Ludwig Wittgenstein

(1889-1951 / Vienna)

Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes

  • ''The common behavior of mankind is the system of reference by means of which we interpret an unknown language.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), British (Austrian born) philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, part I, 206 (1953). All languages have common moorings.
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  • ''Think of the tools in a tool-box: there is a hammer, pliers, a saw, a screwdriver, a rule, a glue-pot, nails and screws.—The function of words are as diverse as the functions of these objects.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, I, par. 11.
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  • ''Suppose we think while we talk or write—I mean, as we normally do—we shall not in general say that we think quicker than we talk, but the thought seems not to be separate from the expression.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher, worked mainly at Cambridge University. Philosophical Investigations, part I, sect. 318, p. 104e, Macmillan (1953). Emphasis in the original.
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  • ''A wheel that can be turned though nothing else moves with it, is not a part of the mechanism.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), British (Austrian born) philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, part I, 271 (1953). Any inner experiences that fail to correspond to public behavior in some orderly way are irrelevant to meaning.
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  • ''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).
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  • ''The real discovery is the one which enables me to stop doing philosophy when I want to.—The one that gives philosophy peace, so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself into question.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, pt. 1, sct. 133 (1953).
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  • ''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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  • ''Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, pt. 1, sct. 109 (1953). In the book, Wittgenstein argued that most philosophical problems arose from the systematic misuse of language, and could be solved by a new critical method of linguistic analysis.
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  • ''You learned the concept 'pain' when you learned language.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Blackwell, second edition (1958). Philosophical Investigations, I, par. 384.
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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.
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