First published in 1992. Although there is a vast amount of secondary literature on the Philosophical Investigations, very little exists which considers the exegesis of this important text. The apparently disjointed structure of the book has often been taken as a licence for interpreting passages out of context. This collection shows how important it is to consider the arguments which specify or authorise particular readings of certain passages.
The essays are by distinguished Wittgenstein scholars. All approach the Investigations with the conviction that prior to pronouncements of the relevance or tenability of certain remarks one must always carefully consider Wittgenstein's text itself and locate the puzzling passages in their (immediate or original) contexts. Diverse exegetical approaches are represented; while some believe that the Investigations can be read as an independent text, others find it essential to look at the context of a particular remark, or of variations on it, in Wittgenstein's other texts. A lively debate emerges as authors differ in their assessment of the philosophical value of their material; some try to show that careful interpretations reveal valuable insights into prima facie untenable passages, others conclude that certain remarks fail to resolve the issues they address.
This is the first strictly exegetical collection of papers on the Investigations. It is a major contribution to the study of not only this work, but of Wittgenstein's thought and an important strand of twentieth century philosophy.