Review of Metaphysics 19 (1):149-149 (1965)

During the past few years there has appeared an enormous amount of secondary literature dealing with various aspects of the Tractatus. In the main, the purpose animating this scholarship has been a search for a coherent interpretation or key to the Tractatus. Those who have looked forward to the appearance of Black's book for a definitive interpretation of the Tractatus will be disappointed. For Black is not primarily concerned with arguing for a definitive, coherent interpretation. Instead, this book is a companion "intended to make it easier for a serious student of Wittgenstein's early work to reach his own interpretation of the Tractatus." Black has divided the text into "installments" which are introduced by preliminary statements. These are followed by detailed notes commenting on difficult expressions, relevant quotations from Wittgenstein's other works and unpublished manuscripts, explanations of the views to which Wittgenstein refers, cross references to related passages, and occasional free paraphrases of puzzling passages. Given Black's modest but difficult aim, the book will prove invaluable to all students of Wittgenstein, although it will certainly not satisfy those who continue to search for "the key" to what is surely the most mystifying and intriguing philosophic book of our times.—R. J. B.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1965191171
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