50 Most Inspirational Wittgenstein Quotes

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a brilliant philosopher who had wisdom beyond his years. See for yourself in the below Wittgenstein quotes.

Even though his many theories left most people baffled, yet, Ludwig took note of them to share with future generations. And received the chance to do so at the UC (University of Cambridge) in 1929!

This remarkable man endured not 1, but 2 World Wars as well as a lifelong battle with depression stemming back from childhood. Yet, despite his challenges, Wittgenstein persevered and never gave up. As is evident in our following inspirational Wittgenstein Quotes!

Inspirational Wittgenstein Quotes

1. “Ambition is the death of thought.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

2. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

3. “Don’t get involved in partial problems, but always take the flight to where there is a free view over the whole single great problem, even if this view is still not a clear one.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

4. “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.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

5. “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

6. “Our greatest stupidities may be very wise.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

7. “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

8. “Hell isn’t other people. Hell is yourself.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

9. “The human body is the best picture of the human soul.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

10. “There is no more light in a genius than in any other honest man — but he has a particular kind of lens to concentrate this light into a burning point.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

11. “The real question of life after death isn’t whether or not it exists, but even if it does what problem this really solves.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

12. “Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

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13. “Genius is talent exercised with courage.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

14. “If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

15. “If a person tells me he has been to the worst places I have no reason to judge him but if he tells me it was his superior wisdom that enabled him to go there, then I know he is a fraud.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

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16. “If in life we are surrounded by death, then in the health of our intellect we are surrounded by madness.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

17. “If we take an eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

18. “It seems to me that, in every culture, I come across a chapter headed “Wisdom.” And then I know exactly what is going to follow: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

19. “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

20. “Don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

21. “For a large class of cases — though not for all — in which we employ the word ”meaning” it can be defined thus the meaning of a word is its use in the language.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

22. “When you are philosophizing you have to descend into primeval chaos and feel at home there.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

23. “I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse’s good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

24. “The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

25. “We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

26. “It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how the music should be played.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

27. “The real discovery is the one which enables me to stop doing philosophy when I want to—the one that gives philosophy peace so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself into question.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

28. “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.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

29. “We regard the photograph, the picture on our wall, as the object itself (the man, landscape, and so on) depicted there. This need not have been so. We could easily imagine people who did not have this relation to such pictures. Who, for example, would be repelled by photographs, because a face without color and even perhaps a face in reduced proportions struck them as inhuman.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

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30. “What is confusing for us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

31. “Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

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32. “Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

33. “Religion is, as it were, the calm bottom of the sea at its deepest point, which remains calm however high the waves on the surface may be.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

34. “If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

35. “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.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

36. “I am not interested in constructing a building, so much as in having a perspicuous view of the foundations of possible buildings.”. — Ludwig Wittgenstein

37. “The common behavior of mankind is the system of reference by means of which we interpret an unknown language.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

38. “Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

39. “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.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

40. “Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

41. “Not every religion has to have St. Augustine’s attitude to sex. Why even in our culture marriages are celebrated in a church, everyone present knows what is going to happen that night, but that doesn’t prevent it being a religious ceremony.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

42. “Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be said, can be said clearly.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

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43. “You must always be puzzled by mental illness. The thing I would dread most if I became mentally ill, would be your adopting a common-sense attitude; that you could take it for granted that I was deluded.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

44. “Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

45. “One must always be prepared to learn something totally new.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

46. “Nothing is more important than the formation of fictional concepts, which teach us at last to understand our own.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

47. “A man’s thinking goes on within his consciousness in a seclusion in comparison with which any physical seclusion is an exhibition to public view.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

48. “A man’s thinking goes on within his consciousness in a seclusion in comparison with which any physical seclusion is an exhibition to public view.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

49. “Is my understanding only blindness to my own lack of understanding? It often seems so to me.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

50. “Because our goals are not lofty but illusory, our problems are not difficult, but nonsensical” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophy

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a philosopher obsessed with the difficulties of language, who wanted to help us find a way out of some of the muddles we get into with words.


Ludwig said it best in quote # 17, “If we take an eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present!” Refer to it whenever you need reminding to be grateful for the ever-present moment.

We hope the Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes above helped to give you motivation and a brighter perspective on life.

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