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Single Idea 20256

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 7. Despair over Philosophy]

Full Idea

We have at every moment only that very thought for which we have ready to hand the words that are roughly capable of expressing it.

Gist of Idea

What we think is totally dictated by the language available to express it


Friedrich Nietzsche (Dawn (Daybreak) [1881], 257)

A Reaction

This is a highly influential idea, even if this expression of it is little known. Everyone who places language at the centre of philosophy believes something like this. It is a very striking thought, and must certainly contain considerable truth.

Book Reference

Nietzsche,Friedrich: 'Dawn (Daybreak)', ed/tr. Smith, Brittain [Stanford 2011], p.176