1. A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.
2. The limits of my language means the limits of my world.
3. I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
4. Hell isn’t other people. Hell is yourself.
5. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
6. The real question of life after death isn’t whether or not it exists, but even if it does what problem this really solves.
7. Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.
8. If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
9. A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
10. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
11. Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.
12. Don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.
13. The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.
14. I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again ‘I know that that’s a tree’, pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: ‘This fellow isn’t insane. We are only doing philosophy.
15. Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.
16. We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.
17. Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.
18. Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
19. How small a thought it takes to fill a life.
20. When we can’t think for ourselves, we can always quote
21. We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all.
22. If you and I are to live religious lives, it mustn’t be that we talk a lot about religion, but that our manner of life is different. It is my belief that only if you try to be helpful to other people will you in the end find your way to God.
23. To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.
24. I act with complete certainty. But this certainty is my own.
25. If anyone is unwilling to descend into himself, because this is too painful, he will remain superficial in his writing. . . If I perform to myself, then it’s this that the style expresses. And then the style cannot be my own. If you are unwilling to know what you are, your writing is a form of deceit.
26. What can be shown, cannot be said.
27. At the core of all well-founded belief lies belief that is unfounded.
28. Ethics and aesthetics are one.
29. It is a dogma of the Roman Church that the existence of God can be proved by natural reason. Now this dogma would make it impossible for me to be a Roman Catholic. If I thought of God as another being like myself, outside myself, only infinitely more powerful, then I would regard it as my duty to defy him.
30. What is troubling us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.
31. For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed.
The riddle does not exist.
If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.
32. The world of the happy man is a different one from that of the unhappy man.
33. Language disguises thought.
34. Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.
35. A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.
36. When you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there.
37. Tell me,” Wittgenstein’s asked a friend, “why do people always say, it was natural for man to assume that the sun went round the earth rather than that the earth was rotating?” His friend replied, “Well, obviously because it just looks as though the Sun is going round the Earth.” Wittgenstein replied, “Well, what would it have looked like if it had looked as though the Earth was rotating?
38. Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.
39. You can’t think decently if you’re not willing to hurt yourself
40. An honest religious thinker is like a tightrope walker. He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air. His support is the slenderest imaginable. And yet it really is possible to walk on it.
41. Philosophers are often like little children, who first scribble random lines on a piece of paper with their pencils, and now ask an adult ‘What is that?
42. If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.
43. If in life we are surrounded by death, then in the health of our intellect we are surrounded by madness.
44. Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.
45. Sometimes, in doing philosophy, one just wants to utter an inarticulate sound.
46. I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me
whether what I have thought has already been
thought before me by another.
47. This is how philosophers should salute each other: ‘Take your time.
48. The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.
49. The eternal life is given to those who live in the present.
50. Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be said can be said clearly.
51. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.
52. One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is.
53. Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that things which look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different. I was thinking of using as a motto for my book a quotation from King Lear: ‘I’ll teach you differences’.
‘You’d be surprised’ wouldn’t be a bad motto either.
54. My day passes between logic, whistling, going for walks, and being depressed. I wish to God that I were more intelligent and everything would finally become clear to me – or else that I needn’t live much longer.
55. That it doesn’t strike us at all when we look around us, move about in space, feel our own bodies, etc. etc., shows how natural these things are to us. We do not notice that we see space perspectivally or that our visual field is in some sense blurred towards the edges. It doesn’t strike us and never can strike us because it is the way we perceive. We never give it a thought and it’s impossible we should, since there is nothing that contrasts with the form of our world.What I wanted to say is it’s strange that those who ascribe reality only to things and not to our ideas move about so unquestioningly in the world as idea and never long to escape from it.
56. If there were a verb meaning “to believe falsely,” it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.
57. If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: ‘This is simply what I do.
58. Suppose someone were to say: ‘Imagine this butterfly exactly as it is, but ugly instead of beautiful’?!
59. Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement.
60. The philosopher is not a citizen of any community of ideas, that is what makes him a philosopher.