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Quotations From LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN


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  • A picture is a fact.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 2.141 (1921).
  • Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity. A philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 4.112.

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  • Propositions show what they say: tautologies and contradictions show that they say nothing.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 4.461.
  • Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sect. 6:4311 (1921, trans. 1922).

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  • ... only of a living human being and what resembles (behaves like) a living human being can one say: it has sensations; it sees; is blind; hears; is deaf; is conscious or unconscious.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher (worked mainly at Cambridge University). Philosophical Investigations, Part I, sect. 281, p. 97e, The Macmillan Company (1953).
  • Here the term 'language-game' is meant to bring into prominence the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, of a form of life.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, I, par. 23 (1953).

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  • A philosophical problem has the form: "I don't know my way about."
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), British (Austrian-born) philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, part I, 123 (1953). Philosophical problems rest on misuse of language.
  • If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, II, xi., P. 223.
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