Brian McGuinness, born in Wrexham, Wales, UK, in 1927. M.A. from the University of Oxford. Professor of History of Scientific Thought at Università degli Studi di Siena.
Guest of the Rector (1 September 2001 – 30 November 2001)
During my period as Guest of the Rector I was able to make final corrections to my selected papers, Approaches to Wittgenstein, Routledge, London 2001/2. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Wittgenstein’s death I was able to write some general articles: one describing his ambivalent relation to the Bloomsbury Circle will appear in English in Erasmo (Milan); another dealing with his intellectual project and its echoes of Goethe will perhaps yield two articles. I gave it at a NIAS seminar and profited from the discussion.
Finally during my time here I was able to bring nearer perfection a graphic and electronic method of presenting different phases in the composition of a work of Wittgenstein’s. Applied to the earlier version of Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung (the so-called Prototractatus, which I think contains in fact two versions) this suggests new ways of looking at what his aim was and how it changed. An account of this will be printed in the proceedings of the Bergen 2001 Conference on “Editing Wittgenstein”. An actual ‘edition’, which presents some technical challenges, is a project for the future.