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Quotations From LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

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  • 41.
    It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how the music should be played.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Conversation, 1949. Ch. 6, published in Personal Recollections, ed. Rush Rhees (1981).

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  • 42.
    You must always be puzzled by mental illness. The thing I would dread most, if I became mentally ill, would be your adopting a common sense attitude; that you could take it for granted that I was deluded.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Conversations 1947-48, ch. 6, Personal Recollections, ed. Rush Rhees (1981).
  • 43.
    It is possible—indeed possible even according to the old conception of logic—to give in advance a description of all 'true' logical propositions. Hence there can never be surprises in logic.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 6.125-6.1251.
  • 44.
    Elementary propositions consist of names.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.55.
  • 45.
    In order to be able to set a limit to thought, we should have to find both sides of the limit thinkable (i.e. we should have to be able to think what cannot be thought).
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, preface (1921).
  • 46.
    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sct. 7 (1922). Wittgenstein had elaborated in the book's Preface: "What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence." Karl Popper, in his Conjectures and Refutations (1963) reported Franz Urbach's rejoinder to this: "But it is only here that speaking becomes worthwhile."
  • 47.
    Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Notebooks 1914-1916, entry for May 14, 1915, ed. Anscombe (1961). also published in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sect. 4:002 (1921, trans. 1922): "Everyday language is a part of the human organism and is no less complicated than it."
  • 48.
    Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. On Certainty, sct. 378, eds. Anscombe and von Wright (1969).
  • 49.
    Every sign by itself seems dead. What gives it life?—In use it is alive. Is life breathed into it there?—Or is the use its life?
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, I, par. 432 (1953).

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  • 50.
    Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Conversation, 1930. Personal Recollections, ch. 6, ed. Rush Rhees (1981).
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