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Year: 2020 (page 1 of 3)

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Dictating Philosophy

To Francis Skinner – The Wittgenstein-Skinner Manuscripts

To Francis Skinner – The Wittgenstein-Skinner Manuscripts

Editors: Gibson, Arthur, O'Mahony, Niamh Ann (Eds.)
Is a newly discovered and unpublished collection of Wittgenstein's continuous manuscripts

In this volume we witness Wittgenstein in the act of composing and experimenting with his new visions in philosophy. The book includes key explanations of the origin and background of these previously unknown manuscripts. It investigates how Wittgenstein’s philosophical thought-processes are revealed in his dictation to, as well as his editing and revision with Francis Skinner, in the latter’s role of amanuensis. The book displays a considerable wealth and variety of Wittgenstein’s fundamental experiments in philosophy across a wide array of subjects that include the mind, pure and applied mathematics, metaphysics, the identities of ordinary and creative language, as well as intractable problems in logic and life. He also periodically engages with the work of Newton, Fermat, Russell and others. The book shows Wittgenstein strongly battling against the limits of understanding and the bewitchment of institutional and linguistic customs. The reader is drawn in by Wittgenstein as he urges us to join him in his struggles to equip us with skills, so that we can embark on devising new pathways beyond confusion.

This collection of manuscripts was posted off by Wittgenstein to be considered for publication during World War 2, in October 1941. None of it was published and it remained hidden for over two generations. Upon its rediscovery, Professor Gibson was invited to research, prepare and edit the Archive to appear as this book, encouraged by Trinity College Cambridge and The Mathematical Association. Niamh O’Mahony joined him in co-editing and bringing this book to publication.

Beyond Isolation: International Wittgenstein Workshop in Tokyo

A new effort to build a platform for philosophers’ collaborative studies

Wittgenstein who was born in Vienna and known as an Austrian-philosopher has been widely studied in Europe and Asia. Although the significance of the collaborative studies by various countries’ philosophers is recognized, it is challenging to develop a connection with philosophers whose studies have been traditionally based on individual works. In particular, activities by researchers of Western philosophy in Asia have been relatively unknown. Therefore, this crowdfunding project is launched to create opportunities for exchange and collaboration among philosophers by holding an international workshop in Tokyo. New collaborations can be promoted by an open call for participants rather than the Japanese conventional style. The future task is to hold the workshop regularly aiming to establish a platform where philosophers stay connected.




Part 1
Wittgenstein's Wörterbuch für Volksschulen in English

Friday, 11 December 2020, 17:30 GMT (18:30 CET)
Livestream Discussion Panel from 17:30 GMT, Q&A starting at 18:300 GMT on the Wittgenstein Initiative YouTube channel. The video recording will be later permanently available.

Please pay attention to your time zone when scheduling the chat!

Carla Carmona Escalera (Universidad de Sevilla)
Bettina Funcke (Art historian, New York)
James Klagge (Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts)
Désirée Weber (The College of Wooster)In 1925, Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote a dictionary for elementary school children. His Wörterbuch für Volksschulen (Dictionary for Elementary Schools) was designed to help his students learn to spell. Wittgenstein began teaching kids in rural Austria in 1920, after abandoning his life and work at Cambridge University. 

Word Book is the first-ever English translation of Wörterbuch. This publication aims to encourage and reinvigorate interest in one of the greatest modern philosophers by introducing this gem of a work to a wider audience. Word Book also explores how Wörterbuch portends Wittgenstein's radical reinvention of his own philosophy and the enduring influence his thinking holds over how art, culture and language are understood.Word Book is translated by writer and art historian Bettina Funcke, with a critical introduction by scholar Désirée Weber, and accompanied with art by Paul Chan.

Call for Workshop Participants/Special Issue: New Perspectives on Wittgenstein on Expression

Call for Workshop Participants/Special Issue: New Perspectives on Wittgenstein on Expression

Organizers: Michael Campbell (Centre for Ethics, Pardubice); Lynette Reid (Dalhousie)
Advisors/participants: David Cockburn (Lampeter); Lars Hertzberg (Åbo Akademi)

We invite applications for participation for a virtual workshop on Ludwig Wittgenstein's use of the concept of expression and related notions, centered around the question of the integration of what was formerly presented as Part I and Part II of the Investigations. (See the workshop format below.)

A pivotal difficulty for what is in earlier editions presented as Part II of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations is the question that launches II.x: “how did we ever come to use such an expression as ‘I believe…’?”. The discussion that follows moves from the concept of belief to the phenomena of aspect-perception and the possibility of meaning-blindness, to aesthetic taste and judgement. These discussions of distinctive experiences are intended to enable us to “shift for ourselves” (II.xi, p. 206) when confused about expression and meaning. Wittgenstein frames his investigations into aspect seeing and related phenomena as training ground for navigating the complexity of the dual face of expression: in making an assertion, I say something about the world and, in so doing, express my own state of mind.

Wittgenstein’s comments about aspect seeing and meaning blindness have intrinsic interest as investigations of human experiences of meaning, and some construe them as a distinct project, one that stands apart from Wittgenstein’s concerns with language and logic. However, a number of considerations speak against this bifurcation. Peter Winch pointed out (1996/2001) that the Necker cube discussion in the Tractatus is a comment on Wittgenstein’s analysis of Russell’s theory of judgment, a move echoed in the ordering of Moore’s paradox about belief and the aspect-seeing discussions of the traditional Part II of the Investigations. Lars Hertzberg (1992) argued that Wittgenstein’s interest in primitive reactions straddles—and undermines—the distinction between logic and anthropology. More recently, Hugh Knott (2017) presents historical and exegetical evidence that, from the Blue and Brown Books onwards, Wittgenstein saw his discussion of aspect seeing as an intrinsic culmination of his treatment of language and logic.
An utterance may express both a proposition (a claim about the world; capable of being true or false) and something about the person making the utterance (at least, their belief, or some closely related characterization of the person or their point of view). Two questions then arise: what is the nature of the relation between the sign and what is expressed by it, since these things appear to be of entirely different orders?; and what is the relation between these two expressive functions of an utterance—how does the meaning of an utterance relate to the one who makes it, their person or their point of view? These questions and the presuppositions that give rise to them exercised Wittgenstein throughout his life.

We invite papers that explore how the discussions of aspect seeing help us “shift for ourselves when we encounter conceptual difficulties” that arise in, and in reflection on, our practices of expressing and attributing inner states, and of seeing things as meaningful or meaningless.

Questions could include, for example:
• How do we characterize challenges in the attribution of belief across historical, conceptual, cultural, scientific and political change? (Cf. Diamond 1999, 2012)
• Is there philosophically significant variety we have been ignoring in what it is for one person to respond to another person as believing something—or in what it is to believe another person—in different contexts?
• What should we retain and what should we discard from the Tractatus view of the “enormously complicated” “silent adjustments” necessary “to understand colloquial language” (4.002)?
• Does the word “expression” in the phrases “self-expression,” “expression of a thought,” and “expression of a belief” mean the same? In the phrases “expressive face” and “expressive musical passage”? Could we replace “expression” with a different word in each of these uses?
• Can Wittgenstein’s comments cast useful light on debates concerning the doctrine of expressivism?
• What can we learn about the question of II.x (“how did we ever come to use such an expression as ‘I believe’?”) from investigating examples of owning and disowning one’s words, avowing and disavowing beliefs or their implications?
• Is there a connection between Wittgenstein’s early discussion of Russell’s conception of belief and his later discussion of Moore’s paradox?
• What is the relationship between the logical and the psychological, if we are true to the particularity of uses of language in context?
• In what sense can “making a move in a language game” characterize who a person is? What is the relationship between expression and identity?
• How do the visual features of objects relate to the judgements which can be made about them? And, is this related to the question of how we ought to characterise the relationship between pictorial models and our understanding of the phenomena which they depict?

We intend to form a group of approximately 12-20 participants, of whom 12 will present papers (via zoom, dates and times tbc) on the topic, to be followed by discussion with the group. We envision fruitful collaboration between a diverse group of academics working to make Wittgenstein's philosophy relevant to contemporary questions, both academic and practical. Participation in all 12 sessions is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged, and we would expect participants to commit to attending a majority of the sessions. We envision approximately 12 sessions to be held over approximately 6 months, beginning in January 2021 and running until June 2021, and will do our best to come up with a schedule that suits the majority of participants.

At the end of the process, interested participants may submit their papers to a special issue of a journal devoted to the topic. (The Nordic Wittgenstein Review have expressed an interest.)

Please submit a 500 word abstract (for paper presentation) or statement of interest (for participation without presentation) to by November 27, 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by Dec 1. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us on and . This workshop is hosted by the Centre for Ethics, at the University of Pardubice.

Teaching and Learning with Wittgenstein in Dark Times: or How I Learned to Stop Doubting and Live with Contingency

Presenter: Dr. Désirée Weber 

Title: Teaching and Learning with Wittgenstein in Dark Times: or How I Learned to Stop Doubting and Live with Contingency

Abstract: By tracing the teaching and learning references in Wittgenstein’s last writings, especially On Certainty, I will explicate his unique conception of certainty and doubt and the centrality of the learning process to our ability to navigate said certainties and doubts. Many treatments of this text make sense of Wittgenstein’s position in relation to traditional philosophical debates about certainty. My approach shifts the focus so that Wittgenstein’s remarks on certainty and doubt are contextualized in the larger arc of his later work, and especially its relation to his own teaching experience. This line of inquiry also relies on my extensive work on the Dictionary for Elementary Schools which he authored while he was a schoolteacher for 6 years in rural Austria, as well as textual exegesis of other later works such as the Philosophical Investigations. Wittgenstein’s unique position on certainty and doubt – and how the processes of teaching and learning relate to them – has implications for both philosophical and specifically epistemological questions, but also for our understanding of politics. The conditions of certainty and doubt are a perennial political concern, but especially in democracies where claim-making is contested– and even more so in our current dark times.

Bio: Dr. Weber’s expertise includes modern and contemporary political theory, with a particular focus on language, discourse and argumentation in political thinking. Her area of specialization is the influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein and other language philosophers on political understanding and judgment. She teaches a variety of political theory courses. She is currently working on a monograph about the role of teaching and learning in Wittgenstein’s biography and later work – and the implications for understanding our capacity to make meaning as well as judgments about meaning. In collaboration with renowned contemporary artist Paul Chan, she has contributed a critical introduction to a new edition of Wittgenstein's Wörterbuch für Volksschulen [Dictionary for Elementary Schools] which will appear in November 2020. 

Link to join Webinar

WITTGENSTEIN'S HEIRS AND EDITORS: A thrilling story of philosophical inheritance

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Livestream Discussion

A thrilling story of philosophical inheritance

Sunday, 15 November 2020, 17:00 GMT (18:00 CET)
Livestream Discussion Panel from 17:00 GMT, Q&A starting at 19:00 GMT on Wittgenstein Initiative on YouTube. The video recording will be later permanently available.

If you wish to ask your questions directly during the Livestream, please let us know at . You will be sent the Chat ID a day before the Livestream starts. Please pay attention to your time zone when scheduling the chat!

James Conant (University of Chicago, Universität Leipzig)
Christian Erbacher (Universität Siegen, author of Wittgenstein's Heirs and Editors, Cambridge University Press 2020)
Allan Janik (Forschungsinstitut Brenner Archiv, Universität Innsbruck)
Ray Monk (University of Southampton, author of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Duty of Genius)
David Stern (University of Iowa, editor of Cambridge Elements. The Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most widely read philosophers of the twentieth century. But the books in which his philosophy was published – with the exception of his early work Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus – were posthumously edited from the writings he left to posterity. How did his 20,000 pages of philosophical writing become published volumes? Using extensive archival material, this book reconstructs and examines the way in which Wittgenstein's writings were edited over more than fifty years, and shows how the published volumes tell a thrilling story of philosophical inheritance. The discussion ranges over the conflicts between the editors, their deviations from Wittgenstein's manuscripts, other scholarly issues which arose, and also the shared philosophical tradition of the editors, which animated their desire to be faithful to Wittgenstein and to make his writings both available and accessible. The book can thus be read as a companion to all of Wittgenstein's published works of philosophy.

Wittgenstein’s Annotations to Hardy’s Course of Pure Mathematics

An Investigation of Wittgenstein’s Non-Extensionalist Understanding of the Real Numbers

Authors: Floyd, Juliet, Mühlhölzer, Felix

  • Examines the annotations that Ludwig Wittgenstein made to his copy of G.H. Hardy’s classic textbook, A Course of Pure Mathematics
  • Features images of the annotations
  • Explores Wittgenstein’s later philosophy of mathematics as applied to the real numbers

CFP: International Conference and Graduate Workshops

Call for Paper
International Conference and Graduate Workshops

“Wittgenstein and Feminism: Ordinary Language Philosophy’s Contribution to Feminist Theory and Practice”

Date: March 26th - 27th, 2021

Location: Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France

International Conference and Graduate Workshops
“Wittgenstein and Feminism: Ordinary Language Philosophy’s Contribution to Feminist Theory and Practice”
Organized by Mickaëlle Provost (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France; Conference), Jasmin Trächtler (Bergen Network for Women in Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway; Conference, Workshops), Sandra Laugier (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France; Conference), and Carlota Salvador Megias (University of Bergen, Norway; Workshops)

Date: March 26th - 27th, 2021
Location: Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France

Caterina Botti (University of Rome — La Spienza, Italy)
Alice Crary (New School for Social Research, New York, USA) Chon Tejedor (University of Valencia, Spain)

Over the past thirty years, we have seen what a rich resource Wittgenstein’s philosophy can be for feminist epistemology and praxis. By emphasizing the myriad ways we use language in different contexts, Wittgenstein’s work encourages its readers to pay attention to the particularities of ordinary, situated uses of language and to the complexities attendant upon our linguistic practices. In fact, Wittgenstein conceived of language itself as a practice, and philosophy’s task as that of describing and making explicit the ways in which language and reality intertwine. Philosophy should not then seek to explain the metaphysical foundations of language, but to clarify the forms of our speech, the functions speech fulfills in different contexts, and the ways in which speech permits people to come together.
For these reasons, Wittgenstein’s philosophy has been a fruitful starting point for a number of developments within feminist thought. Attention to particulars, and an emphasis upon descriptions of ordinary language use, have led to new directions in moral philosophy, among them the ethics of care. (Gilligan, 1982, Baier, 1995; Crary, 2007; Laugier et Paperman, 2006) Wittgenstein’s notions of “forms of life” and “language-games” have been used to reflect upon collective feminist practices, the social construction of subjectivities, and the very fabric of our lived experience. (Shemman et O’Connor, 2002; Das, 2020; Moi 2017). Finally, ordinary language philosophy — a philosophical movement inspired by the later Wittgenstein’s work — has given us the tools to attend to our linguistic practices with an eye to eradicating linguistic sexism, inclusive of inventing new ways of talking about and performing our selfhood. (Gérardin-Laverge, 2018) The utility of Wittgenstein’s work is thus twofold: It helps us, on the one hand, to clarify the particular epistemologies and philosophical methodologies employed by feminist theory; and, on the other, to better grasp political problems tied to our public discourses, discrete acts of speech, and the gendered aspects of our language. It accomplishes this in part by giving us the latitude to be more attentive to lived, embodied experiences of linguistic practice (ex., the tone of voice we use, the rhythm of our speech, our body language, etc.).

The aim of this event is to expand this inquiry while highlighting the Franco-Norwegian exchange on the importance of Wittgenstein’s thought for feminism. In France and Norway, Wittgenstein’s philosophy is used not only to reflect upon feminist methodologies and feminist epistemology, but also to investigate the intersections between language and ideology — their co-construction, as well as language’s subversions, reversals, and refusals of ideology — using a contextualized approach. We will attend to the plurality of feminist readings of Wittgenstein’s later work, their utility to feminist theory and practice, and the tensions that may arise between these and other post-structuralist (Butler 1990, 1997) or materialist approaches (Greco 2018; Marignier 2020) to discourse.

This is a two-part event.
The conference will focus on the following:
1) First, feminist reappropriations of Wittgenstein’s work within moral philosophy and feminist
ethics; how these might relate to the distinction between ethics and politics; and the importance of Wittgenstein’s philosophy as a resource for feminist epistemology.

2) Second, the ways in which Wittgenstein’s philosophy might help us to clarify the ideological (sexist) dimensions of our language; feminist subversions of such language; and linguistic inventions and interventions that undermine or outright undo the relationship between gender and language. This includes everyday dimensions of linguistic practice such as speaking out or being forced to remain silent; the rhythm and tone of one’s voice; the body language attendant upon one’s speech, etc.
3) Third, points of agreement, tension, and revision between these and other approaches to the philosophy of language, such as linguistic phenomenology, post-structuralism, and materialist analyses of discourse. We ask, Is a Wittgensteinian attention to linguistic practice compatible with a conception of language as an ideologically-constructed system of discourse?
Workshops will involve close discussion of pre-circulated papers in small groups, each featuring one of our keynotes. We particularly welcome submissions that touch upon the themes listed for the conference. The Bergen Network for Women in Philosophy has hosted two such workshops in the past — please see this website for more information.

We invite submissions from women and members of all other marginalized gender identities. To apply for the conference, please fill out this form. To apply for the workshops, please fill out this form. For the workshops, we ask that you currently be enrolled in a graduate program (masters or doctorate) or have completed a graduate degree within the past year. This is not a requirement for the conference. You may apply to both the conference and the workshops, but if you do so, we ask that you submit two separate, distinct papers. Papers submitted to the workshops may be works in progress. All submissions must be in English. There is no registration fee.

Applications for both the conference and workshops are due by December 1st, 2020. All successful applicants to the workshops should be ready to submit full papers by February 1st, 2021. There is no such requirement for successful conference applicants. Questions and submissions for the conference should be directed to Mickaëlle Provost () and Jasmin Trächtler (). Questions about the workshops should be directed to Carlota Salvador Megias ().


Two-day International Webinar on “DETERMINACY AND INDETERMINACY IN MEANING: FROM WITTGENSTEIN’S PERSPECTIVES” organized by the Department of Philosophy, University of Gour Banga on 13th & 14th OCTOBER, 2020 [7 pm (IST), 2:30 pm UK Time onwards].
We are extremely delighted to have Professor Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, President of the British Wittgenstein Society as one of the speakers of the webinar. I am sorry to convey about this event so late as our university is having the terminal and supplementary Postgraduate and Undergraduate examinations through online modes, and we are extremely engaged in the process. As a member of the BWS, it is my pleasure to invite you and other members of the society and any interested scholar to this webinar. In case you fail to join at the Google Meet, YouTube links are also provided here. Even if the interested persons are not able to join, we will record the programme and later on will send the YouTube link. The poster and the schedule of the event are attached herewith. WIsh you good health and prosperity.
With warm regards,
Purbayan JhaEmail: CoordinatorDepartment of PhilosophyUniversity of Gour BangaMalda, West Bengal, India, 732103
Google Meet link for Day 1 (13 Oct.)
Google Meet link for Day 2 (14 Oct.)
YouTube link for Day 1 (13 Oct.)
YouTube link for Day 2 (14 Oct.)

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein


Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein publishes new and classic works on Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinian philosophy. This book series aims to bring Wittgenstein's thought into the mainstream by highlighting its relevance to 21st century concerns. Titles include original monographs, themed edited volumes, forgotten classics, biographical works and books intended to introduce Wittgenstein to the general public. The series is published in association with the British Wittgenstein Society. 

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein sets out to put in place whatever measures may emerge as necessary in order to carry out the editorial selection process purely on merit and to counter bias on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics protected by law. These measures include subscribing to the British Philosophical Association/Society for Women in Philosophy (UK) Good Practice Scheme. 

Series Editor 
Constantine Sandis – University of Hertfordshire, UK 

Editorial Board 
Hanne K. Appelqvist – University of Turku, Finland 
Maria Balaska – University of Hertfordshire, UK 
Adrian Brockless – British Wittgenstein Society, UK 
Bill Child – University College, University of Oxford, UK 
David Cockburn – Welsh Philosophical Society, UK 
Juliet Floyd – Boston University, USA 
Hans-Johann Glock – University of Zurich, Switzerland 
Ian Ground – British Wittgenstein Society, UK 
Garry Hagberg – Bard College, USA 
Richard H. Harper – University of Lancaster, UK 
Daniel Hutto – University of Wollongong, Australia 
Edward Kanterian – Kent University, UK 
James C. Klagge – Virginia Tech, USA 
Oskari Kuusela – University of East Anglia, UK 
Sandra Laugier – University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France 
Mathieu Marion – University of Quebec, Canada 
Ray Monk – University of Southampton, UK 
Daniele Moyal-Sharrock – University of Hertfordshire, UK 
Stephen Mulhall – New College, University of Oxford, UK 
Alois Pichler – University of Bergen, Norway 
John Preston – University of Reading, UK 
Duncan Pritchard – University of California, Irvine, USA 
Genia Schonbaumsfeld – University of Southampton, UK 
Joachim Schulte – University of Zurich, Switzerland 
Severin Schroeder – University of Reading, UK 
Paul Standish – UCL Institute of Education, UK 
Chon Tejedor – University of Valencia, Spain 
Dawn Wilson – University of Hull, UK 
Rachael Wiseman – University of Liverpool, UK 

We welcome submissions of proposals for challenging and original works from emerging and established scholars that meet the criteria of our series. We make prompt editorial decisions. Our titles are published in print and e-book editions and are subject to peer review by recognized authorities in the field. Should you wish to send in a proposal, please contact us at:

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