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Brief Lives

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

Alistair MacFarlane sketches Wittgenstein’s life with words.

When Ludwig Wittgenstein was persuaded to return to Cambridge in 1929, he was virtually penniless and had no degree. Bertrand Russell realised that Wittgenstein’s previous status as an undergraduate in Trinity College would allow him to apply for a doctorate; and G.E. Moore suggested that he submit his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) as a doctoral thesis. The examination has passed into legend.