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Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was an Austrian philosopher whom many regard to have been the most important philosopher of the twentieth century. His work is often divided into two distinct periods, early and later, with the division occurring at some point shortly after his return to Cambridge in 1929 following a period of self-imposed exile as, among other things, a village school-teacher, monastery gardener, and architect. Wittgenstein wrote extensively on many topics including the philosophy of language, logic, mathematics and mind though he published little during his lifetime. His work is distinctive particularly for his claim that philosophy is for the most part nonsense, his aim being to bring to light the confusions that give to it the appearance of sense.

Key works Wittgenstein’s most important works are the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (first published in English in 1922) and the Philosophical Investigations (first published posthumously in 1953). The nature and extent of the continuity between these two works is a matter of great controversy, with one extreme representing them as offering fundamentally opposed philosophies and another treating the differences as largely stylistic. Among the many other works produced from his manuscripts and notebooks, Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, compiled from notes made in the two years before his death, is sometimes regarded as his third “masterpiece”.
Introductions There are many good introductions to Wittgenstein's thought. Monk 2005 and Hacker 1998 are both short and accessible. More in-depth, but still engaging, are Child 2011, Kenny 1973, and Sluga 2011. Dean Jolley 2010 contains a good selection of essays on central topics. McGinn 2006 and McGinn 2013 provide in-depth introductions to the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, respectively.
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8104 found
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1 — 50 / 8104
  1. What is Spoken of When We Speak About Being.Niel Bezrookove - manuscript
    τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν: Another look at being, asking what a interlocutor means to show by saying they feel themselves to be something. An ambiguity of the verb "to be" is disambiguated to reveal that it can be meant to show what something is and a process of being something. The relationship between being and essence is made by describing engagement through the encounter, giving us a non-exhaustive account of something's essence. Practice is then understood as (...)
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  2. Does the Persistence of Genius Depend on Social Obstacles? Troubles with Displacing Wittgenstein on The Golden Bough.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper considers the debate between teams of skilled contributors versus a genius by focusing on a specific case: a team project to overturn some remarks by Wittgenstein on Frazer’s The Golden Bough. In theory, there can be a team which does this, but in actual practice, such a team seems unlikely to arise.
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  3. The Death of Kripke and False Accusations and Filth.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I consider the place of Saul Kripke and what to make of accusations against him. I raise the problem of evaluating such accusations in an environment of false accusations. I end with a response to a remark by Wittgenstein.
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  4. On the Exhaustion Criterion of Difficulty, with Wittgenstein, Robert Graves, and Kripke.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    The philosopher and builder Ludwig Wittgenstein remarks that architecture is more difficult than philosophy. He suggests an exhaustion criterion for how difficult a discipline is: a field is more difficult the more exhausting it is. I make a case against this claim. There was once a demand to prevent the Greek myths from establishing themselves in the curriculum by means of “our own rival myths.” It is difficult to compete with a renowned Greek myth, but if one does produce a (...)
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  5. Intention and Self Knowledge: Wittgenstein's Bequeathal A First Draft.Les Jones - manuscript
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  6. Sobre los juicios de valor relativo en Wittgenstein.Emilio Méndez Pinto - manuscript
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  7. Showing Certainty: An Essay on Wittgenstein's Response to Scepticism.Anne Newstead - manuscript
    Coping with everyday life limits the extent of one’s scepticism. It is practically impossible to doubt the existence of the things with which one is immediately engaged and interacting. To doubt that, say, a door exists, is to step back from merely using the door (opening it) and to reflect on it in a detached, theoretical way. It is impossible to simultaneously act and live immersed in situation S while doubting that one is in S. Sceptical doubts—such as ‘Is this (...)
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  8. Phenomenal Concepts and Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument.Martina Prinz & François-Igor Pris - manuscript
  9. Pragmatism and Legal Reasoning.Narve Strand - manuscript
  10. Wittgenstein’s Analysis on Cantor’s Diagonal Argument.Chaohui Zhuang - manuscript
    In Zettel, Wittgenstein considered a modified version of Cantor’s diagonal argument. According to Wittgenstein, Cantor’s number, different with other numbers, is defined based on a countable set. If Cantor’s number belongs to the countable set, the definition of Cantor’s number become incomplete. Therefore, Cantor’s number is not a number at all in this context. We can see some examples in the form of recursive functions. The definition "f(a)=f(a)" can not decide anything about the value of f(a). The definiton is incomplete. (...)
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  11. Wittgenstein and Deconstruction.Nick Gier - manuscript
    forthcoming in Review of Contemporary Philosophy 6 (2007).
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  12. Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics.Victor Rodych - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  13. Wittgenstein And Alice's Dreams.Fulya Alıç - unknown - Yeditepe'de Felsefe (Philosophy at Yeditepe) 8.
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  14. Seeing Wittgenstein Anew.Norton Batkin, Sandra Laugier, Timouthy Gould, Stanley Cavell, Garry L. Hagberg & Victor J. Krebs - unknown - Cambridge University Press.
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  15. The Impact of Wittgenstein on Theology.Rasul Bergisian - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 51.
    The present paper deals with Wittgenstein's influence on theology considering the concept of "logical atmosphere", which connects his earlier and later philosophical ideas.It reveals that the concepts underlying his earlier and later philosophies have had numerous impacts upon theology. Accordingly, they have been discussed under two groups of actual and potential ones.
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  16. The Wittgensteinian Paradox.Matt Campbell - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 18.
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  17. »the Greatest Jewish Thinker Is Only A Talent. « Wittgenstein’s Revoked Judaism.Donatella Di Cesare - unknown - Phainomena 74.
    In the latest studies on Wittgenstein, the interest for his life has raised a question that had remained in the shadow: the question of his »Judaism«. This essay acknowledges Steven S. Schwarzschild’s suggestion, according to which Wittgenstein could be seen as an »alienated Jew«. Contrasting those who consider Wittgenstein’s Judaism as a negligible, if not insignificant, detail of his biography, it tries not to claim a Jewish identity for Wittgenstein, but rather to evaluate the effects elicited on his philosophy by (...)
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  18. Investigating Wittgenstein.J. F. M. Hunter - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 9.
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  19. A Comparison Of Logical Form In Russell And Wittgenstein.Philip May - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 2.
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  20. A Very Short Guide To Understanding Wittgenstein.Larry Resnick - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 9.
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  21. Wittgenstein's Understanding Of The Subject.Çetin Türkyılmaz - unknown - Yeditepe'de Felsefe (Philosophy at Yeditepe) 8.
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  22. Recent Canadian Work on Wittgenstein: 1980-1989.George Williamson - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 9.
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  23. With Factualist Friends, Kripke's Wittgenstein Needs No Enemies: On Byrne's Case for Kripke's Wittgenstein Being a Factualist About Meaning Attributions.John Humphrey - manuscript
    _Private Language_ is that it almost universally sees KW as offering, in his sceptical solution, an account of meaning attributions (i.e., statements of the form, "X means such-and-so by 's'"; hereafter, MAs) which takes their legitimate attribution to be a function of something other than facts or truth conditions. KW is almost universally read as having rejected any account of meaning attributions which takes them to be stating facts or corresponding to facts. In a word, KW is understood as offering (...)
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  24. Avner Baz on Aspects and Concepts: A Critique.Reshef Agam-Segal - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-33.
    ABSTRACTI defend the view that aspect-perception – seeing as a duck, or a face as courageous – typically involves concept-application. Seemingly obvious, this is contested by Avner Baz: ‘aspects ma...
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  25. Meta-Ethical Quietism? Wittgenstein, Relaxed Realism, and Countercultures in Meta-Ethics.Farbod Akhlaghi - forthcoming - In Jonathan Beale & Richard Rowland (eds.), Wittgenstein and Contemporary Moral Philosophy.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein has often been called a quietist. His work has inspired a rich and varied array of theories in moral philosophy. Some prominent meta-ethicists have also been called quietists, or ‘relaxed’ as opposed to ‘robust’ realists, sometimes with explicit reference to Wittgenstein in attempts to clarify their views. In this chapter, I compare and contrast these groups of theories and draw out their importance for contemporary meta-ethical debate. They represent countercultures to contemporary meta-ethics. That is, they reject in different (...)
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  26. El Futuro de la Filosofía Después de Wittgenstein.Gómez Alonso & M. Modesto - forthcoming - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía.
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  27. Ludwig Wittgenstein.B. Anat & M. Anat - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  28. Natural Thoughts and Unnatural ‘Oughts’: Lessing, Wittgenstein, and Contemporary CSR.Guy Axtell - forthcoming - In Robert Vinten (ed.), Wittgenstein and Cognitive Science of Religion. London: Bloomsbury.
    Wittgenstein’s “Lectures on Religious Belief” (LRB) provide a source for as yet unexplored connections to religious ideas as treated in Robert N. McCauley’s book Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not (2013), and to other CSR scholars who focus attention on how “cognitively speaking it is religion that is natural and science that is largely unnatural.” Tensions are explored in this paper between our “maturationally natural” religious inclinations to adopt religious ideas and the “unnatural” demands sometimes made upon people, (...)
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  29. Wittgenstein and Contemporary Moral Philosophy.Jonathan Beale & Richard Rowland (eds.) - forthcoming
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  30. On Wittgenstein’s Notion of a Surveyable Representation: Rituals, Aesthetics, and Aspect-Perception.Nir Ben-Moshe - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    I demonstrate that analogies, both explicit and implicit, between Wittgenstein’s discussions of rituals, aesthetics, and aspect-perception, have important payoffs in terms of understanding his notion of a “surveyable representation” (übersichtliche Darstellung) as it applies to phenomena that are not exclusively grammatical in nature. In particular, I argue that a surveyable representation of certain anthropological and aesthetic facts allows us to see, qua form of aspect-perception, internal relations and formal connections, so that the inner nature of a ritual or the solution (...)
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  31. No Limit: On What Thought Can Actually Do.Jocelyn Benoist - forthcoming - In Limits of Intelligibility: Issues from Kant and Wittgenstein. Routledge.
    This chapter critically examines the notion of a limit. It questions whether a putative opposition of philosophical “camps” emphasized in recent years is actually tenable. This opposition is taken to hold between classical approaches in a Kantian spirit, operating with the notion of necessary limits to human cognition and sense-making, and a recent “speculative” turn in philosophy championed by Quentin Meillassoux, looking to overcome such limits. The chapter’s contention against this dichotomy is that the rhetoric of unlimitedness depends on ideas (...)
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  32. The Search for the "Essence of Human Language" in Wittgenstein and Davidson.Jason Bridges - forthcoming - In Claudine Verheggen (ed.), Wittgenstein and Davidson on Language, Thought and Action. cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 139-158.
    This paper offers an interpretation of the later Wittgenstein's handling of the idea of an "essence of human language", and examines in particular his treatment of the 'Augustinean' vision of reference as constituting this "essence". A central theme of the interpretation is the perennial philosophical desire to impose upon linguistic meaning conceptual templates drawn from outside the forms of thought about meaning in which we engage when we exercise our capacity to speak and understand a language. The paper closes with (...)
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  33. Grammar and Analyticity: Wittgenstein and the Logical Positivists on Logical and Conceptual Truth.Kai Michael Büttner - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
    Philosophical Investigations, EarlyView.
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  34. Baldwin and Wittgenstein on White Supremacism and Religion.Thomas D. Carroll - forthcoming - Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
    This article contends that James Baldwin’s exploration of racism and resistance to it in The Fire Next Time may be put into conversation with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s consideration of fundamental epistemic commitments in On Certainty. Out of this constructive engagement, I argue that white supremacism in the United States may be interpreted as being like a Wittgensteinian grounding or "hinge" commitment and that this viewpoint illuminates some of the ways in which white supremacism may interact with various kinds of religious commitments. (...)
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  35. Jewish Philosophical Conceptions of God.Gabriel Citron - forthcoming - In Yitzhak Melamed & Paul Franks (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    There is no single Jewish philosophical conception of God, and the array of competing conceptions does not lend itself to easy systemization. Nonetheless, it is the aim of this chapter to provide an overview of this unruly theological terrain. It does this by setting out ‘maps’ of the range of positions which Jewish philosophers have taken regarding key aspects of the God-idea. These conceptual maps will cover: (i) how Jewish philosophers have thought of the role and status of conceiving of (...)
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  36. Philosophical Progress, Skepticism, and Disagreement.Annalisa Coliva & Louis Doulas - forthcoming - In Maria Baghramian, J. Adam Carter & Richard Rowland (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Disagreement. Routledge.
    This chapter serves as an opinionated introduction to the problem of convergence (that there is no clear convergence to the truth in philosophy) and the problem of peer disagreement (that disagreement with a peer rationally demands suspending one’s beliefs), and some of the issues they give rise to, namely, philosophical skepticism and progress in philosophy. After introducing both topics and surveying the various positions in the literature we explore the prospects of an alternative, hinge-theoretic account.
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  37. Types Categories and Nonsense.J. W. Cornman - forthcoming - Studies in Logical Theory, American Philosophical Quarterly.
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  38. Wittgenstein on Necessity: ‘Are You Not Really an Idealist in Disguise?’.Sam W. A. Couldrick - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  39. Wittgenstein on Necessity: ‘Are You Not Really an Idealist in Disguise?’.Sam W. A. Couldrick - forthcoming - Wiley: Analytic Philosophy.
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  40. Wittgenstein, antyesencjalizm i definicja sztuki.Terence J. Diffey - forthcoming - Estetyka I Krytyka 9 (9/10):76-92.
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  41. Wittgenstein on String Figures as Mathematics: A Modern Ethnological Approach to the Limits of Empiricism.Andrew English - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
    Philosophical Investigations, EarlyView.
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  42. A Abordagem Ecológica das Habilidades e a Epistemologia dos eixos.Carvalho Eros - forthcoming - In Plinio J. Smith & Nara Figueiredo (eds.), A epistemologia dos eixos: uma introdução e debate sobre as certezas de Wittgenstein. São Paulo:
    In this paper, I argue that hinge propositions are ways of acting that constitute abilities or skills. My starting point is Moyal-Sharrock's account of hinge propositions. However, Moyal-Sharrock's account leaves gaps to be filled, as it does not offer a unified explanation of the origin of our ungrounded grounds. Her account also lacks resources to respond to the issue of demarcation, since it does not provide a criterion for distinguishing ways of acting that can legitimately fulfill the role of ungrounded (...)
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  43. Questioning the Body: Certainties Between Epistemology and Psychopathologies.Claudio Fabbroni - forthcoming - In International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. Zagabria, Croazia: Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Zagreb.
    Having a body is one of those unquestionable certainties of which we could not really understand the negation: the latter would not be a legitimate doubt in our linguistic, and therefore the epistemic game. In facts, according to Wittgenstein, contravening certain cornerstones of our language game implies that the used combination of words is being excluded from the game, withdrawn from circulation. The idea of this paper is that what a mental illness is, prima facie, comes from here. Seriously questioning (...)
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  44. Wittgenstein and Gadamer on Private Language.Ghasem Fazli - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
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  45. The Expressive Power of the N-Operator and the Decidability of Logic in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.Rodrigo Sabadin Ferreira - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of Logic.
    The present text discusses whether there is a tension between aphorisms 6.1-6.13 of the Tractatus and the Church-Turing theorem about the decidability of predicate logic. We attempt to establish th...
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  46. Wittgenstein’s 1929–30 Inquiries Into Probability.Florian Franken Figueiredo - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
    Philosophical Investigations, EarlyView.
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  47. Wittgensteins Diagonal-Argument: Eine Variation auf Cantor und Turing.Juliet Floyd - forthcoming - In Joachim Bromand & Bastian Reichert (eds.), Wittgenstein und die Philosophie der Mathematik. Münster: Mentis Verlag. pp. 167-197.
    A German translation with 2017 postscript of Floyd, Juliet. 2012. "Wittgenstein's Diagonal Argument: A Variation on Cantor and Turing." In Epistemology versus Ontology, Logic, Epistemology: Essays in Honor of Per Martin-Löf, edited by P. Dybjer, S. Lindström, E. Palmgren and G. Sundholm, 25-44. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media. An analysis of philosophical aspects of Turing's diagonal argument in his (136) "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem" in relation to Wittgenstein's writings on Turing and Cantor.
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  48. Forthcoming (March 2023): Wittgenstein’s Philosophy in 1929.Florian Franken Figueiredo (ed.) - forthcoming - New York: Routledge.
    The book explores the impact of manuscript remarks during the year 1929 on the development of Wittgenstein’s thought. Although its intention is to put the focus specifically on the manuscripts, the book is not purely exegetical. The contributors generate important new insights for understanding Wittgenstein’s philosophy and his place in the history of analytic philosophy. -/- Wittgenstein’s writings from the years 1929-1930 are valuable, not simply because they marked Wittgenstein’s return to academic philosophy after a seven-year absence, but because these (...)
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  49. SOAMES, SCOTT, El Surgimiento de la Filosofía Analítica: Frege, Moore, Russell y Wittgenstein, Tecnos, Madrid, 2019, 269 Pp. [REVIEW]Carlota García-Llorente - forthcoming - Anuario Filosófico.
  50. Correction: Are Wittgenstein’s Hinges Rational World-Pictures? The Groundlessness Theory Reconsidered.Miguel García-Valdecasas - forthcoming - Topoi:1-1.
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