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The Mystical

  • Ramchandra Gandhi
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)

Abstract

‘There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words’ — so says Wittgenstein in the Tractatus (6.522). One could say that belief in the truth of this statement of Wittgenstein’s constitutes the essential minimum condition which must be fulfilled if one is to at all sympathetically approach the notion of ‘the mystical’. Wittgenstein is not saying that there are things (e.g. complex states of mind, attitudes, relationships, etc.) which are very hard ,impossible for all except the exceptionally linguistically gifted, to describe. He is saying, surely, that it is logically impossible to put certain things into words, or impossible in some other fundamental sense. Can we believe this? What would it be like to try to believe this statement? Surely we cannot, in the ordinary way, try to think of examples of things or kinds of things about which we cannot — logically cannot — say anything (i.e. anything significant). For it would appear that to ‘think of anything’ at all would be to bring that thing under some description or other, and so that thing would no longer be strictly indescribable.

Keywords

Logical Theory Philosophical Discussion Philosophical Question Mystical Experience Moral Question 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ramchandra Gandhi 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramchandra Gandhi

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