Wittgenstein - 5

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Wittgenstein and Norway


The back cover text:

"It is well known that Wittgenstein was taken not only by the awesome and inspiring landscape of Western Norway but also by its withheld but industrious inhabitants, whom he met during his many stays there. The existing biographs have touched upon Wittgenstein's attraction to Norway in passing and left it at that. This book makes it one of its main themes. The two Norwegian researchers Knut Olav Åmås and Rolf Larsen describe the circumstances connected with each of Wittgenstein's visits to Norway. They succeed in exploding everal myths surrounding Wittgenstein's reasons for making them and present a detailed and well documented picture of his actual activities and relationships in Skjolden, the village at the end of the world's longest fjord, the Sognefjord. In cooperation with Knut Olav Åmås, Georg Henrik von Wright adds to this picture by presenting the complete surviving correspondence between Wittgenstein and people in Skjolden; and Ivar Oxaal reflects upon the character of Wittgenstein's fascination with Norway. All of which points the way to a fuller understanding of Wittgenstein the man as well as his philosophy.

The other main theme of the book is Wittgenstein's impact on Norwegian philosophy. Probably no other intellectual milieu has been so heavily influenced by Wittgenstein's thinking as has Norwegian philosophy. Gunnar Skirbekk gives an overview of how this has manifested itself during the last forty years. And Allan Janik makes a thorough presentation of The Bergen School of Aesthetics with the Wittgenstein-inspired research of Kjell S. Johannessen. In his own contribution to this volume Johannessen examines the idea of intransitive understanding as a mediating link between art and philosophy in Wittgenstein.

The director of the Wittgenstein Archives at The University of Bergen, Claus Huitfeldt, recounts the fascinating story of how the Wittgenstein Archives came into being and discusses some of the problems connected with representing texts in a machine readable form. Aspects of this theme are also treated extensively in David G. Stern's article on the Wittgensteins papers as text and hypertext.

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