Voices to be heard
nterpretations of Wittgenstein’s work notoriously fuel debate and controversy. This holds true not only with respect to its main messages, but also to questions concerning its unity and purpose. Tradition has it that his intellectual career can best be understood if carved in twain; that we can get a purchase on his thinking by focusing on and contrasting his, ‘two diametrically opposed philosophical masterpieces, the Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus (1921) and the Philosophical Investigations (1953)’ (Hacker 2001, 1). This is allegedly justiﬁed by the supposition that these provide us with two, distinctive, ‘powerful complete world-pictures’ (Hacker 2001, p. viii). Others object; holding that this simple division fails to take account of all the major breaks. They claim that, minimally, we ought to recognize at least three major moments in the progression of Wittgenstein’s thought, taking stock of a ﬁnal period in which On Certainty dominates. Still others reject the idea that the best interpretative results will come from regarding the development of his thinking in the stark terms of involving ‘complete’ changes of mind at all. On the contrary, they argue that, that we will better understand his works if we emphasize their methodological continuity.
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