Beyond The Tractatus Wars
The New Wittgenstein Debate
Edited by Rupert Read, Matthew A. Lavery
Routledge – 2010 – 204 pages
Over fifteen years have passed since Cora Diamond and James Conant turned Wittgenstein scholarship upside down with the program of “resolute” reading, and ten years since this reading was crystallized in the major collection The New Wittgenstein. This approach remains at the center of the debate about Wittgenstein and his philosophy, and this book draws together the latest thinking of the world’s leading Tractatarian scholars and promising newcomers. Showcasing one piece alternately from each “camp”, Beyond the Tractatus Wars pairs newly commissioned pieces addressing differing views on how to understand early Wittgenstein, providing for the first time an arena in which the debate between “strong” resolutists, “mild” resolutists and “elucidatory” readers of the book can really take place. The collection includes famous “samizdat” essays by Warren Goldfarb and Roger White that are finally seeing the light of day.
"Interest in Wittgenstein’s early book may reflect a commitment, not to scholarship in a narrow sense, but to tracing the history of analytic philosophy with an eye to better understanding our present philosophical moment. This is how the Tractatus figures in this collection. Currently, the most suggestive and productive interpretative divide is – to use the received jargon – between those readers who do and those who do not approach the book "resolutely." Read and Lavery bring together a set of insightful and rewarding essays falling on both sides of this divide. The result is that we are invited to think about the competing merits of two strikingly different exegetical strategies and, at the same time, to grapple with two strikingly different images of what it means to inherit the analytic tradition and philosophize today." --Alice Crary, The New School University
"Wars are rarely in order, and the Tractatus is no exception. Nevertheless, the program of the last 20 years to re-read the book 'resolutely' has generated all kinds of philosophy, much of it of very high caliber. This volume of essays illuminates some of the heat, and sheds needed light on future prospects for a better understanding of Wittgenstein's philosophy." --Juliet Floyd, Boston University
1. Das Überwinden: Anti-Metaphysical Readings of the Tractatus Warren Goldfarb 2. Throwing the Baby Out with the Ladder: On “Therapeutic” Readings of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Roger M. White 3. Throwing the Baby Out: A Reply to Roger White James Conant and Ed Dain 4. Context, Compositionality, and Nonsense in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Silver Bronzo 5. Toward a Useful Jacobinism: A Response to Bronzo Matthew A. Lavery 6. The Dialectic of Interpretations: Reading Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Oskari Kuusela 7. The Possibility of a Resolutely Resolute Reading of the Tractatus Rupert Read and Rob Deans 8. Synthesizing Without Concepts Peter Sullivan 9. Response to Sullivan A.W. Moore
Rupert Read is Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia in the UK.
Matthew A. Lavery is Director of the Learning Center at Adelphi University in the US.