more from Ludwig Wittgenstein

Single Idea 6591

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism]

Full Idea

Doubt can exist only where a question exists, a question only where an answer can exist, and an answer only where something can be said.

Gist of Idea

Doubts can't exist if they are inexpressible or unanswerable


Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus [1921], 6.51)

Book Reference

Wittgenstein,Ludwig: 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus', ed/tr. Pears,D. /McGuinness,B. [RKP 1961], p.73

A Reaction

I don't agree with any of that. It is typical of the phase when philosophers were mesmerised by language. Cats look puzzled sometimes. A glimmering of doubt may be pre-linguistic, inexpressible and unanswerable, but still feels like a doubt.