Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus

1st Edition

By Michael Morris


408 pages

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Written by a leading expert, this is the ideal guide to the only book Wittgenstein published during his lifetime, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Michael Morris makes sense of Wittgenstein’s brief but often cryptic text, highlighting its key themes. He introduces and analyzes:

  • Wittgenstein’s life and the background to the Tractatus
  • the ideas and text of the Tractatus
  • the continuing importance of Wittgenstein's work to philosophy today,

Wittgenstein is the most important twentieth-century philosopher in the English speaking world. This book will be essential reading for all students of philosophy of language and metaphysics.


'This is an excellent book: it provides the clear and direct exposition that students need, at the same time as conveying a sense of the depth, the importance, and the interest of Wittgenstein's text. Morris sheds new light on some of the most important issues for interpreting the Tractatus, and his treatment of them is clearly informed by a deep fascination with Wittgenstein's thought that will carry first-time students on to further work as well as appealing to more experienced readers.' - Peter Sullivan, University of Stirling, UK

‘… I think this is one of the best books about the Tractatus that I have read. …It is suffused with a sort of sceptical enthusiasm for the Tractatus which seems to me to be just the right attitude to encourage in students coming to this frustratingly fascinating work for the first time. I recommend it.’ – Michael Potter, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The nature of the world 2. The legacy of Frege and Russell 3. The general theory of representation 4. Sentences as models 5. Logic and compound sentences 6. Solipsism, idealism and realism 7. Metaphysics, ethics and the limits of philosophy Appendix: The substance argument Bibliography

About the Author

Michael Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex.

About the Series

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks painlessly introduce students to the classic works of philosophy. Each GuideBook considers a major philosopher and a key area of their philosophy by focusing upon an important text – situating the philosopher and the work in a historical context, considering the text in question and assessing the philosopher’s contribution to contemporary thought.

Edited by Tim Crane, University of Cambridge and Jonathan Wolff, University College London

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