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Tractatus Logico Philosophicus

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,687 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
Originally published in German in Annalen der Naturphilosophie, 1921 under title: Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung. In it Wittgenstein defined the object of philosophy as the logical clarification of thoughts & proposed the solution to most philosophic problems by means of a critical method of linguistic analysis. Beginning with the principles of symbolism, the author ...more
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Published (first published 1921)
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Richard Stevko I would not presume to say what Wittgenstein meant by "multiplicity", but am glad to share what it brought to my mind:
1. In trying to find a synonym…more
I would not presume to say what Wittgenstein meant by "multiplicity", but am glad to share what it brought to my mind:
1. In trying to find a synonym for a word, the thesaurus has a range of meanings, some of which are not near my intent, but carry one of the uses of that idea; the legitimacy of all the synonyms is multiplicity to me.
2. A lexical definition of a word often needs the original meaning (etymology) to get full appreciation of why that word exists.
3. In diagnosing a patient, a physician needs to evaluate the symptoms from the patient's personal experience, and evaluate it in terms of the physiology of the affected system, and evaluate it in the context of the chemicals in that system, and evaluate it in terms of how it operates psychologically and socially.Holding all those factors in mind is applying multiplicity.
I hope this helps.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
What can I say about Tractatus that hasn't been said a million times before? Crystalline... gnomic... dense... wrong. Well, I don't disagree with any of that, but it would be nice to have an image. I ask my subconscious if it can come up with anything, and while I'm in the shower it shows me the sequence from Terry Gilliam's 1988 movie The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, where John Neville and Eric Idle build a hot air balloon made entirely from women's lingerie.

balloon

I am about to smack my subconscio
...more
Lotz
Wittgenstein was deathly afraid of uttering nonsense; whereas I, clearly, am not—how else could I stomach writing so many book reviews?

This book is a work of high art—beautiful, austere, and sweeping. Wittgenstein is self-consciously attempting to speak the unspeakable—in his opinion, at least—which is why the language is so succinct and severe. He has no use for literary niceties, flowing prose, or extended exposition. One gets the feeling that, for Wittgenstein, writing philosophy is repugnan
...more
Adam Floridia
Hmmm...how to rate a book you didn't understand at all--that is the question. Maybe like this: (?)

1. Here the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is everything that is the case.

1.1 It is the case because it is the subject of this review.

1.11 This review is determined by facts. In this case, all the facts that I came up with while reading the case.

1.12. The subject cannot include facts that are not the case because the totality of existent facts determines what is the case, and whatever is not the ca
...more
Anthony
Aug 15, 2008 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy-etc
Like many young American readers, I made the mistake of reading the bulk of this text in an In-N-Out, and now it is difficult for me to think about elementary propositions without thinking about someone ordering a cheeseburger, and, subsequently, thinking about the relationship between the sign of "cheeseburger" and the atomic fact of the cheeseburger it refers to. Wittgenstein orders his cheeseburger with the totality of everything that is the case. And he eats the whole thing in under 100 page ...more
Camille Stein
May 22, 2016 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition









6.52 Nosotros sentimos que incluso si
todas las posibles cuestiones científicas
pudieran responderse, el problema de
nuestra vida no habría sido más
profundizado. Desde luego que no queda ya
ninguna pregunta, y precisamente ésta es
la respuesta.

6.521 La solución del problema de la vida
está en la desaparición de este problema.
(¿No es ésta la razón de que los
hombres que han llegado a ver claro el
sentido de la vida después de mucho
dudar, no sepan decir en qué consiste este
sentido?)

6.522 Hay, ciertamente,
...more
Jafar
I was just going to write, “Of what we cannot speak we must remain silent,” as my review. The book ends with this rather affected proposition, which actually would make a perfect book review for me as well. However, it’s an abomination to read (or pretend to have done so) a book of this stature (supposedly the most important philosophical book of the 20th century, no less) and not write a paragraph or two about it.

Wittgenstein wrote this book in the trenches and P.O.W. camps of World War I. At t
...more
Robin
Sep 19, 2007 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of 20th Century philosophy
Shelves: philosophy
The ingenious work which, had it been true, would have provided a firm foundation for Positivism and provided justification for Philosophy's existence. It also would have pretty much been the last word on the nature of and philosophical limits of language. Instead Wittgenstein repudiated this view and put a nail in the coffin with P.I.

Elegant, minimal, logically crystalline. And mostly wrong.

Leo Robertson
Feb 20, 2014 Leo Robertson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What the hell am I supposed to say about this?

The parts I understood were hugely inspirational to my own thoughts, if I did indeed understand those parts, which I suspect I did not.

What a shame that someone so clever who had decided that this book was the be-all and end-all to problems in philosophy could only communicate them in a form that often eludes human comprehension.

It's like the saying that if the human brain were simple enough for us to understand it then we would be too stupid to do s
...more
M.moore
Dec 01, 2010 M.moore rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely trite and unconvincing. A bloodless and conceited bore, organized as though by a severe autistic. The assumptions about cognition are laughably archaic, and the popularity of this work is a thorn in my throat.
Maica
Apr 21, 2016 Maica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, logic
This book is like a big joke, hence:

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

- Wittgenstein
Anthony
Jul 13, 2013 Anthony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring, Absurd, False. The foundation for the most mindless philosophy to have ever subsisted.
Alexander
Sep 08, 2012 Alexander rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mind-games
In 1992, the SF writer William Gibson published Agrippa (a book of the dead) in floppy-disk form, a poem about his late father and the Memento-ish evanescence of memory, which encrypted itself after reading (i.e. you could only read it once). A rarer, analog edition was even printed with photosensitive chemicals that would degrade the ink upon exposure to light. (Two copies had to be sent to the Library of Congress, one to read so it could be catalogued, the other to be archived, forever unread. ...more
David Ramirer
Jun 14, 2013 David Ramirer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody!
eines dieser maßlos überschätzten werke, das in seinem völlig unzugänglichen (selbst vom eigentlich-bin-ich-ja-architekt-autor als spartanischem würfel gestalteten) elfenbeinturm vielleicht von herrn L.W. selbst verstanden worden ist, wobei ich selbst das stark anzweifle. wenn ein buch (vor allem ein philosophisches!) schon auf den ersten seiten mit mathematischen formeln daherkommt und es nicht schafft, im rahmen der sprache zu bleiben (von der es ja letztendlich daherschwadroniert), ist irgend ...more
William West
First of all, it should be acknowledged that my entire philosophical background is in continental, rather than analytic, thought. I come to Wittgenstein with very little context. The only other philosophers Wittgenstein directly references in the Tractatus are Frege and Russell, neither of whom I have studied. My only preparation for reading this was a (very good) book by Anthony Rudd that compared Wittgenstein's work with that of Heidegger, finding unexpected similarities in their projects. Bot ...more
Gabriel
Jan 29, 2008 Gabriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Gabriel by: Nick Smaligo
Wittgenstein says explicitly in the introduction of the book that no one has not already had these thoughts will be able to understand it, and should therefore not read it. No doubt this had a great affect on the size of The Tractatus' readership.

I, having not fully had many of these thoughts, was nonetheless absolutely THRILLED by the book--it's abstruseness notwithstanding--to the point where I would bring it up in conversation with absolute strangers, which, needless to say, affected the num
...more
Sandy
Mar 19, 2009 Sandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was like reading bad poetry written by an engineer who cannot think outside the box. I did not really enjoy it.

But I do admit that I have not read too many philosophical essays yet, so this book might not have been ready for me yet (yeah, Wittisteini, how do you like the logical form of THAT sentence? =D )

So sadly, although I had asked myself a few of the questions Wittgenstein claims to deal with in his little book, I could not really take useful inspiration or substance with me from his wri
...more
Grig O'
Aug 04, 2015 Grig O' rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
First, there are some very good reviews of this book on this very site, go read them.

For my part, the statements in this book divide into three categories:
1. "OK, so what" - banal sentences that seem to lack any insight
2. "wait what why?" - huge conclusions that seem to come out of nowhere
3. the rest - a captivating logical construct

Now, for (1) and (2) the problem mostly lies with me - maybe I should've read up on the Russell/Frege mathematical logic he keeps referencing, because the notations
...more
Graeme
Jun 29, 2012 Graeme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
David Markson made some funny aphorisms regarding Harold Bloom's claim to The New York Times that he could read 500 pages in an hour (highly dubious):

"Writer's arse.

Spectacular exhibition! Right this way ladies and gentlemen! See Professor Bloom read the 1961 corrected and reset Random House edition of James Joyce's Ulysses in one hour and thirty-three minutes. Not one page stinted. Unforgettable!

... What's this? Can't spare an hour and a half? Wait, wait. Our matinee special, today only! Watch
...more
Jon Stout
Jul 30, 2010 Jon Stout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poets and evangelists
Recommended to Jon by: Ambi Mani
Shelves: philosophy
If I may use a crude simile for illustration, Wittgenstein says that knowledge, or language, or science, is like a pile of cordwood. Each piece of wood is a proposition that mirrors or pictures a fact in the world. The pieces of wood are stacked on top of each other according to the logical rules for concatenating propositions, including implication (for causation) and universal quantifiers (for scientific principles). The pile of wood rests on a bottom layer of “elementary propositions,” of whi ...more
JB
Jun 08, 2008 JB rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Tractatus is a mesmerizing pile of poo. I spent a semester trying to understand whatever it was that Wittgenstein seemed to have stumbled upon... it turns out that this is just nothing more than an engineer writing bad poetry. Crap. Absolute crap..

"Whereof that which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence." What the devil is this? It's a coward's way out. Translation: "I can't roll with the big dogs so I'm going to take my ball and go home."

If you want to read some philosophy, go appro
...more
§--
May 14, 2011 §-- rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy


1. If B follows from A, then A contains B. If A = B then A can be substituted for B and B for A.
2. It follows from this that all logical propositions, all numbers, and all mathematical problems are tautological.
3. It follows from this that what I am writing is tautological.
4. It follows from this that I am a very witty and ironic fellow, or that I'm wrong.
5. Ignoring these difficulties, what follows is logical positivism—that is, despite my denial of induction and causality as a law of nature.
6.
...more
Andrew
Nov 27, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Patience is necessary if you're not within philosophy academia, like myself. It's not light reading but, conversely, Wittgenstein is not heavy material. In fact, it's the strict, disciplined simplicity of his ideas that adds some difficulty. The book ends on a fantastic note, either an affirmation or a haymaker to the field of philosophy. I'm still unsure which.
Tosh
Jan 13, 2010 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, and I am not sure why. I actually pick it up time-to-time and it is really a book that can't be defined by words - I think about it and it's almost abstract. And that is the essence of the book. How do you define something abstract into words - and are words enough to describe something that can't be said, but can be felt?
Ana Maria Rînceanu
Difficult and satisfying.
Jana L.
Feb 16, 2016 Jana L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, my first by Wittgenstein, a book about the essential function of language and a sort of "theory of everything" of meaning. It starts off as a very cool, clear-eyed, incisive look at what language is, what it does, and how we can cull it to its essence to say something meaningful and true, then ends on an oddly metaphysical note that seems to throw everything that preceded it to the wind.

The format is as economical and mathematical as Wittgenstein's arguments. It is a
...more
John Doe
Aug 12, 2013 John Doe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I don't know if it is true that you can't tell a person how to live. People seem to do it all the time. That is what mentoring and psychotherapy are. But, Wittgenstein wanted to die for some reason, so during the first world war he joined the Austrian military and volunteered for the most dangerous assignments (hoping he would be killed in the line of duty). He was given metals.

In an Italian POW camp, he wrote this book wherein he claimed to have solved all of the problems of philosophy (at lea
...more
Phillip Ross
May 12, 2009 Phillip Ross rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Wittgenstein put an end to my interest in philosophy. If philosophy is about the kinds of language games that Wittgenstein played, it wasn't worth my time.
Sebastian  Stange
The quintessential Ni-nonsense philosophy book.

This is almost as much a book of a creative mind than of a scientist. I somewhere read that is an ongoing challenge to understand Wittgenstein, that is certainly correct. The most important word when thinking about that book is - nonsense. For not only is the Tractatus a book that closes by acknowledging that it is nonsense, it makes recognizing that it is, a requirement of 'understanding' it. So lets think about that nonsense. A famous quote from t
...more
Les Johnson
Feb 19, 2014 Les Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The TLP is probably just about the best account of a wrong idea about how language functions. Wittgenstein's later work attacks the fundamental idea in TLP and replaces it with another that was also hugely influential, not least because it also represented a new attitude to doing philosophy.

We can read the TLP as though the question it answers is: "How does language get a grip on the world?" As though language was like ivy on a wall and we ask what is under the surface of leaves that we can not
...more
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bilingual edition? 6 73 Jun 09, 2016 01:55AM  
  • Naming and Necessity
  • From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays
  • The Foundations of Arithmetic: A Logico-Mathematical Enquiry into the Concept of Number
  • Language, Truth, and Logic
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
  • Principia Ethica (Philosophical Classics)
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Truth and Method
  • Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion/The Natural History of Religion (Oxford World's Classics)
  • Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 2
  • The Logic of Scientific Discovery
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir
7672
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.

Described by Bertrand Russell as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating", he helped inspire t
...more
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“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” 330 likes
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