Good introduction and helps clear out misunderstandings However, I think the author is mistaken on the impact Wittgenstein s Tractatus had on logical positivism as a whole He severely downplays its influence on the movement, to the point of reducing the work to a mere historical curiosity His reasoning is that the ideas of the Vienna Circle drastically differed from Wittgenstein s own views, particularly in the areas of ethics and religion Is this what influence means to Grayling By that standard, we might be led to say that Hegel s influence on philosophy was at best minimal since mainstream contemporary philosophy is mostly a reaction against his writings But such an analysis leads us astray from the truth of things, which is Wittgenstein s undeniable, ominous influence on modern empiricism Even if we complied with Grayling s understanding of influential impact , dismissing Wittgenstein s Tractatus is just bad history Nevertheless, Grayling has a thorough understanding of Wittgenstein, and his analysis of the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations are great However, one must remain skeptical about his historical claims. I should really stop reading biographies of people I m interested in by people who dislike them. Ludwig Wittgenstein Was An Extraordinarily Original Thinker, Whose Influence On Twentieth Century Thinking Far Outside The Bounds Of Philosophy Alone In This Engaging Introduction, AC Grayling Makes Wittgenstein S Thought Accessible To The General Reader By Explaining The Nature And Impact Of Wittgenstein S Views He Describes Both His Early And Later Philosophy, The Differences And Connections Between Them, And Gives A Fresh Assessment Of Wittgenstein S Continuing Influence On Contemporary Thought . I m not sure about this book It tries to explain wittgenstein However, I m not sure if it did Or if it did a good job. Grayling wrote a rather even handed treatment of Wittgenstein s early and late philosophy although it s rather obvious that Grayling downplays Wittgenstein s influence on contemporary philosophy,and disagrees with most if not all of Wittgenstein s late philosophy Regardless of his disagreement, Grayling obviously understands Wittgenstein s philosophy, and is able to present his ideas in an economic manner His abilities as an educator show in his attempt to introduce the reader to basic logic prior to diving into the world of analytic philosophy.Grayling s interpretation of Wittgenstein s later philosophy may be challenged by Wittgenstein scholars as can most people s interpretations of such an obscure philosopher s work All in all, this is a great introduction to Wittgenstein s early and late philosophy If you aren t familiar with Wittgenstein s work, this is a great place to start. Wittgenstein was certainly a character He strikes me as something of an intellectual masochist He hated most philosophy his goal was to investigate language, in order to end philosophy he was happy when his students gave up philosophy yet he is one of the previous century s most famous philosophers This is one of the things that makes reading the Tractatus so odd he is writing anti philosophy philosophy.On a smaller scale, this same oddness is replicated in Grayling s book Grayling is writing anti Wittgenstein Wittgenstein I m not sure why he agreed to write this book in the first place Grayling clearly has a very low opinion of Wittgenstein, and can t help criticizing him at every turn After explaining the thesis of the Tractatus, Grayling proceeds to tear it apart he does the same with the Philosophical Investigations To be fair, I actually found many of his criticisms interesting and compelling if out of place in an introductory text Not only does Grayling disagree with Wittgenstein s arguments, but he even goes so far as to argue that Wittgenstein s influence has been greatly overestimated First, Grayling downplays Wittgenstein s influence on the Vienna Circle Then, Grayling characterizes Wittgenstein s influence on analytic philosophy as a flash in the pan or at least paltry in comparison with Russell s or Frege s I really have nothing to say about the accuracy of these claims although they did seem at least partially politically motivated to me It should be said, however, that if Wittgenstein did succeed in his stated goal to dissolve all the old philosophical problems via a critique of language then philosophy would have ended, which it clearly has not Or has it But if Wittgenstein failed in his stated goal, so did Grayling Parts of this book were too technical for an introductory text Even after reading Russell and Wittgenstein, I had difficulty following Grayling s exposition at times But for those who, like me, have at least some background in the subject, this book will be thought provoking At the very least, Grayling provides a good counterpoint to all the Wittgenstein evangelists out there. It is really quite fascinating, I have been rather interested in Wittgenstein for quite som time, but haven t actually read anything by him I think I have been daunted by his style, and have also not quite found the time However, Grayling manages to make me feel like maybe I shouldn t really bother to read him This should, I think be one of this A Very Short and Critical type of introductions Wittgenstein, in Grayling s view, was certainly not one of the great philosophers of the 20th century, not in terms of influence, neither in terms of insightful ideas He was, however, very good at creating disciples.Having said that, I think that one reason for Grayling s conclusion is that his purpose is to place Wittgenstein within the analytic tradition, that Wittgenstein himself saw himself to belong I think But maybe Wittgenstein s influence has been outside of that tradition, and in a way, outside of philosophy over all In theology for example Wittgenstein s idea about language influenced the postliberal school immensely.If, which I think I will, I come to read Wittgenstein, I think I will limit myself to On Certainty, and probably his Philosophical Investigations Grayling was very critical to Wittgenstein s lack of connection between language and reality if I remember correctly , yet hasn t that idea had an great influence in the continental school Even if it probably doesn t derive exclusively from Wittgenstein Also, I would like to understand how Wittgenstein thought about rules, following rules, public language, and about meaning in connection with truth as well All these are areas which I think Grayling does a good job in introducing and explaining, yet I don t think I managed to follow exactly what Wittgenstein might have meant. . Never mind the fact that Grayling s critique of Wittgenstein sometimes is misleading this is a good little book that you should read before you move on to heavier works If you want to read about Wittgenstein before you read and work your way through his own books, I also recommend the works of Baker and Hacker, and McGinn s Wittgenstein on meaning Kripke is controversial, and in my opinion, a bit off track.
Anthony Clifford A C Grayling is a British philosopher In 2011 he founded and became the first Master of New College of the Humanities, an independent undergraduate college in London Until June 2011, he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, where he taught from 1991 He is also a supernumerary fellow of St Anne s College, Oxford.He is a director and contributor at Pr
- 160 pages
- A.C. Grayling
- 01 January 2018 A.C. Grayling