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Culture and Value

15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226904351
ISBN-10: 0226904350
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: German, English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was arguably the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century. He was born in Vienna, but studied and practiced philosophy in Great Britain. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. He worked in—and transformed—the fields of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (May 15, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226904350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226904351
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By James Klagge on July 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was published in 1980. In 1998 the editors and translator produced a beautiful new edition providing more context for the passages and an improved translation. It was published by Blackwell in the UK (ISBN 0631205713), but has still not been released in the US. Why? If you are really interested in Wittgenstein you should search that ISBN on Amazon, because there are occasionally used copies that you can order (at a premium) from abroad.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This collection of Wittgenstein's "remarks" written over a time period of forty years was first published as "Vermischte Bemerkungen" in the original German in 1977. These remarks are taken from his private manuscripts and diaries, which were finally translated into English in 1980.

As a vast majority of Wittgenstein's manuscripts or notebooks were written with no intent by the author for publication, it makes one wonder how the philosopher would feel about this book. He comments on a vast array of subjects from architecture, Shakespeare and music. And, of course, his philosophical musings, some remarks actually taken from his famous text, Philosophical Investigations.

It would be helpful if the reader had some previous knowledge of Wittgenstein's work and life before embarking on this text, however, I don't believe it to be absolutely essential. Surprisingly, numerous remarks throughout the text can stand alone on their own merit without contextualization. On the other hand, these remarks can also contribute to a greater understanding of Wittgenstein's philosophy, thus, in the end, Culture and Value is an excellent addition to the Wittgenstein Corpus.

I've come to understand that reading Wittgenstein is about a process of thought, a new method of thinking about our language and the world. Wittgenstein is not about a theory of reality but a process of thinking, asking different questions, never taking anything for granted, always pushing against conventional wisdom, pushing thought to its limits. At times these "aphorisms" can communicate as nonsense, ephemeral, disconnected, etc, but reading them slowly, immersing oneself into them, can produce some interesting results.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Smith on December 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Both the fragmentary presentation of these remarks as well as their deeply personal nature remind one very much of Pascal, to whom, along with Plato, Augustine, and Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein deserves to be compared, moreso than Russell or any of the analytic philosophers (and this includes Wittgenstein's *Tractatus* period!).
The great virtue of this book is that one can open the book to just about anywhere are find a dazzling thought, whether about Goethe, mathematics, God, etc. However, that same virtue proves to be the book's main vice: one cannot read the book expecting a 'flow' that one might find reading novels or more composed philosophical texts -- although, of course, one must keep in mind that pretty much all of Wittgenstein's later writings are like this. Indeed, there is probably no satisfying way to arrange these or any of his other writings: as the editors say, the chronological arrangement they chose is the only way to avoid distorting what Wittgenstein wrote. I suppose, then, my complaint is more against Wittgenstein's reclusiveness than against the editors of this volume.
As for the book itself: whether you agree or disagree with him, Wittgenstein's profundity cannot be doubted, even on non-analytic subjects such as are treated in the book. In fact, there are several places, e.g. his discussions of Christianity, that bear a great resemblance to his discussions of language, namely: his attempts to explain something that he admits cannot be explained. Wittgenstein, despite all his efforts, could not become a believing Christian; nevertheless he demonstrates a deep understanding of Christianity's meaning, how it defies all rational explanation. As he puts it: "If Christianity is the truth then all the philosophy that has been written about it is false.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Stuart W. Mirsky on April 28, 2003
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Not a "work of philosophy" but, rather, a compilation of his more personal and/or less philosophical personal jottings from 1914 to the end of his life in 1951, this little book is worth taking up if you are fascinated by Wittgenstein and his thought. However, it will disappoint anyone coming to it for a detailed analysis of many of those issues (religion, art, morality) that his major works do not delve into more extensively. All we are offered here is an uneven scattering of personal remarks and truncated observations over the course of one very significant philosopher's life. Sometimes the remarks are extremely enlightening. More often they are too cryptic or personal or vague to offer much insight into the man and his ideas. Moreover, there are some musings here that are decidedly personal, making me uncomfortable just to be reading them. Peter Winch, who did the compilation, notes he excluded anything of too personal a nature but, given what got through, I can only conclude that the other stuff must have been doozies. Here we see Wittgenstein castigating himself as a sinner, unworthy to be saved, as he struggles to understand and re-subscribe to the Catholicism of his youth. While such information is of great interest to those of us who have been deeply affected by his philosophical work, throwing light on the driving forces which affected his thought, I was left feeling profoundly uncomfortable, reading things I suspect he never would have wanted to see the light of day. In the end, this book offered me more of a view into the man, Wittgenstein, than into his ideas about cultural issues . . . the reason I'd come to the book in the first place. And Wittgenstein seems a smaller man, and his ideas somewhat less substantial to me, for having read this book. Still, I'm not sorry I did. Better to understand a man than be awed by a giant. -- SWM
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