Intent upon letting the reader experience the pleasure and intellectual stimulation in reading these classic authors, the How to Read series provides a context and an explanation that will facilitate and enrich your understanding of texts vital to the canon.
Approaching the writing of major intellectuals, artists, and philosophers need no longer be daunting. How to Read is a new sort of introductiona personal master class in readingthat brings you face to face with the work of some of the most influential and challenging writers in history. In lucid, accessible language, these books explain essential topics such as Wittgenstein's determination to insist on the integrity and the autonomy of nonscientific forms of understanding.
Though Wittgenstein wrote on the same subjects that dominate the work of other analytic philosophers the nature of logic, the limits of language, the analysis of meaning he did so in a peculiarly poetic style that separates his work sharply from that of his peers and makes the question of how to read him particularly pertinent.
At the root of Wittgenstein's thought, Monk argues, is a determination to resist the scientism characteristic of our age, a determination to insist on the integrity and the autonomy of non-scientific forms of understanding. The kind of understanding we seek in philosophy, Wittgenstein tried to make clear, is similar to the kind we might seek of a person, a piece of music, or, indeed, of a poem.
About the Author
Ray Monk is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He is the author of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius and of a two-volume biography of Bertrand Russell.
Simon Critchley is a best-selling author and the Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little…Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Book of Dead Philosophers, The Faith of the Faithless, Bowie, Memory Theatre and Suicide.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The length of about four long magazine articles, this book explains about 20 excerpts from L.W.'s works in a very clear way. The book seems especially good at explaining what L.W. was not saying (for example, he was emphatically not critical of Romantic composers, despite his (unwanted) reputation as a "Modernist"). Not a full picture, of course - I didn't get a sense of exactly why L.W. chose Russell and Frege to engage with, or whether he actually meant most of what he said before the age of 40 or so, or whether he was actually a philosopher or an aspiring theologian or rather a technical writer on philosophy - but apparently the author of this book wrote a longer book on L.W.'s life which might answer those questions.