Editing Wittgenstein’s "Notes on Logic", 2 volumes

Michael A.R. Biggs


The first volume is a detailed comparison of the two published forms of Wittgenstein’s "Notes on Logic": the so-called Russell and Costello Versions. It also includes complete transcriptions of the two related typescripts and one manuscript in the collection of The Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University, and a transcription of a photocopy of a related typescript in the collection of The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen, hitherto unpublished in their original form. From these comparisons, the majority of McGuinness’ description of the sequence of the production of the typescripts is confirmed. However, additional source material in the sequence is inferred. On the basis of the proposed identification of the Bergen typescript as the copy made by D. Schwayder, it is concluded that McGuinness was mistaken in asserting that the Costello Version was a rearrangement from this copy. Finally, it is proposed that the von Wright catalogue of Wittgenstein’s Nachlaß is misleading inasmuch as it gives a single reference to a pair of scripts generated at different times. In response, three Nachlaß items are differentiated within the classification for the Russell Version (catalogue item 201a). In support of the argument the monograph is supplemented by a phrase by phrase comparison of the Russell and Costello Versions, a list of phrases which are not common to both, and a detailed comparison of the various published issues including comments on the diagrams.The second volume provides the reader with a typographical representation of each of these four scripts in its entirety and made available in published form for the first time. Examination of these scripts supports the arguments concerning provenance and chronology in the first volume. The reason for the separation of these two intimately related parts is that the second volume is being simultaneously published as an electronic text, in support of the objectives of The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen to provide primary texts in this format. Readers may therefore either avail themselves of the numerous possibilities associated with the electronic medium, or use the typographic presentation of the second volume in traditional book form.


philosophy; editorial philology; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; Nachlass; Russell Bertrand; Nachlass; Costello Harry; dictation; publication; source; concordance; edition; chronology; text; text genesis; variant; Nachlass


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