Philosophical Investigations online

If you don’t mind commentary, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (courtesy of Lois Shawyer) is available freely online at

I only checked out the first 10 aphorisms, but if the first 10 are at all representative of the rest of the publication, then kudos to Shawyer for providing such a great service.  Shawyer’s introductory remarks indicating what Wittgenstein is like to the untrained philosopher is insightful:

 The problem is that while Wittgenstein’s writing style is quite beautiful, almost poetic,  it is so unusual, that all of us, it seems, need a little help in the beginning.

I still need help! Though I suppose that that is part of the appeal of Wittgenstein’s philosophy–especially his later philosophy.  Its ordinariness (compared to other philosophers) makes it bizarre to interpret–though reading it is easy enough.  Where there is a lack of need to look up terminology with a specific sense within the discourse of philosophy, there is a more pressing need to disentangle several points of view from the issues being only hinted at.


2 thoughts on “Philosophical Investigations online

  1. It seems to only go through the first 100 paragraphs.

    This site has the same, without commentary.

    When does PI enter the public domain, anyway? I thought it wasn’t for a few years still, but a quick glance at Wikipedia notes that the “Life of the author+infinite years” thing only applies to certain works publishes before 1964.

    Oh, good. A little work shows that its copyright was renewed, so I suppose it may very well be indefinitely copyrighted along with Mickey & the gang. I suppose “Fair Use”-sized selections is what the internet gets to work with for the foreseeable future. Ah, well.

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