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For several terms at Cambridge in 1939, Ludwig Wittgenstein lectured on the philosophical foundations of mathematics. A lecture class taught by Wittgenstein, however, hardly resembled a lecture. He sat on a chair in the middle of the room, with some of the class sitting in chairs, some on the floor. He never used notes. He paused frequently, sometimes for several minutes, while he puzzled out a problem. He often asked his listeners questions and reacted to their replies. Many meetings were largely conversation. These lectures were attended by, among others, D. A. T. Gasking, J. N. Findlay, Stephen Toulmin, Alan Turing, G. H. von Wright, R. G. Bosanquet, Norman Malcolm, Rush Rhees, and Yorick Smythies. Notes taken by these last four are the basis for the thirty-one lectures in this book. The lectures covered such topics as the nature of mathematics, the distinctions between mathematical and everyday languages, the truth of mathematical propositions, consistency and contradiction in formal systems, the logicism of Frege and Russell, Platonism, identity, negation, and necessary truth. The mathematical examples used are nearly always elementary.
For several terms at Cambridge in 1939, Ludwig Wittgenstein lectured on the philosophical foundations of mathematics. A lecture class taught by Wittgenstein, however, hardly resembled a lecture. He sat on a chair in the middle of the room, with some of the class sitting in chairs, some on the floor. He never used notes. He paused frequently, sometimes for several minutes, while he puzzled out a problem. He often asked his listeners questions and reacted to their replies. Many meetings were largely conversation. These lectures were attended by, among others, D. A. T. Gasking, J. N. Findlay, Stephen Toulmin, Alan Turing, G. H. von Wright, R. G. Bosanquet, Norman Malcolm, Rush Rhees, and Yorick Smythies. Notes taken by these last four are the basis for the thirty-one lectures in this book. The lectures covered such topics as the nature of mathematics, the distinctions between mathematical and everyday languages, the truth of mathematical propositions, consistency and contradiction in formal systems, the logicism of Frege and Russell, Platonism, identity, negation, and necessary truth. The mathematical examples used are nearly always elementary.
Mathieu Marion offers a careful, historically informed study of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics. This area of his work has frequently been undervalued by Wittgenstein specialists and philosophers of mathematics alike; but the surprising fact that he wrote more on this subject than any other indicates its centrality in his thought. Marion traces the development of Wittgenstein's thinking from the 1920s through to the 1950s, in the context of themathematical and philosophical work of the times, to make coherent sense of ideas that have too often been misunderstood because they have been presented in a disjointed and incomplete way. He shows that study of Wittgenstein's writings on mathematics is essential to a proper understanding of his philosophy,and also that it can do much to illuminate current debates about the foundations of mathematics.
The most complete edition yet published of Wittgenstein’s 1929 lecture includes a never-before published first draft and makes fresh claims for its significance in Wittgenstein’s oeuvre. The first available print publication of all known drafts of Wittgenstein’s Lecture on Ethics Includes a previously unrecognized first draft of the lecture and new transcriptions of all drafts Transcriptions preserve the philosopher’s emendations thus showing the development of the ideas in the lecture Proposes a different draft as the version read by Wittgenstein in his 1929 lecture Includes introductory essays on the origins of the material and on its meaning, content, and importance
'Monk's energetic enterprise is remarkable for the interweaving of the philosophical and the emotional aspects of Wittgenstein's life' Sunday Times 'Ray Monk's reconnection of Wittgenstein's philosophy with his life triumphantly carries out the Wittgensteinian task of "changing the aspect" of Wittgenstein's work, getting us to see it in a new way' Sunday Telegraph 'This biography transforms Wittgenstein into a human being' Independent on Sunday 'It is much to be recommended' Observer 'Monk's biography is deeply intelligent, generous to the ordinary reader... It is a beautiful portrait of a beautiful life' Guardian

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