This volume of newly written chapters on the history and interpretation of Wittgensteins Tractatus represents a significant step beyond the polemical debate between broad interpretive approaches that has recently characterized the field. Some of the contributors might count their approach as new or resolute, while others are more traditional, but all are here concerned primarily with understanding in detail the structure of argument that Wittgensteinpresents within the Tractatus, rather than with its final self-renunciation, or with the character of the understanding that renunciation might leave behind. The volume makes a strong case that close investigation, both biographical and textual, into the composition of the Tractatus, and into the variousinfluences on it, still has much to yield in revealing the complexity and fertility of Wittgensteins early thought. Amongst these influences Kant and Kierkegaard are considered alongside Wittgensteins immediate predecessors in the analytic tradition. The themes explored range across the breadth of Wittgensteins book, and include his accounts of ethics and aesthetics, as well as issues in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and aspects of the logical framework of his account ofrepresentation. The contrast of saying and showing, and Wittgensteins attitude to the inexpressible, is of central importance to many of the contributions. By approaching this concern through the various first-level issues that give rise to it, rather than from entrenched schematic positions, thecontributors demonstrate the possibility of a more inclusive, constructive and fruitful mode of engagement with Wittgensteins text and with each other.
- Publication Date:
- 28 / 02 / 2013