Editorial Approaches to Wittgenstein’s Nachlass: Towards a Historical Appreciation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Philosophy 
Building on the unpublished correspondence between Ludwig Wittgenstein's literary executors Rush Rhees, Elizabeth Anscombe and Georg Henrik von Wright, this paper sketches the historical development of different editorial approaches to Wittgenstein's Nachlass. Using the metaphor of a ladder, it is possible to distinguish seven significant “rungs” or “steps” in the history of editing Wittgenstein's writings. The paper focuses particularly on the first four rungs, elucidating how Rhees, Anscombe and von Wright developed different editorial approaches that resulted in significant differences in their editions. The paper sheds light on how these editorial differences are grounded in the editors' divergent understandings of their task. It is suggested that future research may investigate the development of editorial approaches to Wittgenstein's Nachlass as a human story of philosophical inheritance.