Friday, 26 August 2011

Wittgenstein: Never Understand

"I was sorry not to have seen you at Christmas. It struck me as rather funny that you should want to hide from me, for the following reason: I have been morally dead for more than a year! From that you can judge for yourself whether I am fine or not: I am one of those cases which perhaps are not all that rare today: I had a task, did not do it, and now the failure is wrecking my life. I ought to have done something positive with my life, to have become a star in the sky. Instead of which I am stuck on earth, and now I am gradually fading out. My life has really become meaningless and so it consists only of futile episodes. The people around me do not notice this and would not understand; but I know that I have a fundamental deficiency. Be glad of it, if you don't understand what I am writing here."

Ludwig Wittgenstein, letter to Paul Engelmann, January 1921.
Ludwig to Bertrand Russell on Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1921; "Don’t worry, I know you’ll never understand it.”
Never understand.
You'll never understand me, yeah.
"The world is all that is the case..."
"And whatever a man knows, whatever is not mere rumbling and roaring that he has heard, can be said in three words." (K├╝rnberger, dedication in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
I. Love. You.


  1. Follow Turing, he makes more sense.

  2. Turing just did a load of mathsballs.

  3. Yes, you're right.
    Turing only invented the computer, while Wittgenstein was busy going "Ooh, poor me, everything is like everything and that is the case, ooh, pooor me..." etc.
    Turing's great 'cause he looks outwards and tries to understand the world...

  4. The point is Wittgenstein said it was all pointless, dickwad.

  5. I'm pretty sure that wasn't what Wittgenstein was saying...

  6. It was.
    It was all a big camp joke, spunkchops.

  7. Have you ever considered not reducing everything to a stupid soundbite?
    Cause, you know, not everything can be...

  8. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a series of soundbites.

    "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence". :)

  9. No. It's about the limits of language. The complete oppsite of "a series of soundbites".
    That's the irony of your interpretation: "what we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence" to you becomes "it's all pointless".
    As the younglings say, EPIC FAIL!

    Why do you think he told Russell that he'd never understand the Tractatus?

  10. It's a series of soundbites.
    I think he thought Bertie was - hilariously - a bit thick.

  11. "Oh, what's the bloody point?" - Ludwig Wittgenstein. Last journal entry, April 1951.

  12. It's interesting you use Kenneth Williams' last diary entry, because you seem to reduce Wittgenstein to a sort of sub-Williams nihilist with darker moods but shitter jokes.
    Wittgenstein's last words were "Tell them I've had a wonderful life", which I believe he genuinely felt.

    You don't understand Wittgenstein.
    You think you do, but only because you've characteristically reduced his life's work to a false sentence or two which you not only understand but which chimes with your world-view.
    "It's a camp joke!", "It's all pointless!"

  13. I am the only person IN THE WORLD that understands Wittgenstein.
    So piss that up your trolly and lick it.

  14. It's impossible to understand another human bean, Figbum.
    We cannot know and we cannot be known. :'(

  15. "Wittgenstein's last words were "Tell them I've had a wonderful life", which I believe he genuinely felt."

    So why did he endlessly contemplate suicide?

  16. Given what you think you know about Wittgenstein, the question you should be asking yourself is: why did he never commit suicide?

    He DID have a wonderful life. I believe he worked constantly. He questioned things constantly. It's not surprising he was sometimes suicidal, given that and his emotional complexity. But that doesn't negate the possibility that looking back on his life as he was dying, he could see with perfect clarity what should be obvious to anyone: he had a wonderful life (and achieved so much).

  17. "And whatever a man knows, whatever is not mere rumbling and roaring that he has heard, can be said in three words."

    You're a knob. :)

  18. I'm very fond of knobs, so I'll take that as a compliment. :D