Ludwig Wittgenstein is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 28, 2004.
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April 15, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
December 29, 2007Featured article reviewDemoted
December 8, 2011Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former featured article



This section of the article is written in a fashion that suggests things about Wittgenstein's religious belief that might not be there. That is, particular words are used such as "fundemental" which insinuate that Wittgenstein grew more religiously entrenched as his life went on. This can be debated as Wittgenstein's relationship with religion was very complex and not easily expressed in words. This section seems to me to have been written by someone who has an interest in presenting Wittgenstein as a fervent Christian which again is not about denying outright but about debating and providing balance to it in the article and section which it seemingly does not do at the present time. Rìgh (talk) 02:33, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Agree. It needs a re-write. There are many people who try to retrospectively make individuals look more religious than they actually were. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:48, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

@Contaldo80 and Rìgh: I Reckon the categories about his "agnoticism" should be removed. (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Which Wittgenstein?Edit

In the section concerning the brothers' suicides, it is said: 'Later Wittgenstein wrote: "I ought to have... become a star in the sky. Instead of which I have remained stuck on earth."'

Which Wittgenstein wrote this? Was it the one most recently mentioned (Karl), or was it the subject of ther article? MrDemeanour (talk) 12:17, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

There is an online McGuinness here. It looks to me as if those words are Ludwig's. I'm not sure why we can't use the whole quote as it's only a few words longer. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:41, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
The YouTube video BBC Horizon film Wittgenstein: A Wonderful Life (1989) minute 29:16 of total length 48:53, credits Ludwig Wittgenstein with those words -- "I ought to have done something positive with my life, to have become a star in the sky. Instead I remained stuck on earth and am now gradually fading out.". --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 02:41, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Re: Background, the WittgensteinsEdit

Two problems; this is plagiarized without permission and it is from a blog;; should be deleted.Mwinog2777 (talk) 01:26, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

List of influencesEdit

There have been several small discussions on this, which can all be found in the archives. Perhaps the most notable are this one from 2005 and, more recently, this one from 2010? Can it be agreed that all of those in the list should at least be supported by material in this article? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:29, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

I think William James is an extremely important influence on Wittgenstein and I can give several reasons as to why I think this if necessary. I think the criteria that "influenced by" should be supported by the material in the article is improper because of two reasons, first there are already philosophers in his "influences" which are not supported by the article (Spengler, Kraus, Loos, Sraffa, Hertz, and von Helmholtz), and this criteria is absent for every philosopher wiki page I've seen, including Russel, Moore, Descartes, and William James. I can show my reasoning as to why I think James should be included if necessary, but for starters William James's page lists Wittgenstein as someone who James influenced. -ck — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Reasons why James should be included on Wittgenstein's list of influences:
"According to Monk, Wittgenstein had even thought of using The Principles as a course text in order to illustrate the conceptual confusions that he was trying to fight, but in the end —as he told Rhees— he preferred to talk just from his own head. In short, during his last years of his life Wittgenstein very often referred to James in his lectures, and—to everybody’s astonishment—on one occasion he even referred to an exact page number!" Numbiola, Jamie. “Ludwig Wittgenstein and WJ.” Streams of William James. Volume 2, Issue 3, Fall 2000.
“Whenever I have time I now read James’s Varieties of religious exp [sic]. This book does me a lot of good.” Said by Wittgenstein in a letter to Russell. G. H. von Wright, ed. Letters to Russell, Keynes and Moore. Blackwell, Oxford, 1974, 10.
In Philosophical Investigations, James was mentioned 5 times and the only thinker who was referenced more than him was St. Augustine (6 times).
"WITTGENSTEIN A book you should read is William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience; that was a book that helped me a lot at one time. DRURY: Oh yes, I have read that. I always enjoy reading anything of William James. He is such a human person. WITTGENSTEIN: That’s what makes him a good philosopher; he was a real human being." Drury, M. OC. The Selected Writings of Maurice OConnor Drury: on Wittgenstein, Philosophy, Religion and Psychiatry. Edited by John Hayes, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
In a book we know Wittgenstein read and recommended, Varieties of Religious Experience, there is the following passage: "Most books on the philosophy of religion try to begin with a precise definition of what its essence consists of. Some of these would-be definitions may possibly come before us in later portions of this course, and I shall not be pedantic enough to enumerate any of them to you now. Meanwhile the very fact that they are so many and so different from one another is enough to prove that the word “religion” cannot stand for any single principle or essence, but is rather a collective name." This is nearly identical with Wittgenstein's concept of "family resemblance." The influence is clear. -ck — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. I assume you are the same editor who posted above on 1 March? Try to sign your posts with four tildes like this: ~~~~ It would be a good idea if you registered as an editor, as you evidently seem to care about article content. I think you need to add some of this material, perhaps the most pertinent parts, complete with the sources, into the article, so that the infobox claim is supported. Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:50, 16 March 2019 (UTC)


What was Wittgenstein's nationality? The infobox says, very clearly, just Austrian. Editor Lehol seems to think he was "Austrian-born British". The topic was discussed before, in 2015. See Talk:Ludwig Wittgenstein/Archive 10#Austrian-British. There is no doubt he was born in Austria. I believe there is little doubt that he was still Austria when he became famous. The outstanding question seems to be if he relinquished his Austrian citizenship in 1939 when he acquired British citizenship. At the moment we now have a clear inconsistency in the article, between the text and the infobox, that alters what has been the agreed consensus for the past 4 years? This change was made with the edit summary "cleared up his origin". I don't think it clears up his origin at all. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:29, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Current consensus for the existing "Austrian-British" seems to have been reached here on 26 May 2015. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

that’s a lie, it’s not a consensus. The whole problem in trying to make the Austrian philosopher a British was raised by you in 2015. The only person that agreed with you at that time seems to have been blocked since 2015... interesting to note, someone who had no editions at that time came to this page to agree with you and the same was blocked at that year and never came back... dear, stop it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lehol (talkcontribs) 03:29, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Consensus may change, of course. Although I don't see that any of the facts about Wittgenstein's life have changed since they were discussed 4 years ago. Perhaps you could outline here your reasons why you think "Austrian-born British" is preferable to "Austrian-British". Other interested editors can then comment. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:00, 16 March 2019 (UTC) p.s. Try to sign your posts with four tildes like this: ~~~~
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