'The Problem of Life': Later Wittgenstein on the Difficulty of Honest Happiness

In Mikel Burley (ed.), Wittgenstein, Religion, and Ethics: New Perspectives from Philosophy and Theology. London, UK: pp. 33-47 (2018)
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This chapter examines Wittgenstein’s battles with the profound anxiety that can arise in response to a sense of the radical contingency of everything one is and everything one cares about. By giving particular attention to entries in Wittgenstein’s ‘Koder Diaries’ from the 1930s, the chapter analyses the nature of ‘the problem of life’ both as it manifested in Wittgenstein’s own life and as a universally relevant problem. It then defends the seriousness of the problem by reconstructing ways in which Wittgenstein might have responded to questions about whether life really is as problematically precarious as his most angst-ridden diary entries seem to presume. (Abstract adapted from Mikel Burley’s ‘Introduction: Wittgenstein, Religion and Ethics: Seeing the Connections’, p. 7)
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