LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

I would like to pick up the following two quotes to introduce one of the philosophers who contributed to our perception of the world, the Austrian then nationalized British Ludwig Wittgenstein (Vienna, 1889- Cambridge (UK), 1951):

 

The limits of my language are the limits of my mind.

 

Revolutionary is he who can revolutionize themselves.
 

I often speak about believing is creating and, in this sense, Wittgenstein’s works are exciting because he focuses on thought as a representation of reality and thus the reality of a person is understood in terms of what they may think. From this premise, it makes sense to speak about revolution and personal development: about believing in ourselves to become who we can really be.

We mention these concepts with no wonder nowadays, but early in the past century, the logic of this philosopher, mathematician and linguist provided an insight that attracted a deep interest, but also drew criticism.

His life was defined by an exceptional intellectual context: he was a disciple of Bertrand Russell at Trinity College, University of Cambridge; friends with the economist J.M.Keynes, being regular visits in his family circle –one of the richest in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the most renowned artists and scientists. Yet, Ludwig gave up part of his fortune, to distribute it among three of his eight siblings.

From the field of Aeronautical engineering, he derived his interest to mathematical philosophy, to publish the ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’ in 1923, a work that influenced the logical positivism and proposes the aforementioned thesis: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world”. That is, we can interpret the world because we do it from a logical form, that of thinking. In this work, Wittgenstein exposes concepts such as the Theory of Figuration (what things mean) or what  the truth is (something logically possible).

He abandoned philosophy for years after this work, although he returned to this discipline to carry on with another perspective, stated in his posthumous works ‘Philosophical Investigations’ and ‘Blue and Brown Books’. Out of the accused empiricism of the first stage, Ludwig approaches in these books the so-called Philosophy of Mind. He analyzes ‘mental terms’ to understand personal experience with an emotion or feeling. For example, the meaning of pain can be generic, but each person has hues and, therefore, the pain of each is unique.

More ideas quoted by this philosopher:

 

The world is all that happens.

 

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

 

Imagining a language means to imagine a form of life.

 

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving.

 

Our life is like a dream. But the best times we woke up enough to realize that we are dreaming. Most of the time, however, we are asleep.

 

Our civilization is characterized by the word “progress”. Progress is its form, not one of its qualities, progressing. It is typically constructive. Its activity is to build an increasingly complicated product. And yet the clarity is to serve this purpose; it is not an end in itself. For me, however, clarity, transparency is an end in itself.

 

Do not play with the depths of another!

 

Our greatest nonsense can be very wise.   

 

 

I wish you a very happy and conscious week,

 

Álex Rovira

 

Alex Rovira