In this study Friedrich Waismann gives a systematic presentation of insights into philosophical problems which can be achieved by clarifying the language in which the problems are posed. Much of the material and the method itself derive from Wittgenstein's work in the early 30s. The book was originally envisaged as a lucid and well organized account of Wittgenstein's distinctive form of linguistic philosophy to enable the Vienna Circle to incorporate these valuable methods into their own programme of analysis. The project evolved over many years into a wide-ranging survey of the dissolution of many philosophical problems and the construction of a systematic philosophical grammar. Waismann shows in detail how puzzlement can be removed by careful description of the uses of the terms employed in framing problems. At the same time, he sketches a general framework for analysis of language, including chapters on names, general terms, logical operators, propositions, questions, etc. This book is an authoritative presentation of Wittgenstein's influential philosophy of language in a format much easier to follow than his own intricate and elusive texts. Waismann exhibits clearly the merits of this method of philosophizing. This book should serve as an important and useful text for those who wish to understand the method and power of linguistic philosophy. It has no equal as an introduction to Wittgenstein's philosophy.
'Smoothly lucid, open, unidiosyncratic, presentation of ideas.' - The Spectator
'The best introductory book yet written about modern philosophy.' - Cambridge Review
Preface to the Second Edition - Preface to the First Edition - PART 1: THE TRANSITION FROM THE CLASSICAL TO THE LINGUISTIC VIEW OF PHILOSOPHY - The Nature of a Philosophical Problem - Examples of Philosophical Problems and Their Solutions - Is There a priori Knowledge? - Grammatical Models - Appendix to Part 1 - PART 2: ELEMENTS OF A PHILOSOPHICAL GRAMMAR - Introduction - The Causal Interpretation of Language - What is a Rule? - Meaning - Different Types of Explanation - Names - Names of Species - Problems of Communication - Structural Description - What is a Proposition? - The Theory of the Common Structure - Meaning and Verification - Some Remarks on the Concepts 'to be able', 'to know', 'to understand' - Combinations of Propositions - The Logical Calculus - Towards a Logic of Questions - Index