Ludwig Wittgenstein : the duty of genius /
Ray Monk.
1st American ed. --
New York : Free Press : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1990.
xviii, 654 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
0029216702 :
More Details
New York : Free Press : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1990.
0029216702 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [587]-646) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-03:
Monk attempts to weave Wittgenstein's life and thought together and for the most part succeeds in showing how his persistent characterizations of himself as "rotten," "indecent," and "wicked" contain dual references to the intellectual as well as moral aspects of his life. Monk leaves it to the reader to judge the severity of Wittgenstein's standards as well as the degree of strictness with which he applied them to himself. Familiar influences on his life are traced (Tolstoy and Tagore, for instance), and new ones (Weininger and Brouwer) are drawn out in a scholarly but readable way. The book contains a highly useful corrective to W. W. Bartley's earlier treatment of the "missing" years of Wittgenstein's life (Wittgenstein, 2nd ed., 1981; 1st ed., CH, Nov'73). It is much more accessible than the turgid first volume of Brian McGuinness's projected two-volume biography, though lacking in the extreme factual detail of this recent work (Wittgenstein: A Life, CH, Apr'89). Many of Wittgenstein's private diary entries and letters to friends and lovers are revealed here, but they are treated honestly and without sensationalism. An extremely important work that deserves to be read not just by philosophers but by anyone interested in 20th-century thought. Recommended for general readers as well as specialists in Wittgenstein's philosophy. -C. G. Luckhardt, Georgia State University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1990-09-07:
Wittgenstein the philosopher and Wittgenstein the man have generated two largely separate industries. In a full-scale biography of him, British philosopher Monk tries to show that this possibly acutest and most influential mind of the century and the obsessional personality were one, driven by spiritual as much as by intellectual concerns. Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was born into one of the wealthiest families in Austria but gave away his entire inheritance; he fought in WW I, was Bertrand Russell's protege and then his master, became a reluctant Cambridge don who exchanged academia for solitude whenever possible and was drawn to younger men with brilliant minds. With access to Wittgenstein's papers, as well as to his friends, Monk has done an excellent job of elucidating the twin journeys of an extraordinary mind and soul, though it's not likely his insights into Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations will tempt many to do more than dip their feet in those decidedly choppy waters. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1990-10-15:
The veritable flood of writings about Wittgenstein--fiction as well as nonfiction--continues unabated, and this is a worthy addition. Monk gives a more balanced account of Wittgenstein's life and personality than does Brian McGuinness ( Wittgenstein: A Life; Young Ludwig, 1889-1921, LJ 9/15/88), insofar as he deals with Wittgenstein's homosexuality and goes into considerable detail about the three main relationships in Wittgenstein's life. Monk has done a great deal of research; what emerges is a portrait of a troubled, restless, creative mind, one destined, it seems, to be forever dissatisfied. Though not the last word on Wittgenstein's life--something on the order of a ``psychobiography'' must someday be written--this book is highly recommended.-- Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, September 1990
Library Journal, October 1990
Choice, March 1991
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem