SILENCE AND PHILOSOPHY. Nick commented here that: “It’s interesting, in both Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS and Sterne’s SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, which I’ve been reading recently, the narrators both speak about how they find it impossible to convey a feeling to another human being. Perhaps the whole point of a play, though, is that it isn’t just words, it’s a visual experience as well?” I responded here by quoting Frank Ramsey: ““What we can’t say we can’t say, and we can’t whistle it either.” Because I am unlearned in philosophy, I did not recognize Ramsey’s reference to the concluding words of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS: “What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence.” In the preface to that book, Wittgenstein expressed the same thought: “The whole sense of the book might be summed up in the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.” This wikipedia article notes that Frank Ramsey was the earliest translator of the TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS. Ramsey clearly was responding to Wittgenstein.

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