Approaches to Wittgenstein: Collected Papers by McGuiness

By McGuiness

Ways to Wittgenstein brings jointly for the 1st time the various diversified features of Wittgenstein's existence, philosophy, and aesthetic attitudes.

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Any attempt to add or introduce beauty by means of applied ornament is a fundamental misunderstanding and can only result in a marring of the harmony of the proportions. This, then, is Wittgenstein’s early aesthetic theory, completely of a piece with his early philosophy. But did he adhere to it throughout his life? And, whether he adhered to it or not, does it in fact fit his practice throughout his life? In answering this question I shall begin with a criticism of himself that Wittgenstein voices.

94. 20 Engelmann in particular was clearly influenced by Christianity: witness his quotations from the Fourth Gospel, his appeals to the Holy Spirit, and his certainty that the sayings of Christ in the Gospels cannot be of purely human origin. 21 Finally, for all of them, the war was the great catalyst, making it imperative to come to terms with these questions. At all events, the Olmützers, objectively speaking, were looking for an alternative to a Jewishness that no longer meant anything to them, while Wittgenstein was making good the failure of his Christian upbringing to take root.

Was he happy? This is perhaps the final falsche Fragestellung. There is not a standard happiness against which his life can be measured. ’ – 15 So, in his family, there were problems about how to celebrate Christmas and also how to react to the Anschluß. 16 See CL, p. 261. 15 THE MAN Live happily! 17 Happiness, on this view, is not something found in life but something put into it. Thus after the First World War it was his own life he was insisting on living. His last words also, ‘Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life’, are puzzling only if we ignore this conviction of his.

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