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Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001
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Lucidly and attractively written. (Heythrop Journal)
Anyone wanting to come to grips with the later Wittgenstein's views on philosophy, his beliefs about the nature of thought and language, and his many unignorable (if sometimes muddled and often muddling) ideas in the philosophy of the mind could do no better than start here. (Guardian)
[Grayling] is to be congratulated on the success of his enterprise in a book which is a model of expository elgance ... an admirably clear and concise introduction (Philosophical Books)
About the Author
A. C. Grayling is Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Sumernumary Fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford. He is the author of An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, the Refutation of Scepticism, and Berkeley: The central arguments, and editor of Philosophy: A guide through the subject and Philosophy 2: Further through the subject.
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Top Customer Reviews
These criticisms are not cogent.Read more ›
Overall, a very good job, Mr Grayling!
But, the assessment and comments on Wittgenstein's work seem at times like caricature (I will concede that Grayling is probably simplifying considerably more nuanced, sophisticated arguments so it may just seem that way).
His criticisms actually succeeded in making me more interested in Wittgenstein - what Grayling often highlighted as a flaw, I felt properly (or at least better) understood could be a significant strength.
The book purports to be written for a reader with no prior knowledge of philosophy. I'm a little doubtful about how readable the book would be for a non philosopher, in particular some of the arguments around his later philosopher required a couple of readings to become clear. I have a feeling this is a general problem with the VSI series. Because they're set out entirely as prose it can be quite easy to get swept along and only realise you didn't grasp something important a few pages too late.
Nonetheless it gives you what it claims, a short introduction and perhaps an easing into the subject at hand.
The way I would put it, is that Grayling's evaluation of Wittgenstein --- is the kind of stuff that gives academic philosophers (indeed, academics generally) a bad name.
For the 'favourable' reviewer, the book's value overall is redeemed by the fact that the first few chapters give a straightforward and clear account of Wittgenstein's life and, to some extent, work. But in the end, I think that you probably don't really need to buy that -- when Ray Monk's 'How to read Wittgenstein' is available at about the same price. It's not in a Kindle format, but the slim paperback is about the same size and weight as a Kindle; no contest!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
written with amazing clarity. his ultimate view is that wittgenstein is less important in philosophy than frege and russell. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Grayling always writes clearly and this book is no exception.Published 21 months ago by John Saunders
A C Grayling is a master of his subject and subjects Wittgenstein to a rigorous analysis. Being able to have this book read is a double pleasure too, however the reading voice,... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Zenouf the Birdcatcher