Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein
(1889-04-26 - 1951-04-29)


The debate against metaphysics in detail, philosophers of the Vienna Circle concluded, was a complete waste of time: if one metaphysician says "Reality is the Absolute" and another that "Reality is a plurality of spirits", the empiricist need not trouble himself to reply to their arguments. He need only say to them - "What possible experience could settle the issue between you? To this question metaphysicians have no answer; and from this follows, according to the verifiability principle, that their assertions are quite without meaning. It is equally senseless, on this view, to say that "Reality is not the Absolute" as to say "Reality is the Absolute"; because neither assertions can be verified. Thus metaphysical disputes are wholly pointless.


Wittgenstein and von Wright at Gambridge in 1948

The picture above is representing Wittgenstein and von Wright at Gambridge in 1949 by Knut Erik Tranöy.


Wittgenstein's book: Philosophical Investigations

Cover of Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations".



Ludwig Wittgenstein

(1889-04-26 - 1951-04-29)

Short biography
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The aim of the philosophical analysis is make clear indistinct concepts and obscure thoughts. Ludwig Wittgenstein expressed this idea of philosophy's duty in his work Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as follows:

Most propositions and questions which have been
written about philosophical matters are not false,
but senseless. We cannot, therefore, answer questions
of this kind at all, but only state their senselessness.
Most questions and propositions of the philosophers
result from the fact that we do not understand the logic
of our language.

(They are of the same kind as the question whether the
Good is more or less identical than the Beautiful.)

And so it is not to be wondered at that the deepest
problems are really not problems.

The philosophy is, according to Wittgenstein, "criticism of a language" (4.0031) - it is not a doctrine but activities whose object is a language and as a result making clear thoughts and propositions (4.112).

Cambridge University Press

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