The sentences appear as ‘Mocking” at the contemporary philosophers, but essentially he is curious and puzzled at the traditional philosophical discourse.
In his Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses a type of puzzlement, describing philosophy as "a battle against the bewitchment of intelligence by means of language"( CEl #109).
In fact, Wittgenstein spends a large part of the Investigations attempting to show how philosophy must deal with the problems inherent in our use of language.
Furthermore, says Wittgenstein, when we are in the clutches of philosophical puzzlement we cannot look to any new facts for help.
Unlike the empirical investigations of science, philosophy does not attempt to introduce new information - for there is no need to do so.
Rather, philosophers must concentrate on finding a new understanding of the propositions, construing them in such a way that they are no longer seen as contradictory.
Our pursuit is, therefore, best seen as interpretive: we shed light on our problem by clearing misunderstandings away - "misunderstandings concerning the use of words, caused, among other things, by certain analogies between the forms of expression in different regions of language" (£! #90).
Philosophy must provide clarification by unraveling the confusion, not by formulating a new theory.
This view, which emerges in the Investigations, is a departure from his earlier position in the Tractatus:
He is playing more or less the same game as Alice in Wonderland... The later Wittgenstein does not give answers or formulate ideas on the same level ... Were the later Wittgenstein to read a contemporary work of philosophy, he would not get down on all fours with it and dispute it.
He would rather stand back, and seek to find the source of the author's ideas. which source would be held to be disguised nonsense. The aim of philosophy, says the later Wittgenstein, is to "show the fly the way out of the tiny-bottle." ceI, #309)
Throughout the Alice tales, Carroll draws on the nonsense inherent in language, purposefully construing common statements in such a way as to cause bewilderment.
For instance, at the mad tea-party:
Alice sighed wearily. "I think you might do something better with time," she said, "than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers."
"If you knew Time as well as I do," said the Hatter, "you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him."
"I don't know what you mean," said Alice. CAW, 63)
Alice's confusion at the Hatter's description of "time" exemplifies what Wittgenstein means by philosophical puzzlement.
The reference to "time" as something that can be known as a person can be known indicates a common, deeper problem of our language: we tend to be held captive by a picture of time, space, etc., that causes perplexity; "this kind of mistake recurs again and again in philosophy, e.g., when we are puzzled about the nature of time, when time seems to us a Queer thing." (BB, 6)
Thus, Wittgenstein wants us to see the puzzle, and it is in this sense that sharp parallels can be drawn between his endeavor and the works of Carroll. Carroll is a master of presenting the puzzle, and surely no one comes away from a reading of the Alice books without a sense that something strange is going on with language; even a child gains an increased comprehension of the importance of words.
Furthermore, Wittgenstein is known to have read the works of Carroll; along with the two specific references to Carroll in the Investigations, this suggests it may not be a coincidence that some of Wittgenstein 's examples of sources of philosophical confusion overlap with the puzzles in the Alice books.