On Wittgenstein Book Series


This international series publishes outstanding philosophical monographs and edited volumes about Wittgenstein. Publications may focus on his work as a whole or on specific topics. The series also addresses Wittgenstein’s life, his sources, and the impact of his works. The volumes are peer-reviewed and present state-of-the-art Wittgenstein research. 

German-language contributions will be published in the series Über Wittgenstein, and English-language contributions in the series On Wittgenstein.

These two series are both co-edited on behalf of the Internationale Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft by James Conant, Wolfgang Kienzler, Stefan Majetschak, Volker Munz, Josef Rothhaupt, David Stern and Wilhelm Vossenkuhl.

Wittgenstein: Die ordnende Lesart – Der Platz des Absoluten im sprachlichen Urphänomen

Marian Baukrowitz

Impliziert Wittgensteins Kritik der Metaphysik eine Absage an absolute Werte und Wahrheiten? Dies ist weitgehend Konsens in der Wittgensteinforschung. Die Ursünde der Metaphysik: Sie beruht auf einer mangelhaften Sichtung der Alltagssprache. Bestimmte Aspekte unseres Sprechens werden erst ohne hinreichende Gründe privilegiert – und dann in einer Theorie als absoluter Grund gesetzt – oder vergessen. Die führenden Wittgensteinianer führen zurecht vor, wie einige metaphysische Theorien über das Absolute als Resultat so einer Verwirrung gedeutet werden können. Sie wiederholen aber die Ursünde der Metaphysik, wenn sie auf dieser Basis den Bezug auf das Absolute schlechthin verwerfen, da sie wichtige Aspekte jener ethischen Sprachspiele vergessen, in denen ursprünglich das Absolute vorkommt. Wittgensteins eigentliches Ziel ist es nicht, mit der Kritik der Metaphysik den Bezug auf das Absolute zu zerstören, sondern ihn wieder neu einzuordnen, gerade um ihn nicht zu verletzen. Für Leser mit Interesse an der aktuellen Wittgensteinforschung, an der Möglichkeit der Metaphysik und an den Kriterien für Wahrheit und Wirklichkeit (Realismus-Debatte).

A Picture Held Us Captive – On Aisthesis and Interiority in Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fyodor M. Dostoevsky and W.G. Sebald

Tea Lobo

While there are publications on Wittgenstein’s interest in Dostoevsky’s novels and the recurring mentions of Wittgenstein in Sebald’s works, there has been no systematic scholarship on the relation between perception (such as showing and pictures) and the problem of an adequate presentation of interiority (such as intentions or pain) for these three thinkers.This relation is important in Wittgenstein’s treatment of the subject and in his private language argument, but it is also an often overlooked motif in both Dostoevsky’s and Sebald’s works.

Dostoevsky’s depiction of mindset discrepancies in a rapidly modernizing Russia can be analyzed interms of multi-aspectivity. The theatricality of his characters demonstrates especially well Wittgenstein’s account of interiority’s interrelatedness with overt public practices and codes.

In Sebald’s Austerlitz, Wittgenstein’s notion of family resemblances is an aesthetic strategy within the novel. Visual tropes are most obviously present in Sebald’s use of photography, and can partially be read as an ethical-aesthetic imperative of rendering pain visible. Tea Lobo’s book contributes towards a non-Cartesian account of literary presentations of inner life based on Wittgenstein’s thought.

Wittgenstein and Hegel – Reevaluation of Difference

Jakub Mácha und Alexander Berg

This book brings together for the first time two philosophers from different traditions and different centuries. While Wittgenstein was a focal point of 20th century analytic philosophy, it was Hegel’s philosophy that brought the essential discourses of the 19th century together and developed into the continental tradition in 20th century. This now-outdated conflict took for granted Hegel’s and Wittgenstein’s opposing positions and is being replaced by a continuous progression and differentiation of several authors, schools, and philosophical traditions. The development is already evident in the tendency to identify a progression from a ‘Kantian’ to a ‘Hegelian phase’ of analytical philosophy as well as in the extension of right and left Hegelian approaches by modern and postmodern concepts. Assessing the difference between Wittgenstein and Hegel can outline intersections of contemporary thinking.

Language, Form(s) of Life, and Logic – Investigations after Wittgenstein

Christian Martin

This volume deals with the connection between thinking-and-speaking and our form(s) of life. All contributions engage with Wittgenstein’s approach to this topic. As a whole, the volume takes a stance against both biological and ethnological interpretations of the notion “form of life” and seeks to promote a broadly logico-linguistic understanding instead.

The structure of this book is threefold. Part one focuses on lines of thinking that lead from Wittgenstein’s earlier thought to the concept of form of life in his later work. Contributions to part two examine the concrete philosophical function of this notion as well as the ways in which it differs from cognate concepts. Contributions to part three put Wittgenstein’s notion of form of life in perspective by relating it to phenomenology, ordinary language philosophy and problems in contemporary analytic philosophy.

Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Frazer – The Text and the Matter

Lars Albinus, Josef G. F. Rothhaupt und Aidan Seery

This volume is dedicated to Wittgenstein’s remarks on Frazer’s The Golden Bough and represents a collaboration of scholars within philosophy and the study of religion. For the first time, specialized investigations of the philological and philosophical aspects Wittgenstein’s manuscripts are combined with the outlook of philosophical anthropology and ritual studies.
In the first section of the book Wittgenstein’s remarks are presented and discussed in light of his Nachlass and relevant lecture-notes by G.E. Moore, reproduced in this book as facsimiles. The second section deals with the cultural and philosophical background of the early remarks, while the third section focuses specifically on the general problem of understanding as being a main issue of these remarks. The fourth section concentrates on the philosophical development characteristic of the later remarks. Finally, the fifth section reviews Wittgenstein’s opposition to Frazer, and the ramifications of his remarks, in light of ritual studies.
The book is intended for scholars in philosophy and religious studies, as well as for the general reader with an academic interest in philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

Wittgenstein, Frazer und die „ethnologische Betrachtungsweise“

Marco Bursotti

Wittgenstein beansprucht für sich eine neue Betrachtungsweise: Er will seinen „Standpunkt weit draußen einnehmen“ und philosophische Probleme mit ethnologischem Blick sehen. Ist seine scharfe Auseinandersetzung mit James Frazers anthropologischem Hauptwerk, The Golden Bough. A Study in Magic and Religion, eine frühe Einübung in diese „ethnologische Betrachtungsweise“? Sprache und Kultur geht dieser Frage nach. Kulturdifferenz und -wandel, die im Tractatus noch gleichsam unter der Schwelle philosophischer Aufmerksamkeit liegen, rücken hier allmählich in den Mittelpunkt. Wittgensteins breite kulturphilosophische Beschäftigung gilt Ethnologen wie Frazer und Malinowski, aber auch so unterschiedlichen Gestalten wie etwa Spengler, Sraffa, Renan, Ogden und Richards, Paul Ernst, Goethe und vielen anderen. Diese bisher umfassendste Studie zum Thema berücksichtigt Wittgensteins Gesamtnachlass und unveröffentlichtes Material: Ohne die problematischen Aspekte zu übersehen, zeigt sie, dass Wittgensteins Denken nicht nur sprachphilosophisch relevant ist, sondern auch und gerade kulturphilosophische Horizonte eröffnet.

Wittgenstein Reading

Sascha Bru, Wolfgang Huemer und Daniel Steuer

Wittgenstein’s thought is reflected in his reading and reception of other authors. Wittgenstein Reading approaches the moment of literature as a vehicle of self-reflection for Wittgenstein. What sounds, on the surface, like criticism (e.g. of Shakespeare) can equally be understood as a simple registration of Wittgenstein’s own reaction, hence a piece of self-diagnosis or self-analysis.

The book brings a representative sample of authors, from Shakespeare, Goethe, or Dostoyevsky to some that have received far less attention in Wittgenstein scholarship like Kleist, Lessing, or Wilhelm Busch and Johann Nepomuk Nestroy. Furthermore, the volume offers means for the cultural contextualization of Wittgenstein’s thoughts.

Unique to this book is its internal design. The editors’ introduction sets the scene with regards to both biography and theory, while each of the subsequent chapters takes a quotation from Wittgenstein on a particular author as its point of departure for developing a more specific theme relating to the writer in question. This format serves to avoid the well-trodden paths of discussions on the relationship between philosophy and literature, allowing for unconventional observations to be made. Furthermore, the volume offers means for the cultural contextualization of Wittgenstein’s thoughts. 

Kulturen und Werte – Wittgensteins “Kringel-Buch” als Initialtext

Herausgegeben von: Josef Rothhaupt und Wilhelm Vossenkuhl

Wittgensteins Werk ist in eminenter Weise sein Nachlass. Ein Beispiel dafür ist das bisher kaum beachtete sogenannte Kringel-Buch. Interessant wäre der Nachweis, dass dies eine von Wittgenstein selbst konzipierte Textsammlung ist. Vielleicht ist es sogar möglich, darin einen Initialtext zu seinem Denken zu sehen. Die wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung wird dies zu zeigen haben. Bereits jetzt lässt sich aber sagen, dass diese Textsammlung höchst interessante und aktuelle interdisziplinäre Perspektiven zum Thema Kulturen und Werte bietet. Die Debatte über die Bedeutung des „Kringel-Buches“ wird mit dem vorliegenden Band eröffnet.

  • Auseinandersetzung mit einem wichtigen Teil aus dem Wittgenstein-Nachlass
  • Zeigt Wittgensteins Relevanz für aktuelle Themen in Ethik und Kulturphilosophie

Knowledge, Language and Mind – Wittgenstein’s Thought in Progress

António Marques und Nuno Venturinha

Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations is arguably one of the most influential books of the 20th century. It threw a new light on the workings of language and mind, contributing significantly to the understanding of human knowledge. Featuring essays by internationally renowned scholars, this book explores the development of Wittgenstein’s ideas in the direction of the Investigations. It offers a comprehensive view of some of the most disputable issues in the study of Wittgenstein’s masterpiece and reassesses its relevance within contemporary philosophical debate. Contributors: Alberto Arruda (New University of Lisbon), João Vergílio Gallerani Cuter (University of S. Paulo), P. M. S. Hacker (University of Oxford), Nathan Hauthaler (University of London), Emiliano La Licata (University of Palermo), Constantine Sandis (Oxford Brookes University), Nikolay Milkov (University of Paderborn), Maria Filomena Molder (New University of Lisbon), Jesús Padilla Gálvez (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo) and Rui Sampaio da Silva (University of the Azores).

  • New series on Wittgenstein
  • Contributions address major philosophical topics
  • International authorship
  • Discussion of influential theories by P.M.S. Hacker