Tractatus logico-politicus

The Pacific World Map

Dedicated to my Friend Janus G. Zeitstein

This map will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the political thoughts which are expressed in it — or similar thoughts. It is therefore not a text. Its object would be attained if it afforded pleasure to one who studies it with understanding.

The map deals with the problems of world politics and shows, as I believe, that the method of formulating these problems rests on the misunderstanding of the logic of our globe. Its whole meaning could be summed up somewhat as follows: What can be displayed at all can be displayed clearly; and whereof one cannot display thereof one must be silent.

The map will, therefore, draw a limit to drawing, or rather — not to drawing, but to the expression of drawing; for, in order to draw a limit to drawing we should have to be able to see both sides of this limit (we should therefore have to be able to draw what cannot be drawn).

The limit can, therefore, only be drawn in picture and what lies on the other side of the limit will be simply nonsense.

How far my efforts agree with those of other philosophers I will not decide. Indeed what I have here drawn makes no claim to novelty in points of detail; and therefore I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have drawn has already been drawn before me by another.

I will only mention that to the great works of Wegener and the writings of my friend Carl Calleman I owe in large measure the stimulation of my thoughts.

If this work has a value it consists in two things. First that in it political thoughts are expressed, and this value will be the greater the better the thoughts are expressed. The more the nail has been hit on the heard. — Here I am conscious that I have fallen far short of the possible. Simply because my powers are insufficient to cope with the task. — May others come and do it better.

On the other hand the truth of the thoughts communicated here seems to me unassailable and definitive. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the political problems have in essentials been finally solved. And if I am not mistaken in this, then the value of this work secondly consists in the fact that it shows how little has been done when these problems have been solved.

P. W. Vienna, 2018

featuring Ludwig Wittgenstein


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