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Year: 2017 (page 1 of 2)




Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria, 5th – 11th of August 2018






Scientific Organizers:

Gabriele Mras (Vienna)

Paul Weingartner (Salzburg)

Bernhard Ritter (Klagenfurt)



  1. Wittgenstein
  2. Traditional and Modern Logic
  3. The Structural Complexity of Judgments – Propositions – Sentences
  4. Logic: Absolute Normativity or Alternatives
  5. The Infinite
  6. Foundations of Mathematics


WORKSHOP 1: Wittgenstein on the Philosophy of Mathematics,

1937–1939: The Projected Early Version of PI." – with Joachim Schulte


WORKSHOP 2: Logical Paradoxes – with Hannes Leitgeb




Matthias Baaz (Vienna)

Francesco Berto (Amsterdam)

Jean-Yves Béziau (Rio de Janeiro)

Günther Eder (Vienna)

Susan Edwards-McKie (Cambridge)

Oliver Feldmann (Vienna)

Juliet Floyd (Boston)

Pasquale Frascolla (Potenza, Basilicata)

Volker Halbach (Oxford)

Richard Heinrich (Vienna)

Wolfgang Kienzler (Jena)

Sandra Lapointe (Hamilton, Ontario)

Hannes Leitgeb (Munich)

Bernard Linsky (Edmonton, Alberta)

Itala Maria Loffredo D’Ottaviano (Campinas)

Paolo Mancosu (Berkeley)

Mathieu Marion (Montréal)

Felix Mühlhölzer (Göttingen)

Julien Murzi (Salzburg)

Michael Potter (Cambridge)

Christoph C. Pfisterer (Zurich)

Richard Raatzsch (Wiesbaden)

Esther Ramharter (Vienna)

Štefan Riegelnik (Zurich)

Georg Schiemer (Munich)

Joachim Schulte (Zurich)

Dana Scott (Pittsburgh)

Stewart Shapiro (Columbus, Ohio)

Gila Sher (San Diego)

Karl Sigmund (Vienna)

Isidora Stojanovic (Paris)

Barry Stroud (Berkeley)

William W. Tait (Chicago)

Mark van Atten (Paris)

Maria van der Schaar (Leiden)

Vladimir Vasyukov (Moscow)

Jan von Plato (Helsinki)

Heinrich Wansing (Bochum)

Jan Woleński (Kraków)

Michael Wolff (Bielefeld)

Richard Zach (Calgary)


Deadline for submission of contributed papers (to section 1-6):

March 30, 2018

(Instructions for authors:







Antecedent to the symposium:



(Juliet Floyd, Mathieu Marion)


July 31st – August 4th, 2018 in Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria



Wittgenstein´s Philosophy of Mathematics


With: Juliet Floyd (Boston) and Mathieu Marion (Montréal)

Scientific Organization and Direction: Volker A. Munz (Klagenfurt)


(For applications see:


For further information:


UNESCO Memory of the World-Register

The philosophical estate of Ludwig Wittgenstein is now listed internationally as an important documentary heritage.

Review of Wittgenstein Reads Weininger - Stern, D., & Szabados, B. (2010)   Cambridge, U.K. ; New York: Cambridge University Press by David Häuser


Review of Wittgenstein Reads Weininger - Stern, D., & Szabados, B. (2010)   Cambridge, U.K. ; New York: Cambridge University Press by David Häuser


Videos of sessions from the 10TH ANNIVERSARY BWS ANNUAL CONFERENCE - WITTGENSTEIN IN THE 21ST CENTURY are now available on our conference video page.

Special Edition: Wittgenstein and the Social Sciences

Another volume is forthcoming (both volumes in Spanish)

The Selected Writings of Maurice O’Connor Drury On Wittgenstein, Philosophy, Religion and Psychiatry

The Selected Writings of Maurice O’Connor Drury

On Wittgenstein, Philosophy, Religion and Psychiatry

Maurice O’Connor Drury

Edited by John Hayes

"As shown by the work of Störring, Ziehen, Jaspers, Janet, Mourgue, Morselli, Ey,Lanteri-Laura, Martin-Santos, Kimura, etc., the psychiatrist-philosopher remains acultural archetype. Con Drury’s work showed that such a figure was also present in Great Britain.
Lovingly edited by John Hayes, this facsimiled volume illustrates the usefulness to Psychiatry of conceptual analysis and of a way of thinking that, alas, is now rarely exercised by its practitioners." German E. Berrios, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK

Hardback | 472 pp | September 2017 | 9781474256360 | £130.00 £84.50

Maurice O’Connor Drury was among Wittgenstein’s first students after his return to Cambridge in 1929. The subsequent course of Drury’s life and thought was to be enormously influenced by his teacher, from his decision to become a doctor to his later work in psychiatry.

The Selected Writings of Maurice O’Connor Drury brings together the best of his lectures, conversations, and letters on philosophy, religion and medicine. Central to the collection is the Danger of Words, the 1973 text described by Ray Monk as 'the most truly Wittgensteinian book published by any of Wittgenstein's students'. Through notes on conversations with Wittgenstein, letters to a student of philosophy and correspondence of almost 30 years with Rush Rhees, Drury gives shape to what he had learned from Wittgenstein. Whether discussing methods of philosophy, Simone Weil or the power of hypnosis, he makes fascinating excursions into the bearing of Wittgenstein’s thought on philosophy and the practice of medicine and psychiatry.

With an introduction presenting a new biography of Drury, analysing the relationship between him and Wittgenstein, The Selected Writings of Maurice O’Connor Drury features previously unpublished archival sources. Beautifully written and carefully selected, each piece reveals the impact of Wittgenstein’s teachings, shedding light on the friendship and thinking of one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century.

John Hayes is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

BWS Members can get a substantial discount. Please ask.

Centre de philosophie contemporaine de la Sorbonne Programme du séminaire Wittgenstein 2017-2018

Programme du séminaire Wittgenstein 2017-2018

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne (UMR8103)

Centre de philosophie contemporaine de la Sorbonne (PhiCo)



Séminaire Wittgenstein 2017-2018


Formes de langage, formes de vie


Organisé par Christiane Chauviré et Sandra Laugier


De 2015 à 2017 le séminaire s’est focalisé sur ce concept d’« ordinaire » dans ce qu’il a de central dans la pensée contemporaine, chez Wittgenstein, Austin, et aujourd’hui Stanley Cavell, Veena Das et Richard Moran, à l’interface du linguistique, de l’éthique et de l’anthropologique.

En 2017-2018, le séminaire envisagera plus directement, en partenariat avec le GDRI CNRS « Forms of life », la notion de « formes de vie » en lien avec le langage ordinaire et l’articulation des formes du langage et de la vie. Les formes de vie font actuellement l’objet de recherches dynamiques au confluent de la philosophie de Wittgenstein et de la Théorie critique, de Foucault et du biopolitique, de Dewey et du pragmatisme, de l’anthropologie de la vie. Il s’agit de mettre en évidence la force et la plasticité du concept, et d’explorer l’intrication du social (sens horizontal) et du biologique (sens vertical) dans les Forms of life et l’intégration de formes vitales (Lifeforms) dans les formes ordinaires du langage et de la vie.


Lieu : Sorbonne, Université Paris 1, UFR de philosophie, 17, rue de la Sorbonne, Paris 5e, escalier C, 1er étage, droite, salle Lalande

Renseignements :



7 octobre 2017 – 10h30-12h30 – salle Lalande

Ali Benmakhlouf (Université Paris Est-Créteil)

« Langage ordinaire et conversation »


4 novembre 2017 – salle Lalande

Emma Williams (Université de Warwick), Paul Standish (UCL)

« Ordinary Language and the Education of Literature »


2 décembre 2017 – salle Lalande

séance commune avec le séminaire Foucault

« Langage, vie et vérité »

Autour de La Force du vrai de Daniele Lorenzini

Avec Bruno Ambroise, Valérie Aucouturier, Sandra Laugier, Judith Revel, Layla Raïd


13 janvier 2018 – 10h30-12h30 – salle Lalande

Christiane Chauviré

« Foucault, Wittgenstein et les formes de vie »


19-20 janvier 2018

Workshop du GDRI CNRS Forms of life

« Les formes de vie, les règles et la loi »

Coordination Estelle Ferrarese, Sandra Laugier


3 février 2018 – 10h30-12h30 – salle Lalande

Constantine Sandis (Université Hertfordshire)

« Forms of life, ordinary language and understanding others »


3 mars 2018 – 10h30-12h30 – salle Lalande

Juliet Floyd (Boston University)

« Explorations and transformations of human forms of life »


Obituary John V. Canfield (1934-2017)

It is with profound sadness that I must inform you of the death of John V. Canfield, Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, on August 6. Professor Canfield was an eminent philosopher of language, philosopher of mind and Wittgenstein scholar. His penetrating intellect, his profound absorption of the key insights of Wittgenstein and of Buddhism; his plain-spoken correctives of such mentalistic conceptions of the human as Chomsky's and Fodor's, have made a unique contribution to philosophy and many other disciplines.

I knew and admired the work before knowing and admiring the man. His deep sensitivity and humanity, always present in his work, were also the first thing that struck you in the man. I first met Jack – as he liked to be called – at the 2003 Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg. The modesty of his soft-spoken voice and his probing, yet unobtrusive eyes, contrasted with the red baseball cap that persisted throughout the week. We became inseparable that week, and close friends thereafter. My husband and I had the privilege of spending a few days in the Toronto home he shared with his wife, Sharon. We will never forget their unbounded hospitality. He had a range and depth in numbers, chess and meditation that I could not fathom.

Professor Canfield taught at the Universities of Colorado and Cornell, and at MIT before joining the University of Toronto in 1967 and retiring in 1995. Only a few weeks before his death, I sent him a paper I'd written for a conference. It relies heavily on his work, particularly on his last book: Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self and Self-Consciousness (2007), and celebrates it as the most compelling account we have of the acquisition of language by the human species and the human individual. I am happy that he was able to see the paper, and be gratified by it. In fact, Canfield's last book is a magnificent culmination of his thought. In it, he critiques, with the boldness and subtlety of a great thinker, the concept of self in our understanding of our humanity. Without losing sight of the mystico-religious, he exposes the 'self' as great mistake we have all somehow foisted upon ourselves; a superfluous appendage in the constitution of the human; and that with it gone, we are finally, authentically, left to ourselves. It is as a philosophical anthropologist that Canfield then retraces the main stages in our journey from hominid to human; and from 'Eden' – the wholly natural state of humanity before the development of a full-blown language. And it is as a philosopher of language and mind that he retraces the child's journey – our individual journeys – into language. Canfield's contribution – his filling in the blank spaces in our understanding of the steps we take towards becoming human; his compelling view of humans as animals among other animals, with no essential difference but only a uniqueness in richness and sophistication of language and culture – is unprecedented and invaluable.

John V. Canfield is the author of Wittgenstein: Language and World (1981); The Looking-glass Self: An Examination of Self-awareness (Praeger, 1990); Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self and Self-Consciousness (Palgrave, 2007). He edited the magisterial 15-volume collection The Philosophy of Wittgenstein (Garland, 1986); Purpose in Nature (Prentice-Hall, 1966); and Philosophy of Meaning, Knowledge and Value in the Twentieth Century (Routledge, 2003). He is also co-editor, with Frank Donnell, of The Theory of Knowledge (1964); and, with Stuart Shanker, of Wittgenstein's Intentions (Garland, 1993; Routledge Revival 2014). Some of the many excellent articles he wrote on the philosophy of mind and language, on Wittgenstein's philosophy and on Buddhism include: 'Anthropological Science Fiction and Logical Necessity' (Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 1975); 'Wittgenstein and Zen' (Philosophy 1975); 'Wittgenstein and Buddhism' (with Chris Gudmunsen; Philosophical Review 1980); 'The Community View (Philosophical Review, 1996); 'The rudiments of language' (Language & Communication, 1995); 'The Passage into Language: Wittgenstein & Quine' (in The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein, 1996), 'Private Language: The Diary Case' (Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2001); 'Pretence and the Inner' (in The Third Wittgenstein, 2004); 'Ned Block, Wittgenstein, and the Inverted Spectrum' (Philosophia, 2009), 'Back to the Rough Ground: Wittgenstein and ordinary language' (in Wittgenstein and Analytic Philosophy: Essays for P. M. S. Hacker, 2009).

Our warmest thoughts are with his beloved wife, Sharon and their children, Zoe, Betsy, Sean, Edie, Patrick.

Dr. Danièle Moyal-Sharrock

BWS 10th Anniversary Conference Speakers and Participants

All Participants



Speakers and BWS Executive Committee

(L-R) Chon Tejedor, Michel Bitbol, Ray Monk, Sandra Laugier, Daniéle Moyal-Sharrock, Constantine Sandis, Peter Hobson, Louise Barrett, Edward Harcourt, Peter Hacker, Paul Standish, Ian Ground.

 BWS Conference in Action

Photos Credit: Constantine Sandis



the Wörterbuch für Volksschulen

Désirée Weber

In the spring of 1923, Leopoldine Eichberger was practicing her orthography and grammar lessons under the watchful eye and strict guidance of Ludwig Wittgenstein, elementary school teacher. She was one of many elementary school pupils that Wittgenstein taught between 1920 and 1926, in the small villages of lower Austria. During that particular school year, he led his class in a project to make their own dictionaries: they collected words they were having trouble with, they hand-dyed the stiff paper used for the covers, and they bound everything together with red ribbon.
This period of Wittgenstein’s life usually gets passed over as a curiosity or a surprising point of trivia. However, his training and occupation during these six years – not to mention the remaining artifacts of his efforts – shed new light on and heighten the significance of the prevalent teaching and learning references woven into his later philosophy. Instead of a break from his prior philosophical interests and method, Wittgenstein’s years as a teacher reveal his continued interest in the philosophy of language and its practical, everyday manifestations.
In 1926, as a culmination of the dictionary project he had his students complete, Wittgenstein published the Wörterbuch für Volksschulen [Dictionary for Elementary Schools]. Known as the second of only two works published in Wittgenstein’s lifetime, it is the most important touchstone that links these two periods of his life and work.
Published versions of the dictionary do exist but are rare but, so to understand Wittgenstein’s method at the time of its composition and its relation to his later philosophical work, more research on its provenance was warranted. Luckily, a few artifacts, manuscripts, and correspondences related to the Dictionary have survived. Besides the so-called preface to the Dictionary, a set of publisher’s proof pages with copious marginalia is the most promising prospect for insight into the process by which the Dictionary took shape. It was this document, held in a private collection, which I tracked down and have since examined.
This set of proof pages is composed of 10 sheets interlaid booklet-style, with the word entries arranged in three columns. The editorial marks that fill the margins are rendered in 3 different colors and at times overlap one another. The first page of each section bears the stamp of Adolf Holzhausen, head editor of the Dictionary’s publisher (Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky), and a well-known Viennese patron of academic research.
Although there is some question whether or which of the marks are in Wittgenstein’s own hand, the contents of the dictionary and the corrections yield a fascinating view of the words that Wittgenstein deemed central to the forms of life and language-games in which his students were immersed. Many entries such as Alm (mountain pasture) and Senner (alpine shepherd) relate directly to the geography, and locale in which Wittgenstein taught. Other common categories of words have to do with religion (Apostel, Philister) or may have formed the basis of Wittgenstein’s other lessons for the school children, including about Arabic numerals (arabische Ziffern) and rules (Regel).
Noteworthy is also Wittgenstein’s inclusion of words and descriptions that refer to the children’s dialect or colloquial usage. Some word entries make note of “Mundart” or how a particular word would be used in the specific region of Austria in which he taught. The care with which he selected and constructed this dictionary is evident, and is also in line with what is known of his punctilious approach to his philosophical endeavors before and after his career as a teacher.
The Dictionary is thus a link from Wittgenstein’s years as an elementary school teacher to works such as the Brown Book and the Philosophical Investigations. The connection goes beyond the frequent references to teaching that can be found in these later works: the influence of his previous career is also palpable in his focus on the processes by which someone – usually a child – learns a word or language-game anew. In this process, the ‘agreements in judgment’ necessary for meaningful language use are continuously renegotiated. Questions about the basis on which to ground language (if that is possible at all), in turn, get to the heart of Wittgenstein’s method and insights in the years after his return to Cambridge in 1929.

Désirée Weber received her PhD from Northwestern University, completed under the supervision of James Farr and John G. Gunnell, in 2016. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

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