Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes

Thumbnail of Ludwig Wittgenstein (source)
Ludwig Wittgenstein
(26 Apr 1889 - 29 Apr 1951)

Austrian-British philosopher who applied modern logic to metaphysics, working in the philosophy of mathematics, of mind, and of language. He wrote the highly regarded Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, his only book-length work on philosophy.

Science Quotes by Ludwig Wittgenstein (10 quotes)

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
In Tractatus logico-philosophicus (1921, 1955), Sec. 5.6, 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Language (155)  |  Limit (86)  |  World (667)

Die Welt ist alles, was der Pall ist.
The world is everything that is the case.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
In Tractatus logico-philosophicus (1921, 1955), Sec. 1, 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Case (64)  |  Everything (120)  |  World (667)

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
In Tractatus logico-philosophicus (1921, 1955), Sec. 7, 189.
Science quotes on:  |  Silence (32)  |  Speaking (38)

If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
In Philosophical Investigations (1953), trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Lion (15)  |  Talking (10)  |  Understanding (317)

Man has to awaken to wonder—and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Awaken (8)  |  People (269)  |  Science (1699)  |  Send (13)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Wonder (134)

The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
John Mitchinson and John Lloyd, If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren't There More Happy People?: Smart Quotes for Dumb Times (2009), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Mystical (7)  |  World (667)

There is no one central problem in philosophy, but countless little problems. Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
From conversation with Rush Rhees (1930) as given by Rush Rhees in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieving (3)  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Central (23)  |  Countless (13)  |  Dial (3)  |  Door (25)  |  Everything (120)  |  Little (126)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Opening (15)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Place (111)  |  Problem (362)  |  Safe (15)  |  Trying (18)

To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 41
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  End (141)  |  Fact (609)  |  God (454)  |  Matter (270)  |  Means (109)  |  See (197)  |  World (667)

To pray is to think about the meaning of life.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 178
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)  |  Mean (63)  |  Pray (13)  |  Think (205)

What a curious attitude scientists have: ‘We still don’t know that; but it is knowable and it is only a matter of time before we get to know it!’ As if that went without saying.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Quoted in S. Hilmy, The Later Wittgenstein: The Emergence of a New Philosophical Method (1987), 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (47)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Time (439)



Quotes by others about Ludwig Wittgenstein (1)

Somebody once observed to the eminent philosopher Wittgenstein how stupid medieval Europeans living before the time of Copernicus must have been that they could have looked at the sky and thought that the sun was circling the earth. Surely a modicum of astronomical good sense would have told them that the reverse was true. Wittgenstein is said to have replied: “I agree. But I wonder what it would have looked like if the sun had been circling the earth.”
In Day the Universe Changed (1985), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (29)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Circling (2)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (44)  |  Earth (487)  |  Eminent (6)  |  European (5)  |  Geocentric (5)  |  Good (228)  |  Heliocentric (2)  |  Look (46)  |  Medieval (6)  |  Observation (418)  |  Orbit (58)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Reverse (14)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sky (68)  |  Stupid (15)  |  Sun (211)  |  Thought (374)  |  Truth (750)  |  Wonder (134)


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.