Wittgenstein’s Lecture on Ethics is his sole sustained work on ethics. It is an unusually direct and personal statement to a non-academic philosophical audience—the only such lecture he gave. Moreover, the lecture was given in 1929 during the key transitional period when Wittgenstein was between the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and his later work for the Philosophical Investigations. It therefore gives a fascinating insight into the intellectual journey that Wittgenstein undertook into a subject of profound personal importance for him. This edition is the most authoritative ever published. It contains the complete text of the lecture in three drafts. The text includes for the first time manuscript 139b which had been lost for 40 years and pages from the reverse of 139a which constitute an earlier outline of the lecture. Each draft is presented en regard with the draft and all emendations on one page and a final reading copy on the other. The complete text and a comprehensive notation indicating every type of emendation to the drafts allows the reader to reconstruct or unravel the development of Wittgenstein’s ideas in the lecture. Also included are more than 100 pages of supplementary and explanatory material. This material places the lecture in context by covering its history, style, form and genesis. Two chapters of philosophical analysis, explanation and interpretation provide the most comprehensive published survey of Wittgenstein’s own work on ethics. The supplementary material gives readers the detailed background to understand fully the unusual view of ethics Wittgenstein advanced in his lecture. Lecture on Ethics: Introduction, Interpretation and Complete Text will be the standard edition of Wittgenstein’s work.Quatrième de couverture :
The most complete treatment to date of Wittgenstein s Lecture on Ethics, this book refutes a common view that it is a relatively minor, tangential work. Indeed, it is unique as Wittgenstein s sole work focused on ethics and his only lecture to a non–academic audience, The Heretics. Both make the Lecture on Ethics an accessible and personal account of the moral perspective of one of the most remarkable philosophers of the 20th century. The editors have collected all the known drafts of the lecture, including the earliest. They prove that the lecture was neither a perfunctory nor ad hoc work of the moment as sometimes thought, but underwent substantive, careful revision. Presented in its entirety, with all of Wittgenstein s emendations preserved, scholars can now trace every detail of the development of this most unusual work. The editors propose for the first time that an alternative version of the lecture was read by Wittgenstein to the 1929 meeting of the free–thinking society, The Heretics.
The volume includes two essays explaining the origin of the lecture and the moral perspective it unfolds. The process of its development reveals that it is not at heart a thesis about language and ethics. Instead, Wittgenstein describes the way in which one approaches the ethical in wonder, rather than in the search for explanations. This major addition to the literature on Wittgenstein makes his Lecture on Ethics accessible to a wider readership and affirms its status as the expression of Wittgenstein s enduring view of ethics.
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