This book offers a lucid and highly readable account of Wittgenstein's philosophy, framed against the background of his extraordinary life and character. Woven together with a biographical narrative, the chapters explain the key ideas of Wittgenstein's work, from his first book, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , to his mature masterpiece, the Philosophical Investigations . Severin Schroeder shows that at the core of Wittgenstein's later work lies a startlingly original and subversive conception of the nature of philosophy. In accordance with this conception, Wittgenstein offers new philosophical doctrines to replace his earlier ones, but seeks to demonstrate how all philosophical theorizing is the result of conceptual misunderstanding.He first diagses such misunderstanding at the core of his own earlier philosophy of language and then subjects philosophical views and problems about various mental phemena understanding, sensations, the will to a similar therapeutic analysis. Schroeder provides a clear and careful account of the main arguments offered by Wittgenstein. He concludes by considering some critical responses to Wittgenstein's work, assessing its legacy for contemporary philosophy. Wittgenstein is ideal for students seeking a clear and concise introduction to the work of this seminal twentieth-century philosopher.
Severin Schroeder is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall and Christ Church, University of Oxford.