quote by David Foster Wallace

One of the things that makes Wittgenstein a real artist to me is that he realized that no conclusion could be more horrible than solipsism.

— David Foster Wallace

Skyrocket Wittgenstein quotations

Wittgenstein's ruler: Unless you have confidence in the ruler's reliability, if you use a ruler to measure a table you may also be using the table to measure the ruler.

Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Even if they do not, however, he is sure always to count as one of the great personalities of philosophy. From our perspective it is easy to mistake one for the other; which he is time will tell.

Well, what does "good" mean anyway? As Wittgenstein suggested, "good," like "game," has a family of meanings. Prominent among them is this one: "meets the criteria or standards of assessment or evaluation."

Wittgenstein once wrote that when the eye sees something beautiful, the hand wants to draw it. I wish I could draw you.

It is true that there are exercises that can strengthen the 'muscle' that enable us to push back the bounds of acceptation. But these are relatively unimportant. The real problem is that we are trapped in misconceptions that always deceive us, as the matador's cape deceives the bull; that continue to deceive us a million times over the course of a lifetime. Wittgenstein once said that traditional philosophy causes a form of mental cramp, and that the aim of his philosophy was to remove this mental cramp, or to 'show the fly the way out of the bottle'. Our misconceptions involve the passive fallacy and notion that consciousness is a plane mirror that cannot lie about the world it reflects.

I often find that a novel, even a well-written and compelling novel, can become a blur to me soon after I've finished reading it. I recollect perfectly the feeling of reading it, the mood I occupied, but I am less sure about the narrative details. It is almost as if the book were, as Wittgenstein said of his propositions, a ladder to be climbed and then discarded after it has served its purpose.

The thing I think I have learned from Wittgenstein is the importance of not making things up: philosophers should not invent problems, and they should also be conscious of the risk of inventing pointless 'technical' machinery which do not offer real explanations, but often just re-state the known facts in a more complex way.

I can't quite see the point of poems like "Wittgenstein Goes for a Walk with A Hawk in Sherwood Forest." I know they're trying to be clever, but they're not.

Religious life is about something real in human experience that is not constrained by what Wittgenstein called 'all that is the case'. In this sense Heidegger is not simply 'mistaken' - he just asks us, as philosophers mostly do, to think more carefully about what we're saying.

Wittgenstein imagined that the philosopher was like a therapist whose task was to put problems finally to rest, and to cure us ofbeing bewitched by them. So we are told to stop, to shut off lines of inquiry, not to find things puzzling nor to seek explanations. This is intellectual suicide.

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you five, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you ninety-seven, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking to is operating with a wholly different logic from your own.

Like Karl Kraus [Wittgenstein], was seldom pleased by what he saw of the institutions of men, and the idiom of the passerby mostly offended his ear - particularly when they happened to speak philosophically; and like Karl Kraus, he suspected that the institutions could not but be corrupt if the idiom of the race was confused, presumptuous, and vacuous, a fabric of nonsense, untruth, deception, and self-deception.

... the body, normally, is never in question: our bodies are beyond question, or perhaps beneath question - they are simply, unquestionably, there. This unquestionability of the body, is, for Wittgenstein, the start and basis of all knowledge and certainty.

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said that names are the only things that exist in the world. Maybe that's true, but the problem is that as time passes by, names do not remain the same - even if they don't change.

I remember the revelation it was to me when I realized I'd rather be smart in the way Elvis Presley was than in the way, say, Ludwig Wittgenstein was. The thing was, you could imagine you could be smart like Wittgenstein by just thinking hard enough, but Elvis just had it. It was almost spiritual. A kind of grace.

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

Everything that can be said can be said clearly. Ludwig Wittgenstein

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