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The Blue and Brown Books (Preliminary Studies for the Philosophical Investigations) First Paperback Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0061312113
ISBN-10: 0061312118
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wittgenstein's later work, so long the privilege and possession of a few, is at last before the public at large. The so-called Blue and Brown Books, originally dictated to his students in Cambridge in the thirties, and circulated, not without precaution and secrecy, now follow the Investigations and the Remarks on Mathematics, and with this the openingup process is complete. The event is welcome: it is certain that we need more free discussion, rather than obscure reference to Wittgenstein's doctrines .... the Blue Book already announces all the main themes of the later Wittgenstein--so rich yet so intimately interlocked. Use and meaning and the fallacious 'name' theory; understanding and the mastery of a technique; rules, language-games and 'forms of life'; these doctrines, and the denial of 'private languages, ' fit together like the parts of a puzzle. This book, for the sake of its compactness, and something of a special zest that has been admired, may make it a good introduction to the later Wittgenstein .... it is only here [The Brown Book] that language-games and the problems of rules come into full prominence. And the importance of the latter cannot be over-emphasized; later philosophers have used the notion but rarely explored it as Wittgenstein did." -- David Pole, Philosophy "There could be no better introduction to Wittgenstein's thought than the Blue Book, whose simplicity and forthrightness must make aninstant appeal. The progressive complications of the Brown Book makea natural bridge to the still more subtle, but often confusing, exposition of the Investigations. Every serious student of philosophy will want to own this volume."-- Max Black"These studies have exercisedconsiderable influence on the development of contemporary English philosophy." -- "The Heythrop Journal (Oxford)

From the Back Cover

The co-called Blue and Brown Books, originally dictated to his students in Cambridge in the thirties, and circulated, not without precaution and secrecy, now follow the Investigations and the Remarks on Mathematics, and with this the opening up process is complete
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Product Details

  • Series: Preliminary Studies for the Philosophical Investigations
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Torchbooks; First Paperback Edition edition (January 1, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061312118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061312113
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Oran Magal on February 8, 2005
Format: 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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Format: Paperback
This volume is an excellent introduction to themes developed in the Philosophical Investigations. Many of the ideas of Wittgenstein's later thought are already here in their final form; others develop through the two very differrent books included in this one volume. Because some of his important views are not mentioned in either the blue or brown books, the best way to discover his views is to read the Philosophical Investigations.
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The Blue & Brown Books are fun to read. They establish most of the concepts that are discussed in the P.I. These concepts are notated below, along with page numbers. My notes below indicate the page numbers where these concepts occur in the B&B Books, as well as in the P.I. If you read the B&B Books, you will have a relatively easy time recognizing the concepts (but not necessarily understanding them), as they are set forth, when you read the P.I. You will know what to look out for. Additionally, it seems that much of the first 50 pages of the P.I. is spent not doing philosophy, but is spent reflecting about philosophy. This 50 page span of reflection is apt to be particularly confusing, unless one first reads the B&B Books. The end-result of reading the B&B Books that is: When you proceed to read the P.I., you will feel self-assured and happy in recognizing the same concepts, and new variations of these concepts, that appear in the P.I.

Here is some late-breaking news. A few years after posting this review, I finally published a real paper about Wittgenstein. The following paper contains several pages about Wittgenstein, that is, about his analysis of the meaning of the word, "expectation." My article got published in early 2010:

Brody, T. (2010) Obviousness in patents following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision of KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. in Journal Patent Trademark Office Society 92:26-70.

To summarize, W.'s philosophy first of all shows how the grammar of our language makes us think that mental acts (or mental processes, mental images, or feelings), of which we are conscious, are required for our various language games. Again and again, W.
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Format: Paperback
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher whose books such as Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations are among the acknowledged “classics” of 20th century philosophy. Born into a wealthy family, he gave all of his inheritance away, served in the Austrian Army during World War I, taught schoolchildren in remote Austrian villages, but ultimately taught at Cambridge for many years. The Tractatus was the only book he published during his lifetime, but his papers have been posthumously edited, and notes of lectures taken by his students have been transcribed, and have resulted in many published books, such as Lectures & Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology, & Religious Belief, Philosophical Grammar, Philosophical Remarks, Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, ...Read more ›
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