Welcome to my Wittgenstein pages!
This is the start of a much
better edition of + comments on the Tractatus than there was and the
new Wittgenstein-section is being overhauled since and is not finished
The left pane links to the
following parts of the Tractatus
Russell's intro, to follow
Link to my BR-pages
Title page ............... Titlepage Tractatus + dedication + motto
Foreword b............... Wittgenstein's foreword
Wittgenstein To follow
Contents ............... Links to the main theses in Comments seriess
Logico-Philosophicus Full text without comments, with links, 1 file.
If you want the text of the Tractatus, you want the last link. It's
numbers link to my comments to the theses with those numbers, but these
you thus avoid. By contrast
Start of text with notes
is Tractatus 1 with my
comments, from which you can step through the whole Tractatus per
thesis + my comments, with links to the whole text.
A feature of my comments is
that it has many links to my Philosophical
Dictionary, which should have the merit of clarifying at least
my own terminology as well as I can.
At present only the thesis 1.. are done mostly, but most of the rest is
in place and mostly needs formatting and linking.
The arrow-links do this
Tractatus full text
All theses + all comments in a section (1 .. 7)
More to follow later, as the
update is a work in progress.
And today, 7-7-2013, I
seem to have finished my Wittgenstein criticism. (I don't like
It took me a mere 45 years,
though indeed I have worked on it only sporadically and rarely. The
reasons for that are mostly Wittgenstein's very quaint style of
writing in the Tractatus, plus my conviction that he was in most ways
As it is, I am older now than Wittgenstein ever got to be, and have
been ill the last 35 years, with M.E. (Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis), a disease which also makes it very unlikely,
and in my case certain, that one gets help of any kind, a few special
persons excepted, who cannot do much. (And yes: it is a real, painful,
seriously invalidating disease, about which alas there is not yet a
good medical explanation.)
As to my own adventures with
M.E. in Academia: in spite of the facts that I have a very good
philosophical B.A. and a truly excellent psychological M.A. I also got no
help whatsoever to get a promotion, except minimalized dole, that was
the one thing that could not be refused to me.
And I was thrown from the
faculty of philosophy of the University of Amsterdam, briefly before
taking my M.A. there, for the
crime of asking questions, and was the only person thus
honoured in the Netherlands since 1945.
But OK... at long last
I have a finished first version of my criticism of Wittgenstein's
Tractatus - and the best way to summarize my criticism is that the
Tractatus is mostly nonsense, and the reason this is not often seen is
that it simply is a very obscurely written book, that does require
rather a lot of knowledge of logic and philosophy of science in one to
to understand it.
Also, not everything in it is
nonsense, though the things that are not seem to have been mostly said
earlier by others, whom Wittgenstein did not mention, such as Bolzano.
(Those who want to know more, I refer to Wittgenstein’s Ph.D Viva—
A Re-Creation by
Laurence Goldstein, that has the merit of being also rather funny, at
least if you have an interest.)
What more to say? I
make a few points.
Finally, the text you have
now of the Tractatus plus my comments takes on my site around 5 MB. It
is fairly well organized, with each thesis its own file, with my
comments under it.
- This will be of
interest to only a few, and of these few most will regard me as
mistaken. This can't be helped, and all I can reply is that I have done
- Also, I am a serious
philosopher, with a very large amount of relevant knowledge of logic
and philosophy of science and of classic philosophy (meaning here:
the 20th C).
- The reason you don't
know me is that I have been kicked from the University of Amsterdam,
while I was ill, and I did not see any reason to try to make it in
philosophy after that, as long as I was ill, which has been the case
- Nevertheless, I did
write a great amount of philosophy: If you check out my list of philosophers
you'll find that I have commented over 20 philosophical books, usually
with comments that are as long as the books. Most of these comments are
in English, and some - such as those on Leibniz - have been lauded.
(See also Maarten Maartensz.)
- If I have to place
myself in philosophy, I should say I have learned most from Peirce,
Russell, Ramsey, Broad, Bunge and Zinoviev, and have opposed marxism,
totalitarianism, and postmodernism - and the last three were the
strongly dominant modes in the University of Amsterdam from 1971-1995,
when I was at it.
- Apart from the 20th
Century philosophers I mentioned, I have learned much from Aristotle,
Lucretius, Ockham, Galileo, Hobbes, Hume, Leibniz, Hazlitt,
Schopenhauer, and Boole.
- Each of the men I
mentioned by name were greater or far greater men than Ludwig
Wittgenstein, but then indeed Wittgenstein lived and flourished at a
time that was mostly quite bad for real and serious philosophy.
Since these comments of mine started over 45 years ago, when I was 18,
and since I have worked - sporadically and rarely - some 15 years to
get them done as html, you can be sure I have made some mistakes,
committed some infelicities, and left quite a lot of unclarities.
Then again, at least my text is fairly clear philosophy. If I live long
enough, and my health does not get worse, I probably will go through it
once more, but for the moment I am relieved I have, indeed at long
last, finished this first version of my criticism of the Tractatus