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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.
When in May 1930, the Council of Trinity College, Cambridge, had to decide whether to renew Wittgenstein's research grant, it turned to Bertrand Russell for an assessment of the work Wittgenstein had been doing over the past year. His verdict: "The theories contained in this new work . . . are novel, very original and indubitably important. Whether they are true, I do not know. As a logician who likes simplicity, I should like to think that they are not, but from what I have read of them I am quite sure that he ought to have an opportunity to work them out, since, when completed, they may easily prove to constitute a whole new philosophy." "[Philosophical Remarks] contains the seeds of Wittgenstein's later philosophy of mind and of mathematics. Principally, he here discusses the role of indispensable in language, criticizing Russell's The Analysis of Mind. He modifies the Tractatus's picture theory of meaning by stressing that the connection between the proposition and reality is not found in the picture itself. He analyzes generality in and out of mathematics, and the notions of proof and experiment. He formulates a pain/private-language argument and discusses both behaviorism and the verifiability principle. The work is difficult but important, and it belongs in every philosophy collection."—Robert Hoffman, Philosophy "Any serious student of Wittgenstein's work will want to study his Philosophical Remarks as a transitional book between his two great masterpieces. The Remarks is thus indispensible for anyone who seeks a complete understanding of Wittgenstein's philosophy."—Leonard Linsky, American Philosophical Association
This edition of G. E. Moore's notes taken at Wittgenstein's seminal Cambridge lectures in the early 1930s provides, for the first time, an almost verbatim record of those classes. The presentation of the notes is both accessible and faithful to their original manuscripts, and a comprehensive introduction and synoptic table of contents provide the reader with essential contextual information and summaries of the topics in each lecture. The lectures form an excellent introduction to Wittgenstein's middle-period thought, covering a broad range of philosophical topics, ranging from core questions in the philosophy of language, mind, logic, and mathematics, to illuminating discussions of subjects on which Wittgenstein says very little elsewhere, including ethics, religion, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and anthropology. The volume also includes a 1932 essay by Moore critiquing Wittgenstein's conception of grammar, together with Wittgenstein's response. A companion website offers access to images of the entire set of source manuscripts.
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

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