Wittgenstein’s preface

22 Jan

I know I just wrote about the importance of words, but I just found the preface of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s book Logico-Tractatus Philosophicus and I wanted to share it with you:

“Perhaps  this book will be understood only by someone who has himself already  had the thoughts that are expressed in it–or at least similar thoughts.–So it is not a textbook.–Its purpose would be achieved if it gave pleasure  to one person who read and understood it. The book deals with the   problems of philosophy, and shows, I believe, that the reason why    these problems are posed is that the logic of our language is misunderstood.   The whole sense of the book might be summed up in the following words:  what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence. Thus the aim of the book is to draw a limit to thought, or rather–not to thought, but to the express  of thoughts: for in order to be able to draw 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). It will therefore   only be in language that the limit can be drawn, and what lies on  the other side of the limit will simply be nonsense. I do not wish to judge how far my efforts coincide with those of other philosophers. Indeed, what I have written here makes no claim to novelty in detail, and the reason why I give no sources is that it is a matter of indifference   to me whether the thoughts that I have had have been anticipated by someone else.”


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