To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus the Austrian Cultural Forum London, in collaboration with the Wittgenstein Initiative and the British Wittgenstein Society, are pleased to present a virtual exhibition on the famous Austrian philosopher and the brilliant, enigmatic book which was to make a major impact on twentieth century philosophy.
Curated by the Wittgenstein Initiative it gives an overview of Ludwig Wittgenstein's life and the path to the creation of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which can rightly be termed an odyssey. Both in the temporal and spatial sense, as well as Wittgenstein’s intellectual development in the course of writing it, the Tractatus contains all the associations of an exciting, improbable journey.
26 April 1889
Born in Vienna, in the family villa in Neuwaldegg
Cambridge Trinity College, as Undergraduate, meeting with Bertrand Russell / Visit to Frege in Jena
Volunteers for service in the Austrian army
Arrival in Cracow, assigned to one of the Vistula ships "for the operation of a spotlight"
Transfer to Sokal to artillery workshop train no. 1
Officer training in Olomouc, meets Paul Engelmann
Return to the front in Bukowina
Completion of the Tractatus in Austria, during a home leave
Taken Prisoner of War in Italy, Cassino
Return to Vienna / Distributes his fortune to his siblings
Starts training for an elementary school teacher
Elementary school teacher in Lower Austria
Logical-Philosophical Treatise appears in the Annals of Natural Philosophy
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is published in English-German version, with a preface by Bertrand Russel
Wittgenstein moved to Manchester in May 1908, after three semesters studying mechanical engineering at the Technical High School Charlottenburg (1906-1908).
As a rather informal research student at the university, he was involved in experiments and research on aeronautics until 1911.
‘I wrote to Frege putting forward some objections to his theories, and waited anxiously for a reply. To my great pleasure, Frege wrote and asked me to come and see him. When I arrived I saw a row of boys’ school caps and heard a noise of boys playing in the garden. Frege, I learned later, had had a sad married life – his children had died young, and then his wife; he had an adopted son, to whom I believe he was a kind and good father. I was shown into Frege’s study. Frege was a small neat man with a pointed beard, who bounced around the room as he talked. He absolutely wiped the floor with me, and I felt very depressed; but at the end he said “You must come again”, so I cheered up. I had several discussions with him after that. Frege would never talk about anything but logic and mathematics; if I started on some other subject, he would say something polite and then plunge back into logic and mathematics. He once showed me an obituary of a colleague, who, it was said, never used a word without knowing what it meant; he expressed astonishment that a man should be praised for this! The last time I saw Frege, as we were waiting at the station for my train, I said to him “Don’t you ever find any difficulty in your theory that numbers are objects?! He replied “Sometimes I seem to see a difficulty – but then again I don’t see it.”’
Ludwig Wittgenstein in a personal communication to Peter Geach
Courtesy Brian McGuinness, Young Ludwig, 1988
Curated by Radmila Schweitzer
All content is protected by copyright © 2021 by Radmila Schweitzer, Wittgenstein Initiative, www.wittgenstein-initiative.com
Trinity College, Cambridge
The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
The University of Bergen
Forschungsinstitut Brenner-Archiv der Universität Innsbruck
Wittgenstein Foundation Skjolden
Austrian State Archive
University of Iowa
Bundesgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 3 Kundmanngasse