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"We sometimes demand definitions for the sake not of their content, but of their form. Our requirement is an architectural one; the definition is a kind of ornamental coping that supports nothing." — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, I:217.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian, born on April 26, 1889, who eventually became a professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University in England. His early work is encapsulated in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which analyses the relationship of logic and math to ordinary language and experience. His later works, notably Philosophical Investigations, show how easy it is to make a mistake in philosophy (or religion, or just about anything) by careless use of language and assumptions about the relation of language to reality.
Wittgenstein's writings never tells anyone how to act, but he gave away a very large fortune, lived like a Stoic, and dedicated his life to teaching.
In 1904 and 1905 Wittgenstein attended the same school as Adolf Hitler, but there is no record of their interacting as they were 2 grades apart. Both were raised Roman Catholic, but Wittgenstein had a Jewish father. After attending Cambridge as an undergraduate, during World War I Ludwig fought for the Austro-Hungarian Empire and won several medals for heroism in action. He was captured by the Italian army and spent 9 months in a POW camp.
He died on April 29, 1951.
Spirituality, Dualism, and Consciousness [August 21, 2015]
Wittgenstein, Determinism, and Fortune [January 16, 2013]
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