Wittgenstein's Later Manuscripts: Some Remarks on Style and Writing


In the first part of this paper I consider the idiosyncratic formulations with which Wittgenstein handles his question "what can be said". In the second part I shall focus on the vivacity of his manuscripts: the procedural dimension, the private struggle, the presence of personality (particularly exemplified in the secret code passages). Thirdly I deal with the conversational and reader oriented dimension of his style. Finally I shall turn to his use of alternative formulations as a technique and to the conspicuous aesthetics of his work. As far as possible I shall illuminate these points in Wittgenstein's own words. The examples I present will show some of the variety and multiplicity to be found in his manuscripts. It is my hope that the reader will feel encouraged to follow up the references and examples.

Wittgenstein's Later Manuscripts: Some Remarks on Style and Writing

Table of contents

    Die Aufgabe der Philosophie ist, das erlösende Wort zu finden. (MS 105, 1929: p. 44)1 2
    The task of philosophy is to find the redeeming word.3

    It is this that Wittgenstein reminds us of – and himself – time and again from his earliest writings onwards. The task of philosophy is to find the saving word, the word that liberates from a philosophical problem. A philosophical problem is nothing but a problem of language – the task of philosophy is therefore to correct the philosophical misuse of language.

    The striking thing is that the solution of these linguistic problems takes place in language itself. Words themselves are the medium of the philosophical inquiry: they create the philosophical problem and also lead to its solution.4 Philosophical inquiry consists therefore in trying out different words and different combinations of them: just as we try different keys or different number combinations to open a lock.5 It is this that Wittgenstein did: he tried out different words in order to find the word, that combination of words which would liberate him. The essential medium for this search was writing as a process and an activity.

    Wittgenstein was a very impatient and sometimes intolerant man. Most of his friends acknowledged that communication with him was difficult and often unsatisfying.6 We cannot doubt that he himself wished and longed for long and fruitful discussions, but he also did everything to complicate any conversation and human contact. Thus Wittgenstein was left to transfer the oral dialogue into solitary writing: there he could work on his own, and wasn't forced to make any compromises. His notebooks and diaries became the platform where the whole theatre of philosophy and life went on. He shared the philosophical dialogue, his thoughts and inner life with the paper. When investigating Wittgenstein's manuscripts one gets the impression that writing became for Wittgenstein an aim in itself. We must see this also in the context of his ideal of serving the spirit which he refers to in his First World War Notebooks7: writing was for him a distinguished way of doing just this.

    Wittgenstein's writing can be seen as the particular medium, the motor, the carrier of his philosophizing and of his philosophical development. We should regard the various aspects of his writing process such as deleting, overwriting, crossing out, slips of the pen, underlining, marking, inserting, varying etc., and his tendency to revise and rewrite as the tools of his work. As such they deserve our careful consideration. Significantly, writing meant for Wittgenstein – and surely not only for him – not just the pinning down of a philosophical thought but rather the causing, carrying and structuring of it, letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence; and it meant, contesting words with words and looking for a possible dialogue.

    In the first part of this paper I consider the idiosyncratic formulations with which Wittgenstein handles his question "what can be said". In the second part I shall focus on the vivacity of his manuscripts: the procedural dimension, the private struggle, the presence of personality (particularly exemplified in the secret code passages). Thirdly I deal with the conversational and reader oriented dimension of his style. Finally I shall turn to his use of alternative formulations as a technique and to the conspicuous aesthetics of his work. As far as possible I shall illuminate these points in Wittgenstein's own words. The examples I present will show some of the variety and multiplicity to be found in his manuscripts. It is my hope that the reader will feel encouraged to follow up the references and examples.

    "All philosophy is a 'critique of language'"8

    Wittgenstein states in a manuscript:

    Ich sam<!>le gleichsam sinnvolle Sätze über Zahnschmerzen. Das ist der charakteristische Vorgang einer grammatischen Untersuchung. (MS 107, 1930: p. 285)
    I am so to say collecting meaningful sentences about tooth-ache. This is the characteristic procedure of a grammatic investigation.

    This quotation throws light on large parts of Wittgenstein's later manuscripts. Wittgenstein wants to collect sentences which make sense – he wants to find out whether certain sentences do make sense. What initiates the philosophical inquiry is a feeling of awriness, a feeling of puzzlement about the use of words. The particular investigation is often opened with an interrogative phrase such as: Can anyone believe it makes sense to say ...? Could one say ...? Can I think of ...? Is it possible to think of ...? What does it mean to say ...? Is it meaningful to suppose ...?

    Significantly Wittgenstein asks many more questions than he answers. But where he does propose answers, either provisional or ultimate, we frequently find phrases which correspond stylistically to the above mentioned questions: You can of course say ... I can say ... It does make sense to say ... One can think of ... One cannot say ... It is meaningless to suppose ... etc.

    These phrases appear repeatedly throughout his texts and remind us of the grammatical nature of the inquiry. One should study all the different aspects and different shades of emphasis used in these phrases, for example: the personal (Ich kann sagen – I can say), the impersonal (Man kann sagen – One can say), the interlocutive (Du könntest sagen – You could say), the indicative (Wir sagenWe say), the subjunctive (Einer könnte sagen – One could/might say), the weak (Ich sollte/soll sagen – I should say), the emphatic (Man muß sagen – One must say).9

    In the following I present a sequence of questions and answers which deal with "what can be said". For this purpose I have selected a sequence from the first 50 pages of MS 107, 1929:

    Hat es nun einen Sinn zu sagen <...>? (p. 5)
    Nein{. D|, d}as darf keinen Sinn haben. (p. 6)
    Denn inwiefern kann man von der Realität sagen <...>? (p. 6)
    Umgekehrt könnte man auch? sagen <...> (p. 7)
    Das sagt man wohl: <...> (p. 8)
    Wenn <...> dann kann ich sagen <...> (p. 9)
    Es kommt mir vor <...> (oder soll ich nur sagen: <...>) (p. 11)
    In diesem Fall kann man nämlich sagen: <...> (p. 12)
    Im Fall von <...> kann man das nicht sagen. (p. 12)
    <...> & es wäre unsinnig zu sagen, <...> (p. 12)
    Hat es einen Sinn zu fragen, <...>? (p. 15)
    Man kann sagen, <...> (p. 19)
    Und man kann weiter sagen, <...> (p. 19)
    Diese Überlegung wäre natür{lic}h unsinnig <...> (p. 20)
    Darauf könnte man sagen: <...> (p. 20)
    Man könnte nun sagen: <...> (p. 23)
    Dann könnte man auch nicht mehr sagen, <...> (p. 23)
    Wenn ich sage: <...>? (p. 24)
    Und wenn wir sagen, <...> (p. 25)
    Wenn {wi}r sagen: <...> (p. 26)
    Wenn ich sagen kann: <...> dann hat es einen Sinn & ist richtig zu sagen <...> (p. 28)
    Ist es hier richtig zu sagen: <...> (p. 28)
    Das würde heißen, daß die Frage <...> unsinnig & also unberechtigt wäre. (p. 28)
    Ist es aber denkbar <...>? (p. 28)
    Und Oder soll ich nun sagen <...>? (p. 29)
    Wenn man aber nicht sagen kann, <...>? (p. 30)
    Man könnte dann sagen, <...> (p. 31)
    Man könnte das↑<arrow pointing to section above> einfacher auch so sagen: <...> (p. 32)
    <...> & ich könnte doch nicht sagen <...> (p. 33)
    Und doch könnte ich – glaube ich – nicht sagen <...> (p. 33)
    Ad<!>erseits könnte ich aber doch nicht sagen: <...> (p. 33)
    Die Frage nach <...> wäre also unsinnig, <...> (p. 33)
    <...> so daß {m}an sagen könnte: <...> (p. 33) Was würde es heißen <...>? (p. 33)
    Man könnte sagen: <...> (p. 35)
    Von <...> zu reden hat einen Sinn <...> (p. 36)
    Ich würde also sagen: <...> (p. 38)
    Man könnte es dann auch ganz naiv so sagen: <...> (p. 39)
    Dann wäre ja der gute Sinn von <...> bewiesen. (p. 39)
    Könnte man etwa so sagen, <...>? (p. 41)
    Kann man sagen: <...> (p. 41)
    Oder kann man sagen: <...> (p. 45)
    Kann man sagen: <...>? (p. 46) Man könnte sagen{: |, } <...> (p. 46)
    Oder man könnte sagen, <...> (p. 46)
    Man könnte also auch so sagen: <...> (p. 47)
    Könnte man nun aber nicht sagen: <...> (p. 47)
    Oder hätte <...> nur dann einen Sinn, <...> (p. 47)
    Man könnte auch sagen: <...> (p. 49)10

    Searching for sense consists in searching for what can be said, since what cannot be said cannot be thought, and this is for the philosopher a comfort:

    Was ich nicht denken darf, kann die Sprache nicht ausdrücken. Das ist unsere Beruhigung. (MS 107, 1929: p. 2)
    What I'm not permitted to think, language cannot express. This is our comfort.

    However, the search for sense cannot avoid passing through stages of nonsense. One could even say that talking nonsense is necessary in order to acquire sense. It is also the case that the criteria of sense are brought into being by means of sentences which themselves do not have sense. This is expressed in the following quotation:

    Es ist oft nicht erlaubt in der Philosophie gleich Sinn zu reden, sondern man muß {oft} zuerst den Unsinn sagen weil man gerade ihn überwinden soll (MS 107, 1930: p. 266)
    One is often not allowed to start straight off with sense, but must often talk nonsense first since it is this which has to be overcome.

    The philosopher sometimes has – in order to teach the right, meaningful use of words – first to use a misleading and not fully sensical expression. This happens, for example, in Eine Philosophische Betrachtung, where Wittgenstein gives a description of how our philosophical problems come into being:

    Ich habe früher mit Absicht den irreführenden Ausdruck gebraucht: "ein voll entwickelter Fall"; denn diese Worte drücken aus, was wir über Fälle, wie die beschriebenen, zu denken geneigt sind: <...> Unser Bild und unsere Ausdrucksweise nehmen wir von einem speziellen Fall her, wenden sie auf nahe und entfernt Verwandtes an; und möchten nun sagen: eigentlich haben wir überall das gleiche. (EPB 1984: p. 234)
    It was on purpose that I used above the misleading expression, "a fully developed case"; for these words express what we are inclined to think about cases such as those described: <...> We derive our picture and our manner of expression from a particular case and apply them to closely and distantly related things; and then we want to say: actually it's all the same.

    Wittgenstein's attempts to make sense, his fumbling along the border between sense and nonsense, his struggle with language itself comes out very clearly in his manuscripts. He makes his struggle visible. All the to and fro, the back and forth, is recorded in the written word. In the next chapter I'll concentrate on this dimension which makes his writings so lively and personal.

    "I don't know my way about"11

    What Wittgenstein wrote was single remarks, exercises, parts (roles) of a dialogue which he later and repeatedly revised and rearranged in the search for a suitable form. Ultimately he was never satisfied, either with the remarks themselves or with their arrangement.12 His writings do not form a system, but rather trace single processes: Wittgenstein did not see it as possible to present final results even if he wanted to, and this was the nature of his enduring struggle, a struggle which he dramatised in a conversational form. What in the interpretation of the Philosophical Investigations is often called the opponent is nothing but the opponent in Wittgenstein himself, which is just as real in him as is the protagonist. With Stanley Cavell we might call two of the voices in Wittgenstein's writings (how many voices are there in Wittgenstein?) "the voice of temptation" (I feel tempted to say ...) and "the voice of correctness" (You can't say that ...):

    In speaking of this struggle I take for granted that Wittgenstein is the name of both sides in it, both voices (for my purposes now I need only invoke two), which I have called the voice of temptation and the voice of correctness. (Cavell 1989: p. 38)

    In Eine Philosophische Betrachtung, the voice of temptation speaks for example in

    Wir werden geneigt sein, zu antworten, <...> (p. 118)
    Man möchte sagen: <...> (p. 120)
    Dann sind wir versucht zu denken, <...> (p. 122)
    Fast möchte man so etwas sagen wie, <...> (p. 133)
    <...> denn, möchten wir sagen, wie kann <...>? (p. 133)
    (Man ist hier vielleicht versucht, fortzufahren: <...>) (p. 136)
    Wir sind geneigt zu sagen, <...> (p. 138)
    Hier wäre man geneigt zu sagen, <...> (p. 138)
    <...> man geneigt wäre zu sagen, <...> (p. 138)
    Das legt die Auffassung nahe, <...> (p. 138)
    <...> würden manche geneigt sein zu sagen, <...> (p. 175)
    <...> so bin ich geneigt zu sagen, <...> (p. 208)
    Du bist vielleicht geneigt zu sagen, <...> (p. 218).

    The voice of correctness on the other hand shows itself in this text as much more friendly and helpful than in earlier manuscripts. The indulgent suggestions ("Wir wollen nun <...> – Now we want to <...>" (p. 135) etc.), reminders ("Aber vergessen wir nicht, <...> – But let us not forget <...>" (p. 138) etc.), instructions ("Und nun betrachte <...> – Consider now <...>" (p. 168) etc.), conclusions and summaries ("Wir sehen, <...> – As we see, <...>" (p. 170) etc.), the frequent involving of the partner ("Denke, Du hättest zu beschreiben, was Du in einem solchen Falle wirklich getan hast. – Imagine you had to describe what you really did in such a case." (p. 126) etc.) ... and the recurrent use of the inclusive "we" lend the voice of correctness – in contrast to the abrupt tone of some of the earlier mentioned examples ("You can't say that!", "That's nonsense!") – an aspect of considerate leadership.

    The very first manuscript which Wittgenstein started after his return to Cambridge in 1929, MS 105, provides a good example of the procedural dimension of his philosophising. The dialectic of extemporisation13 is clearly demonstrated in the opening pages of the manuscript:

    Ist ein Raum denkbar <...>? (p. 1)
    Und das heißt nur: <...>?
    Nun frägt es sich: <...>?
    Wie läßt sich aber <...>?
    Es scheint viel dafür zu sprechen <...> (p. 3)14
    Aber dagegen läßt sich etwas einwenden: <...>
    Aber man kann sagen: <...>
    Di{e} Sache schaut aber in Wirklichkeit schwieriger aus <...>
    Wenn z.B. <...>
    Dann wäre also <...> (p. 5)
    Kann man <...>?
    Man kann gewiss<!> sagen: <...>
    Irgendwie scheint es mir <...> (p. 7)
    Man könnte glauben <...>
    Es scheint <...>
    Das würde heißen: <...> (p. 9)
    Wie verhält es sich aber dann <...>?
    Wie kann man <...>?
    Kann man <...>?
    Kann man sagen <...>?
    Nehmen wir an <...>?
    Man könnte sagen <...>
    Aber warum soll ich nicht <...>
    Es scheint mir also: <...> (p. 11)
    Was ist <...>?
    Es scheint mir <...>
    Ich kann z.B. sagen: <...>
    Es ist eigentlich von vornherein wahrscheinlich <...>
    Es ist doch sehr seltsam <...>
    D.h. <...> (p. 13)
    D.h. <...>
    Es wäre vielleicht nützlich <...> (p. 15)
    Die Frage ist dann etwa: <...>
    Verhält es sich so <...>?
    Man könnte gewiss<!> <...>

    Remarkable in the context of Wittgenstein's search for sense and fixed points are the recurrent references to, as one might say, nothing more fixed than his own instinct, intuition or taste: It seems to me ..., I've a feeling that ..., Something tells me ...

    Herewith a list of such expressions:

    Irgendwie scheint es mir <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 7)
    Ich ahne daß es möglich sein wird ohne Wahrheitsfunktionen auszukommen (MS 105, 1929: p. 8)
    Es scheint mir also: <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 11)
    Ich habe das Gefühl <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 25)
    Etwas sagt mir <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 69)
    Es kommt mir so vor <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 69)
    Ich habe einen instinktiven Wunsch nur mit den Begriffsumfängen zu operieren <...> (MS 105, 1929: p. 121)
    Dabei ist mein Gefühl folgendes: <...> (MS 106, 1929: p. 72)
    Einerseits fühle ich <...> Anderseits kann ich nicht verstehen <...> (MS 106, 1929: p. 80)
    Das Gefühl ist: <...> (MS 106, 1929: p. 163)
    Wir fühlen: <...> (MS 106, 1929: p. 202)
    Ich fühle so: <...> (MS 107, 1929: p. 11)
    Ja es ist mir als wäre <...> (MS 107, 1929: p. 55)
    Ich fühle <...> (MS 108, 1930: p. 192)
    Zu Grunde liegt allen meinen Betrachtungen (das Gefühl) die Einsicht, <...> (MS 108, 1930: p. 194)
    Man fühlt <...> (MS 108, 1930: p. 195)
    Das Gefühl an das ich jetzt alle meine Betrachtungen knüpfe <...> (MS 108, 1930: p. 208)
    Denn in mir wehrt sich nicht bloß etwas dagegen daß <...> sondern ebens auch daß <...> (MS 109, 1930: p. 118)
    Und nun wehrt sich etwas in mir dagegen, zu sagen@: <...> (MS 115, 1933: p. 12)
    Hier bin ich nun geneigt zu sagen: <...> Aber ich fühle auch daß das eine irreführende Ausdrucksweise ist. (MS 115, 1933: p. 20)

    In these lines the use of "I" is not a mere rhetorical devise but something drastically personal. Wittgenstein doesn't spare the paper stock-takings and recollections (Is that correct? How shall I continue? I do not know my way about ...). He comments on the progress he welcomes and on the setbacks he suffers. We get an immediate and very intimate impression of his philosophising from remarks such as:

    Ich sehe noch kein System in allen diesen Fragen. (MS 105, 1929: p. 12)
    Ich habe die intensive Auffassung noch immer nicht ganz durchgeführt! (MS 105, 1929: p. 16)
    Ich werde scheinbar, wider meinen Willen, @ auf die Arithmetik zurückgeworfen (MS 105, 1929: p. 19)
    Wie geht es weiter? (MS 105, 1929: p. 27)
    Ist nun nicht der Begriff der Distanz einfacher zu verstehen? (MS 105, 1929: p. 49)
    Aber wie ist dieser Zusatz zu machen?!! (MS 105, 1929: p. 78)
    Brauche ich jetzt nicht Zeichen für <...>? (MS 105, 1929: p. 127)
    Aber jetzt stürmen 100 Fragen auf uns ein! (MS 106, 1929: p. 78)
    Ich habe noch nicht ein ganz gute<!> Gewissen. (MS 107, 1929: p. 115)
    <...> (Ist das so?) (MS 107, 1929: p. 115)
    Ich bin mit allen meinen Gedanken über diesen Gegenstand noch immer in einem furchtbaren {Wir}rwarr<!> zwischen erstem &
    zweitem Ausdruckssystem. Das mei{s}te von dem was ich {j}etzt sagen möchte braucht man & kann man gar nicht sagen. (MS 107, 1930: p. 265)
    <...> ist des Rätsels Lösung. (obschon ich sie noch nicht durchschauen kann) (MS 108, 1930: p. 265)
    Was für Konsequenzen will ich daraus ziehen?! (TS 213, 1933: p. 35)
    Hier ist noch eine große Lücke in meinem Denken. Und ich zweifle, ob sie noch ausgefüllt werden wird. (MS 176, 1950: p. 34)

    When writing, Wittgenstein must have felt overwhelmed by the quantity of thoughts to be dealt with. In MS 115, 1936: pp. 118-292 for example he repeatedly promises to return to connected themes at later times (pp. 176, 210, 213, 219, 226, 236, 247, 249, 255, 272, 278, 284).

    A very striking feature of Wittgenstein's writing is to be seen in his secret code passages, now so well known and widely referred to since the publication of the so-called Secret Diaries.15 The code which unlocks these passages is a very simple one and consists – roughly speaking – in the reversal of the alphabet, such that z=a, y=b, x=c, w=d, v=e, u=f, t=g, s=h, r= i or j, q=k, p=l, o=m, n=n, m=o, l=p, k=q, i=r, h=s, hh = ss or ß, g=t, f=u, e=v, d=w, c=x, b=y, a=z, Umlaut-z = ä, Umlaut-m = ö, Umlaut-f = ü. "Rxs" reads for example "Ich".16 Concerning the use of code in the First World War diaries McGuinness says:

    Code-entries begin on 15 August <1914>, perhaps because Wittgenstein was about to go towards enemy territory. The code is a simple one (a = z, b = y, etc.): all the same he shows a comparative facility in using it from the first, so that he had perhaps practised it earlier. The aim was of course not concealment for ever but concealment from anyone who casually picked up the book. (McGuinness 1988: p. 212)

    Ray Monk comments on Wittgenstein's later use of the secret code as follows:

    <...> as soon as he returned to Cambridge, he reverted to a practice he had not kept since the Tractatus had been published: he began to make personal, diary-like entries in his notebooks. As before, these were separated from his philosophical remarks by being written in the code he had used as a child. (Monk 1990: p. 267)

    Even so, it should be noted that Wittgenstein didn't reserve his secret code exclusively for "personal, diary-like entries". Many remarks which one wouldn't describe as "personal" or "diary-like" are written in code. Some of them, now published in Culture and Value, have the character of aphorisms or casual remarks on unrelated subjects, for example "A good simile refreshes the intellect." (CV 1980: p. 1e; MS 105, 1929: p. 73); "Mendelssohn is not a peak, but a plateau. His Englishness." (CV 1980: p. 2e; MS 107, 1929: p. 98); "In former times people went into monasteries. <...>" (CV 1980: p. 49e; MS 131, 1946: p. 79)17 On the other hand, Wittgenstein didn't always write personal, diary-like entries in code. In MS 105 (1929) we find in standard script: "Wieder in Cambridge. Sehr merkwürdig. <...>", "Mein Gehirn ist in keinem günstigen Zustand. <...>" (p. 2), "Ich habe sehr genußreiche Diskussionen mit Ramsey <...>", "Ich gehe {i}n der Wissenschaft nur gern allein spazieren." (p. 4). In MS 109 (1930): "Engelmann sagte mir, <...>" (p. 28).

    Wittgenstein himself makes a reflexive comment on his use of the secret code, itself in code:

    Vh r{s|h}g oviqdf<Umlaut-f>iwrt dvpxsv Vipvrxsgvifut vh mri rhg mznxhvh rn vrnvi tv{h|s}vrmvn h<!>xsirug nrvwvi af {hx}sivryvn dzh rxs nrxsg tvi{n}v pvhyzi hxsivryvn om<Umlaut-m>xsgv. (MS 106, 1929: p. 4)18
    It is remarkable what relief I derive from writing in secret script certain things which I don't particularly wish to be legible.

    To me it remains unclear why Wittgenstein encoded certain passages and not others. The encoding of certain remarks might have had a separating function, to show that they do not really belong in the immediate philosophical discourse, just as Wittgenstein distinguished other such remarks with brackets, special section marks etc.19 They can also be seen to represent the points where he "waxes lyrical" or turns to themes of ethics or aesthetics. It is in this context noteworthy that in the notebook-drafts these remarks were written in standard script. It looks as if Wittgenstein translated them into code only when copying them into the manuscript-volumes, which have a more official character.20 There are also some cases where Wittgenstein in the middle of remarks jumps from normal script to the use of code or the other way round.21

    Regardless of whether or not a certain comment is in code, it is interesting to note that Wittgenstein recorded his stray thoughts and the outsider-observations concerning the ongoing work in the middle of his investigations. He also gives written expression to depressions and raises his morale with encouragements to continue. This shows the close connection of philosophy and life in Wittgenstein's work.

    "Words are deeds"22

    Wittgenstein's texts are highly interlocutive, or dialectical, and his use of language is very oral. Open, for example, Eine Philosophische Betrachtung and you find yourself in the middle of a lively dialogue full of questions and answers, proposals and rejections: 23

    Das ist wahr, wenn Du sagen willst, <...> (p. 118)
    Es sei denn, daß Du sagen willst, <...> (p. 118)
    Denken wir uns <...> (p. 118)
    Aber was heißt es, <...>? (p. 118)
    Ist es nicht so: <...> (p. 118)
    Stelle Dir dagegen den Fall vor, <...> (p. 126)
    Denke an einige Beispiele: <...> (p. 126)
    Denke, Du hättest zu beschreiben, <...> (p. 126)
    Könnten aber diese Regeln <...>? – Gewiß. – Andrerseits aber: ist eine Regel <...>? (p. 133)
    Wir wollen nun <...> (p. 133)
    Denke Dir <...> (p. 133)
    Denke wieder daran, was Du erlebst, fühlst, <...> (p. 185)
    Denke Dir diesen Fall: <...> (p. 185)
    Überlege Dir etwa diese Fälle: <...> (p. 185)
    Vergleiche damit den Fall: <...> (p. 192)
    Vergleiche damit dies: <...> (p. 192)
    Vergleiche damit: <...> (p. 192)

    I want to focus attention on certain particles which Wittgenstein uses frequently and which among german linguists are generally regarded as elements of spoken language, of oral dialogue and argumentation. They are the particles "gerade", "ja", "doch", "eben". Here I would like to point to a special usage. They serve often as "consensus constituting particles"24, in other words, they serve to state, assert and remind of points about which the speakers have already reached agreement or of things which ought in themselves to be patently clear. We will look at some examples of their usage, this time chosen from MS 108, 1929-1930: pp. 1-100:

    Aber ich meine gerade <...> (p. 37)
    Aber in <...> verha<!>lt es sich ebe gerade so. (p. 92)
    Die Zeichen mathematischen Zeichen sind ja wie die Kugeln einer Rechenmaschine. (p. 17)
    Denn diese Ausdrucksweise sagt ja doch alles was wir sagen wollen & was sich sagen läßt. (p. 28)
    Aber so etwas braucht man ja gar nicht annehmen. (p. 29)
    Es ist ja klar <...> (p. 33)

    Der Satz <...> sagt doch offenbar <...> (p. 6)
    Denn es scheint doch <...> (p. 22)
    Und hier bedienen wir uns do{c}h offenbar <...> (p. 32)
    <...> bezeichnet doch nicht einen Zustand <...> (p. 36)
    Ich beschreibe einen Tatsache Sachverhalt doch nicht dadurch <insertion mark underlined by wavy line> daß <...> (p. 37)
    Doch offenbar, nein! (p. 56)
    <...> so muß man doch sagen <...> (p. 62)
    Aber so ist es doch nicht! (p. 63)

    Es gibt eben in der Mathematik nur <...> (p. 11)
    <...> ist eben alles was wir sagen können. (p. 21)
    Man darf eben über eine Sache nicht einmal das {E|e}ine und einmal das andere sagen. (p. 53)
    Die Wahrheit ist (eben) <...> (p. 53)
    Unsere Erkenntnis ist eben, <...> (p. 53)
    <...> sind eben grundverschiedene Satzformen. (p. 66)
    <...> denn dies sind eben die Permutationen von <...> (p. 74)
    <...> & aus eben diesem Grunde kann ich auch nicht sagen <...> (p. 83)
    <...> ich kann eben nicht erkennen <...> (p. 83)
    Das Dazwischenliegen der Mischfarbe ist ebe @ eben hier <...> (p. 83)
    Ein "in der Mitte" gibt es eben hier gar nicht. (p. 86)
    Die Begriffe <...> sind eben hier überhaupt nicht zu brauchen <...> (p. 86)
    <...> dann muß man eben durch Regeln gewisse Übergänge ausschließen <...> (p. 88)

    "Eben" is probably the most crucial of these particles in Wittgenstein's writings. It is used to say that this and nothing else is my point ("That's just what I'm saying"). It functions at its strongest as a stamp of approval. If in a dialogue one justifies a sentence by use of the word "eben" one demonstrates oneself to be in the right position: the speaker marks his statement as the indisputable truth – there is no alternative, basta! – we have come to the limits of our discussion. In this application the word confronts us with our shared habits of acting and communicating and it indicates the boundary which Wittgenstein wishes to make clear to us: That's just how it is. That's just the way I act. That's just the way we speak.

    One can attribute to the word "eben" the same function as Wittgenstein occasionally claims to be the goal of philosophy:

    Das Ziel der Philosophie ist es eine Mauer dort zu errichten wo die Sprache ohnehin aufhört. (MS 108, 1930: p. 277)
    The aim of philosophy is to erect a wall where language has already stopped.

    Wittgenstein wants the reader to focus on the process of thinking, rather than on the search for coherently ordered results or for a system.25 Thus he doesn't want the reader to take once and for all an ultimate position. He wants the reader to struggle with both sides as he himself does, and he wants him/her to follow his instructions. Wittgenstein pushes examples ("Betrachte dieses Beispiel: <...> – Consider this example <...>" (EPB 1984: p. 132) etc.), counter-examples ("Vergleiche mit <...> den folgenden Fall: <...> – Compare with <...> the following case: <...> (EPB 1984: p. 140) etc.), thought-experiments ("Denken wir uns eine Sprache, <...> – Let us imagine a language <...>" (EPB 1984: p. 146) etc.) under the reader's nose and tells him/her to: Look! Imagine! Suppose! Think of this! Don't forget! Remember! Be aware! etc., and he also says: I'll tell you what to do and where to go! Wittgenstein doesn't spare the reader the drama of the struggle he himself experiences. He provokes him/her to take sides in the dispute, which means, different sides, since the sympathy of the reader is never directed at just one figure. The reader might be disappointed when the journey has no destination, or at least an unexpected one or when Wittgenstein suddenly says: this is the destination! or: regard this as the destination!26

    At one point Wittgenstein said:

    Ich mache Versuche mich, oder meinen Ho<!>rer, in's Wasser fallen zu lassen & ihn dann herauszuziehn um so eine Rettung zu demonstrieren. Aber es geht nicht sehr elegant: einmal gelingt es mir nicht recht ihn ins Wasser zu werfen & ich wälze ihn auf der Erde herum ohne ihn ins Wasser zu bringen, & dann wieder habe ich ihn ins Wasser geworfen aber ich bringe ihn nicht mehr heraus & er ist in der Gefahr zu ertrinken. (MS 109, 1930: p. 173)
    I try to let myself – or my listener – fall in the water and then pull him out in order to demonstrate a rescue. But it doesn't work elegantly: sometimes I don't really manage to throw him in the water and I tumble him about on the ground without getting him into the water, at other times I have thrown him in the water but can't get him out and he is in danger of drowning.27

    This is exactly what he does in the discussion of the shopping-example (PI 1978: § 1) which serves, in one respect, to show the short-comings of the Augustinian attempt to explain language. But my own response to this text was a strong experience of how dogmatic Wittgenstein (one should better say: the voice of correctness in Wittgenstein) was in refusing to give any explanation concerning the example. I myself identify with the questions raised by the opponent. I even feel provoked by Wittgenstein to ask those questions. His example, in dealing with numbers and colours – and in the very way it is presented – is certainly one which does leave many questions open. But Wittgenstein dismisses them as if they were irrelevant. For any reader familiar with traditional academic philosophy and interested in the question of meaning this is completely unexpected. Why does Wittgenstein do this? Answers could be: He wants the reader to reconsider the way in which he formulates questions. He wishes to warn the reader not to expect linguistic answers to all questions. He denies right at the beginning of Philosophical Investigations to give an explaination of meaning. He wants to make it clear, that he is the boss.

    "Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden"28

    With regard to Wittgenstein one might also say, "Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Schreiben" – "On the gradual completion of thoughts when writing". Wittgenstein was aware of the problem of how the sheer activity of speaking or writing determines the progress of our thoughts. He himself takes the risk entailed in writing. He knows, and expects, that through the process of connecting words he will end up in areas which are not predictable and expresses this point in the following remarks:

    Ich greife oft im Schreiben meinem Denken vor. (MS 112, 1931: 25.10.)
    In writing I often anticipate my thought.

    Ich denke tatsächlich mit der Feder, denn mein Kopf weiß oft nichts von dem, was meine Hand schreibt. (MS 112, 1931: 27.10.)
    In fact, I think with the pen, since my head often knows nothing of what my hand writes.

    Having acknowledged writing as a medium of investigation rather than simply as one of transmission it is worth noting the role of drawings and diagrams in Wittgenstein's work. Drawings give rise to problems as well as to solutions.

    Und zwar mache zeichne ich einen P{a|l}an Ich mache einen Plan nicht nur um mich anderen verständlich zu machen sondern auch um selbst über die Sache klar zu werden. ({d|D}.h. die Sprache ist nicht nur Mittel zur Mitteilung) (MS 109, 1930: p. 73)
    Indeed, I draw a diagram not only in order to make my thought clear to others but also to understand the matter myself. (I.e. language is not just a means of communication.)

    Drawings often provide the only way to explore and present specific problems and have in those places clearly a vehicle-function. Therefore some of his drawings must be seen not only as additional illustrations but as essential media of accessing and showing a problem.29

    Wittgenstein's use of writing as a tool is clearly exemplified in his handling of alternatives, the investigation of which constitutes a field of research in itself. One should look at the development of these alternatives in terms, both of their quantity and quality, and of the different ways in which he introduces them scriptually (no marking; marking with parentheses, brackets, double-slashes ...; special comments and instructions ...). The freqency of alternatives increases in his later writings: in the first two manuscripts, MSS 105 and 106 from 1929 (encompassing together 438 pages) we meet the phenomenon of alternatives ca. 550 times; in the 78 pages of MS 174 from 1951, ca. 250 times. Pages 118-292 of MS 115 from 1936 ("Philosophische Untersuchungen. Versuch einer Umarbeitung."; published in Eine Philosophische Betrachtung, cf. EPB 1984) seem to mark a high point in this tendency: in this text, containing 175 pages, Wittgenstein resorts to the use of alternatives ca. 2700 (!) times.30 Most of Wittgenstein's alternatives barely affect the course of the argument in which they appear. Nevertheless we must be careful to note that the border between questions of style and questions of meaning is very problematic; two different formulations will never make the same point or have the same role31. We could say that writing alternatives is editing the world in different ways, and searching for alternatives is searching for alternative ways to see the world.

    It often seems that Wittgenstein writes alternatives for their own sake. We have the impression that he is merely marking time with his pen. One can find him doing nothing better than making syntagmatic and paradigmatic substitutions; changing – on purpose – between "daß"- and infinitive-constructions, indicative and subjunctive, definite and indefinite articles, articles and demonstrative pronouns etc. All this may be in order to avoid fixing the point too exactly, or, in the hope of finding inspiration. We must not forget that writing is not depicting a thought but rather creating and carrying it, so that "finding the right expression" does not mean that we have accurately expressed a preconceived thought but rather that we like the thought this expression gives us.

    What does it mean to find the right word? It doesn't mean that the found word expresses the point of my thought best, but it means, that I like best the particular point, made by this particular expression. This is true at least in many cases of Wittgenstein's and everyone's writing.32

    Wie finde ich das 'richtige' Wort? Es ist allerdings als vergliche ich Worte nach feinen Geschmacksunterschieden. <...> Aber ich muß nicht immer urteilen beurteilen, erklären, warum dies oder dies {W}ort nicht stimmt. Es stimmt einfach noch nicht. Ich suche eben weiter, bin nicht befriedigt. Endlich komme ich zur Ruhe,; bin {b}efriedigt. So schaut eben das Suchen aus; & so das Finden. (MS 131, 1946: p. 183)
    How do I find the right word? It is in any case as if I compared words with a gourmet's palate <...> But I needn't always explain why this or that word isn't right. It simply is not yet right. So I keep on searching and am not satisfied. Finally I come to rest, I'm satisfied. This (and nothing else) is the nature of the search and of the finding.

    Even so, in the following I will mention some criteria of searching and finding, criteria according to which Wittgenstein decides which alternative is preferable when it comes to their evaluation. When Wittgenstein is not satisfied with an expression – or where he senses that an expression could mislead (to psychologism for example) – he usually underlines it with a wavy line (with a straight broken line in typescripts33). Here I will mention three criteria which guide his writing and which are particularly illustrated by his alternatives.

    One criterion is Wittgenstein's preference for direct everyday language. This is obviously connected to the programmatic remark in Philosophical Investigations, § 116:

    What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everday use.

    His ideal of writing ordinary everyday language finds expression in several instructions and comments, such as the following, which he occasionally makes regarding the substitution of a word:

    [ich sollte hier ein gebräuchliches Wort setzen] (MS 108, 1930: p. 53)
    [I ought to put here a commonplace word]34

    Another criterion is – as for many writers – that of economy. What goes for logic also goes for language:

    Was, in der Logik, nicht nötig ist, hilft auch nicht {[}ist auch nicht hilfreich von Nutzen]
    Was nicht nötig ist, ist überflu<!>ssig. (MS 109, 1931: p. 294)
    In logic, what is unnecessary, is of no help. What isn't necessary is superflous.

    We find applications of the criteria of economy for example in the history of the paragraphs of Philosophical Investigations. Of course, writing more economically doesn't necessarily lead to more clarity, at least not from the reader's point of view. What is unclear in the Philosophical Investigations is often clear in earlier versions of the paragraphs in question.

    Thirdly: Wittgenstein's writing is strongly determined by an aesthetic dimension. This can be briefly exemplified with regard to rhythm, punctuation and stress. Wittgenstein discusses in a manuscript of 1946 the following:

    Die Verwendung gewisser Wörter dem Satzrhythmus zu_liebe. Dieser könnte uns viel wichtiger sein, als er uns tatsächlich ist. (MS 131, 1946: p. 96)
    The use of certain words for the sake of a sentence's rhythm. This could be much more important to us than it in fact is.

    His fanatic search for the right words, his occupation with the fitting rhythm and word order is impressively shown in MS 152, 1937: pp. 37f, 8635, where on three pages he rehearses the opening to the first paragraph of Philosophical Investigations which eventually resulted in the simple and short "Augustinus, in den Confessiones I/8: " (PU 1984: § 1). I quote only some of the attempted formulations:

    Augustinus stellt hat ... das Lernen der menschlichen Sprache mit folgenden Worten so dar: ..... (p. 37)
    Augustinus beschreibt das Lernen der Sprache so: (p. 38)
    In den Confessiones (I/8) beschreibt Augustinus, wie das Kind die Sprache lernt. Er sagt (p. 38)
    Augustinus sagt in den Conf. der Mensch das Kind lerne die Sprache seine Muttersprache so: (p. 87)36

    We can also note a careful use of punctuation in Wittgenstein's manuscripts which is evidently not determined by grammatical rules but which generally has an important rhythmical function. Regarding particular cases of punctuation in his manuscripts, Wittgenstein very often proposes several alternatives37 or makes comments on it explicitly38. Punctuation is occasionally also used to achieve an alienation effect:

    Punkt am Ende des Satzes. Gefühl des Unabgeschlossenen, wenn er fehlt. (TS 211, 1932: p. 417)
    Fullstop at the end of a sentence. A feeling of incompleteness when missing.

    The use of straight underlining in the manuscripts or of double spacing in the typescripts – which usually appears in the publications in italics, or, in the case of original double underlining, in upper case – shows again the oral dimension of Wittgenstein's writing. These phenomena are used at such points where Wittgenstein wants the reader to lift his voice in order to clarify the thought by appealing to vocal habits.39

    Finally I would like to turn from the style of writing to the style of reading and quote a recommendation of Wittgenstein's, regarding how he should be read:

    I really want my copious punctuation marks to slow down the speed of reading. Because I should like to be read slowly. (As I myself read.) (CV 1980: p. 68e)40


    In 1967, the part of Wittgenstein's Nachlaß which was known was microfilmed for Cornell University, New York (Cf. Von Wright 1982: pp. 38f). Copies of the microfilm are now available in a number of university libraries. Oslo University Library acquired a bound paper copy taken from this film in 1976. This copy is currently deposited in the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen and provided the principal source material for my research. Since the Cornell Copy has certain shortcomings, the collection of the Archives has been supplemented with material from Professor von Wright's private copies of the Nachlaß which I was very grateful to be able to use.

    1. AWL 1982 Wittgenstein's Lectures Cambridge 1932-1935 Edited by Alice Ambrose. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1982.
    2. EPB 1984 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Eine Philosophische Betrachtung (Das Braune Buch). Hrsg. von Rush Rhees. In Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Werkausgabe in 8 Bänden. Band 5. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1984.
    3. GT 1991 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Geheime Tagebücher 1914 – 1916. Herausgegeben und dokumentiert von Wilhelm Baum. Vorwort von Hans Albert. Turia & Kant, Wien 1991.
    4. PG 1974 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Philosophical Grammar. Edited by Rush Rhees. Translated by Anthony Kenny. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1974.
    5. PH 1989 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: "Philosophie". S. 405-435 aus dem sogenannten "Big Typescript" (Katalognummer 213). Herausgegeben von Heikki Nyman. In Revue Internationale de Philosophie 43 (1989). Brussels 1989. 172-203.
    6. PI 1978 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Philosophical Investigations. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and Rush Rhees. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1978.
    7. PU 1984 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Philosophische Untersuchungen. Hrsg. von G. E. M. Anscombe und Rush Rhees. In Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Werkausgabe in 8 Bänden. Band 1. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1984.
    8. TLP 1961 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Translated by D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness. With the Introduction by Bertrand Russell. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1961.
    9. ÜG 1984 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Über Gewißheit. Herausgegeben von G. E. M. Anscombe und G. H. von Wright. In Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Werkausgabe in 8 Bänden. Band 8. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1984.
    10. CV 1980 Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Vermischte Bemerkungen. Culture and Value. Edited by G. H. von Wright in collaboration with Heikki Nyman. Translated by Peter Winch. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1980.
    11. WWK 1979 Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle. Conversations recorded by Friedrich Waismann. Edited by Brian McGuinness. Translated by Joachim Schulte and Brian McGuinness. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1979.
    12. Z 1981 Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Zettel. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1981.
    13. Bambrough 1974 Bambrough, Renford: How to read Wittgenstein. In Understanding Wittgenstein. Edited and with a Foreword by Godfrey Vesey. Cornell University Press, Ithaca N.Y. 1974. 117-132.
    14. Biggs 1992 Biggs, Michael A. R.: Continuity and Discontinuity in Visual Experience. In Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofia 70 (1992). Mexico 1992. 3-15.
    15. Cavell 1989 Cavell, Stanley: This New Yet Unapproachable America. Lectures after Emerson after Wittgenstein. Living Batch Press, Albuquerque N. M. 1989.
    16. Goodman 1976 Goodman, Russell: Style, Dialectic, and the Aim of Philosophy in Wittgenstein and the Taoists. In Journal of Chinese Philosophy 3 (1976). D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1976. 145-157.
    17. Hilmy 1987 Hilmy, Stephen S.: The Later Wittgenstein. The Emergence of a New Philosophical Method. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1987.
    18. Huitfeldt 1991 Huitfeldt, Claus: Das Wittgenstein-Archiv der Universität Bergen. Hintergrund und erster Arbeitsbericht. Translated by Ilse Somavilla. In Mitteilungen aus dem Brenner Archiv 10 (1991). Forschungsinstitut "Brenner-Archiv", Innsbruck 1991. 93-104.
    19. Huitfeldt/ Rossvær 1989 Huitfeldt, Claus and Rossvæar, Viggo: The Norwegian Wittgenstein Project Report 1988. The Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities, Bergen 1989.
    20. Kleist 1985 Kleist, Heinrich von: Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden. In Kleist. Ein Lesebuch für unsere Zeit. Auswahl und Einleitung von Peter Goldammer. Aufbau Verlag, Berlin und Weimar 1985. 347-352.
    21. Lütten 1979 Lütten, Jutta: Die Rolle der Partikeln doch, eben und ja als Konsensus-Konstitutiva in gesprochener Sprache. In Die Partikeln der deutschen Sprache. Herausgegeben von Harald Weydt. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/ New York 1979. 30-38.
    22. Malcolm 1984 Malcolm, Norman: Ludwig Wittgenstein. A Memoir. With a Biographical Sketch by G. H. von Wright and Wittgenstein's letters to Malcolm. Oxford University Press, Oxford/ New York 1984.
    23. McGuinness 1988 McGuinness, Brian: Wittgenstein. A Life. Young Ludwig 1889-1921. Gerald Duck-worth & Co., London 1988.
    24. Monk 1990 Monk, Ray: Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Duty of Genius. Jonathan Cape, London 1990.
    25. Pichler 1991 Pichler, Alois: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Vermischte Bemerkungen: Liste der Manuskriptquellen. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value: A List of Source Manuscripts. In Skriftserie fra Wittgensteinarkivet ved Universitetet i Bergen 1 (1991). Wittgensteinarkivet ved Universitetet i Bergen, Bergen 1991. Rhees 1984 Recollections of Wittgenstein. Edited by Rush Rhees with an introduction by Norman Malcolm. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York 1984.

      Unterkircher 1991 Unterkircher, Anton: Ludwig Wittgenstein: Geheime Tagebücher 1914-1916. Hrsg. u. dokum. v. Wilhelm Baum. Vorwort v. Hans Albert. Wien: Turia & Kant 1991. 172 S. In Mitteilungen aus dem Brenner Archiv 10 (1991). Rezensionen. Brenner-Forum und Forschungsinstitut "Brenner-Archiv", Innsbruck 1991. 114-122.

      Von Wright 1982 Von Wright, Georg Henrik: Wittgenstein. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1982.

    Manuscript numbers refer to Professor von Wright's catalogue of the "Nachlaß" in Von Wright 1982: pp. 35-62. Datings indicate the date on which Wittgenstein wrote the remark(s) in question: they refer to the last mentioned date in the manuscript, or, in the case of undated manuscripts, or manuscripts whose date is problematic, to the date given in von Wright's catalogue. Page references are to page numbers in the original; in the case of unpaginated manuscripts I quote the first words of the page which I take to be page 1 and count from there. In quotations from the originals I try to be as faithful as possible and as far as the facsimiles allow. The following markings require explanation: xxx = xxx deleted; {xxx|yyy} = yyy written on top of xxx; {xxx} = xxx written on top of unspecified or illegible characters; xxx = xxx inserted (in, above, below line, marked or unmarked); xxx = xxx underlined by wavy line; xxx = xxx underlined by straight line; @ = unreadable character; <...> = my omission of text; <!> = authentic error or outmoded orthography; <xxx> = incidental comment of mine. As a member of the staff at the Wittgenstein Archives I feel obliged to make clear that the markings I use here do not represent those used in the machine-readable version produced at the Archives.
    As with many of Wittgenstein's remarks also this one exists in different versions and occurs in different contexts. Cf. GT 1991: p. 32; GT 1991: p. 44; MS 105, 1929: p. 44; MS 107, 1929: p. 114; MS 115, 1933: p. 30; MS 115, 1933: p. 66; TS 213, 1933: p. 409; MS 146, 1933-1934: p. 55 ("Wenn mir <...>" on page 1).
    Translations into English are printed in Italics.
    Cf. PG 1974: § 95: "<...> It is in language that it's all done. <...>" Cf. MS 114, 1933/34: pp. 143, 151, 152 and MS 108, 1930: p. 195.
    Cf. MS 109, 1930: p. 214.
    Cf. Georg Henrik von Wright in Von Wright 1982: pp. 15f, 31; Norman Malcolm in Malcolm 1984: pp. 24ff, 30ff, 52f; Fania Pascal in Rhees 1984: pp. 18, 32f, 39ff, 46f.
    GT 1991: pp. 21ff.
    TLP 1961: 4.0031.
    The variety of applications of the modal verbs in these formulations needs to be acknowledged. For one example consider essentially different uses of "können", such as the difference between "können" in the context of proposing possibilities and examples ("Denn es könnte Einer sagen wollen: <...> – For someone might feel like saying: <...>" in PU 1984, PI 1978: § 56) and "können" in a grammatical proposition ("Und so kann man nicht sagen 'Rot existiert', <...> – Thus one cannot say 'Red exists', <...>" in PU 1984, PI 1978: § 58). Typically, Wittgenstein uses the negated "können" very often in grammatical propositons.
    Cf. also EPB 1984: pp. 198-207; PI 1978: § 49ff, § 227, § 587; ÜG 1984: §§ 74-76.
    PI 1978: § 123.
    Cf. PI 1978: Preface: "I have written down all these thoughts as remarks, short paragraphs, <...> It was my intention at first to bring all this together in a book whose form I pictured differently at different times. <...> After several unsuccessful attempts to weld my results together into such a whole, I realized that I should never succeed. The best that I could write would never be more than philosophical remarks; my thoughts were soon crippled if I tried to force them on in any single direction against their natural inclination. <...> I should have liked to produce a good book. This has not come about, but the time is past in which I could improve it." Cf. also Hilmy 1987: p. 20: "The first point that must be established is that Wittgenstein wished to write a 'book' in the more conventional sense. <...> During the course of his efforts Wittgenstein did not decide that a stylistically conventional book would be undesirable, but rather came to the conclusion that he no longer had the strength satisfactorily to achieve the goal he had set for himself."
    Cf. in this context what von Wright says about Wittgenstein's way of lecturing: "As might be expected, his lectures were highly 'unacademic' <...> He had no manuscript or notes. He thought before the class." (Von Wright 1982: p. 29)
    The text runs on the recto-pages.
    "Geheime Tagebücher", published by Wilhelm Baum (GT 1991); Cf. the review in Unterkircher 1991.
    Cf. Huitfeldt/Rossvær 1989: p. 193.
    Cf. Pichler 1991: pp. 1, 2, 28.
    Transcribing Wittgenstein's secret code passages begs a question about the activity of reading: in order to identify the single handwritten characters (especially in the secret code!) one has first to grasp the word as a whole. Cf. Huitfeldt's discussion of the (impossible) distinction between representation and interpretation of text in Huitfeldt 1991: pp. 100-102.
    Cf. von Wright about the remarks published in Culture and Value: "It is not always possible to separate them sharply from the philosophical text; in many cases, however, Wittgenstein himself hinted at such a separation – by the use of brackets or in other ways." (CV 1980: Preface)
    Cf. MS 153a, 1931: ("Anmerkungen <...>" on page 1) 24 and MS 110, 1931: p. 242 ("Es ist beschämend <...>"); MS 153a, 1931: p. 243 and MS 111, 1931: p. 81 ("Eine Art <...>").
    Cf. MS 118, 1937: 27.8., 1.9., 4.9. (Pichler 1991: p. 15). Cf. in this context also CV 1980: p. 7e: "<...> If you have a room which you do not want certain people to get into, put a lock on it for which they do not have the key. But there is nopoint in talking to them about it, unless of course you want them to admire the room from outside! / The honourable thing to do is to put a lock on the door which will be noticed only by those who can open it, not by the rest. <...>" and Z 1981: § 74: "A sentence is given me in code together with the key. Then of course in one way everything required for understanding the sentence has been given me. And yet I should answer the question 'Do you understand this sentence?': No, not yet; I must first decode it. <...>"
    CV 1980: p. 46e.
    Concerning the interlocutive style of Wittgenstein's writings, consider von Wright's remark about the affinity between Wittgenstein and Plato: "From Spinoza, Hume, and Kant he said that he could only get occasional glimpses of understanding. I do not think that he could have enjoyed Aristotle or Leibniz, two great logicians before him. But it is significant that he did read and enjoy Plato. He must have recognized congenial features, both in Plato's literary and philosophical method and in the temperament behind the thoughts." (Von Wright 1982: p. 33)
    I use the term as applied by Jutta Lütten in Lütten 1979: pp. 30-38 ("Konsensus-Konstitutiva"). Lütten describes their special functions as follows: "'doch' appelliert an das Vorhandensein einer gemeinsamen Kommunikationsbasis <...>: appellativer Rekurs / 'eben' konstatiert die Faktizität einer gemeinsamen Kommunikationsbasis: konstativer Rekurs / 'ja' assertiert die Gewißheit einer gemeinsamen Kommunikationsbasies: assertativer Rekurs" (Lütten 1979: p. 36) The function of "gerade" is similar to that of "eben".
    Cf. PI 1978: Preface: "I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking. But, if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own." Cf. also Bambrough 1974: p. 118: "Wittgenstein does not present a philosophical system or series of doctrines."
    Cf. Z 1981: § 314: "<...> the difficulty – I might say – is not that of finding the solution but rather that of recognizing as the solution something that looks as if it were only a preliminary to it. 'We have already said everything. – Not anything that follows from this, no, this itself is the solution!' <...>"
    Cf. Goodman who speaks of Wittgenstein's "aim of 'bumping' the reader into a new awareness of the world". (Goodman 1976: p. 145)
    On the Gradual Completion of Thoughts when Speaking, title of an essay by Heinrich von Kleist, probably written in 1805/1806. Kleist 1985: p. 347.
    Cf. Biggs 1992, who has payed special attention to Wittgenstein's use of drawings as part of visual experience (Biggs 1992: pp. 4ff, 10f). Biggs has also made a catalogue of sources of the drawings and diagrams in the published work. (Forthcoming)
    I count the number of places where Wittgenstein uses alternatives and not the number of alternative formulations, which would give a higher figure.
    Cf. Huitfeldt 1991: p. 97.
    Cf. TLP 1961: 4; PI 1978: §§ 330ff; MS 108, 1930: p. 278; MS 115, 1936: p. 282; MS 137, 1948: p. 45; MS 138, 1949: p. 17.
    Cf. WWK 1979: p. 166: "<...> Wittgenstein shows typed sheets from his manuscript to Waismann and makes remarks about certain signs. A word which is underlined in this way: --- means: Wittgenstein is in doubt whether it is to be retained or not. <...>"
    Cf. TS 213, 1933: pp. 412, 420 (Published in PH 1989: pp. 182, 190).
    As indication for the date of this manuscript I take the date reference in the preface draft on page 13 (Mathematic formulae on page 1): "Dieses Buch stellt meine Anschauungen über die Philosophie dar, <dash deleted, comma inserted> wie sie sich in den letzten acht Jahren <Since 1929> entwickelt haben." Cf. also the date references in the preface drafts of MS 117, 1938: p. 110-126, particularly the one on page 120. Cf. Von Wright 1982: p. 130.
    In order to gain the full picture of the development of the first four paragraphs of Philosophical Investigations through the whole Nachlaß compare: MS 111, 1931: pp. 15ff. – TS 211, 1932: pp. 11ff. – TS 212, 1932-1933 (cuttings)TS 213, 1933: pp. 24ff.MS 114, 1933-1934: pp. 35ff.MS 115, 1933-1934: pp. 79f. – [AWL 1982: pp. 46f. (1933-1934)] – MS 141, 1935: p. 1D 310, 1934-1935: p. 1MS 115, 1936: pp. 118, 166MS 140, 1936-1937: p. 42 – MS 152, 1937: pp. 37ff., 86f.TS 220, 1937-1938: §§ 1-5 – TS 226, 1939: §§ 1-7 – TS 227, 1944: §§ 1-4 (Some of the dates have been inferred on the basis of stylometric studies).
    Cf. MS 109, 1930: p. 1; MS 115, 1933: p. 67; MS 115, 1936: p. 253; MS 175, 1950: p. 41.
    Cf. on punctuation and reading: CV 1980: p. 48e ("If you <...>"), 57e ("Sometimes a sentence <...>"), 68e ("I really <...>"); on intonation: MS 115, 1936: p. 263; on the feeling of familiarity when looking at words or sentences: MS 150, 1935-1936: pp. 1ff.
    For inspiration, encouragement and helpful comments I would like to thank Claus Huitfeldt, Dinda L. Gorlée, Hanspeter Ortner, Paul F. Schmidt and Ole Letnes. To Ralph Jewell I'm particularly grateful for begrudging me neither time nor effort to discuss many questions. My deepest thanks I owe to Peter Cripps who improved and corrected my English on every sentence and made a number of constructive comments on the subject.
    Alois Pichler. Date: XML TEI markup by WAB (Alois Pichler) 2011-13. Last change 18.12.2013.
    This page is made available under the Creative Commons General Public License "Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike", version 3.0 (CCPL BY-NC-SA)


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