Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Germanic Languages and Literatures


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Michael Lutzeler


Many philosophers consider Ludwig Wittgenstein to be the most important philosopher of the twentieth century. His works have been read primarily by experts in philosophy, but one exception is the novelist and contemporary of Wittgenstein's, Hermann Broch. Broch believed that by limiting philosophy to the logical clarification of thoughts, ethical problems cannot suitably be addressed and explored. He thought that rational arguments and fiction play a complementary role in revealing to us our moral commitments and in shaping our conceptions of a good life. Broch was influenced by Wittgenstein's Tractatus and anticipates some important ideas from Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. This study looks at how Wittgensteinian themes influenced, or have parallels to, Broch's theoretical and literary writings.


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