Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius
by Ray Monk
Born in 1889, Wittgenstein grew up in one of the wealthiest families in Vienna, and here emerged an all-consuming preoccupation with spiritual, ... Show synopsis Born in 1889, Wittgenstein grew up in one of the wealthiest families in Vienna, and here emerged an all-consuming preoccupation with spiritual, ethical and cultural questions. His development as a philosopher began in 1922 when he became a student of Bertrand Russell at Cambridge. The work which he started then culminated in "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus". His concern over philosophical problems was heightened during his time as a soldier in the First World War and confused by the acute difficulties he encountered professionally and personally as a schoolteacher in rural Austria. In his forties he took the decision to return to philosophy. His radical re-thinking of his earlier theory - published posthumously in 1953 as "Philosophical Investigations" - led him to develop an approach to his subject which has dominated philosophical discourse ever since. Based on Wittgenstein's own papers, his correspondence, and interviews with his friends, family and students, this book is an analysis of the importance of Wittgenstein's work with a portrait of a powerful and compelling man, who is commonly preceived as a tortured genius.