Miami University Logo
Humanities Center
Email for Humanities CenterFacebook for Humanities CenterTwitter for Humanities Center
This Year's EventsEvent ArchiveAltman EventsSubmit an Event

Colloquium Talk: Reading Tractatus, Understanding Wittgenstein

Friday, March 3, 2023
4:15 pm
Hall Auditorium Green Room (HAL 103)

Co-sponsored by Humanities Center and Miami University Department of Philosophy

At 6.54 of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein writes: “My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical." A task is thereby set for the reader, that of learning to read the Tractatus so as to understand its author. Dr. Macbeth's interest is in the nature of this task, in particular, with two difficulties any reader of the Tractatus must face. The first is with the very idea of learning to read a text so as to understand its author, what this might mean. The second difficulty is that Wittgenstein later changed his mind about one central theme of Tractatus in a way that seems to set a constraint on one’s reading that it is impossible to respect. Our resolution of these two difficulties provides an essential resource not only for reading Wittgenstein but for philosophical thinking more generally.

Danielle Macbeth is T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Frege's Logic (Harvard University Press, 2005) and Realizing Reason: A Narrative of Truth and Knowing (Oxford University Press, 2014), as well as many essays in, for example, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and the history and philosophy of mathematics. She was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, CA in 2002-2003, and has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Burkhardt Fellowship and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Dr. Danielle Macbeth
Dr. Danielle Macbeth
Professor of Philosophy, Haverford College