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date: 18 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Ludwig Wittgenstein, hoping, in 1919, to persuade Ludwig von Ficker, the editor of the literary journal Der Brenner, to publish his controversial Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, remarked, ‘The work is strictly philosophical and at the same time literary’. In Tractatus, Wittgenstein concerns himself with tautology: ‘the fact that the propositions of logic are tautologies shows the formal — logical — properties of language, of the world’. In the much-cited Preface to Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein describes the method whereby he ordered the ‘remarks, short paragraphs, of which there is sometimes a fairly long chain about the same subject’ into the larger structure of the book. Wittgenstein's writings enact their central motive: words and phrases can be understood only in their particular context, their use. Not what one says but how one says it is the key to doing philosophy. And that, of course, is what makes it poetry as well.

Keywords: Ludwig Wittgenstein, poetry, philosophy, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, logic, Philosophical Investigations, tautology

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