“There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the mystical. The right method of philosophy would be this: To say nothing except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method would be unsatisfying to the other — he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy — but it would be the only strictly correct method. My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein (The final words of the Tractatus)
“At the harvest, in the vineyard, wherever men must labor hard, they begin with songs whose words express their joy. But when their joy brims over and words are not enough, they abandon even this coherence and give themselves up to the sheer sound of singing. What is this jubilation, this exultant song? It is the melody that means our hearts are bursting with feelings words cannot express. And to whom does this jubilation most belong? Surely to God, who is unutterable. And does not unutterable mean what cannot be uttered? If words will not come and you may not remain silent, what else can you do but let the melody soar?
– St. Augustine (Commentary on Psalm 32)
“Imagine people who sing all sentences (assertions, questions, etc.) when they mean them, and are not only practicing their pronunciation, or such-like. Of the sung sentence they say ‘it is alive’, of the unsung one, ‘it is dead’. If these men philosophized about the concept of meaning something, they would be inclined to say: ‘to mean’ is ‘to sing’.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein (MS 116)