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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Precursor to the Investigations, February 8, 2005
This review is from: The Blue and Brown Books (Preliminary Studies for the Philosophical Investigations) (Paperback)
The so-called "Blue and Brown Books" are in fact Wittgenstein's notes in the period leading up to the publication of his Magnum Opus, the "Philosophical Investigations". As I understand, these notes (as well as many other collections of Wittgenstein's notes that were published postthumously) were never intended to be published. The reason almost all of Wittgenstein's notes were published is his enormous importance in 20th century philosophy and the difficulty in fully understanding his positions.

Ultimately, to understand Wittgenstein one must read the "Philosophical Investigations"; this volume can only assist an advanced student of Wittgenstein in coming to terms with his philosophy, and cannot, in my opinion, serve as introduction to the investigations. Instead, I suggest reading the Investigations along with an introductory or exegetical text such as A. Kenny's "Wittgenstein" or P.M.S. Hacker's "Insight and Illusion", or any number of other texts written with the same purpose in mind.

To sum up: this book is recommended for advanced students as an ancillary to the "Investigations", not as a separate text.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2015 3:16:08 PM PDT
I am not about to claim hat Wittgenstein is easy understanding, and I too would argue that On Certainty is a good place
to begin; however, part of our difficulty lies in our thinking that philosophy, if it is anything at all, must be about deep stuff.
It is better to think that it is about stubborn stuff. Some good companions to Wittgenstein's work are Rush Rhees', articles,
Wittgenstein's Builders, and Can There Be a Private Language?, both found in the book Discussions of Wittgenstein.
There is also, of course, Norman Malcom's, book Wittgensteinian Themes--with emphasis on the grammar of 'thinking'.
One might memorize the passages on page 19 in The Blue Book (It begins with 'If we study . . ." and ends one paragraph
later on p.20 with "to enumerate cases of knowledges.") The Malcolm piece on 'thinking' is good to hold i conjunction
with this last from The Blue Book. The voyage is worth the struggle . . . but gets a bit lonely.
Remember that W. was not pretentious.
Again . . . best wishes.
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