[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] The Conclusion of the Tractatus

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 01:52:46 -0000


The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is 
as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value?and if there 
were, it would be of no value.

If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening and 
being-so. For all happening and being-so is accidental.

What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this would 
again be accidental.

It must lie outside the world.


Hence also there can be no ethical propositions.

Propositions cannot express anything higher.


It is clear that ethics cannot be expressed.

Ethics is transcendental.

(Ethics and æsthetics are one.)


The first thought in setting up an ethical law of the form "thou shalt . . ." 
is: And what if I do not do it? But it is clear that ethics has nothing to do 
with punishment and reward in the ordinary sense. This question as to the 
consequences of an action must therefore be irrelevant. At least these 
consequences will not be events. For there must be something right in that
formulation of the question. There must be some sort of ethical reward and 
ethical punishment, but this must lie in the action itself.

(And this is clear also that the reward must be something acceptable, and the 
punishment something unacceptable.)


Of the will as the subject of the ethical we cannot speak.

And the will as a phenomenon is only of interest to psychology.


If good or bad willing changes the world, it can only change the limits of the 
world, not the facts; not the things that can be expressed in language.

In brief, the world must thereby become quite another, it must so to speak wax 
or wane as a whole.

The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.


As in death, too, the world does not change, but ceases.


Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through.

If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, 
then he lives eternally who lives in the present.

Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit.


The temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say, its eternal 
survival 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 for ever? 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 problems of natural science which have to be solved.)


How the world is, is completely indifferent for what is higher. God does not 
reveal himself in the world.


The facts all belong only to the task and not to its performance.


Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.


The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a 
limited whole.

The feeling that the world is a limited whole is the mystical feeling.


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.


Scepticism 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.


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.


The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this 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?)


There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the mystical.


The right method of philosophy would be this: To say nothing except what can be 
said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. 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.


My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally 
recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, 
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.


Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

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