Wittgenstein: An Introduction

By Joachim Schulte; William H. Brenner et al. | Go to book overview

1
Introduction

Life

Ludwig Wittgenstein, the youngest of eight children, was born in Vienna on April 26, 1889.1 His parents--Karl and Leopoldine ("Poldy" née Kalmus)--possessed considerable wealth, which Karl had acquired as a businessman in the steel industry. Karl Wittgenstein was an impressive figure, and it was not only his business competitors who found him threatening. No one dared oppose his views.2 His way of life was extravagant. It included a mansion in the city, a number of houses and parcels of land in the country, and the maintenance of the artists he admired-- including Klimt and the Secessionists. He demanded that his sons subject themselves to his will and study to become "respectable" businessmen, engineers, or (best of all) both. The mother concerned herself with music, especially the piano, while the children were reared mostly by nannies, governesses, and private tutors. Karl Wittgenstein was of Jewish descent, Leopoldine partly so. But the family was completely assimilated. ( Ludwig's final school diploma shows his best grade to be an "excellent" in Roman Catholic doctrine.) He attended a public school in Linz for just three years. Before that he had been privately tutored, but--as his father later discovered much to his chagrin-- he learned in the process as little as his siblings had learned

____________________
1
Biographical sources are mentioned in the bibliography.
2
There is a collection of Karl Wittgenstein's newspaper articles and speeches. See bibliography.

-1-

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Wittgenstein: An Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Author's Preface vii
  • Translators' Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 39
  • 3 - Connecting Links 69
  • 4 - Language Games 97
  • 5 - Criteria 129
  • 6 - Certainty 155
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 183
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