Ludwig Wittgenstein

(1889-1951 / Vienna)

Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes

  • ''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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  • ''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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  • ''... 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).
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  • ''For a large class of cases—though not for all—in which we employ the word "meaning" it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Philosophical Investigations, pt. 1, sct. 43 (1953).
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  • ''The subject does not belong to the world; rather, it is a limit of the world.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher (worked mainly at Cambridge University). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, sect. 5.632, Routledge & Kegan Paul (2nd ed., 1961).
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  • ''Logic must look after itself.... In a certain sense, we cannot make mistakes 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, 5.473.
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  • ''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."
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  • ''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).
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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).
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  • ''The world is all that is the case. The world is the totality of facts, not of things.''
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian-British philosopher. Trans. by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1-1.1.
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