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Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes That Make You Think

Ludwig Wittgenstein believed he was ahead of his time. See what you think in these Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a great philosopher of his time, however, it’s also believed that he was ahead of his time. Many of his ideas and theories were misunderstood and even he believed that his work was being written for people yet to come.

Outside of the work he did in philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein also served roles in both World War I and World War II. It also appears that he had a family history of mental health challenges including depression.

He lost several siblings to suicide and even admitted contemplating it himself. He experienced a lot in his life.

A Sketch of Ludwig Wittgenstein

Don’t forget to also check out these John Stuart Mill quotes on life, society, and politics.

Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes that make you think

1. “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

2. “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

3. “There is no more light in a genius than in any other honest man — but he has a particular kind of lens to concentrate this light into a burning point.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

4. “Ambition is the death of thought.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

5. “Genius is talent exercised with courage.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

6. “If in life we are surrounded by death, then in the health of our intellect we are surrounded by madness.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

7. “Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophical Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes

8. “Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

9. “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

10. “When you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there.”- Ludwig Wittgenstein

11. “The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

12. “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

13. “The real discovery is the one which enables me to stop doing philosophy when I want to—the one that gives philosophy peace so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself into question.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

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14. “If you use a trick in logic, whom can you be tricking other than yourself?” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

15. “How small a thought it takes to fill a life.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

16. “What is confusing for us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

17. “The aim of philosophy is to erect a wall at the point where language stops anyway.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Fun and silly Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes

18. “Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

19. “If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

20. “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

21. “Don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes on religion

22. “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

23. “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 maybe.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

24. “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

25. “To believe in a God means to understand the question about the meaning of life.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

26. “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

27. “Certainly it is correct to say: Conscience is the voice of God.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

28. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

29. “The human body is the best picture of the human soul.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

30. “Hell isn’t other people. Hell is yourself.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

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31. “If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Thought-provoking Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes

32. “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

33. “You can’t think decently if you’re not willing to hurt yourself” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

34. “Tell me, why do people always say, it was natural for man to assume that the sun went round the earth rather than that the earth was rotating?” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

35. “Only describe, don’t explain.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

36. “The eternal life is given to those who live in the present.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

37. “Don’t think, but look!” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

38. “The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

39. “To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

40. “One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is. ” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

41. “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.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

42. “The world is the totality of facts, not things.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

43. “If life becomes hard to bear we think of a change in our circumstances. But the most important and effective change, a change in our own attitude, hardly even occurs to us.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

44. “Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

45. “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

Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes on language and communication

46. “Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

47. “If there were a verb meaning “to believe falsely,” it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

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48. “Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

49. “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

50. “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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51. “When we can’t think for ourselves, we can always quote.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

52. “Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

53. “If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

More Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes and sayings

54. “To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

55. “The solution to the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this problem.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

56. “One must always be prepared to learn something totally new.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

57. “What cannot be imagined cannot even be talked about.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

58. “Nothing is more important than the formation of fictional concepts, which teach us at last to understand our own.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

59. “Where our language suggests a body and there is none: there, we should like to say, is a spirit.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

60. “Is my understanding only blindness to my own lack of understanding? It often seems so to me.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

What did you learn from these Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes?

It does appear that Ludwig Wittgenstein was right in believing that his works and publications were somewhat ahead of their time.

Even in the past couple of decades, his work has been recognized in American universities and colleges. While time has changed and society changes, the true nature of humans remains the same.

Did any of these Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes and sayings above get you thinking? Many of his quotes appear simple at first glance but can really get you thinking on a deeper level about different topics. You can use them as starting points in doing some thinking and discovering of your own.

Stephanie Kirby
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