Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotes by Ludwig Wittgenstein on philosophy, life, human, soul, religion, education, insanity, logic and knowledge.

99 Notable Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes You Must Know

Quick Facts

Famous As: Philosopher

Born On: April 26, 1889

Died On: April 29, 1951

Born In: Vienna

Died At Age: 62

Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British born philosopher. Wittgenstein was born in a wealthy family in Austria in 1889 and after studying in Berlin, he earned his doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 1929. Bertrand Russell was one of his teachers at the University and called him the perfect example of a genius. He was employed as a teacher at the University of Cambridge for 18 years and during that time he worked on subjects like ‘the logic’, ‘philosophy of language’ and ‘philosophy of mathematics’ among others. His only published work was ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’ in 1921. However, it is also true that he conducted extensive research on the subject and all his manuscripts were published in the form of a book named ‘Philosophical Investigations’ after his death. Wittgenstein was a tortured genius, who suffered from depression and suicidal tendencies, which had also forced him to give up his academic pursuits plenty of times. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s books, work, manuscripts and other writings give an insight about his thoughts on several topics. We have scanned his works to collect some of his most famous quotes. Following are some of the most famous quotes from the life and works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the great philosophers of the 20th century.

A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The limits of my language means the limits of my world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Hell isn't other people. Hell is yourself.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The real question of life after death isn't whether or not it exists, but even if it does what problem this really solves.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I am my world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Only describe, don't explain.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Don't for heaven's sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

How small a thought it takes to fill a life.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I act with complete certainty. But this certainty is my own.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

What can be shown, cannot be said.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The world of the happy is quite different from that of the unhappy.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

What is troubling us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

At the core of all well-founded belief lies belief that is unfounded.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ethics and aesthetics are one.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

When we can't think for ourselves, we can always quote

Ludwig Wittgenstein

An honest religious thinker is like a tightrope walker. He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air. His support is the slenderest imaginable. And yet it really is possible to walk on it.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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?

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Don't think, but look! (PI 66)

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If in life we are surrounded by death, then in the health of our intellect we are surrounded by madness.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sometimes, in doing philosophy, one just wants to utter an inarticulate sound.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If there were a verb meaning "to believe falsely," it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

When you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Language disguises thought.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darber mu man schweigen.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The eternal life is given to those who live in the present.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

You can't think decently if you're not willing to hurt yourself

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have thought has already been thought before me by another.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

This sort of thing has got to be stopped. Bad philosophers are like slum landlords. It's my job to put them out of business.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: 'This is simply what I do.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Our greatest stupidities may be very wise.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The face is the soul of the body.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

This is how philosophers should salute each other: ‘Take your time.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The world is everything that is the case.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Tell them I've had a wonderful life.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The philosopher is not a citizen of any community of ideas, that is what makes him a philosopher.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

It's impossible for me to say one word about all that music has meant to me in my life. How, then, can I hope to be understood?

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Suppose someone were to say: 'Imagine this butterfly exactly as it is, but ugly instead of beautiful'?!

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be said can be said clearly.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

A tautology's truth is certain, a proposition's possible, a contradiction's impossible.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Belief in the causal nexus is superstition.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I think I summed up my attitude to philosophy when I said: philosophy ought really to be written only as a poetic composition.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I am not interested in constructing a building, so much as in having a perspicuous view of the foundations of possible buildings.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

It is not humanly possible to gather immediately from it what the logic of language is. Language disguises thought.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

In philosophy it is always good to put a question instead of an answer to a question. For an answer to the philosophical question may easily be unfair; disposing of it by means of another question is not.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The human body is the best picture of the human soul.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Where two principles really do meet which cannot be reconciled with one another, then each man declares the other a fool and a heretic

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Music conveys to us itself!

Ludwig Wittgenstein

We are struggling with language. We are engaged in a struggle with language.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Always come down from the barren heights of cleverness into the green valleys of folly.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

In the world everything is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it, there is no value, - and if there were, it would be of no value.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Nothing is more important for teaching us to understand the concepts we have than to construct fictitious ones.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Just improve yourself; that is the only thing you can do to better the world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

It's not how the world is, but that it is, that is cause for astonishment.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

So in the end, when one is doing philosophy, one gets to the point where one would like just to emit an inarticulate sound.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Most of the propositions and questions to be found in philosophical works are not false but nonsensical.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Christianity is not a doctrine, not, I mean, a theory about what has happened & will happen to the human soul, but a description of something that actually takes place in human life.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Concerning that which cannot be talked about, we should not say anything.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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

Ludwig Wittgenstein

What stands fast does so, not because it is intrinsically obvious or convincing; it is rather held fast by what lies around it.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

There are no subjects in the world. A subject is a limitation of the world.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The primary question about life after death is not whether it is a fact, but even if it is, what problems that really solves.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking. But, if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Perhaps what is inexpressible (what I find mysterious and am not able to express) is the background against which whatever I could express has its meaning.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The aspect of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their familiarity and simplicity.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

There can never be surprises in logic.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

In art it is hard to say anything as good as saying nothing.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

People nowadays think that scientists exist to instruct them, poets, musicians, etc. to give them pleasure. The idea that these have something to teach them - that does not occur to them.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how music should be played.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Roughly speaking: objects are colourless

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy, as we use the word, is a fight against the fascination which forms of expression exert upon us.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If, for example, you were to think more deeply about death, then it would be truly strange if, in doing so, you did not encounter new images, new linguistic fields.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.

Ludwig Wittgenstein