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These works, as the sub-title makes clear, are unfinished sketches for Philosophical Investigations , possibly the most important and influential philosophical work of modern times. The Blue Book is a set of notes dictated to Witgenstein's Cambridge students in 1933-1934 and the Brown Book was a draft for what eventually became the growth of the first part of Philosophical Investigations . This book reveals the germination and growth of the ideas which found their final expression in Witgenstein's later work. It is indispensable therefore to students of Witgenstein's thought and to all those who wish to study at first-hand the mental processes of a thinker who fundamentally changed the course of modern philosophy.
We live in a time of functionalism, operationalism and technologism with all its levelling, depersonalising and dehumanising effects. In such an age, the question arises of philosophy as critical, reflective theory about the world, man's position and purpose in the world and the relationship between philosophy and man as a free individual. This book makes an attempt to give an answer to this question. It has been written from great concern as to the future destiny of mankind, in the light of various contemporary attempts at the abolition of philosophy and at merging it in practice, as this practice is seen by the respective thinker or school of thought. This work may be seen as representing an answer to such attempts, as they are made, for instance, by the advocates of linguistic analysis or by representatives of the so-called Frankfurt School respectively. By an analysis of Western thought in general with emphasis on the present, the author of this book seeks to show that the abdication of philosophy as critical, reflective theory leads to the abdication of man as a critical, reflective individual, one that is free to dissent and to say No to the system. Man is perverted and alienated from his true nature. He is forced to conform and to lead an unauthentic existence within the system.
This volume grew out of a dissatisfaction with some issues that seem to be rooted in the Empiricist tradition. At least since Locke, that which is perceived has enjoyed a major share in any systematic account of what we claim to know. A main purpose of this study therefore is first to distinguish, and subsequently to relate, what can be perceived and what can be under stood. To this end, the account of persons and personal identity begins with a description of selected types of sense perceptions. While writing a good part of the discussion on vision, I had the advantage of questioning Dr. P. B. Loder about the properties of light. She not only clarified some issues, but prevented several errors from creeping into the text, a result for which I am very grateful. I should like also to express my appreciation to Mrs. G. K. Stamm-Okkinga, who provided hospitality and a friendly interest from the beginning of this study. Finally I wish to thank Miss I. Ris and Mr. W. de Regt for their careful and resourceful preparation of the typescript.