Friday, October 01, 2010

Wittgenstein's biography in tweets

From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and regarded by some as the most important since Immanuel Kant. His early work was influenced by that of Arthur Schopenhauer and, especially, by his teacher Bertrand Russell and by Gottlob Frege, who became something of a friend. This work culminated in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the only philosophy book that Wittgenstein published during his lifetime. It claimed to solve all the major problems of philosophy and was held in especially high esteem by the anti-metaphysical logical positivists. The Tractatus is based on the idea that philosophical problems arise from misunderstandings of the logic of language, and it tries to show what this logic is. Wittgenstein’s later work, principally his Philosophical Investigations, shares this concern with logic and language, but takes a different, less technical, approach to philosophical problems. This book helped to inspire so-called ordinary language philosophy. This style of doing philosophy has fallen somewhat out of favor, but Wittgenstein’s work on rule-following and private language is still considered important, and his later philosophy is influential in a growing number of fields outside philosophy.
Thanks to my recently developed twitter habit, I came across a website that had a pretty neat idea for a twitter account.

The aim of Wittgenstein Tweets is to introduce the entire life of Ludwig Wittgenstein in around 500 tweets over 6 months. Yes, a silly project, and one which Wittgenstein himself would have almost certainly loathed.I am doing it purely because I find Ray Monk’s biography (1990) of Wittgenstein so captivating and hilarious that I want more people to get to know him. No love for or knowledge of Wittgenstein is necessary.
Wittgenstein Tweets is a fun and easy way to digest the life of one of the 20th century's most influential philosophers. Today's tweets about Wittgenstein wanting to build an airplaine (but settling for a kite) have already reminded me that I've got Wittgenstein Flies a Kite waiting for me in a stack of yet unread books.

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