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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2005-06 >> abstracts

Friday, 14 April 2006

Lunchtime Colloquium
The Joint Philosophical Program of Russell
and Wittgenstein: March–November 1912

Nikolay Milkov, University of Bielefeld

12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning


Abstract:  In the months between March and November 1912 Russell and Wittgenstein started a joint program in philosophy during which they often worked tête-à-tête. Wittgenstein’s visit to Frege in December 1912, in which Frege “absolutely wiped the floor with [him]”, terminated his intellectual honeymoon with Russell—their joint program in philosophy was abandoned. The theoretical effect of this breakdown was Wittgenstein’s criticism of Russell’s Theory of Knowledge in May–June 1913. The first positive result was Wittgenstein’s “Notes on Logic”, written down in the summer of 1913. In practical terms, the estrangement between the two philosophers was manifested in Wittgenstein’s decision to leave Cambridge for Norway.


Despite being short-lived, the joint program in philosophy from March–November 1912 remained central to the philosophy of both Russell and Wittgenstein. From then on, the main preoccupation of each philosopher was to advance this well-formed program further. However, each did this following his own philosophical intuition, and so developed it in his own way.

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Revised 3/6/08 - Copyright 2006