Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, Wittgenstein’s discursive woes in the later works stem not so much from the tragic limits of language as from the comic repetitions of philosophy. According to his new conception of philosophy, any attempt to say what cannot be said ends not in transgressive metaphysics, but in silly prattle doomed to repeat what everyone already knows. Moreover, release from philosophical anxiety comes not from stalwart, silent acknowledgement of that which cannot be said, but from noisy reiteration of what is all too easily said. The difference is that instead of hidden, recondite truths (disguised nonsense), what philosophy still needs to say, the essence of things (P I 92), is open to view and always already known (patent nonsense).1 A hermeneutic of the commonplace comprises the new domain of philosophical exchange:
The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something-because it is always before one’s eyes.) The real founda tions of his inquiry do not strike a man at all. Unless that fact has at some time struck him.—And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful. (P I 129)
The solution to philosophical problems comes from the exchange of the familiar. Wittgenstein refers to these everyday beliefs as a way of seeing, a world-picture, Weltbilt, of a particular Lebensform, form of life. Philosophy’s new task is to map this world-picture which either cures the idling specu lations caused by misguided philosophical analysis or points to the need for a new way of seeing:
Philosophy simply puts everything before us, and neither explains not deduces anything.—Since everything lies open to view there is nothing to explain. For what is hidden, for example, is of no interest to us.