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Lecture on Ethics


The most complete edition yet published of Wittgenstein’s 1929 lecture includes a never-before published first draft and makes fresh claims for its significance in Wittgenstein’s oeuvre.

  • The first available print publication of all known drafts of Wittgenstein’s Lecture on Ethics
  • Includes a previously unrecognized first draft of the lecture and new transcriptions of all drafts
  • Transcriptions preserve the philosopher’s emendations thus showing the development of the ideas in the lecture
  • Proposes a different draft as the version read by Wittgenstein in his 1929 lecture
  • Includes introductory essays on the origins of the material and on its meaning, content, and importance
Acknowledgments vii

1 Introduction: The Content of a Lecture on Ethics 1

2 Established Text of the Lecture: MS 139b Normalized 42

3 The Manuscripts of a Lecture on Ethics 52

4 Description of the Manuscripts 66

5 Symbols Used in the Diplomatic Transcriptions 69

6 Proto-Draft: Diplomatic Transcription 71

7 MS 139a: Diplomatic Transcription 77

8 MS 139b: Diplomatic Transcription 101

9 TS 207: Diplomatic Transcription 123

References 135

Index 137