Chapter 2: The Role of the Language-Game in the Search for Clarity
← 28 | 29 → CHAPTER 2
In the 1945 Preface to Philosophical Investigations (4e), Wittgenstein mentions that until recently, he had given up any thought of publishing his ‘new ideas’ about language but adds that when he reflected about the work on which he had lectured and conducted discussions, he found that it had been misunderstood. ‘This stung my vanity, and I had difficulty in quieting it’, he tells us in the Preface and this motivated him to publish these ‘new ideas’ (in Philosophical Investigations). However, he was also careful to acknowledge his earlier work in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and tells us that four years earlier, when he had re-read the latter, it occurred to him at the time to publish his ‘old ideas’ (in the Tractatus) alongside his new ones (in Philosophical Investigations) so that ‘the latter could be seen in the right light only by contrast with and against the background of my older way of thinking’. He also admits that in 1929 when he began to immerse himself more deeply in philosophy again he recognised ‘grave mistakes in what I had set out in that first book.’
In fact, he never got around to publishing a book which juxtaposed his old and new ideas on philosophy and language. Instead, he wrote Philosophical Investigations in 1945 with a view to publication1 and it is ← 29 | 30 → this text that sets out in detail many of his later views on language and signals the important changes that occurred in his thoughts about its use...
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