Wittgenstein's Tractatus: History and Interpretation

Wittgenstein's Tractatus: History and Interpretation


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This volume of newly written chapters on the history and interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus represents a significant step beyond the polemical debate between broad interpretive approaches that has recently characterized the field. Some of the contributors might count their approach as "new" or "resolute," while others are more 'traditional', but all are here concerned primarily with understanding in detail the structure of argument that Wittgenstein presents within the Tractatus, rather than with its final self-renunciation, or with the character of the understanding that renunciation might leave behind. The volume makes a strong case that close investigation, both biographical and textual, into the composition of the Tractatus, and into the various influences on it, still has much to yield in revealing the complexity and fertility of Wittgenstein's early thought. Amongst these influences Kant and Kierkegaard are considered alongside Wittgenstein's immediate predecessors in the analytic tradition. The themes explored range across the breadth of Wittgenstein's book, and include his accounts of ethics and aesthetics, as well as issues in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and aspects of the logical framework of his account of representation. The contrast of saying and showing, and Wittgenstein's attitude to the inexpressible, is of central importance to many of the contributions. By approaching this concern through the various first-level issues that give rise to it, rather than from entrenched schematic positions, the contributors demonstrate the possibility of a more inclusive, constructive and fruitful mode of engagement with Wittgenstein's text and with each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199665785
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/05/2013
Series: Mind Association Occasional Series
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Peter Sullivan is a Professor at the University of Stirling where he has taught since 1993. The primary focus of his published work has been on the founding figures of analytic philosophy: Frege, Russell, the early Wittgenstein, and Ramsey.

Michael Potter, University Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Cambridge, and Fellow, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge . He is the author of Sets (OUP, 1990), Reason's Nearest Kin (OUP, 2000), Set Theory and its Philosophy (OUP, 2004), and Mathematical Knowledge (edited with Mary Leng and Alexander Paseau, OUP, 2007).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan
2. Wittgenstein's pre-Tractatus manuscripts: a new appraisal, Michael Potter
3. Why does Wittgenstein say that ethics and aesthetics are one and the same?, Hanne Appelqvist
4. Kierkegaard and the Tractatus, Genia Schonbaumsfeld
5. What is Frege's 'concept horse problem'?, Ian Proops
6. Tractatus 5.4611: 'Signs for logical operations are punctuation marks', Peter Milne
7. Logical segmentation and generality in Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Thomas Ricketts
8. Does the Tractatus contain a private language argument?, William Child
9. Logic and solipsism, James Levine
10. Was the author of the Tractatus a transcendental idealist?, A. W. Moore
11. Idealism in Wittgenstein: a further reply to Moore, Peter Sullivan

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