«et afsluttet regelmæssigt mønster» – Om Wittgensteins Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus og Tolstojs Kurze Darlegung des Evangelium
A closed regular structure – On Wittgensteins Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Tolstoys Kurze Darlegung des Evangelium
Ever since its publication, the form and numbering system of Ludwig Wittgensteins Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922) has been the subject of comment, reflection and speculation. What many of these commentaries have in common is that, in hinting at a presumed point of connection between the Tractatus form and numbering system, they allude to A.N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russells Principia Mathematica (1910). This essay points at another connection, namely Wittgensteins reading of L. Tolstoys Kurze Darlegung des Evangelium (1892). It is well known that Tolstoys magnificent work features prominently both in Wittgensteins efforts to come to terms with himself and in his work on the (Proto) Tractatus. In his preface to Kurze Darlegung des Evangelium Tolstoy describes the theme of the book and explains its composition, progression and inherent structure. It is these structural considerations that this essay proposes as a key to understanding the Tractatuss form and numbering system. Here the overall working hypothesis is (in a rigorous formulation): the composition of the Tractatus, its form and numbering system, constitute a modified version (a more formalized implementation) of Tolstoys compositional strategy in Kurze Darlegung des Evangelium.