Wittgenstein's Investigations 1-133: A Guide and Interpretation

Wittgenstein's Investigations 1-133: A Guide and Interpretation

Wittgenstein's Investigations 1-133: A Guide and Interpretation

Wittgenstein's Investigations 1-133: A Guide and Interpretation

Synopsis

One of the greatest works of twentieth-century philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is also one of the most controversial. Wittgenstein's Investigations 1-133 provides a clear and concise introduction to the early sections of this book.Andrew Lugg discusses in detail Wittgenstein's remarks on meaning, metaphysics and philosophy. He considers each section in detail clarifying their philosophical significance in a manner accessible to the general reader. The book acts not only as a scholarly introduction to Philosophical Investigations 1-133 but also draws attention to Wittgenstein's philosophical outlook by applying the same strategy to his text. Wittgenstein's Investigations will be a valuable resource for anyone studying Wittgenstein or the philosophy of language.

Excerpt

Ludwig Wittgenstein is mainly known for two great works of philosophy, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, published in 1921, and the Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953. In the earlier work Wittgenstein purports to solve all the problems of philosophy; in the later work he rethinks some of the same problems and explores issues that he had previously overlooked, failed to appreciate properly or dismissed as unimportant. Though just as ambitious as the Tractatus, the Investigations is very different in form and spirit. It too deals with central problems of philosophy, but it is not as abstract or dogmatic. Here Wittgenstein does greater justice to the appeal and depth of past philosophy and devotes much more time and effort to exposing and confronting the grip of philosophical ideas on our thinking.

The first 133 sections of the Investigations, the subject of the present work, deal with topics central to Wittgenstein's later philosophy. They are some of the most carefully worked out sections of the book, and had Wittgenstein written nothing else they would still merit our attention. The philosophy of the rest of the Investigations is also of the highest order, but §§1-133, which constitute about a fifth of the book, deserve special attention (and are more than enough to consider in a single volume). Also §§134-142 are somewhat technical, and at §143 Wittgenstein embarks on a more detailed examination of a variety of issues, some of which are touched on in the sections we shall be considering. It is not by chance that §§1-133 deal with the themes they do; Wittgenstein took what he says here to be fundamental for what he was trying to achieve in the Investigations and elsewhere.

My discussion is in the form of a commentary. I go through §§1-133 a paragraph at a time, sometimes even line by line, and relegate discussion of how the text should be understood to interspersed interludes. Wittgenstein's remarks are exceptionally compressed, and it is easy to

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