The Wittgenstein Initiative is a Vienna-based international forum that aspires to make present in the city of his birth Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the greatest thinkers and most remarkable individuals of the 20th century.
To demonstrate Ludwig Wittgenstein’s present-day relevance in various areas of public and private life and bring his cultural legacy to the general public.
Wittgenstein’s philosophy is not a theory – it is an activity. It urges us to constant self- scrutiny, in order to be able to independently think for ourselves. This practice brings insights into the most basic and seemingly self-evident questions and often shows us unexpected answers. This is the prerequisite for open dialogue that can lead to genuine social and cultural renewal in these trying times. Wittgenstein also shows us how language is used and misused, and in so many different ways shapes our relation to the world and our social contexts.
Real knowledge is more than academic or expert education – in ordinary life we are constantly searching to make sense of things. Today Wittgenstein is a symbol of the relentless pursuit of honesty and personal integrity in all matters, great and small. The reminder that he practiced what he preached transforms our perception of the “good person” and the “good life”.
We are in a unique position to affirm Vienna as a city of prime importance for Wittgenstein the man and Wittgenstein the philosopher: not only to show the world the importance of Wittgenstein’s Vienna, but also to demonstrate that he was, in a very important sense, Vienna’s Wittgenstein.
WHAT WE DO
The Wittgenstein Initiative
- ensures unlimited access to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s world, in digital or facsimile form; assists and promotes research into Wittgenstein’s published and unpublished works, as well as his correspondence and photographs;
- hosts lectures, workshops and symposia with internationally renowned thinkers, writers, and artists; with a view to providing a forum for critical cultural debate
- pursues cooperative ventures with leading national and international cultural institutions;
- provides a lively forum for the discussion of Viennese culture past and present, especially Wittgenstein’s own cultural heritage.
- is a focal point for Wittgenstein in Vienna complete with a permanent exhibit, library and event space; with full facilities including a universal online platform with open access to all Wittgenstein sources and resources worldwide.