I was reading a text book that stated that Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is rarely criticized in a serious way, since Wittgenstein himself rejected its ideas in his later phase, as explained in his Philosophical Investigations.

Are there any philosophers that still take it seriously? and are there any contemporary schools of thought or topics in Philosophy where the Tractatus' ideas are still influential?

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    Define "permanent influence on philosophy." Define "take seriously"
    – virmaior
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 4:11
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    Newtons Laws are repudiated by Relativity; but they are still taken seriously; possibly, ditto the Tractatus. Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 13:16
  • @MoziburUllah repudiate seems a bit strong. While Relativity supercedes Newton's laws, Newton's laws still produce good-enough results on non-relativistic scales and as such are still used.
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 19:56
  • @MoziburUllah In a way, that is the crux of my question: Are there domains where the ideas of the Tractatus are still applicable, even if Wittgenstein's claim to have solved all the problems of philosophy no longer holds? Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 0:08
  • @barzell: sure; I didn't mean repudiate in the sense of cancel; but supersede; but I do say, as you point out, that 'Newtons Laws...are still taken seriously'. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 1:00

1 Answer 1


There is no "W's school" (and there was none ...).

You can see :

on W in general, and Ch.3 on the Tractatus :

Few philosophical works have been as ambitious yet short, and as influential yet obscure, as Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It purports to lay the whole subject to rest in fewer than eighty pages of cryptic text, sufficiently tough going to provoke complaints even from the likes of Frege and Russell who were ideally placed to understand it.

Yet it transformed subsequent philosophy, most notably by inspiring the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle and by providing the basis of Wittgenstein’s further revolutionary ideas.

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    I read somewhere that the Wittgenstein felt the Vienna Circle misunderstood him. In fact, at their meetings, he'd often protest by reading poetry or religious literature.
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 19:57
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    @R.Barzell - it's right... but the "misreading" of the Tractatus by the Vienna Circle was equally influential on it. Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 20:03
  • Lol, good point!
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 20:05
  • If the analytic school counts, in part, as an outcome of W's work; then doesn't it too count, in part, as his school; actually considering the Viennese influence, it seems one might say its a different flavour of continental. Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 6:04

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