Ludwig Wittgenstein Essay

Ludwig Wittgenstein Essay

Length: 1495 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) produced two commonly recognised stages of thought in 20th century analytic philosophy, both of which are taken to be central and fundamental in their respective periods. His early philosophy in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, first published in 1921, provided new insights into relationships between the world, thought, language and the nature of philosophy by showing the application of modern logic to metaphysics via language. His later philosophy, mostly found in Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, controversially critiqued all traditional philosophy, including his own previous work. In this essay I will explain, contrast and evaluate both stages of his philosophy, highlighting strengths and weaknesses and concluding that Wittgenstein’s late philosophy has provided an interesting explanation for the meaning of language.
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus evolved as a continuation of and reaction to Bertrand Russell and G Frege’s conceptions of logic, which Russell has left unexplained. Wittgenstein developed a theory of language that was designed to explain the nature of logical necessity. For Wittgenstein, a factual proposition is true or false with no third alternative. He endorses a ‘picture’ theory of meaning: propositions are meaningful insofar as they ‘picture’ facts or states of affairs: if their structure mirrors the structure of the world. The book addresses the central problems of philosophy which deals with the world, language and thought, and proposes a solution to these problems which is grounded in logic and in the nature of representation. Language, thought and reality share a common logical structure, so understanding the structure of the language allows u...


... middle of paper ...


...ingful, this point in his late work forms one of the main contrasts between the two periods. All of the afore rejected claims are now said to have their own language games and therefore some of the problems that philosophy faces are due to mere conceptual confusion and misunderstanding. So the philosophical examination of religion becomes the examination of the religious language-game. This view has evolved the way in which 20th century philosophy now examine words and meaning out of their everyday context.



Works Cited

Pears, D. ‘Wittgenstein’, in The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy.
(http://cfh.ufsc.br/~mafkfil/pears.htm)
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/
http://cfh.ufsc.br/~mafkfil/pears.htm
http://gormendizer.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Ludwig.Wittgenstein.-.Philosophical.Investigations.pdf
http://users.rcn.com/rathbone/lw21-30c.htm

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ludwig Wittgenstein Essay

- Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) produced two commonly recognised stages of thought in 20th century analytic philosophy, both of which are taken to be central and fundamental in their respective periods. His early philosophy in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, first published in 1921, provided new insights into relationships between the world, thought, language and the nature of philosophy by showing the application of modern logic to metaphysics via language. His later philosophy, mostly found in Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, controversially critiqued all traditional philosophy, including his own previous work....   [tags: Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Uunderstanding The Novel On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein

- When one states something they usually feel as if it is completely certain. Author Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote “On Certainty” which is a series of notes; the author wrote these notes towards the end of his life. The series is about matters related to knowledge, doubt, and skepticism. Even though Wittgenstein notes were not organized, certain themes and preoccupations were present. He is usually addressed as one of the most misunderstood philosophers in history. Due to his method of philosophy, he was able to see life very different....   [tags: G.E. Moore, notes, purpose]

Powerful Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about The Great Work of Ludwig Wittgenstein on Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

- Ludwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher who contributed significantly in the fields of mathematics, logic, and language. The work he contributed throughout his life can be split into two parts, his earlier and later work. Arguably his greatest contribution came from his earlier works, mostly from the “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”. According Biletzki, Wittgenstein “addresses the central problems of philosophy which deal with the world, thought and language, and presents a “solution” (as Wittgenstein terms it) of these problems which is grounded in logic and in the nature of representation”....   [tags: mathematics, logic, language]

Powerful Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Nature of Religious Language Essay

- Ludwig Wittgenstein once believed that language's function was to name objects and the meaning of language was found in the objects for which it stands. He later rejected this and centred on how language works and is used, believing that problems of religious language come from misunderstanding its usage. Wittgenstein was no longer concerned with the truth or falsity of language but the way it is used and the functions that it performs, as he said 'Don't ask for the meaning ask for the use.' Wittgenstein recognised that language is equivocal as words have many different meanings, such as the word 'pen' whose meaning changes in different contexts....   [tags: Language and Religion]

Powerful Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)

The Works Of Ludwig Wittgenstein And Max Weber : A Great Impact On Social And Cultural Theory

- Clifford Geertz, the most emblematic figure of interpretive anthropology, has a great impact on social and cultural theory. His analysis and interpretation of Balinese Cockfight and their relevance in social science is going to be discussed in this paper. After that, the event of Balinese Cockfight be again analyzed in respect of Levi-Strauss’s Structuralism and Victor Turner’s symbolic analysis. A range of disciplines from anthropology to sociology to cultural studies and history are theoretically and methodically influenced by his very own “cultural system”....   [tags: Sociology, Anthropology, Culture, Max Weber]

Powerful Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

- Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein [IPA 'l?dv?ç 'jo?z?f 'jo?hann 'v?tg?n?ta?n] (April 26, 1889 – April 29, 1951) was an Austrian philosopher who contributed several groundbreaking works to modern philosophy, primarily on the foundations of logic and the philosophy of language. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. [1] Although numerous collections from Wittgenstein's notebooks, papers, and lectures have been published since his death, he published only one philosophical book in his own lifetime — the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in 1921, while studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, under the supervision of the philosopher Bertrand Russell....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
5192 words (14.8 pages)

Essay about Wittgenstein’s Context Principle

- In his Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein makes the following claim “…only in the nexus of a proposition does a name have meaning” (TLP 3.3). This claim is a version of what has come to be known in the literature as the context principle and is taken to assert simply that a word has meaning only when it is within a sentence. An intuitive objection to this principle is that it conflicts with a trait of language called compositionality. Compositionality describes the ability we possess to form new sentences, with new meanings, using familiar words....   [tags: Literature]

Powerful Essays
2513 words (7.2 pages)

Wittgenstein: Independent Logic Essay

- Profound ideas often arise out of the most uncanny situations. Ludwig Wittgenstein composed what may be the most influential philosophical work of the twentieth century as a prisoner of war during the First World War. His poignant writings included many propositions that flew in the face of contemporary philosophers at the time, unveiling a new perspective from which to consider the study of logic. While peers struggled with the rules governing the logic of semantics, Wittgenstein sought to emphasize the whimsical nature of language....   [tags: Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein Essay

- Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein The connections between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Soren Kierkegaard as philosophers are not at all immediately obvious. On the surface, Wittgenstein deals with matters concerning the incorrect use of philosophical language and Kierkegaard focuses almost exclusively on answering the question 'how to become a Christian'. But this account belies deeper structural similarities between these men's important works. Thus, this paper suggests that their methods, rather than exclusively content, contain a strong parallel on which a natural and hopefully fruitful examination of their work can be based....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
2160 words (6.2 pages)

Essay about Bruner and Wittgenstein: Language Learning

- Bruner and Wittgenstein: Language Learning A crucial phase in the child's development comes with its acquisition of language, but before we can engage in any pedagogical efforts to further infant development or to aid atypical cases, we need to understand methodologically what occurs during language learning. Jerome Bruner, in a methodological adaptation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's middle and later work in an extension of Noam Chomsky's LAD, has put forth one influential proposal (Bruner 1983). Ludwig Wittgenstein's own remarks on the topic also furnish an interesting story independent of Bruner's selective use of his corpus, especially insofar as his approach results in an irreducible riddle...   [tags: Psychology Children Communication Papers]

Free Essays
4279 words (12.2 pages)