Ludwig Wittgenstein, in full Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, (born April 26, 1889, Vienna, Austria-Hungary – died April 29, 1951, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) was an Austrian-British philosopher, widely considered as one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century.
Influenced by his teacher Bertrand Russell and by Gottlob Frege, Wittgenstein developed a passionate interest in the philosophy of logic and mathematics. In addition to logic and mathematics, he also worked in the philosophy of mind and language.
Wittgenstein is best known for his two major works, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung, 1921) and Philosophical Investigations (Philosophische Untersuchungen, published posthumously in 1953).
Today, Wittgenstein’s work continues to inspire and influence current philosophical thought, especially within the analytic philosophy.
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.'1929 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.'Section 5.6' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)
Tell me how you are searching and I will tell you what you are searching for.'Part III' Philosophical Remarks (1975)
Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present. Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit.'Section 6.4311' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)
The human body is the best picture of the human soul.'Part II' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
Logic is not a theory but a reflexion of the world. Logic is transcendental.'Section 6.13' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)
Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.'1948 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
To imagine a language means to imagine a form of life.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
Religion is, as it were, the calm bottom of the sea at its deepest point, which remains calm however high the waves on the surface may be.'1946 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.'Section 6.43' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)
If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.'1946 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
The world is the totality of facts, not of things.'Section 1.1' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)
When one is frightened of the truth then it is never the whole truth that one has an inkling of.Notebooks (October 15, 1914)
To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth.'Chapter 7. Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough,' Philosophical Occasions (1912-1951)
It is one of the chief skills of the philosopher not to occupy himself with questions which do not concern him.Notebooks (May 1, 1915)
Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.'journal entry 1939-1940' Culture and Value (1977)
The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have always known.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
If you use a trick in logic, whom can you be tricking other than yourself?'1933 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
A man’s thinking goes on within his consciousness in a seclusion in comparison with which any physical seclusion is an exhibition to public view.'Part II' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
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.'journal entry 1939-1940' Culture and Value (1977)
Philosophy unravels the knots in our thinking; hence its results must be simple, but its activity is as complicated as the knots that it unravels.'Chapter 9. Philosophy,' Philosophical Occasions (1912-1951)
A nothing would serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
An ‘inner process’ stands in need of outward criteria.'Part I' Philosophical Investigations (1953)
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push it.'1942 entry' Culture and Value (1977)
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.'Section 7' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)