Ludwig Wittgenstein, fully Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein, fully Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

Austrian Jewish Philosopher who worked primarily in Logic and the Philosophy of Mathematics, Mind and Language

Author Quotes

We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.

What cannot be imagined cannot even be talked about.

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Wouldn?t one have to say, that there is no sharp boundary between propositions of logic and empirical propositions? The lack of sharpness is that of the boundary between rule and empirical proposition.

We are struggling with language. We are engaged in a struggle with language.

What do I know about God and the purpose of life? I know that this world exists. That I am placed in it like my eye in its visual field. That something about it is problematic, which we call its meaning. This meaning does not lie in it but outside of it. That life is the world. That my will penetrates the world. That my will is good or evil. Therefore that good and evil are somehow connected with the meaning of the world. The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God. And connect with this the comparison of God to a father. To pray is to think about the meaning of life.

What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.

You can have things now just as you choose. You only need to say how you want them. So (just) make a verbal picture, illustrate it as you choose ? by drawing comparisons etc.! Thus you can ? as it were ? prepare a blueprint. ? And now there remains the question how to work with it.

We are talking here of the grammar of the words "reason" and "cause": in what cases do we say we have given a reason for doing a certain thing, and in what cases, a cause? If one answers the question 'Why did you move your arm?' by giving a behaviouristic explanation, one has specified a cause. Causes may be discovered by experiments, but experiments do not produce reasons. The word 'reason' is not used in connection with experimentation. It is senseless to say a reason is found by experiment. The alternative, 'mathematical argument or experiential evidence?' corresponds to 'reason or cause?'

What has history to do with me? Mine is the first and only world! I want to report how I find the world. What others have told me about the world is a very small and incidental part of my experience. I have to judge the world, to measure things.

When I am furious about something, I sometimes beat the ground or a tree with my walking stick. But I certainly do not believe that the ground is to blame or that my beating can help anything... And all rites are of this kind.

You can?t be reluctant to give up your lie and still tell the truth.

We can imagine a world in which the axiom of reducibility is not valid. But it is clear that logic has nothing to do with the question whether our world is really of this kind or not.

What has to be accepted, the given, is ? so one could say ? forms of life.

When I came home I expected a surprise and there was no surprise for me, so, of course, I was surprised.

You can't think decently if you're not willing to hurt yourself.

We cannot therefore say in logic: This and this there is in the world, that there is not. For that would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case since otherwise logic must get outside the limits of the world: that is, if it could consider these limits from the other side also.

What I called jottings would not be a rendering of the text, not so to speak a translation with another symbolism. The text would not be stored up in the jottings. And why should it be stored up in our nervous system?

When I obey a rule, I do not choose. I obey the rule blindly.

You could attach prices to thoughts. Some cost a lot, some a little. And how does one pay for thoughts? The answer, I think, is: with courage.

We could present spatially an atomic fact which contradicted the laws of physics, but not one which contradicted the laws of geometry.

What I give is the morphology of the use of an expression. I show that it has kinds of uses of which you had not dreamed. In philosophy one feels forced to look at a concept in a certain way. What I do is suggest, or even invent, other ways of looking at it. I suggest possibilities of which you had not previously thought. You thought there was one possibility, or only two at most. But I made you think of others. Furthermore, I made you see that it was absurd to expect the concept to conform to those narrow possibilities. Thus your mental cramp is relieved, and you are free to look around the field of use of the expression and to describe the different kinds of uses of it.

When I think about the future of the world, we mean the purpose for which walk in the direction that we see going in it now, you do not notify us that derailed not wrong, it is a curve, constantly changing direction.

You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.

We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course, there is then no question left, and just this is the answer. The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this problem.

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Wittgenstein, fully Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein
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Austrian Jewish Philosopher who worked primarily in Logic and the Philosophy of Mathematics, Mind and Language