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Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction 1st Edition
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`Lucidly and attractively written.'
`Anyone wanting to come to grips with the later Wittgenstein's views on philosophy, his beliefs about the nature of thought and language, and his many unignorable (if sometimes muddled and often muddling) ideas in the philosophy of the mind could do no better than start here.'
`[Grayling] is to be congratulated on the success of his enterprise in a book which is a model of expository elgance ... an admirably clear and concise introduction'
About the Author
A.C. Grayling is Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London, and Senior Research Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford. He is the author of An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, The Refutation of Scepticism, and Berkeley: The Central Arguments, and is also the editor of Philosophy: A Guide through the Subject and Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject.
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Top customer reviews
The reader should know that Grayling is not a Wittgenstein idolater. His considered judgment is that LW’s philosophy does not take us very far and that while he is a great philosophic ‘personality’ he is probably not up there with the Aristotles, Humes, Kants, Lockes, et al. He considers Frege’s and Russell’s impact to be more important for analytic philosophy.
While quirky and austere in many ways, it should be noted that some of the ‘personality’ issues are quite substantive. LW did give up his considerable inheritance and dedicated himself to non-material things; his military service was distinguished; when he no longer believed that philosophy was redolent of possibilities he left it behind and did other useful work. (Compare, e.g., the academic careerists of capital-T Theory who went about for decades from conference to conference and named professorship to named professorship proclaiming that language and literature were incapable of yielding significant meaning.) LW also gave a good account of himself in light of the fierce upbringing and stark parenting that he received, parenting that could have been very destructive.
While this little book is very useful in its exposition of LW’s thought, it should be supplemented with a number of the items listed in the author’s ‘further reading’ section. Grayling’s insight/argument that ultimately LW is a ‘poet’ more than a philosopher may be true. Freud and Marx are frequently described in those terms and LW’s oracular style and magisterial summary statements (on remaining silent when we must, on releasing the flies from the fly bottle, and so on) are memorable for their articulation as well as their content.