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Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1889–1951), Austrian philosopher whose two chief works, Tractatus Logico-philosophicus (1921) and the posthumous Philosophical Investigations (1953), have profoundly influenced the course of much British and U.S. philosophy. The Tractatus dwells on the logical nature and limits of language, understood as “picturing” reality. The Investigations rejects the assumption in the Tractatus that all representations must share a common logical form and instead relates the meanings of sentences to their uses in particular contexts: Philosophical problems are attributed to misuses of language. Wittgenstein was professor of philosophy at Cambridge University, England (1929–47).

See also: Philosophy.

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