Wittgenstein and Literature

The perceptibility of interiority, for instance intention and pain, occupies much of Wittgenstein’s philosophical thought. But it is also an overlooked motif in Dostoevsky’s novels, whom Wittgenstein read obsessively throughout his life, as well as in W. G. Sebald’s work, containing numerous references to Wittgenstein. My dissertation reflects on the role literature can play in answering the philosophical question of what is an ethical representation of others’ inner life.

The thesis was published as A Picture Held Us Captive: On Aisthesis and Interiority in Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fyodor M. Dostoevsky and W.G. Sebald, as part of the series On Wittgenstein at Walter de Gruyter. Click here to view a table of contents and a short summary of the book.