Showing and Saying. An Aesthetic Difference

Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte


Wittgenstein’s distinction between saying and showing and the associated thesis, what can be shown cannot be said, were crucial to his first philosophy, persisted throughout the evolution of his whole thought and played a key role in his views on aesthetics. The objective of art is access to the mystical, forcing us to become aware of the uniqueness of our own experience and life. When art is good is a perfect expression and the work of art becomes like a tautology. An important consequence of this understanding of art is the irreducibility of the aesthetic to the scientific perspective.


Wittgenstein; Aesthetics; Ethics; Logic, Mystical

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