There is no ‘I’ in ‘Image’: Wittgenstein’s Image Forming, the Visual Room and the Boundaries of Language and Space

Jane Mustard


Wittgenstein described images as visual impressions conjured up in the
psychological act of image forming. The visual room is his example of forming an
image. It is significant that the visual room is a room – a spatial,
architectonic thing – as the first part of this paper shows that image forming
and other philosophical tasks are spatial by nature. The second part shows how
Wittgenstein’s architectural experience – designing the Stonborough-Wittgenstein
House in Vienna, completed in 1929 – embodies his philosophy of public/private,
inner/outer and accessibility by blending the boundaries of architecture with
the boundaries of language. Boundaries, divisions of space, accessibility and
motion are investigated as analogous to linguistic concepts. The House is
physical evidence for Wittgenstein’s experiments in philosophy through the
medium of architecture, leading to a philosophy grounded not only in language
but in architectural space.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; philosophy; architecture; space; visual; design; image; boundary

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