The Blue and Brown Books

by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Book, 1958



Call number


Call number



Oxford : Basil Blackwell, 1969, c1958

Original publication date


Physical description

xiv, 192 p.; 22 cm

Local notes

These works, as the sub-title makes clear, are unfinished sketches for Philosophical Investigations, possibly the most important and influential philosophical work of modern times. The 'Blue Book' is a set of notes dictated to Witgenstein's Cambridge students in 1933-1934: the 'Brown Book' was a draft for what eventually became the growth of the first part of Philosophical Investigations. This book reveals the germination and growth of the ideas which found their final expression in Witgenstein's later work. It is indispensable therefore to students of Witgenstein's thought and to all those who wish to study at first-hand the mental processes of a thinker who fundamentally changed the course of modern philosophy.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Snakeshands
Works with interesting concepts, and demolishes some very silly thinking about philosophy of language that people bring intuitively to the subject. On the other hand, he's a bit more than supportably behaviorist, and with annoying frequency he confuses something he can't find out with something Unknowable By Definition, ignoring that science has indeed taken what were once philosophical problems and turned them into experimentally answerable questions--cog sci, quantum physics and relativity being especially good on that front. That said, it's a great intro to Wittgenstein, and you have to remember that there actually were people who thought the way that his seeming strawmen did.… (more)
LibraryThing member ral12345
Definitely worthwhile if you're preparing to undertake a study of Wittgenstein. The book is essentialy a compliation of notes taken by his students based on his lectures. If you're thinking about purchasing this book, you should definitely be prepared for a weighty read, but not as intense as other works written by, or attributed to, Wittgenstein.… (more)
LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
I suppose I should have read this before Philosophical Investigations, but this is still a worthy text on its own, and helps clarify some of the finer points of his intricate and complex ideas.

Covers language and philosophy of mind well. Need to reread P.I. soon.
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