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Wittgenstein's Tractatus
An Introduction


Part of Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts

  • Date Published: August 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521616386

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About the Authors
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' is one of the most important books of the twentieth century. It influenced philosophers and artists alike and it continues to fascinate readers today. It offers rigorous arguments but clothes them in enigmatic pronouncements. Wittgenstein himself said that his book is 'strictly philosophical and simultaneously literary, and yet there is no blathering in it'. This introduction, first published in 2005, considers both the philosophical and the literary aspects of the 'Tractatus' and shows how they are related. It also shows how the work fits into Wittgenstein's philosophical development and the tradition of analytic philosophy, arguing strongly for the vigour and significance of that tradition.

    • A critical guide to one of the basic texts of philosophy
    • Shows how the literary and philosophical elements of the work interact
    • Accessibly written for students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an extraordinarily interesting, and in fact gripping, book on a famously enigmatic text. Nordmann's mastery of the philosophical backgrounds, extending back through both Anglophone and European philosophy, along with his deep knowledge of the Austrian culture behind the early Wittgenstein, puts him in a position to shed rare light on Wittgenstein's seemingly gnomic utterances. Put this all together and you have a striking elucidation of Wittgenstein on the limits of sense that richly rewards close reading.' Garry Hagberg, James H. Ottaway Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics & Editor of 'Philosophy and Literature', Bard College, New York

    'Rare and useful discussion is given of such important influences as the aphorist Georg Lichtenberg and the philosophically minded physicist Henrich Hertz, and in this context there is also a very welcome examination of Wittgenstein's highly unusual literary style.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

    '… Nordmann's interpretation is a thoroughly provocative one …' Philosophical Investigations

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521616386
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Wittgenstein's provocation
    1. Critical philosophy
    2. The argument
    3. Thought experiments
    4. Tense and mood
    5. The senses of sense
    Conclusion: a sense of familiarity.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Continental Philosophy
  • Author

    Alfred Nordmann, Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany
    Alfred Nordmann is Professor of Philosophy at Technische Universität Darmstadt. He has translated and edited works by Wittgenstein and is president of the Lichtenberg Society.

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