Rush Rhees


Rush Rhees

Rush Rhees (19 March1905-22 May1989) was a philosopher at Swansea University from 1940 to 1966

Rhees is principally known as a student, friend, and literary executor of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. With G. E. M. Anscombe, he edited Wittgenstein's posthumous "Philosophical Investigations" (1953), a highly influential work. He was also responsible for bringing out other unpublished writings by Wittgenstein, including "Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics", "Philosophical Remarks", and "Philosophical Grammar".

Life

He was born in Rochester, New York, the son of Benjamin Rush Rhees, a Baptist minister, author and president of the University of Rochester.

He studied philosophy at the University of Rochester, but was expelled in 1922 for insolent questions.In 1924 he left for Edinburgh where he graduated in 1928. He became a research fellow at Cambridge in 1932.

At Cambridge he impressed G. E. Moore who described him as his ablest student. Most importantly he met Wittgenstein, who became a close personal friend and continued to visit him after his move to Swansea. Rush Rhees’ main claim to fame is as a Wittgenstein exegete and for his influence on his friends, colleague Peter Winch and former student and his literary executor D. Z. Phillips. He gave a religious and ethical understanding of Wittgenstein’s work which is how Wittgenstein himself said he wanted to be understood. Together with G. H. von Wright and G. E. M. Anscombe he was appointed by Wittgenstein as his literary executor.

After the death of his first wife he married again.

Major works

*"Wittgenstein and the Possibility of Discourse" (1988)
*"On Religion and Philosophy" (1997)
*"Moral Questions" (1999)


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