by "http://www.facebook.com/LostWinter" on Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:55pm
So, I finished Wittgenstein's Tractatus this summer. Much of it not written for a general audience, I had to reference a lot of stuff from Russell and Frege (and Whitehead) to make sense of the analytic philosophical arguments of the era. But, alas, I got through.
The ending takes this surprisingly mystical turn (and certainly why Russell disagrees with it). It's without a doubt, my favorite part (sorry Russell old chum), and worthy to chew on for awhile. So, I thought I'd transcribe the last 2 pages and let anyone else munch with me. Enjoy.
“5.6 The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
5.61 Logic fills the world: the limits of the world are also its limits. We cannot therefore say in logic: This and this there is in the world, that, there is not.
For that would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case since otherwise logic must get outside the limits of the world: that is, if it could consider these limits from the other side also. What we cannot think, that we cannot think: we cannot therefore say what we cannot think.
5.62 This remark provides a key to the question, to what extent solipsism is a truth. In fact what solipsism means, is quite correct, only it cannot be said, but shows itself. That the world is my world, shows itself in the fact that the limits of the language (the language which only I understand) mean the limits of my world.
5.621 The world and life are one.
5.63 I am my world. (the microcosm).”
6.4312 The temporal immortality of the soul of man, that is to say, its eternal survival also after death, is not only in no way guaranteed, but this assumption in the first place will not do for us what we always tried to make it do. Is a riddle solved by the fact that I survive forever? Is this eternal life not as enigmatic as our present one? The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time. (It is not the problems of natural science which have to be solved.)
6.432 How the world is, is completely indifferent for what is higher. God does not reveal himself in the world.
6.4321 The facts all belong only to the task and not to its performance.
6.44 Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.
6.45 The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a limited whole. The feeling of the world as a limited whole is the mystical feeling.
6.5 For an answer which cannot be expressed the too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.
6.51 Skepticism is not irrefutable, but palpably senseless, if it would doubt where a question cannot be asked. For doubt can only exist where there is a question; a question only where there is an answer, and this only where something, can be said.
6.52 We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is then no question left, and just this is the answer (!!!! I like that part).
6.521 The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem. (Is not this the reason why men to whom after long doubting the sense of life became clear, could not then say wherein this sense consisted?) (I like that part too: )
6.522 There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the mystical.
6.53 The right method of philosophy would be this. To say nothing except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, ie something that has nothing to do with philosophy; and then always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method would be unsatisfying to the other – he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy – but it would be the only strictly correct method.
6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) (!!!) He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
7 Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
If anyone wants to talk about this or other Wittgenstein, I'd love to.