Special Issue Research Article

“Engelmann Told Me...”: On the Aesthetic Relevance of a Certain Remark by Wittgenstein



This paper is an attempt at bringing out various aesthetically relevant points alluded to by Wittgenstein in what I call ‘the Engelmann remark’ – a longish manuscript remark written by Wittgenstein in 1930 and painstakingly discussed by Michael Fried in the context of elucidating what is strikingly new in the work of a photographer like Jeff Wall. One part of this paper is dedicated to summarizing and briefly examining the account given by Fried while another part is meant to clarify some of Wittgenstein’s points by way of contrasting their import with the story told by Fried. In this second part Wittgenstein’s late observations on aspect change are used to show in which ways these observations may help us to gain a better understanding of the idea of a specific ‘perspective’ claimed to go with a given work of art.


WittgensteinMichael FriedPaul Engelmannaspect changerealismeverydayness
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 15–27
  • DOI: 10.33134/eeja.26
  • Submitted on 21 Oct 2019
  • Accepted on 30 Dec 2019
  • Published on 15 Apr 2020
  • Peer Reviewed