Theolologicophilolological Investigations: Is Wittgenstein’s Tractatus a Modernist Work?

Philosophical Investigations 45 (3):274-296 (2022)
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Abstract

In her recent book, A Different Order of Difficulty, Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé uses a resolute reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to highlight similarities between Wittgenstein’s work and his contemporaries Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Franz Kafka. On the basis of this reading, she claims that Wittgenstein’s early masterpiece is a modernist work. This article argues that there are profound problems with the resolute reading that she offers, and it suggests that ‘traditional’ readings of the Tractatus survive the criticisms she makes of them. Nonetheless, a case can still be made that Wittgenstein’s work is a modernist one, and it is a useful exercise to compare the Tractatus with modernist works from the 1920s. Philosophical Investigations, Volume 45, Issue 3, Page 274-296, July 2022. (NOTE: This article was mistakenly given the title 'Theologico-Philological Investigations: Is Wittgenstein's Tractatus a Modernist Work?' in the print edition of Philosophical Investigations. The online version has been corrected.

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Robert Vinten
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

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References found in this work

Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
How theTractatuswas Meant to Be Read.P. M. S. Hacker - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):648-668.
Ludwig Wittgenstein; A Memoir.Georg Henrik von Wright & Norman Malcolm - 1959 - Journal of Philosophy 56 (6):280-283.
A Better Appraisal of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Manuscript.Luciano Bazzocchi - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (4):333-359.

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