Unlike most books on Wittgenstein, Wittgenstein on Mind and Language begins from the initial articulation of his thoughts in his first drafts, conversations, and lectures, and attends closely to the process of revision that led to the Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations. This introductory chapter provides information about the nature of the Wittgenstein papers, summarizes the rationale for reading his work in this way, and outlines the reading of the development of Wittgenstein’s philosophy that this approach yields. This discussion on the development of Wittgenstein’s thought emphasizes the role of his changing conception of the nature of experience and its relationship to the world, the closely related problem of the relationship between ordinary language and its analysis, his later conception of the role of analogies in generating — and dissolving — philosophical problems, the parallels with psychoanalysis, and the variety of philosophical methods employed in his later philosophical writing. There is also an overview of a central theme of the book as a whole: the contrast Wittgenstein drew between “ordinary” and “philosophical” ways of looking at things when he wrote the Tractatus, and how that contrast was transformed in his subsequent writing, focusing on his contrast between “primary” and “secondary” worlds and his notion of a “phenomenological language”.
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