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Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Philosophical Investigations (Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks) Paperback – April 3, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0415111911 ISBN-10: 0415111919 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (April 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415111919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415111911
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,106,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautifully lucid guide through the main themes of the Investigations ... The movement of Wittgenstein's thought, how the different topics hang together, why they come in the order they do--are all made clearer than any other discussion I know.
–Jane Heal, St. John's College, Cambridge

McGinn's efforts to display the anti-theoretical thrust of Wittgenstein's thinking are effective ... [She] makes the Investigations more accessible to (advanced) undergraduates than anything else out there. For graduate students ... it could, coupled with the Investigations, become the standard introduction.
Teaching Philosophy

About the Author

Marie McGinn teaches Philosophy at the University of York.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Marie McGinn does a good job at highlighting many of the themes in the Philosophical Investigations. But at the same time her analysis strays from many of the traditional interpretations. Portions of her interpretation do not stay within the context of the book which in turn, gives a misleading impression of Wittgenstein's thought. It needs to be kept in mind that although Wittgenstein's analysis of language is directed at many of the empty claims of metaphysics caused by a confusion of our grammar and at redirecting philosophy to focus on language, it does not follow that he is suggesting to do away with traditional philosophy. I felt that McGinn's book tends to give this misleading impression. I would suggest getting secondary sources done by Wittgenstein's students such as Norman Malcom. Also consider looking at P.M.L.S. Hacker who has done a two volume line by line analysis of the Investigations.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Elias H. Zuniga on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Having read numerous "begginer" introductions to Wittgenstein, the Routledge guidebook has definitely been the best! Its focus on the Philosophical Investigations, and it includes (along with others) sections on rule following, Wittgenstein's style, his critique of Saint Agustine's theory of naming, and the private language argument. Strongly recommend for those attempting to get a grasp of such a difficult to understand philosopher.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Greenfield on November 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Let me say at the outset that I have not read PI, and probably never will. I have read several books about Wittgenstein (W's Vienna and W's Poker, both enjoyable), and am fairly acquainted with the earlier philosophy of the Tractatus. The latter philosophy of PI I barely understood, but wanted to. That was the motive behind my reading this work. I knew the subject would be difficult, but given the fact that the book has a small word count, I figured I could get through it easily. Fortunately, I did get through it, but it was not an easy read.

Initially, I was struck by McGinn's writing style: it seemed a little odd and peculiar. Sentences I would find myself reading over twice, three times; paragraphs initially not making sense until about the third time through. As I got further on in the book I began to realize that it is not so much a defective writing style, but rather just very difficult-to-express ideas that she is writing about. Imagine doing microsurgery on concepts; that is the image that came to my mind repeatedly as I was struggling to understand what she was writing.

I think Professor McGinn has done an admirable job of trying to explicate probably one of the most difficult works of philosophy of the last century. The discussion is rigorous but accessible; it is not at all dumbed-down. Although this book will not give you an in-depth understanding of PI, it will give you a sufficient familiarity with the main concepts and ideas, and that surely is enough for a first exposure. As such, this book is an excellent introduction to PI for undergrads and non-specialists. I suppose some might fault McGinn for being overly dry in her discourse, but the subject matter is exceedingly dry. I don't think trying to 'juice up' a discussion of PI would be apropos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Hyde on May 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great supplement to have with you if you are studying/reading the Philosophical Investigations by Wittgenstein. Much of the Investigations is easy enough to understand, but this text by McGinn clarifies some of the tougher ideas present in Wittgenstein's work. For a book that is already hard enough to read all by itself and get the most out of it, McGinn's book is a great guide to have along for the crazy ride that is doing philosophy with Wittgenstein.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy Erde on December 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exceptionally clearly written and convincing analysis. Superb as an introduction to Wittgenstein. It is a very constructive approach to the texts.
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