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Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Listen to this succinct account of the philosophy of Wittgenstein in just one hour.

Ludwig Wittgenstein saw himself as ‘the last philosopher’. In his view, philosophy in the traditional sense was finished. A superb logician, Wittgenstein distrusted language and sought to solve the problems of philosophy by reducing them to the purest form of logic.

Everything else - metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics, finally even philosophy itself - was excluded. He famously stated, ‘of that which we cannot speak we must remain silent', thus eliminating all concepts which do not arise from experience or are amenable to logical thought.

Wittgenstein: Philosophy in an Hour is an audiobook showcasing an expert account of Wittgenstein’s life and philosophical ideas - entertainingly written and above all easy to listen to. Also included are selections from his work, suggested further reading and chronologies that place Wittgenstein in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

©2012 Paul Strathern (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

”Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading.” (New York Times)

”Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise” (Wall Street Journal)

”Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.” (Boston Globe)

”A godsend in this era of the short attention span.” (New York Times)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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sassy but balanced

Great analysis of Wittgensteins essential philosophy with some satisfyingly witty send ups. Ludderz was a brilliant, fascinating and tortured thinker but entirely lacking in self awareness

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Biography not philosophy

vaguely interesting biography of the man but not balanced. delivery of his philosophy is purely in quotations and display a fundamental lack of understanding of the content.

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incomplete and curmudgeonly

Author mostly complains of W's arrogance. Summary of Tractatus ok, almost nothing on Philosophical Investigations.

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Brilliant

In my view, the best analysis of Wittgenstein, the man and his philosophy, since Ray Monk. Enjoy.

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An enjoyable story that leaves a bit unsaid

This audiobook tells the story of Wittgenstein's life. Learning about his extraordinary arrogance is made very entertaining by the writer. It seems a shame though that the writer's clear dislike of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations means he mostly skips over it. I cannot see why, given so much time is devoted to telling the reader about the humorous but ultimately inconsequential strange things Wittgenstein did outside of his work. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is covered in detail but Philosophical Investigations is quickly dismissed by the author, with some occasional references to the ideas from this work scattered throughout the audiobook.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the audiobook for what it was. It told a good story, did justice to some of Wittgenstein's work and cost me less than £2.

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  • David
  • Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
  • 25-02-16

An enjoyable biography.

Typical Strathern; a highly enjoyable run through the life of Wittgenstein without getting too involved in his philosophy! Madness and egocentrism are the order of the day!