Research Group: Wittgenstein and Early Analytic Philosophy

We have research strengths in all aspects of Wittgenstein's thought, including his early, late and transitional works, his philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of religion, and metaphilosophy, and on the relations between Wittgenstein's thought and the work of Frege, Russell, Husserl, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and later 20th century philosophers such as Quine and Davidson.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

Among the many events we have hosted examining Wittgenstein's thought, we hosted in 2010 two major international conferences: Self and Others in Wittgenstein and Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, supported by the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, the British Society for the History of Philosophy and the Mind Association; and Wittgenstein and Aesthetics, which was the third annual conference of the British Wittgenstein Society. In 2011, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Philosophical Investigations with the postgraduate conference, Wittgenstein after Sixty Years, and in 2012 we hosted a postgraduate master-class on Wittgenstein and Issues in Contemporary Philosophy.

Current Research Student Profile: Kristen Jeffs

"The principal focus of my PhD is to further clarify Wittgenstein's suggestion, explicated by Dr Schönbaumsfeld in her A Confusion of the Spheres, that there is an inherent ethical dimension to philosophical reflection: that there is no firm wedge to be driven between one's character and the character of one's philosophical thought; that wrestling with philosophical problems has as much to do with the will as of the intellect; and that clearing up conceptual confusion is an aspect of "work on oneself". Specifically, I aim to clarify this ethical dimension by relating it to Wittgensteinian diagnoses of the conceptual confusions that plague our reflection on the integrated notions of human rational freedom, responsibility, and debt to authority. This focus, therefore, corresponds also to the Wittgensteinian methodology at the heart of John McDowell's work. As a supplement to this research, I am stimulated by the links between character and intellect portrayed in Dostoevsky's fictional works. I also have an interest in the implications of Wittgenstein's philosophy for our understanding of religion (and, in particular, the work of the late Dewi Phillips)."

The Later Wittgenstein on Language

Edited by Daniel Whiting (2009)

The Later Wittgenstein on Language


Selected publications associated with this group from the University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):

Schoenbaumsfeld, Genia (2013) Kierkegaard and the Tractatus. In, Sullivan, Peter and Potter, Michael (eds.) Wittgenstein's Tractatus, History and Interpretation. Oxford, GB, Oxford University Press, 59-75.
McManus, Denis (2013) Austerity, psychology, and the intelligibility of nonsense. Philosophical Topics, n/a, 1-53.
Monk, Ray (2011) Definitions, characterisations…“and similar things”: Hans-Johann Glock on analytic philosophy. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy, 30, (1)
Schoenbaumsfeld, Genia (2010) A "resolute" later Wittgenstein? Metaphilosophy, 41, (5), 649-668. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2010.01664.x).
Whiting, Daniel (2010) Particular and general: Wittgenstein, linguistic rules and context. In, Whiting, Daniel (ed.) The Later Wittgenstein on Language. London, UK, Palgrave, 114-132. (Philosophers in Depth).
Whiting, Daniel (ed.) (2009) The Later Wittgenstein on Language, Basingstoke, GB, Palgrave Macmillan, 256pp. (Philosophers in Depth).
Whiting, Daniel (2009) Introduction. In, Whiting, Daniel (ed.) The Later Wittgenstein on Language. Basingstoke, UK, Palgrave Macmillan, 1-16. (Philosophers in Depth).
Schoenbaumsfeld, Genia (2009) Ludwig Wittgenstein. In, Oppy, Graham and Trakakis, Nick (eds.) The History of Western Philosophy of Religion. Durham, UK, Acumen, 161-174.
Schönbaumsfeld, Genia (2009) 'Objectively there is no truth' - Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard on religious belief. In, Arnswald, Ulrich (ed.) In Search of Meaning: Ludwig Wittgenstein on Ethics, Mysticism and Religion. Karlsruhe, DE, Universitätsverlag Karlsruhe, 131-148.
Schoenbaumsfeld, Genia (2008) Durch Worte, oder Welten, getrennt? Wittgensteins Verstaendnis religioeser Sprache. In, Nagl-Docekal, Herta and Wolfram, Friedrich (eds.) Jenseits der Saekularisierung. Berlin, Germany, Parerga, 181-204.
Schönbaumsfeld, Genia (2007) Worlds or words apart? Wittgenstein on understanding religious language. Ratio (new series), 20, (4), 422-441. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9329.2007.00376.x).
Monk, Ray (2007) Bourgeois, Bolshevist or Anarchist? The reception of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics. In, Kahane, Guy, Kanterian, Edward and Kuusela, Oskari (eds.) Wittgenstein and His Interpreters: Essays in Memory of Gordon Baker. Oxford, GB, Blackwell, 269-294.
Schönbaumsfeld, Genia (2007) A confusion of the spheres: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on philosophy and religion, Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 224pp.
McManus, Denis (2006) The Enchantment of Words: Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , New York, USA; Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press, 288pp.
Monk, R. (2005) How to read Wittgenstein, London, UK, Granta Books, 128pp.
McManus, Denis (ed.) (2004) Wittgenstein and scepticism, London, UK, Routledge, 320pp.
McManus, Denis (2004) Solipsism and Scepticism in the Tractatus. In, McManus, Denis (ed.) Wittgenstein and scepticism. London, UK, Routledge, 137-161.
McManus, Denis (2003) Wittgenstein, fetishism and nonsense in practice. In, Heyes, Cressida J. (ed.) The Grammar of Politics: Wittgenstein and Political Philosophy. London, Ithaca NY, Cornell University Press, 63-81.
McManus, Denis (2000) Freedom, grammar and the given: 'Mind and World' and Wittgenstein. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 31, 248-263.


Members of staff associated with this group:

Research projects

No research projects are currently associated with this group.