“A Genius or a Crank?”
Have you ever seen the obituary of Ludwig Wittgenstein written for Mind by Bertrand Russell?
Quite at first I was in doubt as to whether he was a man of genius or a crank…
While I was still doubtful as to his ability, I asked G. E. Moore for his opinion. Moore replied, ” I think very well of him indeed “. When I enquired the reason for his opinion, he said that it was because Wittgenstein was the only man who looked puzzled at his lectures.
Interesting how the line between genius and crank can seem quite a thin one…as if genius takes one to the very edge of sanity, with a great risk of falling right off the cliff.
That said, and though my philosophical inclinations might be showing, clearly Wittgenstein was a genius, as weird as he was.Report
I hadn’t heard the bit about Russell ‘pulling strings’ to get Wittgenstein released early. Does anyone know what that entailed? I’m guessing Russell had friends in the British government/civil service, and they contacted the Italians. But it’s really incredible, even for 1914, that someone in Britain could talk their personal friends out of a POW camp in another European power.Report