Despite the differences, Alan Watts (1915 – 1973) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) were very close in their thoughts and how they tried to make sense of the human world. Both men dealt with difficult problems of worldview and finally ended up in the paradoxes of language! Both men had the reputation of a prophet and a pioneer! Both enchanted their listeners with their seductive ability of reasoning. Both men saw philosophy as a useless fun – Wittgenstein as a slight help to lexicographers or an idle tea-table amusement, Watts as a kind of work in the field of entertainment – but nonetheless, both are still called philosophers! These minds were and still are highly appreciated for the reasons mentioned above — but in different disciplines. Wittgenstein did not live long enough to know Watts’ thinking, but Watts did know Wittgenstein’s works and in his lectures shared some thoughts on them.
Here below is an example of Alan Watts quotation from the book In the Academy: Essays and Lectures (2017, page 81), in which he summarises the consequences of Wittgensteins’ Tractatus: “the death of one-eyed rationalism”. Although later Wittgenstein himself considered his early work incomplete, its ideas still cannot be seen irrelevant.”