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Quotations From LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

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  • 61.
    I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Culture and Value, 1939-1940 entry, eds. G.H. von Wright and Heikki Nyman (1980).

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  • 62.
    If you do know that here is one hand, we'll grant you all the rest.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. On Certainty, sct. 1 (1969). Opening sentence, a response to a lecture by the philosopher G.E. Moore, in which he refuted the premises of skepticism.
  • 63.
    It is one of the chief skills of the philosopher not to occupy himself with questions which do not concern him.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Notebooks 1914-1916, entry for May 1, 1915, ed. Anscombe (1961).
  • 64.
    It would strike me as ridiculous to want to doubt the existence of Napoleon; but if someone doubted the existence of the earth 150 years ago, perhaps I should be more willing to listen, for now he is doubting our whole system of evidence.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. On Certainty, sect. 185, ed. Anscombe and von Wright (1969).
  • 65.
    Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. repr. In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sect. 5:473 (1921, trans. 1922). Notebooks 1914-1916, entry for October 13, 1914, ed. Anscombe (1961).
  • 66.
    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.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Notebooks 1914-1916, entry for September 2, 1915, ed. Anscombe (1961). In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sect. 5:63 (1921, trans. 1922), Wittgenstein paraphrased: "I am my world. (The microcosm)."

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  • 67.
    It seems to me that, in every culture, I come across a chapter headed "Wisdom." And then I know exactly what is going to follow: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Conversation, 1934. Personal Recollections, ch. 6, ed. Rush Rhees (1981). Of philosophy books.

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  • 68.
    Nowadays it is the fashion to emphasize the horrors of the last war. I didn't find it so horrible. There are just as horrible things happening all round us today, if only we had eyes to see them.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Personal Recollections, ch. 6, ed. Rush Rhees (1981). Conversation in 1934.

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  • 69.
    The human body is the best picture of the human soul.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), British (Austrian born) philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, part II, iv (1953).
  • 70.
    What is your aim in philosophy?—To shew the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, I, par. 309.

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