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Wittgenstein's House: Language, Space, and Architecture [Hardcover]

Nana Last

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Book Description

July 29 2008 Fordham University Press
Wittgenstein's House reads Wittgenstein's his two main philosophical texts, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations, in relation to an experience that intervened between them: his design and construction of the Stonborough-Wittgenstein house in Vienna. Arguing that the practice of architecture occupies not just a historical position between Wittgenstein's early and late philosophy, but a conceptual position as well, the book demonstrates that Wittgenstein's practice of architecture constitutes a fundamental component in the development of his philosophy of language from its early to late phases. The book advances the radical proposition that the field in which architecture and philosophy operate includes linguistic and spatial practices. It develops innovative forms of interdisciplinary analyses to demonstrate that the philosophical positions put forth by Wittgenstein's two main works are literally unthinkable outside of their respective conceptions of space: the view from above in the early work and the view from within constructed by the late work.

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. . . An interesting and thought-provoking work, one that adds to the corpus of writings on Wittgenstein's ideas about architecture and aesthetics.


...sheds light on the architectural experiences that led Wittgenstein from an account of language emanating from a...paranormal perspective...to an interior view of language.-Christopher C. Robinson


A noteworthy synthesis of Wittgenstein's philosophy with the subject of architecture.


About the Author

Nana Last is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Rice University.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable book for those researching the house designed by Ludwig Wittgenstein. Dec 7 2013
By Marvin McConoughey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent story of the house that sometime-philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein designed for his sister. It is one of three books that I have read about Ludwig Wittgenstein the person, as contrasted to a greater number of books on his philosophy. The house was begun by a professional architect, a family friend and a personal friend of Ludwig. Ludwig, known for his determination took over design responsibility and thereafter exerted complete, sometimes excessive, control. The house itself is pictured in bleak black and white photographs that very possibly fail to convey the sense of the house as it was experienced and lived in by Ludwig's sister. The book is of primary interest for those who study Ludwig Wittgenstein and for those, like this reviewer, who are interested in architecture. I give the book four stars because the pictures and their reproduction are no better than average quality, and because the author, in my view which is based on other reading, was not fully objective in her understanding of the central people involved and of the house itself.

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