Wittgenstein’s Words

Published February 11, 2009, issue of February 20, 2009.
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From “Notebooks 1914–1916,” 2nd edition (University of Chicago Press, 1984):

“One of the most difficult of the philosopher’s tasks is to find out where the shoe pinches.” (p. 60)

“Certainly it is correct to say: Conscience is the voice of God.” (p. 75)

From “The Blue Book” (Harper & Row, 1965):

“For remember that in general we don’t use language according to strict rules Ρ it hasn’t been taught us by means of strict rules, either.” (p. 25) “The difficulty in philosophy is to say no more than we know.” (p. 45)

From “Philosophical Occasions 1912–1951” (Hackett Publishing Company, 1993):

“Philosophers are often like little children, who first scribble random lines on a piece of paper with their pencils, and now ask an adult ‘What is that?’” (p.193)

From “Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius” by Ray Monk (Penguin, 1991):

“I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again ‘I know that that’s a tree,’ pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell them: ‘This fellow isn’t insane. We are only doing philosophy.’” (p. 578)

From “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” by Ludwig Wittgenstein, translated by C.K. Ogden (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1922):

Proposition 7: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”


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