This ambitious book attempts to do just what it
says on the tin: rather than offering an
assessment for or against Wittgenstein’s philosophy it sets out to ‘‘say what Wittgenstein
means’’. The author talks of ‘‘settling’’ for
interpretation, but is also aware of the enormous controversy between scholars over which
readings or approaches are to be preferred.
Duncan Richter hopes to navigate this treacherous terrain by sticking close to what
Wittgenstein says about his methodology
(hence taking him at his word) while at the
same time attending to how his approach
manifests itself, not only in what he wrote
about it but also in what and how he wrote on
various topics––and, indeed, in what he
did not write on issues of philosophical and personal
importance, such as ethics and religion.