Wittgenstein returned to Cambridge in January 1929. The earliest manuscripts of that period which we possess, MS 105, date from that month, opening on a few personal remarks, including a comment on his conversations with Ramsey, followed by remarks where we see Wittgenstein exploring new ideas about topics not covered in the Tractatus, such as the nature of irrational numbers or the contrast between a physical and phenomenological description of visual space. Whence these new topics and ideas? It is, exegetically speaking, natural to look for an answer in the prehistory of MS 105. Alas, any earlier manuscript, if any, must be assumed either destroyed or lost. An obvious starting point is Brouwer’s lectures in Vienna in March 1928, ‘Mathematik, Wissenschaft und Sprache’ on the 10th (Brouwer 1929A) and ‘Die Struktur des Kontinuums’ on the 14th (Brouwer 1930A)2. It appears that Wittgenstein only attended the first one, but it was reported by a witness, Herbert Feigl, that it spurred him into coming back to philosophy. According to Feigl: When the Dutch mathematician Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer was scheduled to lecture on intuitionism in mathematics in Vienna, Waismann and I managed to coax Wittgenstein, after much resistance, to join us in attending the lecture. When, afterwards, Wittgenstein went to a café with us, a great event took place. Suddenly and very volubly Wittgenstein began talking philosophy—at great length. Perhaps this was the turning point, for ever since that time, 1929, when he moved to Cambridge University Wittgenstein was a philosopher again. (Feigl 1981, p.64)


Causal Sequence Theoretical Entity Elementary Proposition Perceptual World Early Manuscript 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag AG 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathieu Marion
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de PhilosophieUniversité du Québec à MontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations