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Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein + comments  by Maarten Maartensz   



6.41 The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is as it is, and everything happens as it does happen: in it no value exists--and if it did exist, it would have no value. If there is any value that does have value, it must lie outside the whole sphere of what happens and is the case. For all that happens and is the case is accidental. What makes it non-accidental cannot lie within the world, since if it did it would itself be accidental. It must lie outside the world.

But why? W. has painted himself in a corner by his various assumptions, which, if it shows anything, shows that either his reasoning is not very good, or the world is a different place than he thought it is, or that his assumptions are not all true. But let me comment on the above.

First about value: Clearly, all manner of persons make many kinds of judgments of value about many things and events, such as liking some, loving a few, and hating or being indifferent to rather a lot, say, as seems to be the case in an ordinary human life. W. has not found a justification for their doing so, or for the specific values people may have, but to say that "In the world everything is as it is, and everything happens as it does happen: in it no value exists" is to reject ordinary human experience that insists that even if things are as they are and happen as they do, it also is so that it happens that human beings make value-judgments.

Next, I can't see what "The sense of the world must lie outside the world" is supposed to mean, but even so it seems to me that a person who asks "Well, what does it all mean, this earthly striving, suffering, guessing, valueing and being often disappointed?" expects an answer inside his own experience, which presumably is inside the world.

Finally, it is certainly not so, in any ordinary non-contrived sense, that "all that happens and is the case is accidental": Nearly all that human beings do serves some of their ends, and happens for that reason, and so is not accidental in everyday terms - which one cannot just rule out of existence or rule as nonsense by some apodictic and obscure sayings and claims.