Interpretations of Wittgenstein’s work notoriously fuel debate and
controversy. This holds true not only with respect to its main messages,
but also to questions concerning its unity and purpose. Tradition has it that
his intellectual career can best be understood if carved in twain; that we can
get a purchase on his thinking by focusing on and contrasting his, ‘two
diametrically opposed philosophical masterpieces, the Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus (1921) and the Philosophical Investigations (1953)’ (Hacker
2001, 1). This is allegedly justiﬁed by the supposition that these provide us
with two, distinctive, ‘powerful complete world-pictures’ (Hacker 2001, p.
viii). Others object; holding that this simple division fails to take account of
all the major breaks. They claim that, minimally, we ought to recognize at
least three major moments in the progression of Wittgenstein’s thought,
taking stock of a ﬁnal period in which On Certainty dominates. Still others
reject the idea that the best interpretative results will come from regarding
the development of his thinking in the stark terms of involving ‘complete’
changes of mind at all. On the contrary, they argue that, that we will better
understand his works if we emphasize their methodological continuity.