Wittgenstein and Musical Formalism

Béla  Szabados 

Article author query
szabados b   [Google Scholar] 

I argue that Wittgenstein was no lifelong musical formalist. I further contend that the attribution of musical formalism obscures, while the break with it I propose explains, the role that music played in the development of his philosophy of language. What is more, I sketch a perspective on the later Wittgenstein’s remarks on the music and musical understanding that supports my claims. Throughout my discussion, rather than assimilating Hanslick’s and Wittgenstein’s views on music, I point to similarities and differences between them, suggesting that taking snapshots and putting them side by side sheds more light on how they are related to each other.

(Published Online November 13 2006)