Wittgenstein on British Anti-Nazi Propaganda

A Fragment


  • Nuno Venturinha New University of Lisbon
  • Jonathan Smith Trinity College Cambridge




Nazism, Propaganda, Vansittart, Wittgenstein


This paper contains a historical introduction and an edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript of Wittgenstein's that was found among G. H. von Wright's materials kept in Helsinki. The document concentrates on British anti-Nazi propaganda and was written in 1945. Wittgenstein's criticism of this kind of propaganda, such as that promoted by Robert Vansittart, is also present in other sources of this period belonging to both the Nachlass and the correspondence.

Author Biographies

Nuno Venturinha, New University of Lisbon

Nuno Venturinha (b. 1976) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Nova University of Lisbon. He has taught as a visiting lecturer at the University of Lisbon and as a visiting professor at the Universities of São Paulo and Valencia. He was also a visiting researcher on various occasions at the Universities of Bergen, Innsbruck, Oxford, Cambridge and Helsinki. He is the author of Lógica, Ética, Gramática: Wittgenstein e o Método da Filosofia (Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2010) and Description of Situations: An Essay in Contextualist Epistemology (Springer, 2018) as well as the editor of Wittgenstein After His Nachlass (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and The Textual Genesis of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations (Routledge, 2013).


Jonathan Smith, Trinity College Cambridge

Jonathan Smith (b. 1961) has been Archivist at Trinity College Cambridge since 1991 where he works for the most part with the papers of modern academics. Publications include “Circuitous processes, jigsaw puzzles and indisputable results: making best use of the manuscripts of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol 36, Issue 6/1 (2012), and “Wittgenstein’s Blue Book: reading between the lines” in The Textual Genesis of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, ed. Nuno Venturinha (Routledge, 2013).


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