A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

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Wittgenstein Revises His Thesis

Wittgenstein: "You see, Russell, the world is everything that is the case."
Bertrand Russel: "What do you mean, Wittgenstein?"

Wittgenstein: "When we speak, we form a proposition, we are making a picture of the world, connected by the logical form."

Wittgenstein: "But some sentences don't connect to the world as it is, they have no empirical content. When we speak of morality or metaphysics, there is no fact in the world that connects the proposition to a truth value."


Wittgenstein: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."
Bertrand Russel: "But wait, isn't that sentence itself “nonsense”, since it doesn't describe a truth condition of empirical content?"

Wittgenstein: " Hmm, you are right, maybe i'll have to rework it..."

Wittgenstein: " Okay, how about this: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent, starting..........NOW!"

Bertrand Russel: "I'm surprisingly okay with it."
PERSON: "it's perfect. There are no flaws at all. I think i just solved philosophy."
How about this: no one can say anything that isn't grounded in empirical observation, except for Wittgeinstein.

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein more or less lays out a position that any statement which does not directly link to an empirical observation is "nonsense". Of course, it wasn't hard to realize that most, or perhaps all, of the very book he had written would then have to be counted as nonsense. He got around this probably thus:

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them - as steps - to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)

He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

So in other words, no one is allowed to give nonsensical statements, starting the exact moment after they read Wittgenstein. A rather strange solution, to be sure, but what can you do I guess?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein more or less lays out a position that any statement which does not directly link to an empirical observation is "nonsense". Of course, it wasn't hard to realize that most, or perhaps all, of the very book he had written would then have to be counted as nonsense. He got around this probably thus:

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them - as steps - to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)

He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

So in other words, no one is allowed to give nonsensical statements, starting the exact moment after they read Wittgenstein. A rather strange solution, to be sure, but what can you do I guess?

Philosophers in this comic: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell
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