John Preston: Work in Progress

I am currently mid-way through a research project exploring the influence of a group of late 19th-century philosopher-scientists (Heinrich Hertz, Ludwig Boltzmann, Ernst Mach, James Clerk Maxwell and Hermann von Helmholtz) on Ludwig Wittgenstein's work, in particular on his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

The project has already issued in several published articles on the influence exerted by Hertz's book The Principles of Mechanics (1894). It will also include material from the following as-yet-unpublished articles:

‘Wittgenstein, the Philosopher-Physicists, and Popular Science Writing’.

‘Mach and Wittgenstein’.

'Boltzmann, Wittgenstein and Feyerabend'.

'Wittgenstein: Mystery, Wonder and Scientism’.


Other projects under construction at the moment include:

‘Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Chronology of his Life and Work’, to be published online at

Alan R. White: Selected Philosophical Papers, edited (with Constantine Sandis and David Dolby), forthcoming


Further into the future, I hope to complete a book detailing Wittgenstein's influence on 20th-century philosophy of science (through figures such as W.H.Watson, Gilbert Ryle, Norwood Russell Hanson, Stephen Toulmin, and Rom Harr)