Bertrand Russell claimed that Ludwig Wittgenstein was “perhaps the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived–passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.” Wittgenstein’s two masterpieces, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations, stand like opposing poles around which schools of twentieth-century analytic philosophy revolve. The Wittgenstein of the Tractatus is known as the “earlier Wittgenstein,” the Wittgenstein of the Investigations is known as the “later Wittgenstein.” This course is an intensive, line-by-line study of the Investigations–one of the greatest (and thus, one of the most controversial) books in the history of philosophy. Aside from its overwhelming influence on 20th and 21st century philosophy and intellectual culture, any book which contains the remark, ” if a lion could talk, we could not understand him,” deserves serious attention.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: one short midterm paper (5-7 pages) and one longer final paper (12-15 pages)
Prerequisites: at least two Philosophy Courses, PHIL 202 highly recommended
Distributions: Division II;
Attributes: Linguistics; PHIL History Courses
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- PHIL 308 - 01 (F) SEM Wittgenstein's Investigations