Ludwig Wittgenstein on languifying intelligence

109. It was true to say that our considerations could not be scientific ones. It was not of any possible interest to us to find out empirically ‘that, contrary to our preconceived ideas, it is possible to think such-and-such’—whatever that may mean. (The conception of thought as a gaseous medium.) And we may not advance any kind of theory. There must not be anything hypothetical in our considerations. We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place. And this description gets its light, that is to say its purpose, from the philosophical problems. These are, of course, not empirical problems; they are solved, rather, by looking into the workings of our language, and that in such a way as to make us recognize those workings: in despite of an urge to misunderstand them. The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have always known. Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
Ludwig Wittgenstein in Philosophical Investigations: the German text, with a revised English translation, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001), 3rd Edition, p. 40. Originally published posthumously as Philosophische Untersuchungen (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkam, 1953). Originally translated by Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret (G. E. M.) Anscombe (Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell, 1953).

Google Book Viewer

"It was true to say that our considerations could not be scientific"
Ludwig Wittgenstein Posted on behalf of on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 under Quotations.

Leave a Reply

You can embed videos and photos in your comments just by including the URL. Here's a list of supported websites and instructions.

You can use these HTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>