Summer 2015: Wittgenstein's Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933

PDF iconSummer seminar information & schedule.pdf

Wittgenstein’s Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933: Text & Context

May 18-22, 2015

Faculty Director:  Professor David Stern, Department of Philosophy, University of Iowa

Location: Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Iowa City, Iowa

An Obermann Summer Seminar on “Wittgenstein’s Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933: Text and Context” will take place on May 18-22, 2015, at the University of Iowa.

Beginning in January 1930, Ludwig Wittgenstein regularly gave lecture courses at Cambridge. GE Moore attended almost all of those lectures for the next three and a half years and took very full notes. This period was a time of transition for Wittgenstein, and is of great interest for anyone who wants to understand the development of his thought. Wittgenstein’s teaching and writing from the 1930s, once overshadowed by his earlier and later work, has attracted growing attention in recent years.

In the fall of 2015, Cambridge University Press will publish Wittgenstein: Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933, From the Notes of G. E Moore, edited by David Stern, Brian Rogers, and Gabriel Citron. This is the first edition of notes from any of Wittgenstein’s lectures that aims to present, as accurately as possible, what was written down at the time. While Moore did quote from his notes in his published essay on the lectures, Moore’s essay was primarily an analysis of the views he attributed to Wittgenstein. Moore’s succinct but detailed lecture notes are always considerably longer than the previously published student versions, and often include whole topics that are simply missing from theirs. Seminar presenters and participants will have advance access to the text of the forthcoming edition of Moore’s lecture notes.


Seminar Faculty Participants

There will be eighteen invited paper presenters, plus one early career scholar, who will be selected from those who apply (details are provided below). Those who have agreed to take part are:

  • Thomas Baldwin, University of York (UK)
  • Anat Biletzki, Quinnipiac University and Tel-Aviv University
  • Bill Child, Oxford University (UK)
  • Gabriel Citron, Yale University
  • João Vergílio Gallerani Cuter, University of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • Mauro Engelmann, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)
  • Juliet Floyd, Boston University
  • Richard Fumerton, University of Iowa
  • Warren Goldfarb, Harvard University
  • James Klagge, Virginia Tech
  • Gregory Landini, University of Iowa
  • Mathieu Marion, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
  • Volker A. Munz, Alpen-Adria-University (Austria)
  • Alois Pichler, University of Bergen (Norway)
  • Tom Ricketts, University of Pittsburgh
  • Brian Rogers, Stanford University
  • Hans Sluga, UC Berkeley
  • David Stern, University of Iowa


Invitation to Apply: Special Opportunity for One Early Career Scholar

Deadline: October 27, 2014 by 5:00pm

Early career scholars (defined as those who, as of September 1, are within fifteen years of receiving a PhD) are invited to apply to present a paper. One person will be selected, on the basis of an abstract (250-500 words) and a copy of a current CV, which should be submitted as a single PDF attachment to an email addressed to to by October 27, 2014. A decision will be announced by November 21. 

The paper proposed in the abstract should address some aspect of Wittgenstein’s 1930-33 lectures. A detailed description of those lectures can be found in Moore’s ‘Wittgenstein’s Lectures in 1930-33,’ first published in three parts in Mind in 1954-55, and reprinted in Wittgenstein, Philosophical Occasions. Students’ notes from those lectures have been published in Wittgenstein’s Lectures, Cambridge 1930-1932, ed. Desmond Lee and the first part of Wittgenstein’s Lectures, Cambridge 1932-1935, ed. Alice Ambrose. Further information about the lectures and the forthcoming edition can be found in Stern, Citron and Rogers “Moore’s notes on Wittgenstein’s lectures, Cambridge 1930-1933: Text, Context, and Content.” Nordic Wittgenstein Review #2 2013, pp. 161-179, available by open access online from

The early career scholar who is selected to present a paper at the symposium will be given immediate access to the full text of the forthcoming edition of Moore’s lecture notes, and will be expected to submit a completed paper by April 1, 2015. The selected participant's travel expenses and accommodation during the symposium will be fully covered.


Public Programming

May 18-22, 2015

9:00 am- 12:30 pm

Location:  University of Iowa

Anyone is welcome to attend paper presentations, which will take place each morning from Monday May 18 to Friday May 22, and there will be no registration fee. However, as papers will be distributed in advance, and presenters will only speak for a few minutes to open the discussion of their papers, pre-registration is required, so that we can provide advance access to the symposium papers, and plan accordingly. Further information about pre-registration, travel to Iowa City, and accommodations in the area will be provided once a program with paper titles has been posted, which will be by December 1, 2014.  For more information, contact seminar director, Professor David Stern at

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 9:00am to Friday, May 22, 2015 - 12:30pm
Dr. David Stern
Director , University of Iowa , Philosophy
Dr. David Stern is the author of Wittgenstein on Mind and Language (1995) and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction (2004), and an editor of The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein (1996...