Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tractatus translation

My translation of the Tractatus with notes is online here (as a blog) and here (as a pdf).

The blog version has the advantage that people can comment, which allows for corrections to be made (which has happened) and discussions to break out (which hasn't so much). It also has the words of Wittgenstein in a different colour, which might be helpful at times. But it isn't as polished as the 'book' version. A couple of times people have pointed out mistakes in the blog version and I've found that they did not occur in the 'book' version. So that's the one to read if you have to choose.

Unfortunately the 'book' version seems to disappear from from time to time. I don't know why this is, but I uploaded it again yesterday and it seems to be there now.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the blog or emailed me about it.


  1. do they still backend to scribd or whatever? that might be it, i gather scribd has to regularly scour material because of threats of reprisal for copyright infringement. maybe they think your translation is copyrighted by someone else or some bot employed by a law firm or publisher is flagging it for the hosts to be removed.

    1. Maybe that's it. My translation tries to get as close as possible to what Wittgenstein meant, by being very literal and translating as he said it should be translated wherever possible. This makes it very close to Ogden's translation. But that's public domain now, I think.

    2. ah, none of that matters to a robot.

    3. I need my own bot to fight back.