Wittgenstein Source Facsimile Edition of Tractatus Publication Materials (LPA)



(2016) Wittgenstein Source Facsimile Edition of Tractatus Publication Materials. Edited by Alfred Schmidt, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB). In: Wittgenstein Source, curated by Alois Pichler (2009–) and Joseph Wang-Kathrein (2020–) [wittgensteinsource.org]. Bergen: WAB.


Wittgenstein Source Facsimile Edition of Tractatus Publication Materials (LPA) gives access to the following items from the publication history of Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung  (1921) and Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922):

(i) Print of Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung in Annalen der Naturphilosophie 14 (1921) with corrections by Wittgenstein (ÖNB, Cod.Ser.n. 39.597)

After several unsuccessful attempts to find a publisher for his Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung in 1918 /19 Wittgenstein gave up this plan and transferred the whole matter to Bertrand Russell, who got the typescript Ts-202 from Wittgenstein in June 1919. Finally Wilhelm Ostwald accepted Wittgenstein’s work – together with Russell’s preface – and it was first published in the Annalen der Naturphilosophie Vol. XIV. (1921), issue 3/4, which actually appeared only in March 1922 – without Wittgenstein’s knowledge. Wittgenstein got a print from C.K. Ogden in early April 1922 (see Ogden’s letter from 10th April 1922) and sent it back to Ogden with his corrections together with a letter dated April 23, 1922.

(ii) English translation of Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung by Frank Ramsey with corrections by Wittgenstein (ÖNB, Cod.Ser.n. 39.598)

The translation of the Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung was made by Frank Ramsey (together with another person, maybe Ogden himself) in winter 1921/22, using the proofs of the Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung of Ostwald’s Annalen. The translation was sent to Wittgenstein by Ogden on March 20, 1922 (see Ogden’s letter to Wittgenstein from March 20, 1922). Wittgenstein sent back both his corrections to the English translation as well as to the German text from the Annalen on April 23, 1922. In this letter Wittgenstein adds detailed explanations and suggestions concerning the English translation. These two documents formed the basis of the German and English text of Ogden’s bilingual edition of the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus in 1922. Both documents were edited for the first time by Gerd Graßhoff and Timm Lampert:  Ludwig Wittgensteins Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung. Entstehungsgeschichte und Herausgabe der Typoskripte und Korrekturexemplare. Ed. by Gerd Graßhoff and Timm Lampert. Wien, New York: Springer 2004.

(iii) Ogden’s list of questions concerning the translation of Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung, with comments by Wittgenstein (ÖNB, Cod.Ser.n. 39.037)

Together with his letter to Wittgenstein dated May 3, 1922 Ogden sent a list of questions. They concern the English translation of the  Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung, especially sentences, where the translators did not adopt Wittgenstein’s suggested corrections in his letter dated April 23, 1922. Wittgenstein answered in detail to this questionnaire in his letter to Ogden dated May 10, 1922 and sent it back with his annotations. This item was first published by G.H. von Wright in:  Ludwig Wittgenstein. Letters to C.K.Ogden. With Comments on the English Translation of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1973. 

(iv) Proofs of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922) with corrections by Wittgenstein (ÖNB, Cod.Ser.n 39.039)

Wittgenstein received the proofs of the bilingual edition from Ogden in July 1922 and returned them with his corrections on August 4. The bilingual edition of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was published in November 1922; Wittgenstein wrote to Ogden (November 15):  “Thanks so much for your letter & the books which arrived yesterday. They really look very nice. I wished their contents were half as good as their external appearance.”  

These four items – together with the correspondence between Wittgenstein and Ogden from 1922 – document the origin of the bilingual edition of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in November 1922 at Kegan Paul, London. The Austrian National Library purchased these documents from the estate of C.K. Ogden in 1996.

The production of the scans for this edition has been financially supported by the Stanhill Foundation, London.

How to get to the facsimile files: EDITIONS > Tractatus Publication Materials (LPA) > F