Download Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s by Paul J. Hager (auth.) PDF

By Paul J. Hager (auth.)

The basic view of Russell's paintings among philosophers has been that repeat­ edly, in the course of his lengthy and amazing profession, the most important alterations of brain on enjoyable­ damental issues have been major adequate to reason him to successively undertake a range of extensively new philosophical positions. hence Russell is visible to have embraced after which deserted, among others, neo-Hegelianism, Platonic re­ alism, phenomenalism and logical atomism, prior to settling ultimately on a sort of impartial monism that philosophers have regularly stumbled on to be magnificent. This view of Russell is captured in C. D. Broad's recognized comment that "Mr. Russell professional­ duces a special approach of philosophy each few years . . . " (Muirhead, 1924: 79). Reflecting this photo of Russell constantly altering his place, books and papers on Russell's philosophy have often belonged to 1 of 2 varieties. both they've got focused on specific sessions of his idea which are taken to be in particular major, or, accepting the view of his successive conversion to dis­ tinctly diversified philosophical positions, they've got supplied a few account of every of those supposedly disconnected sessions of his proposal. whereas a lot sturdy paintings has been performed on Russell's philosophy, this framework has had its boundaries, the most one being that it conceals the fundamental continuity in the back of his thought.

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The sense in which the desk as an ontological object is analysed is quite different. Russell's view is emphatically not one that has the physical desk of the metaphysics of common sense analysed into smaller parts and then resynthesised (say) as a swarm of sub-atomic particles (PLA: 161). ) Instead ontological analysis is an indirect outcome of the analysis of propositions. Whereas analysis of propositions in the analysis diagram is represented by the two vertical arrows in the left hand half, analysis of ontological objects occurs via the horizontal inference arrows between the two halves of the diagram.

The merit of analysis is that it gives knowledge not otherwise obtainable. When you learn that water consists of two parts of hydrogen to one of oxygen, you do not cease to know anything that you knew before about water, but you do acquire the power to know many things that an un-analytic observation could not teach you. (MPD: 169--70). The foregoing, then, is a wide representative sample of Russell's statements about philosophical analysis. In the discussion that now follows, the various quotations will be referred to by their respective capital letters.

24 2. The theory of descriptions was not mainly, or at all, about ontological reduction; it was about eliminating denoting concepts. The gist of 'On Denoting' (1905) is that denoting concepts are incoherent. 2 Russel/'s Theory of the Logical Subject The strength of the claim that there were no really major changes in ontology during the Platonist phase can be judged from the fact that continually throughout 1899--1913 Russell's ontology included: universals, sense-data, material bodies, minds, points, and instants.

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