Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life

Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life

Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life

Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life

Excerpt

Wittgenstein's work is both important and obscure. The true matter of his thinking, going as it does to the very heart of our culture, is difficult to grasp, yielding only to an effort of thinking that matches the original in courage and power. Why then publish this book, which certainly cannot pretend to such distinctions? What I have written here must be understood as a reaction to the kind of commentary Wittgenstein's work has so far received, and as a plea for another kind. A number of excellent introductions to his writings are in print-- notably those by Kenny and Pears--but to my knowledge no books have yet focused upon the hidden, determining ground of Wittgenstein's thinking in its progress from the Tractatus to the notes On Certainty. What makes this progress (as I believe it to be) the moments of a single work of thinking, the various exemplary manifestations of a man's attempt to secure for himself and others the sound human under-

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