Short Biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein
Although he suffered from depression, social anxiety, and isolation, Ludwig Wittgenstein was a mathematical genius and philosopher who spent his life in and out of the most renowned academic circles in Europe. Even though his contributions were sporadic, they gained him unprecedented prestige, which he shunned wholeheartedly.
Young Ludwig grew up in one of the wealthiest families in Austria. His parents were Jewish and Catholic, but Ludwig was baptized as a Catholic. He was taught in the arts and philosophy from a very young age. He was taught at home until his teens, where he learned about music and even engineering. When he went to high school and college, he had a hard time coping and adjusting to people who did not have his privileged upbringing. In many ways, he longed to be more simple and pure. At Trinity College, he studied mathematical logic, which enthralled him. Following, he wanted to give up the academic life so he moved to Norway to live in a hut as a hermit.
Always contemplating suicide, as most of his siblings had already committed it, he instead decided to join Vienna’s army during World War I. Wittgenstein was captured by the Italians and was able to send his manuscript to Bertrand Russell, who had been his teacher in Cambridge. The manuscript was published and became a great success. After the war, Ludwig became a schoolteacher in a small village and gave up his fortune to the needy. He wanted nothing to do with high society.
During World War II, Ludwig Wittgenstein worked as a laboratory technician, again, not wanting to be involved in academic circles, even though many beckoned for his genius. After the war, he returned to Norway then went to Ireland. His life was always controlled by his often-manic mental state. He longed for solitude and a simple life – albeit knowing that he possessed a rare intelligence and could make valuable contributions to many fields. In his posthumous publication of Philosophical Investigations, he questioned many of his previous theories, but also contributed greatly to the philosophy of language and philosophical psychology.