Mathematics is a logical method derived from the repeated application of operations. The number 2, for instance, is the exponent given to an operation that is applied twice. Thus, the propositions of mathematics do not say anything about the world, but only reflect the method in which propositions are constructed.
The laws of science are not logical laws, nor are they empirical observations. Rather, they constitute an interpretive method, by means of which we can more accurately describe reality. Science is ultimately descriptive, not explanatory.
There is no perspective external to the world from which we can talk about the world or its contents generally. Thus, statements of value (as we find in ethics or aesthetics) are nonsense, since they evaluate the world as a whole. The feeling of life as a limited whole is what Wittgenstein calls "the mystical."
The only correct method in philosophy is to remain silent about philosophical questions, and to point out to anyone who tries to talk philosophy that he or she is talking nonsense. The propositions of theTractatus themselves make general statements about the nature of the world, and so they too are nonsense. They should serve only as a ladder to be climbed and then discarded. "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence".