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Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir

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Ludwig Wittgenstein remains one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was an extremely private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein--first published in 1958 to wide acclaim for its moving and truthful portrait of the gifted yet difficult Ludwig Wittgenstein remains one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was an extremely private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein--first published in 1958 to wide acclaim for its moving and truthful portrait of the gifted yet difficult man. And, although much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, nothing brings us closer to the philosopher himself than this modest classic. Now in a new edition, it includes the complete text of the fifty-seven letters that Wittgenstein wrote to Malcolm over a period of eleven years, revealing how friendship deeply mattered to Wittgenstein: he advises, warns, jokes, and is grateful and affectionate. The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by Georg Henrik von Wright, another leading philosopher and friend of Wittgenstein.


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Ludwig Wittgenstein remains one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was an extremely private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein--first published in 1958 to wide acclaim for its moving and truthful portrait of the gifted yet difficult Ludwig Wittgenstein remains one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was an extremely private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein--first published in 1958 to wide acclaim for its moving and truthful portrait of the gifted yet difficult man. And, although much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, nothing brings us closer to the philosopher himself than this modest classic. Now in a new edition, it includes the complete text of the fifty-seven letters that Wittgenstein wrote to Malcolm over a period of eleven years, revealing how friendship deeply mattered to Wittgenstein: he advises, warns, jokes, and is grateful and affectionate. The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by Georg Henrik von Wright, another leading philosopher and friend of Wittgenstein.

30 review for Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    180412: mostly about life of w as titled. i have only read 6 books on him, have read neither 'tractatus' or his 'blue' or 'brown' notebooks, have never studied him or others referred to- except Russell. so if you know the names, this might be very good, for me it is hagiography, capturing w as an interlocutor and lecturer, more about how he got on with his work, became depressed, rethought pessimistically, reworked... 'he was born, he did philosophy, he died' is a good summation of his life in p 180412: mostly about life of w as titled. i have only read 6 books on him, have read neither 'tractatus' or his 'blue' or 'brown' notebooks, have never studied him or others referred to- except Russell. so if you know the names, this might be very good, for me it is hagiography, capturing w as an interlocutor and lecturer, more about how he got on with his work, became depressed, rethought pessimistically, reworked... 'he was born, he did philosophy, he died' is a good summation of his life in philosophy, he has had enormous effect on a type of philosophy to which i am not familiar, but there is here not much of any philosophy- this is not ideas, but demanding, torturous, dutiful, life of the thinker. to review this better i think i need to read him... someday...

  2. 5 out of 5

    ZaRi

    وقتی شنیدم که سرطان داشتم، بُهت زده نشدم . اما بُهتم از آن بود که شنیدم که می توان برای این بیماری کاری کرد؛ زیرا من هیچ میلی به زنده ماندن ندارم .

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob Nichols

    This is a good memoir on Ludwig Wittgenstein by an American philosopher who had a long association with him. Even if you are not familiar with Wittgenstein's philosophy, this book is a very interesting portrait of a very human philosopher with many quirks. Wittgenstein was critical of his friends for their positions or misstatements and held onto "issues" with them for years. He was critical of those who didn't understand him and thought his influence over his students was harmful to the develop This is a good memoir on Ludwig Wittgenstein by an American philosopher who had a long association with him. Even if you are not familiar with Wittgenstein's philosophy, this book is a very interesting portrait of a very human philosopher with many quirks. Wittgenstein was critical of his friends for their positions or misstatements and held onto "issues" with them for years. He was critical of those who didn't understand him and thought his influence over his students was harmful to the development of independent thinking. He had an "abhorrence" of academic life and "of the life of a professional philosopher in particular." He believed one could not be a university academic and "also an honest and serious person." He "really hated all forms of affectation and insincerity" and preferred a clash in conversation to superficial talk. Wittgenstein saw philosophy as more about arranging what is known than developing new information. He was not tied down by his earlier positions and was understood to be an exceptional writer. As he worked through his own philosophical issues, Malcolm writes of Wittgenstein that "one frequently felt that one was in the presence of real suffering." Continuing, Malcolm says that Wittgenstein drew an analogy between philosophical thinking and swimming: "just as one's body has a natural tendency towards the surface and one has to make an exertion to get to the bottom - so it is with thinking." Wittgenstein, Malcolm writes, could divine other's thoughts "because he had himself travelled innumerable times through those twists and turns of reasoning." While Malcolm believed that Wittgenstein saw the world as "dark and ugly," his last words on his death bed were, "Tell them [his friends:] I've had a wonderful life."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Mirzaali

    سال‌ها پیش از مصطفا ملکیان شنیدم که گفت «آدم باید لااَقل به قدرِ فیلمِ عصر جمعه‌اش، دغدغه‌ی حقیقت داشته باشد.» می‌گفت انسان بایست پیِ حقیقت بگردد -وقف حقیقت شود. و مثال‌اش که بود؟ لودویگ ویتگنشتاین، و اگر اشتباه نکنم دیوید هیوم. ویتگنشتاین تمامِ تصوّرات آدم از یک فردِ نابغه را به هم می‌زند. آن‌جا که کرسی درس کمبریج را رها می‌کند و می‌رود در کلبه‌ای در نروژ به تنهایی زندگی می‌کند؛ یا آن‌جا که تمام ثروتِ هنگفت‌اش را می‌بخشد و یا به شاعران و هنرمندان هدیه می‌دهد. واقعاً چه‌طور کسی که دوهزار-و-پانصد سال‌ها پیش از مصطفا ملکیان شنیدم که گفت «آدم باید لااَقل به قدرِ فیلمِ عصر جمعه‌اش، دغدغه‌ی حقیقت داشته باشد.» می‌گفت انسان بایست پیِ حقیقت بگردد -وقف حقیقت شود. و مثال‌اش که بود؟ لودویگ ویتگنشتاین، و اگر اشتباه نکنم دیوید هیوم. ویتگنشتاین تمامِ تصوّرات آدم از یک فردِ نابغه را به هم می‌زند. آن‌جا که کرسی درس کمبریج را رها می‌کند و می‌رود در کلبه‌ای در نروژ به تنهایی زندگی می‌کند؛ یا آن‌جا که تمام ثروتِ هنگفت‌اش را می‌بخشد و یا به شاعران و هنرمندان هدیه می‌دهد. واقعاً چه‌طور کسی که دوهزار-و-پانصد سال فلسفه را دو تکّه کرده می‌تواند از کرسی دانشگاه به «جهنّم» یاد کند و به شاگردش -نورمن مالکُم- بگوید که چرا جای استادیِ فلسفه، به کارهایِ بهتری مثل مزرعه‌داری و گلّه‌داری فکر نمی‌کند -چنان که خودش انجام داده بود؟ کدام فیلسوفی می‌تواند برود ایرلند و در عزلت به کبوترها دانه دهد و اهلی‌شان کند؟ کدام فیلسوف می‌رود و در صومعه خدمت‌کار می‌شود و کدام فیلسوف این جمله را می‌تواند بگوید که «عمارت غرور تو باید ویران شود»؟

  5. 4 out of 5

    r0b

    ‘On Friday, April 27, he took a walk in the afternoon. That evening he fell violently ill. He remained conscious and when informed by the doctor that he could live only a few days, he exclaimed “Good!” Before losing consciousness he said to Mrs. Bevan (who was with him throughout the night) “Tell them [his friends] I’ve had a wonderful life!” When I think of his profound pessimism, the intensity of his mental and moral suffering, the relentless way in which he drove his intellect, his need for l ‘On Friday, April 27, he took a walk in the afternoon. That evening he fell violently ill. He remained conscious and when informed by the doctor that he could live only a few days, he exclaimed “Good!” Before losing consciousness he said to Mrs. Bevan (who was with him throughout the night) “Tell them [his friends] I’ve had a wonderful life!” When I think of his profound pessimism, the intensity of his mental and moral suffering, the relentless way in which he drove his intellect, his need for love together with the harshness that repelled love, I am inclined to believe that his life was fiercely unhappy. Yet at the end he himself exclaimed that it had been ‘wonderful’! To me this seems a mysterious and strangely moving utterance.’ I think Wittgenstein was an amazing individual.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Nomen-Mutatio

    "Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life!" -Wittgenstein’s last words "When I think of his profound pessimism, the intensity of his mental and moral suffering, the relentless way in which he drove his intellect, his need for love together with the harshness that repelled love, I am inclined to believe that his life was fiercely unhappy. Yet at the end he himself exclaimed that it had been ’wonderful!’ To me this seems a mysterious and strangely moving utterance." -Norman Malcolm "Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life!" -Wittgenstein’s last words "When I think of his profound pessimism, the intensity of his mental and moral suffering, the relentless way in which he drove his intellect, his need for love together with the harshness that repelled love, I am inclined to believe that his life was fiercely unhappy. Yet at the end he himself exclaimed that it had been ’wonderful!’ To me this seems a mysterious and strangely moving utterance." -Norman Malcolm

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    The first section is a biographical sketch by Georg Henrik von Wright: Wittgenstein inspired two important schools of thought: logical positivism (or logical empiricism) and the analytic or linguistic movement (also known as the Cambridge School). He repudiated both of them. He believed his ideas were misunderstood and distorted, even by his followers. An idea occurred to Wittgenstein while reading in a WWI trench a magazine with a schematic picture of the possible sequence of events in an autom The first section is a biographical sketch by Georg Henrik von Wright: Wittgenstein inspired two important schools of thought: logical positivism (or logical empiricism) and the analytic or linguistic movement (also known as the Cambridge School). He repudiated both of them. He believed his ideas were misunderstood and distorted, even by his followers. An idea occurred to Wittgenstein while reading in a WWI trench a magazine with a schematic picture of the possible sequence of events in an automobile accident. The picture there served as a proposition; that is, as a description of a possible state of affairs. Parts of the picture corresponded with things in reality. He thought of reversing the analogy and saying that a proposition serves as a picture, by virtue of a similar correspondence between its parts and the world. The way in which the parts of the proposition are combined--the structure of the proposition--depicts a possible combination of elements in reality, a possible state of affairs. Wittgenstein's Tractatus may be called a synthesis of the theory of truth-functions and the idea that language is a picture of reality. Out of this synthesis arises a third main ingredient of the book, its doctrine of that which cannot be said, only shown. The so-called Blue Book was dictated in conjunction with lectures at Cambridge in 1933-34. It contains the first, somewhat rough, version of what may be called Wittgenstein's 'new' philosophy. The Brown Book was dictated to some pupils in 1935. Tolstoy exercised a strong influence on Wittgenstein's life, and also led him to study the Gospels. In 1933, a radical change took place in Wittgenstein's thinking. He rejected some of the fundamental thoughts of the Tractatus. He abandoned the picture theory of language, the doctrine that all significant propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions, and the doctrine of the unspeakable. The author of the Tractatus had learned from Frege and Russell. But the author of the Philosophical Investigations had no ancestors in philosophy. Wittgenstein's lectures in Cambridge were highly "unacademic." He held them in his own room or that of a friend. He had no manuscript or notes. He thought before the class. The impression was of a tremendous concentration. The exposition usually led to a question, to which the audience were supposed to propose an answer. The answers in turn became starting points for new thoughts leading to new questions. It depended on the audience, to a great extent, whether the discussion became fruitful and whether the connecting thread was maintained through lectures. As late as two days before his death, he produced thoughts that are equal to his best. 'God does not reveal himself in the world', he wrote in the Tractatus. The thought of God, he said, was for him above all the the thought of the fearful judge. He also had the conviction, he sometimes said, that he was doomed. Knowledge, for him, was intimately connected with doing. He wrote 'The riddle does not exist' and 'Everything that can be said can be said clearly.' But he himself was an enigma. The content of his sentences often lies deep below the surface. The second section is the memoir by Norman Malcolm: In lectures, he often felt lost and confused. He carried on a visible struggle with his thoughts. He said things like 'I'm a fool' or 'You have a dreadful teacher' or I'm just too stupid today.' He doubted he could finish, but he almost always finished the two hour lecture from 5 to 7 two evenings a week. They were not technically lectures, for he carried on original research. I am reminded so much of my own philosophy classes. He was also a frightening person: very impatient and easily angered. He focused on achieving total understanding, so he drove himself fiercely. He often went to films later. He totally absorbed them. Loved American films. He was fond of Carmen Miranda and Betty Hutton. I guess he was a leg man. He said, 'My lectures are not for tourists.' People had to commit for a length of time, at least three terms. He liked to see friendly faces in the audience. However, more than half would leave after the first meeting because they were lost or bored. Those who remained were extremely zealous. Sometimes Wittgenstein would grin, but if students chuckled along with him, he would say, 'No, no, I'm serious.' He could not tolerate a facetious tone in his class. His purpose was always serious. He once said that a good and serious philosophical work could be written entirely with jokes (without being facetious). He also thought one could be written with only questions. He often made use of both; for example, PI 250: 'Why can't a dog simulate pain? Is he too honest?' He invited class members individually to tea to get to know them. No small talk, serious conversation interspersed with long silences. In Malcolm's conversation, Wittgenstein tried to talk him out of being a philosophy teacher. Instead, he suggested manual labor. He was revolted by the conversation at the faculty dining hall: too artificial and insincere. Wittgenstein appeared constantly depressed. Maybe at the impossibility of arriving at understanding in philosophy. He also worried about the stupidity and heartlessness in the world. He often seemed to feel grief and would proclaim, 'Oh my God!' looking at Mr. Malcolm as if imploring divine intervention in human events. When Malcolm did not believe that the British would try to kill Hitler, Wittgenstein lost faith in him. It was if Malcolm had learned nothing from their talks. He stopped visiting him and kept the incident in mind for several years. G. E. Moore believed we could understand a feeling of pain, contrary to Wittgenstein's belief that the concepts of knowledge and certainty have no application to one's own sensations. He attacked Moore's paper. When Moore told him he was rude, Ludwig apologized. Wittgenstein's farewell comment to Malcolm going to the States: 'Whatever else you do I hope that you won't marry a lady-philosopher!' Wittgenstein was fond of detective magazines. Much better than reading Mind. Wittgenstein walked with Malcolm and his wife in a park. Ludwig suggested they become the sun, earth, and moon. Wife stood at the center as the sun, Norman walked around her as the earth, and Ludwig ran rapidly around Norman as the moon. He became breathless but totally enthusiastic. A prisoner-of-war camp for Germans was near Cambridge during WWII. Ludwig cared about them and brought musical instruments for them. He was a prisoner during WWI. Wittgenstein had stron feelings about plagiarism. Once Moritz Schlick used some of his ideas in a paper. Ludwig was incensed. Moritz promised to do something about it but was assassinated before he could. Wittgenstein also hated imperfect representations of his thought. Yet he purposely lived in obscurity, avoiding publication for the most part. It is possible he never thought of his work as great. The mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson connected with Wittgenstein at Cambridge. One anecdote has them walking by a football game. Wittgenstein gets his idea of how we play games with words. Perhaps his language-game central theme got started at that point. In another story, Dyson speaks of passing Ludwig in a corridor. Wittgenstein nods, then stops and says, 'My mind is getting stupider and stupider!' Here's a story Wittgenstein told G. F. Stout: Imagine a town in which policeman require information from every inhabitant. A record is kept. Occasionally an inhabitant has no work. The fact is still entered because it is useful information about the man. Thus, for the verification principle: If you do not understand a statement and have no verification for it, that is useful information and you understand the statement better because of it. Wittgenstein admired G. E. Moore's nonsense statements like 'It is raining but I don't believe it.' He also admitted that Moore's 'defense of common sense' was an important idea. Once Moore was preparing a speech but didn't like the ending. His wife told him, 'Don't worry, I'm sure they'll like it.' He responded, 'If they do they'll be wrong.' That's the type of thing Wittgenstein loved. When Moore was ill, his wife set a time limit on philosophical discourse. This irritated Wittgenstein. He thought such a regulation was unseemly. A discussion should go to its proper end. If Moore died in the process, so be it. A few years later as Wittgenstein was fearing losing his talent, he questioned if it were good to keep on living. Wittgenstein admired Bertrand Russell's intellect. When Russell said, 'Logic is hell,' it characterized Ludwig's efforts. A central idea of the Tractatus is that a proposition is a picture. This came to Ludwig while reading a diagram of an accident while serving in the army. He may have changed his mind about that belief when P. Straffa made a gesture of contempt by sweeping his hand under his chin and asked, 'What is the logical form of that?' So Wittgenstein wanted to publish the Tractatus all over again with the Philosophical Investigations to get the contrast. Wittgenstein's religion came from his amazement at the world. Consider 6.44: 'Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.' But he said he could not understand a creator. He did worry about divine judgment and forgiveness. He also combined that with a sense of duty. A favorite phrase of Wittgenstein's was, 'Leave the bloody thing alone!'

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    During my first three and a half years at Loyola University Chicago I was a teaching assistant in the philosophy department. Although working for a number of different philosophy and one linguistics professor during the period, my main man was Bill Ellos, S.J., a recent transplant from the University of Washington system. His own doctoral dissertation was on Wittgenstein, about whom I knew very little at the beginning. After those years, however, I'd read pretty much everything about the philoso During my first three and a half years at Loyola University Chicago I was a teaching assistant in the philosophy department. Although working for a number of different philosophy and one linguistics professor during the period, my main man was Bill Ellos, S.J., a recent transplant from the University of Washington system. His own doctoral dissertation was on Wittgenstein, about whom I knew very little at the beginning. After those years, however, I'd read pretty much everything about the philosopher and had published a paper entitled "Wittgenstein's World Picture in 'On Certainty'" which I presented at a conference held at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Frankly, I never thought of Wittgenstein as being particularly accomplished. Not having much of a background in philosophy, he approached matters like an intelligent, outspoken adolescent, asking childlike questions about matters most academic philosophers would consider beneath consideration. His methods of writing and of speech were, as one would imagine, refreshing compared to the turgidity of most professional prose and often his questioning and method of approaching the matters questioned are quite interesting. However, there never was much of anything one might call a Wittgensteinian system. The closest he ever got was in his late "On Certainty" and it is pretty commonplace. This book and the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus were the first two books Ellos had me read about Wittgenstein.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon Stout

    Thinking about Wittgenstein, I dug up a Memoir that I had read years ago, by Norman Malcolm, one of Wittgenstein’s “disciples.” Wittgenstein certainly was an odd duck, even though he was intensely decent and conscientious, not to mention a genius. He would have been very difficult to get along with from day to day, and even to talk to on any conversational level, simply because he was so demanding intellectually and so uncompromising personally. It’s hard for me to imagine how a man so inaccessi Thinking about Wittgenstein, I dug up a Memoir that I had read years ago, by Norman Malcolm, one of Wittgenstein’s “disciples.” Wittgenstein certainly was an odd duck, even though he was intensely decent and conscientious, not to mention a genius. He would have been very difficult to get along with from day to day, and even to talk to on any conversational level, simply because he was so demanding intellectually and so uncompromising personally. It’s hard for me to imagine how a man so inaccessible personally could have been such a brilliant philosopher, except if I imagine that he lived entirely on some intellectual plane of abstraction. He lived a tortured and very Spartan life, moving from country to country with very few possessions. He was tortured by what he felt called to do, to do philosophy by swimming downward (to use his image) toward the depths, instead of upward toward the air. His literary tastes are surprising, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard and Plato. He seems the opposite of Plato, who seems silver-tongued and social, but much like Kierkegaard, tortured and alone. I’ll be reading some more Wittgenstein, both secondary and primary sources, to try to understand better this most influential philosopher of our times.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Yu

    A terrifically whimsical, moving portrait of Wittgenstein. Having not read any works by Wittgenstein, I am both eager and nervous to read the Tractatus and the Investigations. On the one hand, I am convinced by this memoir that the philosophical problems with which Wittgenstein grappled must have been meaningful, or else an intellect of his caliber would never have been so monomaniacally resolved to pursue them. On the other hand, I am terrified that the philosophical problems Wittgenstein attac A terrifically whimsical, moving portrait of Wittgenstein. Having not read any works by Wittgenstein, I am both eager and nervous to read the Tractatus and the Investigations. On the one hand, I am convinced by this memoir that the philosophical problems with which Wittgenstein grappled must have been meaningful, or else an intellect of his caliber would never have been so monomaniacally resolved to pursue them. On the other hand, I am terrified that the philosophical problems Wittgenstein attacked in his life will not be particularly meaningful to me, for I felt, reading this memoir, terribly small and terribly inadequate in my capacities to understand what it even was that Wittgenstein was doing in the first place. Beyond his genius, his work, and his ideas, in Wittgenstein, Malcolm portrays a singularly original person. No work I have ever read, fictional or otherwise, has constructed a character so compelling and self-contradictory. He is a philosopher who hates philosophy; who needs love dearly, yet cannot give any himself; who disowns his ego, repudiates it, yet cannot escape it. Wittgenstein cannot escape the plagiarists, the critics, his own originality, and the lack thereof of his contemporaries. He writes the Tractatus, convinced that he has solved philosophy; then he writes the Investigations, repudiating it. There is a terrible beauty to the man. As Malcolm wonderfully put it, "his life was fiercely unhappy. Yet, at the end, he himself exclaimed that it had been 'wonderful'! To me, this seems a mysterious and strangely moving utterance."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Climacus

    For those of us who can only dream to be a part of Wittgenstein's lectures on philosophy, this book is an evening's worth of compensation. Dr. Malcolm gives a straight-forward and clear account of their interactions and relationship and through it Wittgenstein's character. For me, Wittgenstein belonged to the generation that produced the last, true philosophers. And the challenges of a philosopher in facing everyday life could not have been referenced more subtly. For those of you interested in For those of us who can only dream to be a part of Wittgenstein's lectures on philosophy, this book is an evening's worth of compensation. Dr. Malcolm gives a straight-forward and clear account of their interactions and relationship and through it Wittgenstein's character. For me, Wittgenstein belonged to the generation that produced the last, true philosophers. And the challenges of a philosopher in facing everyday life could not have been referenced more subtly. For those of you interested in the book, it is available on the Internet Archive for free.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Greer

    A short but very readable account of the life of Ludwig Wittgenstein as seen through the eyes of an American who got to know him as a friend. Wittgenstein appears to be a man with an inner calling, living in a way dictated by his own daimon. He was so talented any professional activity would have been possible for him, yet he chose to examine how ordinary language works in its daily context. Wittgentein reminds me of a character from the tv series "Fargo" who says, "I'm a student of institutions A short but very readable account of the life of Ludwig Wittgenstein as seen through the eyes of an American who got to know him as a friend. Wittgenstein appears to be a man with an inner calling, living in a way dictated by his own daimon. He was so talented any professional activity would have been possible for him, yet he chose to examine how ordinary language works in its daily context. Wittgentein reminds me of a character from the tv series "Fargo" who says, "I'm a student of institutions."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Morthen

    Itse pidin tästä kirjasta, sen antaessa vähän lisätietoa kovasti arvostamani Ludwig Wittgensteinin elämästä. Hänen ajattelunsa syvyys oli/on poikkeuksellista, niinkuin rehellisyys ja kurinalaisuus hänen ajattelussaan ja kommunikoinnissaan. Kirjan lopussa olevat kirjeet olivat myös mielenkiintoisia. (Niihin liittyi myös seikka, mikä tiputti vähän antamaani arviota kirjasta: huomasin, että muihin kirjoihin verrattuna kirjeitä puuttuu välistä ja lisäksi kirjeistä ei ollut viittauksia tai selityksiä, Itse pidin tästä kirjasta, sen antaessa vähän lisätietoa kovasti arvostamani Ludwig Wittgensteinin elämästä. Hänen ajattelunsa syvyys oli/on poikkeuksellista, niinkuin rehellisyys ja kurinalaisuus hänen ajattelussaan ja kommunikoinnissaan. Kirjan lopussa olevat kirjeet olivat myös mielenkiintoisia. (Niihin liittyi myös seikka, mikä tiputti vähän antamaani arviota kirjasta: huomasin, että muihin kirjoihin verrattuna kirjeitä puuttuu välistä ja lisäksi kirjeistä ei ollut viittauksia tai selityksiä, ainakaan siinä määrin kuin esim englannin kielellä julkaistuissa kirjoissa oli ollut.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ali Amiri

    این کتاب وصف ویتگنشتاین است از زبان کسانی که او را دیده بودند و ازش چیزی به خاطر داشتند. ولی انگار قطعات پازل خیلی خوب کنار هم جفت نشده باشند و بنیان روایت روی هوا باشد. کلاً همین است خاطره. حتی اگر به گوینده اعتماد داشته باشیم، به فرایند یادآوری نمی‌توان اعتماد کرد. شاید ازهم‌گسیختگی روایت حاصل تناقض‌هایی باشد که خاطره‌های گوناگون به شخصیت ویتگنشتاین تحمیل کرده‌اند؟

  15. 4 out of 5

    Zo

    Lots of fun. Wittgenstein is just such a fascinating/fun character to learn about. Why it seems like certain people are iconoclasts/geniuses in a discontinuous separation from other humans will never cease to interest me, and LW is a paradigmatic case to study.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    wittgenstein sounds close to a saint, with all the purity and strife that accompanies that, as well as sounding insufferable to a lot of people a lot of the time (so many saints were executed of course, for being so painful to bear the presence of)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zak

    Ludwig is the man and this is a beaut vignette of him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barrett Barry

    This is a book about being a friend with an eccentric and troubled genius. There are many amusing anecdotes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joe Richardson

    A strange read. Very engaging.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    Packed with incredibly personal and insightful first-hand information about an enigmatic man who made everyone around them feel they were in the presence of genius. Absolutely fascinating.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zachary G. Augustine

    Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is. - Wittgenstein, Tractatus 6.44 An excellent memoir written by close friend and American philosopher Norman Malcolm. The introductory biographical sketch by G.H. von Wright is mainly historical and academic, but is as good as any other. It contrasts nicely with Malcolm's personal writings that follow. The bulk of this thin, rare book (very expensive online for some reason, hopefully that will change) deals with the more or less what it's like t Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is. - Wittgenstein, Tractatus 6.44 An excellent memoir written by close friend and American philosopher Norman Malcolm. The introductory biographical sketch by G.H. von Wright is mainly historical and academic, but is as good as any other. It contrasts nicely with Malcolm's personal writings that follow. The bulk of this thin, rare book (very expensive online for some reason, hopefully that will change) deals with the more or less what it's like to be a friend to Wittgenstein--friend in a very intense picture of the word. In his memoir, Malcom guides us through his 40 or so letters he recieved from Wittgenstein. The complete text of their letters is included but adds little that Malcolm doesn't explain more fully in the memoir. Malcolm paints a picture of Wittgenstein as an eccentric, intense, and deeply caring individual. Wittgenstein has an intense dislike for any insencerity, imprecision, or lack of sophistication in everyday speech. He frowns upon insencere sophistication, fake precision, or misused jargon even more, which makes him naturally dispise philosophers. Wittgenstein fought his whole life not to become an academic, but still philosophy was the only work that satisfied him. He is paranoid, especially about his own work, and extremely self-deprecating. Despite this, Wittgenstein lives in exact accordance with his personal ideals, chief among them being kindness, generosity, and honesty. It's bizzare but amazing. Malcolm often refers to his friendship as emotionally draining but deeply satisfying, and I imagine that's what it would be like to take absolutely no concessions in life. This memoir could very well be renamed "Wittgenstein's personal ethic". Philosophically, this memoir provides great context around the development of Wittgenstein's beliefs. There are many great quotes on thinking, language, friendship, philosophy itself, and detective magazines. I got about two pages of quotes of this book, and that was enough to make me realize how truly unique and essential this book is.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    These are notes on a great man written from the valuable perspective of a close friend. Ludwig Wittgenstein is a man I admire for his uncompromising integrity and intellect. He is committed to the truth and to living a moral life. His exacting standards for his commitment becomes clear from all the little ways he interacted with his friends and colleagues at Cambridge and Vienna. This is a charming, intimate and sincere presentation of the man, widely hailed as the greatest philosopher of the 20 These are notes on a great man written from the valuable perspective of a close friend. Ludwig Wittgenstein is a man I admire for his uncompromising integrity and intellect. He is committed to the truth and to living a moral life. His exacting standards for his commitment becomes clear from all the little ways he interacted with his friends and colleagues at Cambridge and Vienna. This is a charming, intimate and sincere presentation of the man, widely hailed as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    I don't know why a headline is required A superb biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, written by his long-term friend, Norman Malcolm. Includes several of W's letters to Malcolm and some very digestible summaries by Malcolm of W's key points of thought. Gives a very good overview of the type of person Wittgenstein was and tried to be. I don't know why a headline is required A superb biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, written by his long-term friend, Norman Malcolm. Includes several of W's letters to Malcolm and some very digestible summaries by Malcolm of W's key points of thought. Gives a very good overview of the type of person Wittgenstein was and tried to be.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Virdzek

    This is a nice memoir of the life of the philosopher of Ludwig Wittgenstein. I do not think it is much informative after one has read the biography by Ray Monk, but then, this book was published much earlier.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Simona Vesela

    Úsmevná krátka knižka, človek sa dozvie trochu o povahe Wittgenteina, trochu o jeho práci, trochu o posolstve, čo zachoval. Štýl rozprávania mi veľmi sedel, kombinácia Wittgenteinových listov, technických poznámok z jeho prednášok a voľných rozprávaní o ňom, sa mi veľmi príjemne čítalo.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Henrik Haapala

    So good. Wittgenstein was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. He was a good man Of course he distilled his thoughts in very few books As a memoir the best out there

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Very moving.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barry Barrett

  29. 5 out of 5

    zigakziga

  30. 4 out of 5

    Arturo Fatturi

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