Article/Publication Details

Early Wittgenstein on Ethics

(Original title: Raný Wittgenstein o etike)
Filozofia, 2003, vol. 58, No 3, pp. 169-180.
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The aim of the paper is the analysis of Wittgensteinś views on ethics in his early writings, namely in his Notebooks (1914 – 1916) and Tractatus. His understanding of ethics in this period might be characterized as follows: 1. Ethics is beyond any expression. 2. Ethics, like God, goodness, values or logic, is beyond the world. 3. Ethics is closely related to mysticism, religion and metaphysics. 4. Ethics has its roots in mysticism. The paper examines the influence Wittgensteinś logical - philosophical basic views exerted on his belief, according to which ethics is beyond any expression. Attention is paid also to the question, to what extent Wittgensteinś mysticism influenced his moral views, especially his views on good and happy life. According to Wittgenstein ethics is something higher, supernatural, transcendent, divine, religious mystical, metaphysical, absolute and beyond any expression. His views on ethics differ fundamentally from the traditional conception of ethics as practical philosophy, and thus the question, whether he still speaks of ethics in its everyday sense, is justified.

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