Ludwig Wittgenstein : The Duty of Genius, Paperback

Ludwig Wittgenstein : The Duty of Genius Paperback

5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Monk's energetic enterprise is remarkable for the interweaving of the philosophical and the emotional aspects of Wittgenstein's life' Sunday Times. 'Ray Monk's reconnection of Wittgenstein's philosophy with his life triumphantly carries out the Wittgensteinian task of "changing the aspect" of Wittgenstein's work, getting us to see it in a new way' Sunday Telegraph. 'This biography transforms Wittgenstein into a human being' Independent on Sunday. 'It is much to be recommended' Observer. 'Monk's biography is deeply intelligent, generous to the ordinary reader...It is a beautiful portrait of a beautiful life' Guardian.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704 pages, 1
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099883708



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

How can you talk about Wittgenstein without descending into silly caricature? Ray Monk does it. Having re-read it recently I was struck bu the skillful way Monk relates LW the man to his philospohical interests. And most importantly, how Monk shows how 'the child is the father of the man.' A great job of humanising LW - making him less scarey by unpacking some of the myth - but also making him more admirable. It is easy to accept LW as 'a great man' (having talked to someone who knew him) but Monk's book also shows LW as an admirable man.

Review by

I've been meaning to read this book for 20 years or so since I first heard of it and its strong reputation. It's easy to put off reading about Wittgenstein because it feels like it's going to be hard work. If I'd realised how long the book was, I might never have started. But I dipped into the Kindle 'free sample' version on a whim, and was hooked -- even when I downloaded the full version, I had no idea that it was 670 pages worth. Happily the book keeps pulling you forward, weaving together a man, his times and his ideas, all clearly and expertly portrayed. And what a man, what times, what ideas! I cannot think of a better biography I've read, and it's given me both strength and desire to want to tackle Wittgenstein's original writings, which have been taunting me from my shelves for many a year.