Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 12, 1986/1987

Charles E. Burlingame
Pages 195-218

Wittgenstein, His Logic, and His Promethean Mission

In paragraphs 107-108 of his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein remarks, “The preconceived idea of crystalline purity can only be removed by turning our whole examination round. (One might say: the axis of reference of our examination must be rotated, but about the fixed point of our real need.)” This paper attempts to illuminate his notion of this “real need” which is shared by that work and by his earlier Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by comparing these works with some of the writings of Tolstoy and Schopenhauer with which he was familiar. I do this not to discredit either of his writings as works on logic but to show in what manner they are, indeed, works on logic.