Wittgenstein: ‘The Vehicle Of Thought’

1889-1951

Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote: ‘When I think in Language there are not meanings going through my mind in addition to the verbal expressions: the language is itself the vehicle of thought’.

Professors have made a nice living arguing about what a ‘Thought’ and a ‘Concept’ is for centuries [using Thought and Concept, of course.]

But here was Wittgenstein saying it’s all mostly words. This mysterious thing we called ‘Thinking’ is made up of just plain old words. Games we play with words.

Don’t believe him of course. Get back on the Meditation Mat and Sit.


The Wittgenstein family in Vienna, summer 1917. From left, siblings Kurt, Paul, and Hermine Wittgenstein; their brother-in-law, Max Salzer; their mother, Leopoldine Wittgenstein; Helene Wittgenstein Salzer; and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

I always liked Professor Wittgenstein. He taught Logic and Language at Cambridge.

And a founder of what for a brief time became celebrated as the break-through subject of Analytical Philosophy [Philosophy with large helpings of Formal Logic in it]. A philosopher with a fan-following. [Stranger things happen. Paris shut-down for Jean-Paul Sartre’s funeral.]

A twist to his tale. In a University setting, to stop believing in everything you have lectured on for years is rare. Rarer still, to announce it as so and write about it. Intellectual Honesty, a funny word these days.

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