Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wittgenstein and the Theatrum Machinarum

I came across a thread that you may find interesting. In pursuing the readers of the Theatrum Machinarum I came across a surprise: Wittgenstein had several in his collection. It would seem that he collected them sometime before 1913. While he didn't have copies of Besson or Ramelli, he owned a number of their descendents. Wittgenstein--like Hooke--owned a copy of Boeckler's "Theatrum Machinarum Novum" (1661). It is bound with a copy of Johan Wilhelm's "Architectura Civilis" (1668). He also own five voluems of Jacob Leupold's "Theatrum Machinarum" (1725) that were purchased from "Max Harrwitz, Potsdamer Str. 113, Berlin W., Buchhandlung und Antiquariat" for "K.180".

Wittgenstein's copies of these works ended up in the possession of Bertrand Russell, eventually landing at McMaster. I can only imagine what inspiration he found in them.

References

Hide, O. (2004). Wittgenstein's books at the Bertrand Russell Archives and the influence of scientific literature on Wittgenstein's early philosophy. Philosophical Investigations. 27.1: 69-91.

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