PREFACEWhat we publish here belongs to the last year and a half ofWittgenstein's life. In the middle of 1949 he visited the UnitedStates at the invitation of Norman Malcolm, staying at Malcolm'shouse in Ithaca. Malcolm acted as a goad to his interest in Moore's'defence of common sense', that is to say his claim to
number of propositions for sure, such as "Here is one hand, andhere is another", and "The earth existed for a long time beforemy birth", and
have never been far from the earth's surface".The first of these comes in Moore's 'Proof of the ExternalWorld'. The two others are in his 'Defence of Common Sense';Wittgenstein had long been interested in these and had said toMoore that this was his best article. Moore had agreed. Thisbook contains the whole of what Wittgenstein wrote on this topicfrom that time until his death.
is all first-draft material, whichhe
not live to excerpt and polish.The material falls into four parts; we have shown the divisionsat
192, p. 27 and
What we believe tobe the first part was written on twenty loose sheets of linedfoolscap, undated. These Wittgenstein left in his room in G. E. M.Anscombe's house
Oxford, where he lived (apart from a visitto Norway in the autumn) from April
(G. E. M. A.) am under the impression that he had written themin Vienna, where he stayed from the previous Christmas untilMarch; bit
cannot now recall
bas& of this impression. Therest is-in small notebooks, containing dates; towards the end,indeed, the date of writing is always given. The last entry is twodays before his death on April 29th
We have left the datesexactly as they appear in the manuscripts. The numbering of thesingle sections, however, is by the Editors.These were not the only things Wittgenstein wrote during thisperiod. He wrote
a fair amount on colour-concepts, and thismaterial he did excerpt and polish, reducing it to a small compass.We expect to publish a volume containing this and other materialwritten after the completion of
It seemed appropriate to publish this work by itself.
selection; Wittgenstein marked it off in his notebooks as
separate topic, which he apparently took up at four separateperiods during this eighteen months.
constitutes a singlesustained treatment of the topic.G. E. M. Anscombe
H. von Wright