Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Odyssey
The Great War and the Writing of the Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus
Published by: DoppelHouse Press
Imprint: DoppelHouse Press
Charts Wittgenstein’s intellectual development, personal struggles, and movements from Vienna to Cambridge and Norway, and to the battlegrounds of WWI, where he completed what was destined to become the most influential philosophy book of the 20th century.
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s way to the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, one of the ground-breaking works in the history of philosophy, can rightly be termed an Odyssey. Both in terms of his movements and his intellectual development in the course of writing it, the Tractatus incorporated an exciting, improbable journey. A compendium of scholars has come together at the 100th anniversary of the work’s first official publication in 1922 to detail the main stations in Wittgenstein’s life that would entirely transform philosophy. The years 1912 to 1922 are illuminated through photos, military maps, and letters against the backdrop of one of the most dramatic periods in world history.
The complex theory of language developed by Wittgenstein In the Tractatus had an enormous influence not only on philosophy, but extended also to literature, music, film, painting, architecture, anthropology, and economics. Its uniqueness and rigor challenge our perceptions to this day.
Who Is Afraid of Ludwig Wittgenstein? or, An Austrian Enigma by Radmila Schweitzer
What Is an Odyssey in Philosophy? by Allan Janik
Ludwig Wittgenstein's Youth
1911: First Visit to Gottlob Frege in Jena
1911–1913: Wittgenstein in Cambridge by Ray Monk
1913–1914: The Quiet Seriousness of Norway by Knut Olav Åmås
July 14, 1914: Letter from Wittgenstein to Ludwig von Ficker
1914 –1916: Wittgenstein in Polish Galicia by Urszula Idziak-Smoczyn‘ska
Pictures, Models, and Measures by Susan G. Sterrett
1914–1918: The Emergence of the Tractatus in the first World War: Addenda to Previous Biographies by Martin Pilch
March–September 1916: Ludwig Wittgenstein during the Brusilov-Offensive in Bukowina by Martin Pilch
Finding Our Way Home: The Philosophy of the Tractatus by Ian Ground
1919 –1920: “To a Teacher's College to Become a Teacher” by Xenia Baumann and Students of the College Preparatory School Kundmanngasse in Vienna
1919 –1922: “Pearls before Swine …” The Difficult Publication History of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Alfred Schmidt
Facsimile of Wittgenstein's Personal Dedication to Arvid Sjögren
The Poetics of the Tractatus by Marjorie Perloff
Ludwig Wittgenstein: After the Tractatus
About the Authors
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Odyssey is a day-by-day account of the creative process and dramatic context in which one of the greatest and most influential texts of the modern age came to be. With leading scholars in the field setting the scene, and using a remarkable number of primary documents, this book shows the reader how this key text in modern philosophy was so crucially affected by the war in which its author took such perilous part. At times it is almost as though we are with Wittgenstein, directly experiencing how he worked to solve the problems he saw in logic, while navigating the perils and terrors of the Great War on the Eastern Front, coming to terms with the relation between his own ethical self and the world along the way. Add to that the personal tragedies, ironies and accidents that led—eventually—to the Tractatus’s publication after the war, and this shows that the book’s odyssey is a tale most worthy of the telling.
—Steven Beller, author of Vienna and the Jews and A Concise History of Austria
Under the logical and literary brilliance of the Tractatus there was a remarkable human being searching for his truth, with whom we can identify today.
—Pierre Stonborough, grandson of Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein’s path to the publication of his Tractatus was a fraught journey filled with military calamity, personal trials, and philosophical adventure. Readers of this volume will get a captivating multi-media account of the military maneuvers and documents, the personal correspondence, the personal diaries and philosophical notebooks that accompanied Wittgenstein on the way to the publication of perhaps the most perplexing document in twentieth-century philosophy.
—James C. Klagge, author of Tractatus in Context