I danced with Wittgenstein

Almost everybody has met someone with a good story about someone well known that they had met - the 'I danced with a man, who danced with a girl, who danced with the Prince of Wales' phenomenon. Here is one just received about Wittgenstein - probably the greatest philosopher of the modern age.

One of our neighbours is a doctor in his 90s who remembers Wittgenstein at Guy's Hospital in the 1940s. He told me he had been recently invited to the unveiling of a new commemorative plaque recording Wittgenstein's time there but though fit and in excellent humour did not want to go to London.

Wittgenstein was working at Guy's Hospital as a  porter and was pointed out to him pushing a trolley. He was known to be some kind of genius and was working as a volunteer even though he was in his 50s. Sadly the doctor remembers nothing else about him. Online other  doctors from Guy's remember his skill at mixing ointment and his intense charisma. He was still working on the manuscript of Mathematik und Logik while there and through Dr R.T. Grant also became involved in valuable work on wound shock therapy. He was really more of a laboratory assistant than a porter but also was tasked with taking drugs to patients. My doctor friend says that Guy's at the time was pretty much run by Ward Sisters, persons who inspired awe and fear and it would be interesting to know what Ludwig's Ward Sister thought of him. The King's College site has a good piece on his time at the hospital - Portering and Philosophy.[D.O.]

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