The central aim of the inquiry begun in this text is to reach a semantic characterisation of philosophical discourse, that is, to describe the "language", or the code, of philosophy. This inquiry contains an examination of the views on the nature and purpose of philosophy held by Immanuel Kant and Ludwig Wittgenstein, but many other philosophers, semioticians, linguists and literary theorists are brought into the discussion. In the first part of the text, the view is expressed that, with regard to the peculiar phenomena that characterize philosophy (for example, the absence of "results", as opposed to science), a theory of philosophy itself is needed, but such that would not itself be caught in the same kind of discourse. Then some methodological restrictions are introduced: mainly, that the "philosophy" to be dealt with is the classical continental philosophy, which is percieved as a body of texts. The aim of the inquiry is then formulated as the description of the code by which these texts are organized; the method of the inquiry is specified as a deductive-hypothetical one. In the end, an outline of a semantic theory is offered, as a basis for this description. The second part of the text starts the examination of Kant's and Wittgenstein's philosophical views and their views on philosophy. Kant's theory of knowledge is presented as one which asserts the primary role of subjective a priori forms which shape what we know as "reality", and is therefore opposed to Wittgenstein's picture theory of language, where language simply mirrors what is given. The conclusion is reached, however, that both Kant and Wittgenstein propose a parallel dichotomy between that which can be known/said, and the thing-in-itself or the mystical, and with regard to this they both claim that the aims of philosophy as seen traditionally must be reconcieved to a great extent. The inquiry is continued in a second article.