Tag Archives: Ludwig Wittgenstein

C. D. Broad

My impression is that there was for Wittgenstein little or no region intermediate between a state of high and-concentrated seriousness and rather simple and sometimes almost crudely ‘low-brow’ interludes. I suspect that this, rather than the alleged ‘artificiality’ of the conversation at the High Table of Trinity, made the latter so distasteful to Wittgenstein. That conversation is the talk of men, all fairly eminent in their respective subjects, relaxing after a fairly tiring day’s work. It presupposes common traditions, going back to undergraduate days, and habitual ‘family’ jokes and allusions, and it moves in a sphere equally remote from high seriousness and from horseplay. A major prophet may be an excellent fellow, but he will hardly make an excellent Fellow. And, to pass from the general to the particular, one for whom philosophy is a way of life will find it difficult to associate on easy terms with those (like myself) for whom it is primarily a means of livelihood.

C. D. Broad, Review of Norman Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, Universities Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 3 (May, 1959), p. 306

Norman Malcolm

Moore’s health was quite good in 1946-7, but before that he had suffered a stroke and his doctor had advised that he should not become greatly excited or fatigued. Mrs. Moore enforced this prescription by not allowing Moore to have a philosophical discussion with anyone for longer than one hour and a half. Wittgenstein was extremely vexed by this regulation. He believed that Moore should not be supervised by his wife. He should discuss as long as he liked. If he became very excited or tired and had a stroke and died—well, that would be a decent way to die: with his boots on.

Norman Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, Oxford, 1958, p. 56

Margaret Paul

Wittgenstein contrived to quarrel, not only with Frank, but also with Lydia. Some years later she remembered the incident in a letter to Keynes. ‘What a beautiful tree’, she had remarked. Wittgenstein glared at her and asked, ‘What do you mean?’ so fiercely that she burst into tears.

Margaret Paul, Frank Ramsey (1903-1930): A Sister’s Memoir, Huntingdon, Cambs, 2012, p. 213