Historical Dictionary of Wittgenstein's Philosophy

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Scarecrow Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 242 pages
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Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was undoubtedly one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, and perhaps of any century. He was also a fascinating, charismatic, and irritating man. His philosophical ability was recognized almost immediately by Bertrand Russell, and during his lifetime his work influenced first logical positivism and then ordinary language philosophy. Since then it has also become central in post-analytical philosophical thought. Beyond the world of academic philosophy it has inspired playwrights, poets, novelists, architects, film-makers, and biographers. There remains, however, great disagreement about what exactly, if anything, his works mean. Historical Dictionary of Wittgenstein's Philosophy, therefore, is intended for anyone who wants to know more about the philosophy and the life of this enigmatic thinker. It is written to be accessible to a general audience, but follows the issues tackled and raised by Wittgenstein as far as is necessary to make clear their significance. The book contains an introductory overview of his life and work, a timeline of the major relevant events in and after his life, an extensive bibliography, and, above all, an A-Z of ideas, people, and places that have been involved in his philosophy and its reception. The dictionary is written with no particular agenda and includes entries on philosophers (and others) who influenced Wittgenstein, those he influenced in turn, and some of the main figures in contemporary Wittgenstein scholarship. There are biographical entries to fill out the information provided by the timeline, and perhaps most useful, there are detailed entries, with cross-references, on all the major concepts and arguments associated with Wittgenstein's work in his early, middle, and late periods. Suggestions for further reading are also included, as well as a guide to the literature on Wittgenstein and a bibliography broken down by subject area. It has the form of a reference work but could easily be used as a general introd

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Duncan Richter teaches philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute and works primarily on ethics and the philosophy of Wittgenstein. He is the author ofWittgenstein At His Word.