© 2018

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations

An Attempt at a Critical Rationalist Appraisal


  • Explores Wittgenstein's philosophy throughout his career

  • Written from the viewpoint of critical rationalism

  • Features a friendly and appreciative yet critical tone


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 401)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 1-26
  3. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 27-43
  4. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 45-68
  5. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 69-89
  6. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 91-107
  7. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 109-125
  8. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 127-146
  9. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 147-161
  10. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 163-182
  11. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 183-204
  12. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 205-223
  13. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 225-244
  14. Joseph Agassi
    Pages 245-268
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 269-295

About this book


This book collects 13 papers that explore Wittgenstein's philosophy throughout the different stages of his career. The author writes from the viewpoint of critical rationalism. The tone of his analysis is friendly and appreciative yet critical.

Of these papers, seven are on the background to the philosophy of Wittgenstein. Five papers examine different aspects of it: one on the philosophy of young Wittgenstein, one on his transitional period, and the final three on the philosophy of mature Wittgenstein, chiefly his Philosophical Investigations. The last of these papers, which serves as the concluding chapter, concerns the analytical school of philosophy that grew chiefly under its influence.

Wittgenstein’s posthumous Philosophical Investigations ignores formal languages while retaining the view of metaphysics as meaningless -- declaring that all languages are metaphysics-free. It was very popular in the middle of the twentieth century. Now it is passé. Wittgenstein had hoped to dissolve all philosophical disputes, yet he generated a new kind of dispute. His claim to have improved the philosophy of life is awkward just because he prevented philosophical discussion from the ability to achieve that: he cut the branch on which he was sitting. This, according to the author, is the most serious critique of Wittgenstein.


Rationalist philosophy Wittgenstein Language analysis Wittgenstein Analytic philosophy Wittgenstein Russell versus Wittgenstein Popper versus Wittgenstein Wittgenstein versus his heirs Wittgenstein’s contribution Anti-Metaphysics Wittgenstein Critical rationalism Wittgenstein Ordinary Language Analysis Wittgenstein Wittgenstein Carnap Russell Wittgenstein Frege Wittgenstein

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Bibliographic information