• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy

This course will be based around the key text by Ludwig Wittgenstein: the Tractatus and  Philosophical Investigations. We shall examine the important contributions made by Wittgenstein to the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. We will look at Wittgenstein's move away from his earlier (Tractarian) conception of language, towards a less essentialist conception; normativity and the rule-following considerations; the impossibility of private meaning; the relation between the 'inner' (eg sensations) and the 'outer' (eg behaviour); and Wittgenstein's 'therapeutic' conception of philosophy. We will also look at issues raised in Wittgenstein’s last book – On Certainty.  Finally we attempt to place Wittgenstein in the context of 20th century philosophy.

In 2013 we will work through W Child’s new book on Wittgenstein (Wittgenstein (Routledge) 2011).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse the key notions underlying Wittgenstein’s early Logic Atomism.
  2. Give examples of the problems which led Wittgenstein to abandon his early philosophy.
  3. Evaluate the key ideas in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy.
  4. Think about what you have learnt as it relates to the themes of the course.

Indicative Assessment

Two x 2000 word essays (45% each, 90% total) [Assesses LO' 1 - 3]

Tutorial participation (10%) [Assesses LO's 1 - 4]

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1.5 hours per week lecture.

1 hour per week tutorial.

7.5 hours per week private study.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of Philosophy (PHIL) Courses, or by permission of course convenor.

Preliminary Reading

P.M.S Hacker, Insight and Illusion  (OUP 1972)

R, Fogelin, Wittgenstein (Routledge)




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9411 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 17 Nov 2018 In Person N/A

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