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Philosopher of the month: Ludwig Wittgenstein

This June, the OUP Philosophy team are proud to announce that Ludwig Wittgenstein is their Philosopher of the Month. Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-born philosopher and logician, regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century for his masterpieces: Tractatus logico-philosophicus (1921) and the posthumous Philosophical Investigations (1953).

Wittgenstein was born the youngest of eight children into a wealthy industrial family in Vienna, Austria. He intended on studying aeronautical engineering, but his interest in the philosophy of mathematics led him to the University of Cambridge where he studied under Bertrand Russell. Wittgenstein and Russell developed a strong relationship, and Russell recognized Wittgenstein’s genius and encouraged him to pursue philosophy and the foundations of logic. After returning to Austria in 1913, Wittgenstein joined the Austrian army during the First World War (1914-1918) and became a prisoner of war. While prisoner, he managed to draft his first important work, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, and send his manuscript to Russell. He became a naturalized British citizen in 1938 and lectured at the University of Cambridge until 1947. Wittgenstein spent his remaining years writing. His last words were, ‘Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.’

In addition to the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, collections of Wittgenstein’s work published posthumously include Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (1956), The Blue and Brown Books (1958), Notebooks 1914–1916 (1961), Philosophische Bemerkungen (1964), Zettel (1967), and On Certainty (1969). You can discover more about the life of Ludwig Wittgenstein via the timeline below:

Keep a look out for #PhilosopherOTM across social media and follow @OUPPhilosophy on Twitter for more Philosopher of the Month content.

Featured image credit: “Cambridge-Architecture-Monument”, by blizniak. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

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  3. […] ‘Philosophers of the Month’ have included Jacques Derrida, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Søren Kierkegaard. Why not follow #PhilosopherOTM on Twitter for more philosophy […]

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