First published in 1921, Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is one of the most influential—and one of the most obscure—philosophical works of the twentieth century. Duncan Richter’s new translation of and commentary on the Tractatus help the reader understand the text and directs the reader to relevant secondary literature. To avoid imposing any particular interpretation on the text, this translation is as literal as possible while honoring Wittgenstein's wishes about how his words should be rendered in English. For similar reasons, Richter more often quotes than paraphrases the selected secondary sources, which represent a variety of opinions on what Wittgenstein meant. This book also includes an introduction by Richter and a bibliography. Like the Tractatus itself, this is not a textbook but a version of the text designed for those who want to read and understand it for themselves.
Duncan Richter is author of Historical Dictionary of Wittgenstein's Philosophy, Anscombe's Moral Philosophy, Why Be Good?, Wittgenstein at His Word, and Ethics After Anscombe.
About the Author
"A unique kind of guide. It will be greatly helpful to students and others trying to understand one of the most significant and most difficult philosophical works of the twentieth century. I only wish a book like Richter's had been available when I first tried to read the Tractatus."
"Richter has done the world of Wittgenstein studies a real service. His new edition of the Tractatus will no doubt be an invaluable resource not just to students, but to their teachers as well. Besides providing a judicious and transparent new translation, Richter has assembled a wealth of signposts to prominent discussions and controversies in the secondary literature on this vexingly fascinating little book. I look forward to having my own copy and keeping it close by."
"Professor Richter's annotated edition of the Tractatus contains a new translation and an expertly curated selection from over 60 years of secondary literature interpreting and assessing Wittgenstein's seminal work. It will be an asset to bewildered students and scholars alike."
"Richter's new translation and innovative commentary offers both students and experienced readers of the Tractatus a new way of engaging with this difficult text. Unlike almost all other introductions, which defend one leading interpretation and attack the others, he draws on many of the best previous interpretations of each passage in the text. By modeling how to engage with Tractatus interpretation, Richter's book helps its readers to think for themselves about the Tractatus."