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The Joint Philosophical Program of Russell and Wittgenstein and Its Demise

Nikolay Milkov
Published Online: 2013-08-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nwr.2013.2.1.81


Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein’s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution - the joint program was abandoned. This paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. It determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the first two sections, it recasts, along previously undeveloped lines, Wittgenstein’s logical- philosophical discoveries in the two years following his encounter with Frege in 1912. The paper concludes with an overview of the dramatic consequences the Frege-Wittgenstein critique had for Russell’s philosophical development.

About the article

Nikolay Milkov

Nikolay Milkov is Associate Professor (Privatdozent) at the University of Paderborn, Germany. His publications include the books Kaleidoscopic Mind: an Essay in Post-Wittgensteinian Philosophy (1992) and A Hundred Years of English Philosophy (2003). Milkov has authored papers in Southwest Philosophy Review, the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Essays in Philosophy, Axiomathes, the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, and Grazer Philosophical Studies.

Published Online: 2013-08-20

Published in Print: 2013-08-01

Citation Information: Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 81–106, ISSN (Online) 2242-248X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nwr.2013.2.1.81.

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