Wittgenstein’s Bag of Raisins

Norman Malcolm

In the huge amount of writing left by Wittgenstein there often occur notes that do not belong directly to his treatment of particular philosophical problems. The notes pertain to a wide variety of topics, including music, art, architecture, poetry, dreams, humour, culture, civilisation, philosophy, faith, God, talent, originality, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner. It seemed to Georg Henrik Von Wright, one of Wittgenstein’s literary executors, that many of these reflections would be of interest to people who would not read Wittgenstein’s philosophical work, even though the best understanding of most of them requires the background of that work. Fifteen years ago Von Wright began selecting this material, the first result being several hundred pages of remarks. This was felt to be too bulky for publication and, regrettably, it was drastically reduced. This shortened version, first published in the original German as Vermischte Bermerkungen (Miscellaneous Remarks), now appears with facing English translation by Peter Winch. (The title Culture and Value will make Wittgenstein turn in his grave.)

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