Comparisons of Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Cage typically focus on the “later Wittgenstein” of the Philosophical Investigations. However, in this article I focus on the deep intellectual sympathy between the “early Wittgenstein” of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—with its evocative and controversial invocation of silence at the end, the famous proposition 7: “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent”—and Cage's equally evocative and controversial work on the same theme—his “silent piece,” 4′33″. This sympathy expresses itself not only in the common aim of the two works (a mystical appreciation for the ordinary, everyday world that surrounds us) but also in a shared methodology for bringing about this aim (tracing the limits of language from within in order to transcend those very limits). In this sense, I argue that Cage's work gives a concrete, performative reality to Wittgenstein's early conception of language as well as the mystical revelation that lies behind it
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DOI 10.1111/jaac.12071
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In a Silent Way.Erik Anderson - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 12 (1).

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