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Wittgenstein (film) Quotes

Wittgenstein (film) is a TV program that was first aired in 1970 . Wittgenstein completed its run in 1970.

It features Tariq Ali as producer, Jan Latham-Koenig in charge of musical score, and James Welland as head of cinematography.

Wittgenstein (film) is recorded in English and originally aired in Japan, UK. Each episode of Wittgenstein (film) is 75 minutes long.

The cast includes: Nabil Shaban as Martian, Michael Gough as Bertrand Russell, Tilda Swinton as Lady Ottoline Morrell, and John Quentin as John Maynard Keynes.

Wittgenstein (film) Quotes

John Quentin as John Maynard Keynes

  • (John Quentin) "You're not going back to the Soviet Union."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "What's wrong with the Soviet Union?"
  • (John Quentin) "The place is one big labour camp."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "There's nothing wrong with labour."
  • (John Quentin) "There is if they shoot you for not doing it."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "You know, I'd quite like to have composed a philosophical work which consisted entirely of jokes."
  • (John Quentin) "Why didn't you?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Sadly, I didn't have a sense of humour."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "I'll go to Ireland, and live by the sea."
  • (John Quentin) "There they shoot you if you work."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "I know, I'm a disaster."
  • (John Quentin) "We love you very much."
  • (John Quentin) "How like a philosopher to hate philosophy."
  • (John Quentin) "Let me tell you a little story. There was once a young man who dreamed of reducing the world to pure logic. Because he was a very clever young man, he actually managed to do it. When he'd finished his work, he stood back and admired it. It was beautiful. A world purged of imperfection and indeterminacy. Countless acres of gleaming ice stretching to the horizon. So the clever young man looked around the world he'd created and decided to explore it. He took one step forward and fell flat on his back. You see, he'd forgotten about friction. The ice was smooth and level and stainless. But you couldn't walk there. So the clever young man sat down and wept bitter tears. But as he grew into a wise old man, he came to understand that roughness and ambiguity aren't imperfections, they're what make the world turn. He wanted to run and dance. And the words and things scattered upon the ground were all battered and tarnished and ambiguous. The wise old man saw that that was the way things were. But something in him was still homesick for the ice, where everything was radiant and absolute and relentless. Though he had come to like the idea of the rough ground, he couldn't bring himself to live there. So now he was marooned between earth and ice, at home in neither. And this was the cause of all his grief."

Michael Gough as Bertrand Russell

  • (Michael Gough) "Why won't you just admit there's no rhinoceros in this room?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Because, Professor Russell, the world is made up of facts, not things."
  • (Michael Gough) "Look for yourself."
  • (Michael Gough) "I tell you for a fact, there is no rhinoceros in this room."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "The issue is metaphysical, not empirical."
  • (Michael Gough) "I thought the next big step in philosophy would be yours. Now, I am not so sure."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "You've been reading Sigmund Freud."
  • (Michael Gough) "What of it?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "It's dangerous stuff. Believe me, it takes one Viennese to know another."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "I used to believe that language gave us a picture of the world. But it can't give us a picture of how it does that. That would be like trying to see yourself seeing something. How language does that is beyond expression. That is the mystery. That was all wrong. Language isn't a picture at all."
  • (Michael Gough) "What is it, then?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "It's -- a tool. An instrument. There isn't just one picture of the world, there are lots of different language games, different forms of life, different ways of doing things with words. They don't all hang together."
  • (Michael Gough) "What do you mean?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "All I mean is the limits of my language are the limits of my world. We keep running up against the walls of our cage."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "It makes no sense to speak of knowing something in a context where we could not possibly doubt it, therefore to say "I know I am in pain" is entirely senseless. When you want to know the meaning of a word, don't look inside yourself, look at the uses of the word in our way of life. Look at how we behave."
  • (Michael Gough) "Are you saying there are no philosophical problems?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "There are -- linguistic, mathematical, ethical, logistic and religious problems, but there are no genuine philosophical problems."
  • (Michael Gough) "You're trivialising philosophy."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Philosophy is just a by-product of misunderstanding language. Why don't you realise that?"

Nabil Shaban as Martian

  • (Nabil Shaban) "Hail, Earthling."
  • (Young Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Earthling? I'm a philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Who are you?"
  • (Nabil Shaban) "You could call me Mister Green. May I ask you a question; how many toes do philosophers have?"
  • (Young Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Ten."
  • (Nabil Shaban) "Fascinating. That's how many humans have."
  • (Young Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Mister Green, philosophers are humans, and know how many toes they have."
  • (Nabil Shaban) "Oh dear. Does that mean Martians can't be philosophers?"
  • (Young Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Oh, god."
  • (Nabil Shaban) "Hail Chromodynamics, Lord of Quantum. This is Quark, Charm and Strangeness reporting. Concerning the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, deceased. The solution to the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time. But as you know and I know, there are no riddles. If a question can be put at all, it can also be answered."

Tilda Swinton as Lady Ottoline Morrell

  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "What does this mean?"
  • (Tilda Swinton) "It's a gesture of contempt."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "A cyclist did this to me as I was crossing the road. I decided then and there to kill myself."
  • (Tilda Swinton) "Are you coming to the Palladium with us this evening?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "What's the logical structure of this gesture? It doesn't have one. That means I've spent most of my life groping down a blind alley."
  • (Michael Gough) "Isn't it rather an over-reaction to kill yourself because somebody gives you a V-sign?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Philosophy hunts for the essence of meaning. There's no such thing. There's no such thing. Just the way we do things in everyday life and things like that."
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "The college porter knows that."
  • (Tilda Swinton) "Is that what you're planning to do for the rest of your life?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "I shall start by committing suicide."
  • (Michael Gough) "Champagne before you go?"
  • (Ludwig Wittgenstein) "Um, do you know -- I'd love a cup of tea."

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