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    1. The world is all that is the case.

    Fri, Oct 16, 2009  Permanent link

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    3LSZVJA9     Fri, Oct 16, 2009  Permanent link
    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 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 expression 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.


    I will only mention that I am indebted to Frege's great works and of the
    writings of my friend Mr Bertrand Russell for much of the stimulation of
    my thoughts.


    If this work has any value, it consists in two things: the first is that
    thoughts are expressed in it, and on this score the better the thoughts
    are expressed—the more the nail has been hit on the head—the greater
    will be its value.—Here I am conscious of having fallen a long way
    short of what is possible. Simply because my powers are too slight for
    the accomplishment of the task.—May others come and do it better.


    On the other hand the truth of the thoughts that are here communicated
    seems to me unassailable and definitive. I therefore believe myself to
    have found, on all essential points, the final solution of the problems.
    And if I am not mistaken in this belief, then the second thing in which
    the of this work consists is that it shows how little is achieved when
    these problems are solved.


    L.W. Vienna, 1918

     
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