Ray Monk | Granta

Ray Monk

Ray Monk is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. As well as How to Read Wittgenstein, he is the author of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, which won the 1991 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and of a two-volume biography of Bertrand Russell.


How To Read Wittgenstein

Ray Monk

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, Ray 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, a poem.

Extracts are taken from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and from a range of writings, including Philosophical Investigations, The Blue and Brown Books and Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology.