Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes

Ludwig Wittgenstein photo
228   40

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Birthdate: 26. April 1889
Date of death: 29. April 1951
Other names: Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From 1929 to 1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of Cambridge. During his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , one article, one book review and a children's dictionary. His voluminous manuscripts were edited and published posthumously. Philosophical Investigations appeared as a book in 1953, and has since come to be recognised as one of the most important works of philosophy in the twentieth century. His teacher Bertrand Russell described Wittgenstein as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived; passionate, profound, intense, and dominating".

Born in Vienna into one of Europe's richest families, he inherited a large fortune from his father in 1913. He initially made some donations to artists and writers and then, in a period of severe personal depression after the First World War, he gave away his entire fortune to his brothers and sisters. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Wittgenstein contemplating it too. He left academia several times—serving as an officer on the front line during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage; teaching in schools in remote Austrian villages where he encountered controversy for hitting children when they made mistakes in mathematics; and working as a hospital porter during World War II in London where he told patients not to take the drugs they were prescribed while largely managing to keep secret the fact that he was one of the world's most famous philosophers. He described philosophy as "the only work that gives me real satisfaction".

His philosophy is often divided into an early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, and a later period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations. The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship, he had solved all philosophical problems. The later Wittgenstein rejected many of the assumptions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is best understood as their use within a given language-game.

Works

Philosophical Investigations
Philosophical Investigations
Ludwig Wittgenstein
On Certainty
On Certainty
Ludwig Wittgenstein

„What is troubling us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Remarks to John Wisdom, quoted in Zen and the Work of WIttgenstein by Paul Weinpaul in The Chicago Review Vol. 12, (1958), p. 70
Attributed from posthumous publications

„There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

6.522
Original German: Es gibt allerdings Unaussprechliches. Dies zeigt sich, es ist das Mystische.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)

„The subject does not belong to the world, but it is a limit of the world.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

5.632
Original German: Das Subjekt gehört nicht zur Welt, sondern es ist eine Grenze der Welt.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)

„It is quite impossible for a proposition to state that it itself is true.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

4.442
Original German: Ein Satz kann unmöglich von sich selbst aussagen, dass er wahr ist.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)

„What do I know about God and the purpose of life?
I know that this world exists.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Journal entry (11 June 1916), p. 72e and 73e
1910s, Notebooks 1914-1916
Context: 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.

„My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.
6.54
Original German: Meine Sätze erläutern dadurch, dass sie der, welcher mich versteht, am Ende als unsinnig erkennt, wenn er durch sie—auf ihnen—über sie hinausgestiegen ist. (Er muss sozusagen die Leiter wegwerfen, nachdem er auf ihr hinaufgestiegen ist.)
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)

„The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Journal entry (11 June 1916), p. 72e and 73e
1910s, Notebooks 1914-1916
Context: 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.

„Logic pervades the world: the limits of the world are also its limits.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Original German:Die Logik erfüllt die Welt; die Grenzen der Welt sind auch ihre Grenzen. Wir können also in der Logik nicht sagen: Das und das gibt es in der Welt, jenes nicht.Das würde nämlich scheinbar voraussetzen, dass wir gewisse Möglichkeiten ausschließen, und dies kann nicht der Fall sein, da sonst die Logik über die Grenzen der Welt hinaus müsste; wenn sie nämlich diese Grenzen auch von der anderen Seite betrachten könnte. Was wir nicht denken können, das können wir nicht denken; wir können also auch nicht sagen, was wir nicht denken können.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)
Context: Logic pervades the world: the limits of the world are also its limits. So we cannot say in logic, "The world has this in it, and this, but not that." For that would appear to presuppose that we were excluding certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case, since it would require that logic should go beyond the limits of the world; for only in that way could it view those limits from the other side as well. We cannot think what we cannot think; so what we cannot think we cannot say either. (5.61)

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„Only a man who lives not in time but in the present is happy.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Journal entry (8 July 1916), p. 74e
1910s, Notebooks 1914-1916
Context: There are two godheads: the world and my independent I.
I am either happy or unhappy, that is all. It can be said: good or evil do not exist.
A man who is happy must have no fear. Not even in the face of death.
Only a man who lives not in time but in the present is happy.

„A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

As quoted in "A View from the Asylum" in Philosophical Investigations from the Sanctity of the Press (2004), by Henry Dribble, p. 87
Attributed from posthumous publications

„Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Variant translation: The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.
Original German: Nicht wie die Welt ist, ist das Mystische, sondern dass sie ist.
1920s, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922)
Variant: The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.
Context: It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. (6.44)

„I cannot get from the nature of the proposition to the individual logical operations!!!“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein

Journal entries (12 March 1915 and 15 March 1915) p. 41e
1910s, Notebooks 1914-1916
Context: I cannot get from the nature of the proposition to the individual logical operations!!!
That is, I cannot bring out how far the proposition is the picture of the situation. I am almost inclined to give up all my efforts.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

Rudolf Steiner photo
Rudolf Steiner20
Austrian esotericist
Stefan Zweig photo
Stefan Zweig105
Austrian writer
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber58
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Elfriede Jelinek photo
Elfriede Jelinek50
Austrian writer
Erwin Schrödinger photo
Erwin Schrödinger67
Austrian physicist
Martin Heidegger photo
Martin Heidegger69
German philosopher
Friedrich Hayek photo
Friedrich Hayek79
Austrian and British economist and Nobel Prize for Economic…
Wolfgang Pauli photo
Wolfgang Pauli35
Austrian physicist, Nobel prize winner
Emil M. Cioran photo
Emil M. Cioran529
Romanian philosopher and essayist
Ludwig von Mises photo
Ludwig von Mises62
austrian economist
Today anniversaries
Klaus Kinski photo
Klaus Kinski37
German actor 1926 - 1991
José Ortega Y Gasset photo
José Ortega Y Gasset84
Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist 1883 - 1955
Zakir Naik photo
Zakir Naik14
Islamic televangelist 1965
Laura Nyro photo
Laura Nyro14
American musician and songwriter 1947 - 1997
Another 71 today anniversaries
Similar authors
Rudolf Steiner photo
Rudolf Steiner20
Austrian esotericist
Stefan Zweig photo
Stefan Zweig105
Austrian writer
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber58
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Elfriede Jelinek photo
Elfriede Jelinek50
Austrian writer
Erwin Schrödinger photo
Erwin Schrödinger67
Austrian physicist