What a Strange Situation

I read: “. . . philosophers are no nearer to the meaning of ‘Reality’ than Plato got, . . .” What a strange situation. How extraordinary that Plato could have got even as far as he did! Or that we could not get any further! Was it because Plato was so extremely clever?

Wittgenstein

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The Walls of Our Cage

My whole tendency and I believe the tendency of all men who ever tried to write or talk Ethics or Religion was to turn against the boundaries of language. This running against the walls of our cage is perfectly, absolutely hopeless. Ethics so far as it springs from the desire to say something about the ultimate meaning of life, the absolute good, the absolute valuable, can be no science. What it says does not add to our knowledge in any sense. But it is a document of tendency in the human mind which I personally cannot help respecting deeply and I would not for my life ridicule it.

Wittgenstein, Lecture on Ethics

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Genius

The measure of genius is character. Genius is not talent plus character, but character manifesting itself in the form of a special talent. Just as one man will show courage by jumping into the water after someone, so another will show courage by writing a symphony. Genius is talent exercised with courage.

Wittgenstein

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A Grace of Fate

I cannot bend the happenings of the world to my will: i am completely powerless.

I can only make myself independent of the world-and so in a certain sense master it-by renouncing any influence on happenings.

The world is independent of my will.

Even if everything that we want were to happen, this would still only be, so to speak, a grace of fate, for what would guarantee it is not any logical connection between will and world, and we could not in turn will the supposed physical connection.

And in this sense dostoevsky is right when he says that the man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence.
Or again we could say that the man is fulfilling the purpose of existence who no longer needs to have any purpose except to live. That is to say, who is content.

The solution of the problem of life is to be seen in the disappearance of this problem.

But is it possible for one so to live that life stops being problematic? That one is living in eternity and not in time?
Isn’t this the reason why men to whom the meaning of life had become clear after long doubting could not say what this meaning consisted in?

Wittgenstein

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