On the Trail to Wittgenstein's Hut: The Historical Background of the Tractatus Logico-philosphicus
By: Ivar Oxaal (author)Hardback
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One of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the roots of his monumental "Tractatus" are explored in this imaginative work. Oxaal picks up on themes developed in his earlier work of his on Jews, Anti-Semitism and Culture in Vienna, adding to it special issues concerning Wittgenstein's experiences in Norway in 1913-14, where he worked on ideas which were completed during the war. Oxaal situates the great philosopher in time, place, and attitude, showing how his personal background came to bear on the writing of the "Tractatus". Wittengenstein has often been criticized for traces of solipsism and even mysticism, and Oxaal also sheds new light on these issues in a volume that integrates ethnography, nationality and cultural studies. Oxaal sheds new light on the theme of Wittgenstein's Jewishness, and develops a new appreciation of the Wittgenstein family and Wittgenstein's better known years in Vienna. The author is unsparing in his observations about racism and pessimism in Berlin and the British Empire during the period in which Wittgenstein worked and studied at Cambridge. "Tractatus" spanned the First World War.
In the period immediately after its completion, Wittgenstein found himself in The Hague where he was in discussions and disputes with Bertrand Russell. Oxaal covered these problems sensitively and with an appreciation of ambiguities in the life of a great philosopher and the confusions caused by a post war change in fortunes - personal and familial. This work of an eminent social scientist and historian may not be the final statement on Wittgenstein, but it most certainly must be considered in any serious assessments of an iconic figure of the twentieth century.
Ivar Oxaal taught at the University of California, Davis, The University of Guyana and was a staff member of the Russell Sage Foundation and Hunter College. He is a retired member of the staffs of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, and the Department of European Studies, at the University of Hull. He is the author or editor of numerous books including Race and Revolutionary Consciousness; Jews, Anti-Semitism and Culture in Vienna; and The Jews of Pre-1914 Vienna.
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- ID: 9781412814249
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