What was Wittgenstein going on about?

After centuries of philosophical thought, Bertrand Russel's brilliant student Ludwig Wittgenstein comes along and somehow asserts that the mode of philosophising which leans heavily on language (read: all of it) may be misguided at best.

What? Why? Here's a sense of his objection.

Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.

So he seems to imply that, in some extreme cases, a philosophical problem is not so much an uncompromising, transcendental obstacle in the same sense as a physical constant, but that it may be born of the language used to describe the problem itself. Perhaps the underlying premises for the argument are wrong or perhaps the words used are not accurate thus generating faulty mental models, which inevitably lead to intractable (mental) problems. And his solution to such problems of philosophy are then to examine the language, restate and reframe the argument and its premises, as if to massage the problem away.

Read more about Wittgenstein's mind-boggling reversal of centuries of philosophical thought at the (wonderful) Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (link below). 

Source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgens...