Author: BWS Vice-President (page 2 of 22)

The collected volume WITTGENSTEIN'S PHILOSOPHY IN 1929, published by Routledge in 2023, is now available for pre-order.

The book explores the impact of manuscript remarks during the year 1929 on the development of Wittgenstein’s thought. Although its intention is to put the focus specifically on the manuscripts, the book is not purely exegetical. The contributors generate important new insights for understanding Wittgenstein’s philosophy and his place in the history of analytic philosophy.

Wittgenstein’s writings from the years 1929-1930 are valuable, not simply because they marked Wittgenstein’s return to academic philosophy after a seven-year absence, but because these works indicate several changes in his philosophical thinking. The chapters in this volume clarify the significance of Wittgenstein’s return to philosophy in 1929. In Part 1, the contributors address different issues in the philosophy of mathematics, e.g. Wittgenstein's understanding of certain aspects of intuitionism and his commitment to verificationism, as well as his idea of "a new system". Part 2 examines Wittgenstein's philosophical development and his understanding of philosophical method. Here the contributors examine particular problems Wittgenstein dealt with in 1929, e.g. the colour-exclusion problem, and the use of thought experiments as well as his relationship to Frank Ramsey and philosophical pragmatism. Part 3 features essays on phenomenological language. These chapters address the role of spatial analogies and the structure of visual space. Finally, Part 4 includes one chapter on Wittgenstein’s few manuscript remarks about ethics and religion and relates it to his Lecture on Ethics.

Wittgenstein’s Philosophy in 1929 will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students working on Wittgenstein and the history of analytic philosophy.


Introduction: Wittgenstein in 1929 
Andrew Lugg

PART I: Mathematics and Thinking the New

1. Wittgenstein’s Struggle with Intuitionism 
Mathieu Marion and Mitsuhiro Okada

2. The Origins of Wittgenstein’s Verificationism 
Severin Schroeder

3. Searching in Space vs. Groping in the Dark: Wittgenstein on Novelty and Imagination in 1929-30 
Pascal Zambito

PART 2: Method and Development

4. The Color-Exclusion Problem and the Development of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Logic 
Oskari Kuusela

5. What Would It Look Like? Wittgenstein’s Radical Thought Experiments 
Mauro Luiz Engelmann

6. Phenomenological Language: "not possible" or "not necessary"? 
Florian Franken Figueiredo

7. Hypotheses as Expectations: Ramsey and Wittgenstein 1929 
Cheryl Misak

PART 3: Phenomenology and Visual Space

8. Simplicity in Wittgenstein’s 1929 Manuscripts 
Michael Hymers

9. Temptations of Purity: Phenomenological Language and Immediate Experience 
Mihai Ometiță

10. Speaking of the Given: The Structure of Visual Space and the Limits of Language 
Jasmin Trächtler

PART 4: Ethics

11. The Good, the Divine, and the Supernatural 
Duncan Richter 

More information on

Joint BWS/BRS Event

Russelliana: 17th September @ 1pm EST/6pm UK

Register at this page for the next Russelliana, a free and online event joint with the British Wittgenstein Society! Time is to be confirmed). This is a panel discussion of Russell and Wittgenstein from 1913 onward, with speakers Jose Zalabardo and James Connelly. Below are the speaker’s abstracts and a description of the event’s theme:

Considered individually, each of Russell and Wittgenstein rank among the twentieth century’s most important and influential thinkers. However, they were also at times both close collaborators, as well as insightful critics of one another’s work. Through both collaboration and criticism, each profoundly influenced the other’s philosophical development. This panel will explore these influences over the period from 1913, when Russell composed and then ultimately abandoned his Theory of Knowledge manuscript in part in response to Wittgenstein’s criticisms, to 1927, when a second edition of Principia Mathematica was published, in which Russell attempted to incorporate several of Wittgenstein’s key logical proposals. Over the intervening years, Wittgenstein wrote and then published the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), which was both deeply influenced by Russell’s philosophical ideas, but also impacted Russell’s thinking significantly as well, as evidenced in Principia Mathematica’s second edition.   


Jose Zalabardo (University College London)  

Tractarian ideas in Russell’s Theory of Knowledge manuscript  

I plan to discuss some passages of Russell’s manuscript in which some central ideas of the Tractatus appear as targets, including the Tractarian accounts of expressions and of logical form and, time permitting, the picture theory.

James Connelly (Trent University)  

Russell, Wittgenstein, and the Second Edition of Principia Mathematica  

I plan to critically exposit and assess Russell’s implementation of Wittgenstein’s ideas within the second edition of PM. I will argue that while Russell understood Wittgenstein’s proposals, he did not implement them in ways that strictly cohere with Wittgenstein’s intentions, because he did not find the associated ideas plausible enough. Instead, Russell attempted to revise and reconstruct Wittgenstein’s ideas as charitably and fruitfully as possible, but found they were not up to the task of providing a foundation for mathematics of the sort envisioned in PM.

Register online to get the Zoom link. Questions or concerns may be raised at this link.

CFP: Royal Institute of Philosophy Graduate Conference: Wittgenstein and the Idea of a Social Science

CFP: Royal Institute of Philosophy Graduate Conference: Wittgenstein and the Idea of a Social Science

Conference Venue:

Durham University


Michael Wee (Durham University); Ruby Main (Durham University)


On 11-12 November 2022, Durham University will host a conference sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy on ‘Wittgenstein and the Idea of a Social Science’. Abstract submissions are welcome from researchers of all levels from disciplines relating to philosophy and/or social science, and are especially encouraged from graduate students and early-career researchers.

We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers:

·    Nigel Pleasants (Exeter)

·    Rachael Wiseman (Liverpool)

·    Arif Ahmed (Cambridge)

This conference will explore Wittgensteinian perspectives on the philosophy of social science, in order to promote further dialogue between philosophy and the social sciences, and to build on the legacy of Peter Winch and his book The Idea of a Social Science. Key questions that conference papers are invited to address include (but are not limited to):

·    What are the philosophical presuppositions of social science, in its different forms, as it is practised today? Does social science depend on externalist conceptions of human relations, e.g. an atomistic view of human relations, or a form of reductionism such as behaviourism?

·    Should social science make a sharper distinction between causes of human behaviour and reasons for acting? What are the implications of this distinction for areas of study such as nudge theory and implicit bias? If willing is not, as Wittgenstein suggests, a kind of causality, does this limit the validity of social scientific studies of causes in behavioural patterns?

·    How might Wittgenstein’s rule-following considerations in the ‘Philosophical Investigations’ illuminate the way we ought to study regularities in human behaviour? Is Winch right to apply Wittgenstein’s concept of internal relations to social relations?

·    How do Wittgenstein’s views on community and language use relate to social concepts and recent work in social metaphysics?

·    What role can the description and clarification of psychological concepts play in the social sciences? Does the Wittgensteinian idea that psychological concepts like belief cannot be pinned down to a particular mental state, and can exist in multiple language-games, spell trouble for social scientific methodologies?

·    How does Winch’s critique, or other Wittgensteinian critiques, of social science compare with other well-known philosophical treatments of social science (e.g. Alasdair MacIntyre’s, Charles Taylor’s)? Is there a distinctively Wittgensteinian philosophy of social science?

Abstract submission

Please submit an abstract (max. 300 words) to  by 12 Sep 2022. Presentations will be 30 minutes, plus time for discussion.

Abstracts should be anonymised, but please indicate in the same document if you are a graduate student (at the time of the conference).

Subsidies for UK-based travel and accommodation within Durham will be provided for graduate student speakers. 

In-person presentation of papers and attendance of the conference is highly encouraged for all speakers, but please let us know if you will require an option for online attendance or presenting. 


Registration for the conference is free for both delegates and speakers. To book a place, please email  with your name and affiliations.

PhilEvents page:

Conference website:



14-17 September 2022 / free online event

Call for Registration

Hi all, 

The conference Modernism1922: Celebrating Distinctions honours 1922 as annus mirabilis for modernism, from many different perspectives. It aims to uncover new views on what set the 1922 modernist events apart, but also on how they compare and impacted each other, e.g., with regard to art ideology, aesthetics, philosophy, religion,… Keynote speakers are:

Clare Hutton, Loughborough University: Women and the Making of Ulysses

James C. Klagge, Virginia Tech. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and the Great War

Philomeen Lelieveldt, Netherlands Music Institute Ido Eyl’s visit to the French musical avantgarde

Michael North, UCLA 1922: A Centenary Dismemberment

A detailed schedule can be found on the website To participate in this event please register. To do so, fill out the form here.  Once registered, you’ll receive the links to take part in the webinar in due time. We look forward to your participation in what promises to be a lively event!

Wittgenstein and the concept of ‘Woman’: Perspectives from Ordinary Language Philosophy, Art and History


Wittgenstein and the concept of Woman: Perspectives from Ordinary Language Philosophy, Art and History 23-24 March 2023, Complutense University of Madrid Organized by Dr. Jasmin Trächtler, Dr. Isabel G. Gamero,
Prof. Sandra Laugier and Camille Braune

Under the title “Wittgenstein and the concept of ‘Woman’: Perspectives from Ordinary Language Philosophy, Art and History”, we would like to invite women* philosophers to use Wittgenstein’s philosophy to shed light on the troubled concept of “Woman”, linking conceptual, artistic and historical perspectives. This is the third event in the “Wittgenstein and Women” conference and workshop series, which aims, on the one hand, to make Wittgenstein’s philosophy fruitful for feminist thought and, on the other hand, to support Wittgenstein research by women.

The conference aims to broaden and diversify the scope of Wittgenstein scholarship, to challenge the supposed neutrality of philosophy along with its tendency towards androcentrism, by positioning ourselves from the perspective as woman* Wittgensteinians. Through this positioning, we hope to gain new insights into what it means to be a “woman”. Allowing for the complexity and diversity of investigating the concept of “woman” and taking also into consideration the recent debates in transfeminism, we want to combine (linguistic-) philosophical approaches with historical, artistic or aesthetic perspectives.

The idea of using Wittgenstein’s philosophy for feminist ideas is a development, that began about thirty years ago, and has shown that Wittgenstein’s writings can be a rich resource for feminist philosophy. There is a large body of literature that rethought moral and political philosophy as well as social science coming from and with Wittgenstein, thus preparing the ground for more recentattempts to link Wittgenstein’s philosophy with feminist theory (including, e.g., Diamond 1991, Crary and Read 2000, Mouffe 2000, Scheman and O’Connor 2002, Zerilli 2005, Laugier, Provost and Trächtler 2022, and many more). Among the earliest explicit attempts is Cressida Heyes’ study Line Drawings. Defining Women through Feminist Practice (2000), where she argues with Wittgenstein for an anti-essentialist, more inclusive conception of the category “women”. The question of the drawing of boundaries with respect to categories and species is also discussed in the anthology Re- Reading the Canon. Feminist Interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein edited by Naomi Scheman and Peg O’Connor (2002).

These alternative approaches to the conference theme will be complemented by a workshop with presentations of women graduate students, where they can present their academic or artistic ideas and in-progress work. The workshop will be supervised by Astrid Wagner (CSIC, Madrid). You can read more about the workshop here.

Keynote speakers:
Esa Díaz-León (University of Barcelona)

Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (University of Hertfordshire)

To participate in the conference, please submit abstracts of max. 300 words through this form by 15 August 2022. To participate in the workshops, please submit through this form by 15 AugustWe kindly ask you to respect our format of woman* speakers and to desist from submitting if you exclusively identify yourself as male.

In case you have any questions, please ask Isabel G. Gamero (), Jasmin Trächtler () or Camille Braune (- Read more on our series “Wittgenstein and Woman”.

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Detailed Conference Outline

We would like to discuss questions raised by this reflection on Wittgenstein and the concept of ‘Woman’ by bringing together perspectives from Ordinary Language Philosophy, Art and History.

Ordinary Language Philosophy

In the Blue Book, Ludwig Wittgenstein questions our “craving for generality”, which he defines as “the tendency to look for something in common to all the entities which we commonly subsume under a general term” (BB: 17). Starting from this postulation, ordinary language philosophy is defined as particular attention to the uses and practices of ordinary life, and to the way in which these uses and practices are expressed, and recomposed, in and by language.

Feminist theories have shown that ordinary language philosophy is fruitful for a new conception of ethics which marks “the necessity of bringing women’s voices into ordinary human conversation” (Laugier 2022). If from a Wittgensteinian perspective, we consider the concept of “woman” in its various uses, we would like to observe what they include and exclude, without necessarily succumbing to the idea that the term is essentially exclusive. We would like to ask again the question formulated by Toril Moi in 1999: What is a woman? by considering the perspectives that this question raises today, especially in trans-, inter- and non-binary gender debates.


To answer the question what it means to be a “woman”, we want to open up intersections between “purely philosophical” and artistic studies, following Stanley Cavell’s work. In Contesting Tears, he explores the figure of the unknown woman in classic Hollywood cinema. His work on the struggles and difficulties of women in Shakespeare’s tragedies serves him to review the philosophical problem of scepticism. How a woman might be known, listened or believed is one of the key questions in Cavell’s work that connects, moreover, with current issues in philosophy such as epistemic justice, which we do not want to leave out of this conference.

In a similar vein and with an interdisciplinary intention, we would like to explore artistic works that were inspired by Wittgenstein, such as Thomas Bernhard’s novels, Derek Jarman’s films or Luis Felipe Noé’s paintings; and ask if female artists have been inspired by this philosopher and how their work can contribute to answering our questions.


By opening the conference theme to a historical perspective, we would like to focus in particular on the philosophical positions, situations, and perspectives of the women who lived and worked in Wittgenstein’s historical and philosophical environment. Probably best known here, is the so-called Oxford Quartet, consisting of Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch, who rebelled against a philosophy that was abstract, dominated by men, and detached from life. Other women philosophers, now largely marginalized, have been directly or indirectly influenced by Wittgenstein’s philosophy and made original contributions to analytic philosophy. These include the Cambridge philosophers Susan Stebbing, Alice Ambrose, Margaret Masterman and Helen Knight, the latter three of whom were also among the select group of students to whom Wittgenstein dictated his Blue Book and who wrote on logic, philosophy of language and aesthetics. Also to be mentioned is Susanne K. Langer, an American philosopher influenced by Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, who developed a comprehensive conception of logic as a study of symbols, while also addressing mythical female figures as well as specifically feminine symbols. By including these early analytic women philosophers, we would like to open the view for a philosophizing that moves beyond mainstream analytic philosophy.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: ’Saying and Showing - Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in the light of new interpretations’

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: ’Saying and Showing - Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in the light of new interpretations’

Institution: eikones - Center for the Theory and History of the Image, University of Basel 
Workshop Dates: 24 - 26 October 2022 
Deadline of Abstract Submission: 15 June 2022 
Format: In-person Workshop. The workshop addresses especially researchers in the early stages of their academic career (6-7 slots for pre-doc presentations and 3-4 slots for post-doc presentations). 
Key-Note Lecture: Jean-Philippe Narboux (Bordeaux)


Workshop description
The sentences of our language possess meaning in that they say something. But they have significance also in a quite different manner: they show something. The distinction between saying and showing is known as one of the most influential doctrines of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus logico-philosophicus. It has found an echo beyond the boundaries of philosophy in a variety of disciplines, such as art history, literature, and image theory.

The distinction between saying and showing has often been understood to be closely connected to the declared aim of the Tractatus to draw a limit of what can be said. In this view the contrast of saying and showing aims at the limitation of the sayable. What can only be shown lies beyond the limits of language.

According to this widespread interpretation the distinction of saying and showing leads immediately to the debate regarding sense and non-sense. The question what non-sense might be has dominated the reception of the Tractatus over the last decades and let the say-show-distinction fade into the background of interest.

More recent interpretations, however, have emphasized the importance of this distinction as a distinction in its own right. The workshop is dedicated to questions which have been raised by the renewed interest in Wittgenstein’s thoughts on Saying and Showing and aims to include a variety of perspectives. To mention just a selection of topics the workshop is going to explore: Is it necessary to understand the distinction between saying and showing in a contrasting way? Does what shows itself lie beyond the limits of what can be said? Or is “showing” a characterization of the specific way language itself is present to us? Does the concept of the phenomenon, as that “which shows itself”, allow for an elucidation of Wittgenstein’s idea of showing? Or does “Showing” hint at a yet unexplored concept of self-identification of symbolic expressions that leaves the philosophical paradigm of reflexion behind?

Besides the results of recent research on these questions, the philosophical-historical findings of ancestors of the saying-showing-distinction will be considered, as well as investigations of its possible legacy in Wittgenstein’s later work. Contributions are welcome which build bridges to other contemporaneous currents of Wittgenstein’s work, such as the phenomenological tradition, as well as to other disciplines, like symbolic theory and picture theory. In a joint enterprise we would like to address, among others, the following issues:

·       Proposition and picture. Wittgenstein holds in the Tractatus that a proposition is a logical picture. What does the pictoriality of propositions amount to in the context of the saying-showing-distinction? Does “Showing” signify a common ontology of a variety of symbolic expressions, pictorial as well as verbal?

·       Expression and reception. If Saying and Showing stand in for two fundamental forms of verbal expression, do they correspond to two fundamentally different forms of understanding?

·       Oratio obliqua and oratio recta. An ongoing cause of philosophical perplexity is the ability of language to take itself as its topic. An example for that is the debate on the appropriate analysis of indirect discourse. Can the saying-showing distinction bring a new aspect into this debate? How does it relate to the widespread distinction of “mention” and “use”?

·       Affirmation and negation. There are passages in the Tractatus which seem to imply an entanglement of the distinction between saying and showing, on the one hand, and Frege’s influential distinction of force and content, on the other. Is the saying-showing-distinction a variation of Frege’s principle, or is it its most fundamental revision?

Abstracts should be maximum 500 words (English or German) and sent to Joachim Rautenberg () by 15 June 2022.
For invited speakers, cost for travel and accommodation can be reimbursed up to a certain amount.

For further information please visit the website of the workshop.

Online talk by Sorin Bangu (University of Bergen): "Wittgenstein on irrationals" (joint work with Jeffrey Schatz)

Online talk by Sorin Bangu (University of Bergen): "Wittgenstein on irrationals" (joint work with Jeffrey Schatz)

June 30, at 11 am CEST, IHPST, Paris, France

This talk has two goals. First, we reconstruct Wittgenstein's views on what counts as a legitimate irrational -- since, as he repeatedly suggests, and in agreement with mathematicians such as Emile Borel, not just every infinite string of digits qualifies as one. Once his conception ('full-blooded intensionalism') is sketched out, and its specificity is highlighted by comparing it with two other cognate views ('extensionalism' and 'quasi-intensionalism'), our second objective is to examine how his type of intensionalism impacts his attitude towards Cantor's theorem. In this regard, the more general claim we argue for is that, despite appearances to the contrary, Wittgenstein was not a revisionist about set-theoretical practice. 

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 989 7380 8434
Passcode: 178700

Organizers: Marianna Antonutti and Vincent Ardourel

IHPST, Paris, France