This log was inspired by "How to Read Wittgenstein" and "Ludwig Wittgenstein: the duty of genius" by Ray Monk. It is based on reading Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein translated by D. F. Pears & B. F. McGuinness (Routledge and Kegan Paul:1963)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Second Reading

After the first reading has given an overview, we can now examine the individual reasonings. One would expect that most convince immediately, but that will only highlight difficult proofs and controversial aspects that don't seem understandable.

This is where Wittgenstein's numbering system really comes in handy. It allows one to mark a place in the text while at the same time indicating at what level difficulties occur. Taking advantage of this modular structure allows us to pick and choose. We are not required to read in sequence from beginning to end.

My guess is that Wittgenstein had no choice but to totally fragment his work in this way. Only such a "Zettelwirtschaft" would allow a combat soldier to continue thinking about anything at all. In my opinion, this explains why he was unable to publish his work. There was no way he could escape the habits he had acquired.

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