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Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

3.9 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1440424212
ISBN-10: 1440424217
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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --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: 98 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440424217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440424212
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,896,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Guha on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Since most of the reviews of the Tractatus here contain either fawning praise or vituperation without much expository content, it may perhaps be useful to give an account, in reasonably clear terms, of what this book is actually about. Granted that my account is somewhat simplified, it will still be better than quasi-mystical gushing praise or bitter unargued criticism. The central idea of the Tractatus is expressed very clearly at proposition 4.01 and certain comments following it:

"A proposition is a picture of reality.

A proposition is a model of reality as we imagine it." [4.01]

"At first sight a proposition--one set out on the printed page, for example--does not seem to be a picture of the reality with which it is concerned. But neither do written notes seem at first sight to be a picture of a piece of music . . . And yet these sign-languages prove to be pictures, even in the ordinary sense, of what they represent." [4.011]

"A gramophone record, the musical idea, the written notes, and the sound-waves, all stand to one another in the same internal relation of depicting that holds between language and the world.

They are all construed according to a common logical pattern." [4.014]

So, Wittgenstein's basic view in the Tractatus is simple: statements ("propositions") are pictures or models of the situations they are about. The sequence of words "The cat is on the mat" would be taken by him to picture the situation that consists in one object (the cat) standing in a certain relation (being on) to another object (the mat). Or rather, this would be the way to understand this proposition if the cat and mat themselves were indivisible atoms, without any smaller parts.
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Format: Paperback
Do not buy this edition! The editing is so bad that there are blatant typos in nearly every entry of Wittgenstein's text. There are no notes by an editor or translator, so the reader has no idea who is responsible for this ridiculous butchery of the text. I'm talking about the most basic proofreading here, not about interpretations of the text (I don't read German, so I can't comment about that). For example: " If they world had no substance, then whether a proposition had sense would depend on whether another proposition was true (2.0211)." They world? "It is obvious that an imagined world, however difference it may be from the real one . . .(2.022)" -- this kind of thing can't help but distract the reader from the meaning. These are just 2 of scores of examples. Those were on the same page, and you find them on every page. 7 Treasures Publications seems to be some kind of fly-by-night garage publisher; this is the crudest, most unprofessional publication I've ever seen.
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Format: Paperback
As others here have said, this edition contains numerous typographical errors. Such a level of care is unworthy of the text, and unworthy of the reader to whom the text is addressed.

If you purchase this book, it will come with a date stamped on the back page; this date will read as no more than a few days from when you made your purchase. In other words, this is a distributor's edition. Its base text is copied inexpertly and in marked contrast to the efficiency of your personal copies' printing and delivery.

Buy this if you want to give an incompetent business whose priority is not the integrity of its product some of your money. But if you want to read the text, look for another edition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To date, most reviews of this book have reflected digestion of Wittgenstein's philosophy rather than addressing the quality of the edition. The translation is often terribly tacit or outright incorrect. Unfortunately, Seven Treasures seems to be capitalizing on how few editions remain of this work remain in print. This is not a source that should be used for any scholarly work. Hopefully we will see a Blackwell edition comparable to their PI anniversary printing, with the original German text included.
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Format: Hardcover
Tracatus is the only book Wittgenstein published during his life. He was an odd man, with an odd lifestyle, and he published it with the idea that it would be the "book to end all books" philosophically.

Ironically, in his later years he denounced the book and called himself naive for writing it.

On the below review: Tractatus focuses on an empirical ontology. Where the review below goes wrong is the assumption that Wittgenstein is denouncing all non-objective and materialistic reality. The final line in the book (which is probably the books most poignant, and oft-quoted line) is "What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence." demonstrates Wittgenstein is aware of the context that he's covering: the empirical, and objective realm of sensorimotor and rational experience. Wittgenstein was quite the mystic (to the horrors of Bertrand Russell), so one cannot be polemic towards his implied intentions; Wittgenstein was simply attempting to comprehensively cover the only realm in which he felt was capable of being written about: the objective realm.

It is under this context the book must be appropriately reviewed. The following paragraph will review the book within those parameters.

The book is quite thorough. It is a mere 90 pages or so, but every statement is concise, to-the-point, and unwavering in its objective quantification and observation of reality. It is laid out like an old mathematical textbook with decimal numbers annotating each statement in relation to every other statement. Thorough it is, but the book also requires a great deal of effort. Wittgenstein assigns a seemingly endless list of nouns to vague and ambiguous ideas (i.e., fact, thought, picture, proposition, internal property, composite name, sign, etc.
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