The Creation of Wittgenstein

The Creation of Wittgenstein was a 4-year project granted by the Academy of Finland in 2016. Its principal outcome is the book The Creation of Wittgenstein which appeared on Bloomsbury in February 2023.
Book launch

A book launch event for The Creation of Wittgenstein was organized at September 25th at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies as a special session of the von Wright and Wittgenstein seminar, with Martin Gustafsson, Alois Pichler and David Stern as commentators.

Project description

During his life-time Ludwig Wittgenstein published less than 100 pages of philosophy. After his death Wittgenstein’s literary executors published a number of “works by Wittgenstein”. These works “created” Wittgenstein as the author of philosophical works on specific topics and theories about them. The problematic relation between the editorial choices and Wittgenstein’s own philosophy have only recently started to attract the scholarly attention that the topic deserves. We address this pristine terrain through careful case-studies of the editorial history of Wittgenstein’s publications. The unpublished holdings of the von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives (WWA) in Helsinki is a huge, untapped resource for the project. The project includes a strong digital humanities R & D aspect. The results will contribute to a reassessment of Wittgenstein’s contribution to the philosophical discourse of enlightenment.



The roles of Rhees, Anscombe and von Wright

(ed. Thomas Wallgren)





1.  Introduction

                      Thomas Wallgren


PART I: Portraits of Wittgenstein's Literary Heirs


2.  Rush Rhees: Discussion is my only medicine

                      Lars Hertzberg

3. A Portrait of Elizabeth Anscombe

                      Duncan Richter

4. Georg Henrik von Wright – A Biographical Sketch

                      Bernt Österman


PART II: Understanding the editors contributions to the Wittgenstein scholars have known and the philosophical implications of their achievement


5. The Letters which Rush Rhees, Elizabeth Anscombe, and Georg Henrik von Wright Sent to Each Other

                      Christian Erbacher

6. The Revision of Wittgenstein’s Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics

                      Kim Solin

7. Naked, please! Elizabeth Anscombe as Translator and Editor of Wittgenstein

                      Joel Backström

8. From a Collection of Aphorisms to the Setting of Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy: G.H. von Wright’s work on Wittgenstein’s general remarks.

                      Bernt Österman

9.  “… finding and inventing intermediate links”: On Rhees and the Preparation and Publication of Bemerkungen über Frazers “The Golden Bough”

                      Peter K. Westergaard,

10.  Editorial Approaches to Wittgenstein’s “Last Writings” (1949–51): Elizabeth Anscombe, G.H. von Wright and Rush Rhees in Dialogue.

                      Lassi Jakola

11. Art’s Part in Wittgenstein’s Philosophy

                      Hanne Appelqvist

12. Unearthing the Socratic Wittgenstein

                      Thomas Wallgren



Wittgenstein's will. Facsimilie of G.H. von Wrights exemplar, kept at WWA.


- Table of writings published postuhumously with Ludwig Wittgenstein named as author and at least one of the following as editor: Rush Rhees. G.E.M. Anscombe, G.H. von Wright.  Created by Rickard Nylund in cooperation with Thomas Wallgren


- Compiled by Patrik Forss in cooperation with Thomas Wallgren.


- Compiled by Anna Lindelöf in cooperation with Bernt Österman and Thomas Wallgren.