Wittgenstein's Nachlass

On his death in 1951, the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein left behind a significant volume of some 20,000 pages which were written between 1913 and 1951. This Nachlass contains Wittgenstein's unpublished philosophical notebooks, manuscripts, typescripts and dictations. At the time of Wittgenstein's death this body of work was largely unknown. In his will Wittgenstein appointed three literary heirs - Rush Rhees, Elizabeth Anscombe and Georg Henrik von Wright - to publish from the Nachlass as they thought fit. This leads to fascinating questions about the content of Wittgenstein's philosophy and how its perception was affected by the literary heirs' editorial work in bringing the content to a wider public through publication such as Philosophical Investigations (1953) or Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (1956). As the practice of bringing the Nachlass to modern readers continues through digital editing, the deep issues about the relation between the meaning of philosophical writings and their interpretation plays out in more complex formats, for example, via interactive digital media. This page links to WAB's activities and projects on making Wittgenstein's Nachlass better available and researchable.

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