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Category: press article

There is No Theory of Everything

The New York Times has a section called the Stone which features the writing of contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. The series moderator is Simon Critchley who teaches philosophy at The New School for Social Research in New York. September's blog carried an item on Frank Cioffi and Wittgenstein.

Wittgenstein's Jet

Did the future philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, design and build an early jet powered aero-engine, in Manchester, in 1908? This programme tells the story of Wittgenstein's earliest project, and rebuilds his jet. Presenter Cassie Newland is an archaeologist with a passion for engineering. When she meets "shed engineer" Dave Southall they scrutinise Wittgenstein's designs, and try to work out how the aero-engine would have worked.

Arriving in England in 1908, Wittgenstein was a research student in mechanical engineering at Manchester University. After working at a research station in Glossop, doing experimental work with kites, and thinking about designs for a flying machine, he began to focus his attention more on the engines that might power them. Using a combustion chamber, he developed a scheme for an engine powering a propeller assisted by gas discharge nozzles at the end of each blade. But by 1911 Wittgenstein was restless and switched to studying Mathematics at Cambridge. Would his engine have worked, if used in an aircraft? In this programme, we find out.

Wittgenstein, Tolstoy and the Folly of Logical Positivism

Stuart Greenstreet explains how analytical philosophy got into a mess.

This year’s centenary of the First World War coincides with Ludwig Wittgenstein beginning writing his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Not the least astonishing fact about it is that most of it was written between 1914 and 1918 by a brave young soldier fighting at the front line.

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More current than ever

Wittgenstein's philosophy is at odds with the scientism which dominates our times. Ray Monk explains why his thought is still relevant. Published in July 1999 issue of Prospect Magazine.
Full article online on this link

Philosophy and the prelate

The former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams reflects on the ideas of Wittgenstein and the ways in which language works in The Guardian.

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