Wittgenstein in Exile

MIT Press (2010)
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Abstract

Ludwig Wittgenstein's _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_ and _Philosophical Investigations_ are among the most influential philosophical books of the twentieth century, and also among the most perplexing. Wittgenstein warned again and again that he was not and would not be understood. Moreover, Wittgenstein's work seems to have little relevance to the way philosophy is done today. In _Wittgenstein in Exile_, James Klagge proposes a new way of looking at Wittgenstein -- as an exile -- that helps make sense of this. Wittgenstein's exile was not, despite his wanderings from Vienna to Cambridge to Norway to Ireland, strictly geographical; rather, Klagge argues, Wittgenstein was never at home in the twentieth century. He was in exile from an earlier era -- Oswald Spengler's culture of the early nineteenth century. Klagge draws on the full range of evidence, including Wittgenstein's published work, the complete Nachlaß, correspondence, lectures, and conversations. He places Wittgenstein's work in a broad context, along a trajectory of thought that includes Job, Goethe, and Dostoyevsky. Yet Klagge also writes from an analytic philosophical perspective, discussing such topics as essentialism, private experience, relativism, causation, and eliminativism. Once we see Wittgenstein's exile, Klagge argues, we will gain a better appreciation of the difficulty of understanding Wittgenstein and his work

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James Klagge
Virginia Tech

Citations of this work

Wittgenstein's Anti-scientistic Worldview.Jonathan Beale - 2017 - In Jonathan Beale & Ian James Kidd (eds.), Wittgenstein and Scientism. London: Routledge. pp. 59-80.
Wittgenstein and the Xunzi on the Clarification of Language.Thomas D. Carroll - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (4):527-545.
The Character of a Name: Wittgenstein's Remarks on Shakespeare.Wolfgang Huemer - 2013 - In Sascha Bru, Wolfgang Huemer & Daniel Steuer (eds.), Wittgenstein Reading. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter. pp. 23-37.

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