In 1945 he prepared the final manuscript of the , but, at the last minute, withdrew it from publication (and only authorized its posthumous publication). The ’s structure purports to be representative of its internal essence.
For a few more years he continued his philosophical work, but this is marked by a rich development of, rather than a turn away from, his second phase. It is constructed around seven basic propositions, numbered by the natural numbers 1-7, with all other paragraphs in the text numbered by decimal expansions so that, e.g., paragraph 1.1 is (supposed to be) a further elaboration on proposition 1, 1.22 is an elaboration of 1.2, and so on.
Still, it is commonly acknowledged that the early Wittgenstein is epitomized in his .
By showing the application of modern logic to metaphysics, via language, he provided new insights into the relations between world, thought and language and thereby into the nature of philosophy.
It is the later Wittgenstein, mostly recognized in the , who took the more revolutionary step in critiquing all of traditional philosophy including its climax in his own early work.
The nature of his new philosophy is heralded as anti-systematic through and through, yet still conducive to genuine philosophical understanding of traditional problems.
Russell wrote, upon meeting Wittgenstein: “An unknown German appeared …
The move to thought, and thereafter to language, is perpetrated with the use of Wittgenstein’s famous idea that thoughts, and propositions, are pictures—“the picture is a model of reality” ( 2.12).
Pictures are made up of elements that together constitute the picture.
During his years in Cambridge, from 1911 to 1913, Wittgenstein conducted several conversations on philosophy and the foundations of logic with Russell, with whom he had an emotional and intense relationship, as well as with Moore and Keynes.
He retreated to isolation in Norway, for months at a time, in order to ponder these philosophical problems and to work out their solutions.