Ludvig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)


It is a dogma of the Roman Church that the existence of God can be proved by natural reason. Now this dogma would make it impossible for me to be a Roman Catholic. If I thought of God as another being like myself, outside myself, only infinitely more powerful, then I would regard it as my duty to defy him.

Personal Recollections

If you do know that here is one hand, we'll grant you all the rest

On Certainty, Opening sentence of a response to a lecture by the philosopher G. E. Moore, in which he refuted the premises of skepticism.

A confession has to be part of your new life

Culture and Value

The philosophical self is not the human being, not the human body, or the human soul with which psychology deals, but rather the metaphysical subject, the limit of the world-not a part of it

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language

What has history to do with me? Mine is the first and only world! I want to report how I find the world. What others have told me about the world is a very small and incidental part of my experience. I have to judge the world, to measure things


It would strike me as ridiculous to want to doubt the existence of Napoleon; but if someone doubted the existence of the earth 150 years ago, perhaps I should be more willing to listen, for now he is doubting our whole system of evidence

On Certainty

You must always be puzzled by mental illness. The thing I would dread most, if I became mentally ill, would be your adopting a common sense attitude; that you could take it for granted that I was deluded

Personal Recollections

Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie

Culture and Value

It is one of the chief skills of the philosopher not to occupy himself with questions which do not concern him.


Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open

Personal Recollections

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

Culture and Values

Man has to awaken to wonder-and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again

Culture and Values

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)

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

It seems to me that, in every culture, I come across a chapter headed "Wisdom." And then I know exactly what is going to follow: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity"

Personal Recollections

Født i Wien, 26. April, 1889, døde i Cambridge on 29. April, 1951.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig Josef Johann (1889-1951), Østerisk-Britisk filosof, en av den mer inflyelsesrike tenkere i det 20. århunder. Spesielt kjent for analytisk og språklig filosofi.

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