New 4th edition of the Philosophical Investigations


[Posted by BR]

Updated 10/12: now published (click here to purchase on


We wanted to let our readers know that a substantially revised 4th edition of the Philosophical Investigations, edited by Peter Hacker and Joachim Schulte, is scheduled to be released by Blackwell-Wiley sometime next month. Quoting from the publisher’s webpage for the book, the following are a few of its most notable new features:

(1) The extensively revised English translation incorporates many hundreds of changes to Anscombe’s original translation

(2) Footnoted remarks in the earlier editions have now been relocated in the text

(3) What was previously referred to as ‘Part 2’ is now republished as Philosophy of Psychology — A Fragment, and all the remarks in it are numbered for ease of reference.

Clearly, this is a major event for Wittgenstein scholars, which hopefully will provide those of us who work on PI with an improved text and editorial apparatus. And certainly it will be convenient to be able to refer to previously unnumbered remarks by remark number, rather than by page number. At the same time, however, this new edition will introduce yet another new pagination system for PI (there will now exist three different paginations of this one text!), which will create obvious difficulties for anyone who would like to locate, in the fully numbered 4th edition, what were previously unnumbered remarks, when all they have to go on are page numbers to one of the earlier editions.

What the scholarly community really needs is a page concordance, which will allow one to quickly locate a previously unnumbered remark in any of the editions of PI, including this new 4th one. But lo! Very happily, I have learned that one already exists, and will soon be available, in this volume…


William Day, who is co-editor with Victor Krebs of the forthcoming volume Seeing Wittgenstein Anew: New Essays on Aspect-Seeing, learned of the 4th edition of PI as copy editing on their essay collection was wrapping up. Since the citation problems created by this new pagination system will obviously have an especially large impact on anyone who works on Wittgenstein’s remarks on aspect-seeing (and so must refer often to the unnumbered remarks in Part II), Prof. Day had the brilliant idea of compiling a page concordance for the previously unnumbered remarks, which will refer to all the differently paginated editions of PI. This incredibly useful scholarly resource will be available as an appendix to Seeing Wittgenstein Anew when it is published early next year. I was already eager to get my hands on this collection. Now I have yet one more reason!

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