Wittgenstein, Ludwig

  Poetry & Prose    Books / People

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) was born in Austria and into wealth. He lived a life of eccentricity and professional nomadism, dabbling in academia, military service, education, and even as a hospital orderly. Moreover, during his life, he wrote voluminously but published only a single manuscript. The posthumous publication of his many volumes confirmed this view for future generations, ultimately rendering Wittgenstein a towering figure in the areas of logic, semantics, and the philosophy of mind. His investigations of linguistics and psychology would prove particularly revelatory, offering a distinctive window through which to newly understand the nature of meaning and the limits of human conception.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein’s Big Ideas

  • Argued that conceptual confusion about language is the basis for most intellectual tension in philosophy;
  • Asserted that the meaning of words presupposes our understanding of that meaning, and that our particular assignment of meaning comes from the cultural and social constructs surrounding us;
  • Resolved that because thought is inextricably tied to language, and because language is socially constructed, we have no real inner-space for the realization of our thoughts, which is to say that the language of our thoughts renders our thoughts inherently socially constructed.

READING LIST ETC.

WRITERS POETS
PHILOSOPHERS PSYCHOLOGISTS

POLITICAL FIGURES

FICTIONNON-FICTION .
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) was a French writer, philosopher and political activist. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
The Second Sex

1984
1984

Delta of Venus
Delta of Venus

A Room of one's own
A Room of One’s Own