Bernard Bolzano. I point out that passages allegedly plagiarized from Russell are actually criticisms of his doctrines, and that there is no evidence that Wittgenstein even knew Bolzano's work, directly or indirectly. I argue that alleged similarities, substantial and stylistic, between his work and Bolzano's give no support even to a weaker claim of influence.
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DOI 10.1017/s0031819101000390
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