A Missing Folio at the Beginning of Wittgenstein's MS 104


  • Martin Pilch


Prototractatus, picture theory


A close investigation of Wittgenstein’s MS 104, which contains the so-called Prototractatus, has shown that the manuscript originally contained an additional folio that was later cut out and is now missing. The content of this missing folio could be partly reconstructed by a faint inverse imprint that it has left behind on page 2. The paper discusses the consequences of this discovery for the interpretation of the beginning and early formation of the Prototractatus, including the introduction and role of the numbering system. The paper also provides a transcription of the deepest visible textual layers of the first conception of the picture theory.

Author Biography

Martin Pilch

Martin Pilch studied theoretical physics, philosophy, history and law at the Universities of Graz and Vienna. He received a PhD in 1989 and holds the title Doctor of Jurisprudence since 2003. Now working for the Austrian government in research funding programs, he is responsible for the Christian Doppler Laboratories. His publications include two books on the constitutional theory of Carl Schmitt and medieval legal theory. His philosophical interests concentrate on German Idealism and the philosophy of law, as well as on the philosophy of mathematics and the early Wittgenstein. He is currently preparing a new transcription of MS 104 and TS 202.


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