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Born: 1889, Vienna, AustriaDied: 1951, Cambridge, England
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), Philosophical Investigations (1953)
Language and the world share a common logical form.
Sentences are logical pictures of the world: The logical relations between theelements of a sentence reflect the relations between the elements in the world.
Sentences can show their form but they cannot say it; Sentences that attempt to saywhat can only be shown are pseudo-sentences or nonsense.
Language consists of "language games" that reflect forms of life.
For many expressions, the meaning is the use: To grasp the "meaning" of such anexpression is to know how to use it.Ludwig Wittgenstein is distinguished among philosophers for developing two very differentphilosophical theories, a feat that attests to his reputation as a man both brilliant andeccentric. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1889. By 1912, an initial interest in engineeringhad brought Wittgenstein to England to study the foundations of mathematics with BertrandRussell. He completed his dissertation while serving in an artillery unit of the Austrian armyduring World War I. After the war, believing he had solved fundamental philosophicalproblems, Wittgenstein returned to Austria to teach in village schools until 1926. Over thenext few years, conversations with members of the Vienna Circle led Wittgenstein toreconsider his early work. In 1929, he was back at Cambridge and he lectured there until1946. He died of cancer in 1951.Questions about the relationships between language, thought, and reality preoccupiedWittgenstein throughout his career. His project was critical. Like Kant, Wittgenstein soughtto define the limits of thought. Unlike Kant, he took language as his starting point. In hisearly work, Wittgenstein argued that sentences "picture" the world by reflecting its logicalstructure, that is, the arrangement of simple objects in a state of affairs. According to thetheory of meaning developed in this period, most traditional philosophical problems lie