Thinking in Spaces: A Characteristic of Wittgensteinian Philosophy

  • Pascal ZambitoEmail author
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)


Wittgenstein’s philosophy is permeated by spatial imagery. This is true not only of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with its prominent “logical space”, but also in his so-called middle-period, especially in the time from 1929 to 1933, one of the most productive episodes of his life: in this period he created ten manuscript volumes (MSS105–114) which form the backbone of much of his later philosophy. Later writings consist to a large extent in revisions of these remarks, leading to new directions the closer they get towards the Philosophical Investigations. One point where the “late” departs from the “middle” Wittgenstein is the apparent disappearance of the spatial expressions that were so conspicuous in the early 30s. What I would like to suggest in this chapter is not to neglect the methodical role of this imagery in Wittgenstein’s thinking and instead to take it as a central characteristic of his philosophy. What is hinted at with the usage of “space” and “geometry” in the early and middle period survives in the later writings where it appears under different names, but with largely similar functions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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