[Ludwig Wittgenstein] Philosophical Investigations

  • Title: Philosophical Investigations: The German Text, with a Revised English Translation 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition
  • Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Published: 1953
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition (Dec. 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 0631231277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631231271

In his previous work, ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,’ Wittgenstein focused on analyzing language in a critical sense. He tried to draw the limit of language; by clarifying its use and meaning, it is possible to make clear what philosophical problems are.

In ‘Philosophical Investigations,’ Wittgenstein broadened his view of language and speech. He did not abandon his previous views but switched the focus to how language can be used in different settings. Language is not just the mappings between words (signifiers) and meanings (signified). It functions in many different ways depending on how you use it (what kind of games you are in).

As a philosophy book, it is relatively easy to read. At the same time, it is hard to digest its content. Wittgenstein continuously asks you fundamental questions; the questions are just too obvious, so they cannot be answered. You might feel like you are being asked questions like “why 2+2 is 4?” one after another. That is why you need to read this book if you want to have a taste of how you might feel while you’re philosophizing your life.

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