A Study in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

A Study in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

A Study in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

A Study in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Excerpt

It was with hesitation that I undertook an exposition of Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, and, after two years of effort, I find with a grim satisfaction that my presentiments are well substantiated. The Tractatus still remains for me in some details a closed book; and, while I have a more or less definite opinion of the fundamentals of Wittgenstein's view, I do not feel confident enough to assert that my interpretation of the Tractatus does represent accurately and faithfully Wittgenstein's own point of view. I do feel, however, that in essentials I have caught the spirit of the book.

The most formidable obstacle to understanding the Tractatus lies, as can be seen even from its first few sentences, in the obscure style ofWittgenstein presentation. Although the Tractatus has a peculiar poetic charm, its terse, cryptic, aphoristic pronouncements are not conducive to clear understanding. My book might well serve as an outline of Wittgenstein's view for those who have already been initiated into it, but it can hardly be considered as a satisfactory exposition for the novice. Wittgenstein's own statement in his Preface, that 'This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it', although probably intended to refer to the intrinsic difficulties of the subject, is really a good, even . . .

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