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Summary Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) is widely considered one of the most important British philosophers of the 20th Century, and one of the principal founders of analytic philosophy. He is known for advocating the use of symbolic logic in philosophical studies, inspired by his own investigations into the foundations of mathematics and advocacy of logicism, the thesis that mathematical truths are logical truths. Russell is known for his work in the theory of meaning, especially his theory of definite and indefinite descriptions, his use of an analytical philosophical methodology, his advocacy of a stark realist metaphysics, and his arguments in favor of universals. He also wrote widely on other areas of philosophy, including epistemology, ethics and even the history of philosophy.
Key works Russell's first major philosophical work, The Principles of Mathematics (Russell 1903), introduced not just his logicist views in the philosophy of mathematics, but a general analytic metaphysics and philosophical logic. Its project came to fruition in the three volume Russell & Whitehead 1910 (first edition 1910–1913) in which symbolic logic is used to derive the basic principles of mathematics. Russell’s famous article “On Denoting” (Russell 1905) introduced his theory of descriptions. His views on other philosophical matters are explored in works such as The Problems of Philosophy (Russell 1912), Our Knowledge of the External World (Russell 1914), The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (Russell 1940), The Analysis of Mind (Russell 1921), The Analysis of Matter (Russell 1927), An Outline of Philosophy (Russell 1927), and Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (Russell 1948).
Introductions Landini 2010; Irvine 2008; Griffin 2003; Pears 1972; Ayer 1972.
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3415 found
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  1. Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  2. Russell's 1927 The Analysis of Matter as the First Book on Quantum Gravity.Said Mikki - manuscript
    The goal of this note is to bring into wider attention the often neglected important work by Bertrand Russell on the foundations of physics published in the late 1920s. In particular, we emphasize how the book The Analysis of Matter can be considered the earliest systematic attempt to unify the modern quantum theory, just emerging by that time, with general relativity. More importantly, it is argued that the idea of what I call Russell space, introduced in Part III of that (...)
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  3. "If-Then" as a Version of "Implies".Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Russell’s role in the controversy about the paradoxes of material implication is usually presented as a tale of how even the greatest minds can fall prey of basic conceptual confusions. Quine accused him of making a silly mistake in Principia Mathematica. He interpreted “if-then” as a version of “implies” and called it material implication. Quine’s accusation is that this decision involved a use-mention fallacy because the antecedent and consequent of “if-then” are used instead of being mentioned as the premise and (...)
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  4. A Quantificational Analysis of the Liar Paradox.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It seems that the most common strategy to solve the liar paradox is to argue that liar sentences are meaningless and, consequently, truth-valueless. The other main option that has grown in recent years is the dialetheist view that treats liar sentences as meaningful, truth-apt and true. In this paper I will offer a new approach that does not belong in either camp. I hope to show that liar sentences can be interpreted as meaningful, truth-apt and false, but without engendering any (...)
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  5. The Quasi-Verbal Dispute Between Kripke and 'Frege-Russell'.J. P. Smit - manuscript
    Traditional descriptivism and Kripkean causalism are standardly interpreted as rival theories on a single topic. I argue that there is no such shared topic, i.e. that there is no question that they can be interpreted as giving rival answers to. The only way to make sense of the commitment to epistemic transparency that characterizes traditional descriptivism is to interpret Russell and Frege as proposing rival accounts of how to characterize a subject’s beliefs about what names refer to. My argument relies (...)
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  6. Never Forget Your Friends or Their Explanatory Priority.Devlin Russell - manuscript
    of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) This paper attempts to argue for an interpretation of Peter Strawson�s account of moral responsibility that successfully eliminates the threat of determinism. The goal is to capture the spirit of Strawson�s view and elucidate that spirit. I do this by emphasizing an aspect of Strawson�s account that others, like Paul Russell, may find insignificant, and then I demonstrate how this aspect is meant to quash the threat of determinism. Specifically, I claim that Strawson (...)
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  7. On Berry/Russell Paradoxes.Jordan Howard Sobel - manuscript
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  8. Preface.Herbert Golder - unknown - Arion 3 (1).
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  9. The Bertrand Russell Archives, McMaster University.Nicholas Griffin - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 1.
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  10. Russell's "On Denoting".Meggan Payne - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 21.
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  11. Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis Et Al. Grant Bartley Scrutinizes an Epic Graphic Biography of Bertrand Russell.G. Bartley - forthcoming - Philosophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas (June/July 2010).
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  12. Action, Ethics and Responsibility: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 7.J. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
    Overview -/- Most philosophical explorations of responsibility discuss the topic solely in terms of metaphysics and the "free will" problem. By contrast, these essays by leading philosophers view responsibility from a variety of perspectives—metaphysics, ethics, action theory, and the philosophy of law. After a broad, framing introduction by the volume's editors, the contributors consider such subjects as responsibility as it relates to the "free will" problem; the relation between responsibility and knowledge or ignorance; the relation between causal and moral responsibility; (...)
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  13. Russell–Myhill and Grounding.Boris Kment - forthcoming - Analysis.
    The Russell-Myhill paradox puts pressure on the Russellian structured view of propositions by showing that it conflicts with certain prima facie attractive ontological and logical principles. I describe several versions of RMP and argue that structurists can appeal to natural assumptions about metaphysical grounding to provide independent reasons for rejecting the ontological principles used in these paradoxes. It remains a task for future work to extend this grounding-based approach to all variants of RMP.
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  14. Bertrand Russell and the Scientific Spirit.Sam Labson - forthcoming - Philosophy.
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  15. Preface.Judith Newton & Nancy Hoffman - forthcoming - Feminist Studies.
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  16. Review of Truth in Virtue of Meaning. By Gillian Russell. [REVIEW]Francesco Pupa - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
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  17. Comment Peut-on Parler du Sens? Russell Critique de Husserl.Jean-Michel Roy - forthcoming - Les Etudes Philosophiques.
  18. The Limits and Basis of Logical Tolerance: Carnap’s Combination of Russell and Wittgenstein.Adam Tamas Tuboly - forthcoming - In Peter Stone (ed.), Bertrand Russell’s Life and Legacy. Vernon Press.
  19. Giuseppe Peano e Louis Couturat, Carteggio (1896-1914).Paolo Valore - forthcoming - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia.
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  20. Russell Reads Bergson.Andreas Vrahimis - forthcoming - In Mark Sinclair & Yaron Wolf (eds.), The Bergsonian Mind. Oxon: Routledge.
  21. Davidson, Russell and Wittgenstein on the Problem of Predication.José L. Zalabardo - forthcoming - In Claudine Verheggen (ed.), Wittgenstein and Davidson on Language, Thought, and Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  22. On the Gnoseologic Principles of Bertrand Russell.Rafael Andrés Alemañ-Berenguer - 2021 - Naturaleza y Libertad. Revista de Estudios Interdisciplinares.
    Exposed in 1948, within his masterpiece on the scope and limits of human knowledge, the epistemological tenets that Bertrand Russell regarded as fundamental elements in the construction of scientific knowledge, are still worthy of a detailed discussion today. Given the excellence of the author, it will not be surprising to see that Russell's gnoseologic postulates, even for the present scientific view, address some of the most controversial questions still to be solved in the theory of knowledge.
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  23. Russell and Jin Yuelin on Truth: A Comparative Study.Chen Bo - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):43-78.
    Jin Yuelin’s logical and philosophical thought was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Bertrand Russell. The same influence existed also in the case of his view on truth, which was considerably close to the views maintained by Russell in his phase of logical atomism. In their investigations, Russell and Jin not only focused on similar topics, but also occupied similar philosophical positions, such as realism in the domain of ontology, empiricism in epistemology, and the correspondence theory in the domain of (...)
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  24. On Bertrand Russell’s Enlightening Thought.Shan Chun - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):21-32.
    Bertrand Russell was a renowned thinker who has exerted great influence over the Western intellectual circles of the 20th century. In particular, his criticism and reflections on Western religious traditions have become important symbols of contemporary Enlightenment. He deepened the past scholars’ accomplishments in sociology, anthropology, and psychology into atheistic views, through which he revealed the psychological motives and social functions of the origin of religion. He analyzed the types and disadvantages of religion from the aspects of historical development, social (...)
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  25. Liang Shuming’s Confucian Reconstruction of Russell’s Philosophy.Gu Hongliang - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):33-42.
    Reading Bertrand Russell’s Principles of Social Reconstruction, Liang Shuming began a process of interpreting Russell’s philosophy in a Confucian way. The first stage in this process was seeing Russell as a fellow Confucian. Its second stage was absorbing Russell’s theory of impulse, seeing this as sharing aspects of the Confucian doctrine of benevolence. The third stage was reconstructing Russell’s theory of spirit as a Confucian theory of “reason” as impersonal feeling. Under Liang Shuming’s critical assimilation of Russell’s philosophy, Russell’s theories (...)
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  26. Peano’s Reception in the USA. Wilson’s Review of Russell’s Principles.Gabriele Lolli - 2021 - Philosophia Scientiae 25:49-67.
    In a review of Russell’s Principles from 1904, Edwin B. Wilson pays great attention to Peano’s work and that of his collaborators. His purpose was to make this work known in the USA where it “unfortunately is very little known and still less appreciated”. Wilson expands Russell’s well-known acknowledgement of Peano’s influence on his own development, seeing in Peano’s logic more than a new “mathematical tool”, describing Peano as a kind of proto-logicist, and defending him from Poincaré’s criticisms. Especially in (...)
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  27. Are Rules of Inference Superfluous? Wittgenstein Vs. Frege and Russell.Gilad Nir - 2021 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):45-61.
    In Tractatus 5.132 Wittgenstein argues that inferential justification depends solely on the understanding of the premises and conclusion, and is not mediated by any further act. On this basis he argues that Frege’s and Russell’s rules of inference are “senseless” and “superfluous”. This line of argument is puzzling, since it is unclear that there could be any viable account of inference according to which no such mediation takes place. I show that Wittgenstein’s rejection of rules of inference can be motivated (...)
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  28. Russell and China—100 Years of a Meaningful Intercultural Interaction.Jana S. Rošker - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):9-201.
    When I went to China, I went to teach; but every day that I stayed I thought less of what I had to teach them and more of what I had to learn from them. Bertrand Russell is...
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  29. How Not To Know The Principle of Induction.Howard Sankey - 2021 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 11 (3):243-254.
    In The Problems of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell presents a justification of induction based on a principle he refers to as “the principle of induction”. Owing to the ambiguity of the notion of probability, the principle of induction may be interpreted in two different ways. If interpreted in terms of the subjective interpretation of probability, the principle of induction may be known a priori to be true. But it is unclear how this should give us any confidence in our use of (...)
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  30. Russell, Stuart. Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control. [REVIEW]Daniel Topf - 2021 - Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 33 (1-2):192-194.
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  31. Why Did Frege Reject the Theory of Types?Wim Vanrie - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (3):517-536.
    I investigate why Frege rejected the theory of types, as Russell presented it to him in their correspondence. Frege claims that it commits one to violations of the law of excluded middle, but this complaint seems to rest on a dogmatic refusal to take Russell’s proposal seriously on its own terms. What is at stake is not so much the truth of a law of logic, but the structure of the hierarchy of the logical categories, something Frege seems to neglect. (...)
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  32. Bergsonism and the History of Analytic Philosophy.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the French philosopher Henri Bergson became an international celebrity, profoundly influencing contemporary intellectual and artistic currents. While Bergsonism was fashionable, L. Susan Stebbing, Bertrand Russell, Moritz Schlick, and Rudolf Carnap launched different critical attacks against some of Bergson’s views. This book examines this series of critical responses to Bergsonism early in the history of analytic philosophy. Analytic criticisms of Bergsonism were influenced by William James, who saw Bergson as an ‘anti-intellectualist’ ally of (...)
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  33. One Hundred Years of Chinese Studies on Philosophy of Bertrand Russell: Continuities, Retrospectives, and New Directions.Jan Vrhovski - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):1-8.
    The years 2020 and 2021 mark a centenary since the great British polymath Bertrand Russell visited China. One hundred years after the visit of the preeminent British philosopher Bertrand Russell to...
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  34. On Infinitesimals and Indefinitely Cut Wooden Sticks: A Chinese Debate on ‘Mathematical Logic’ and Russell’s Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy From 1925.Jan Vrhovski - 2021 - History and Philosophy of Logic 42 (3):262-280.
    In the years following Bertrand Russell's visit in China, fragments from his work on mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics started to enter the Chinese intellectual world. While up until 1925 Chinese intellectuals like Zhang Shenfu, Zhang Dongsun and others mainly contributed to the dissemination of general notions from Russell's logicism, epistemology and mathematical philosophy, two aspiring Chinese mathematicians, Fu Zhongsun and Zhang Bangming, introduced to Chinese readers the first Chinese translation of Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. One year (...)
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  35. Radical Empiricism, Neutral Monism, and the Elements of Mind.Donovan Wishon - 2021 - The Monist 104 (1):125-151.
    Neutral monism is the view that both ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ are grounded in a more fundamental form of reality that is intrinsically neither mental nor material. It has often been treated as an odd fringe theory deserving of at most a footnote in the broader philosophical debates. Yet such attitudes do a grave disservice to its sophistications and significance for late nineteenth and early twentieth-century philosophy of mind and psychology. This paper sheds light on this neglected view by situating it (...)
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  36. A Critical Analysis of Russell's Epistemology.[Wu Rujun 吳汝鈞] & Ng Yu-Kwan - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):79-108.
    abstract Mou Zongsan used to say that in Western philosophy there exist three different traditions. The first is the tradition of Plato and Aristoteles, the second is the tradition of Kant and Hegel, and the last is the tradition of Leibniz and Russell. I am afraid, however, that this kind of interpretation is already outdated and incapable of encompassing the rich variegations of Western philosophy as a whole. In my view, the various options would have been exhausted by supplementing the (...)
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  37. Why Had Russell Not Written Any Books on Aesthetics?丁 子江 & Ding Zijiang - 2021 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):109-123.
    Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher, was extremely prolific in various fields of philosophy, such as metaphysics, mathematical logic and mathematical philosophy, linguistic philosophy, ethics, epistemology, and social and political philosophy, but left little legacy in aesthetics. Some scholars regretted that “If the 20th-century had seen any polymath, Russell is the one. The only branch of philosophy he did not write on is aesthetics.” Although Russell did not write a book or article specifically on aesthetics, discussions on the subject can be (...)
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  38. Ludwig’s Punch and Bertie’s Comeback. Reconciling Russell and Wittgenstein on the Content of Desires.Peter Baumann - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40 (2):132-149.
    Desires are contentful mental states. But what determines the content of a desire? Two different classic answers were proposed by Russell and by Wittgenstein, starting in the 1910s. Russell proposed a behaviorist account according to which the content of the desire is fixed by the type of state that puts an end to the relevant kind of behavior which was triggered by some initial discomfort. The desire’s content consists in its “satisfaction conditions”. Wittgenstein criticized such an account for neglecting the (...)
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  39. Editor's Notes.Kenneth Blackwell - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:3-4.
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  40. Russell and Anti-War Politics in Working-Class Wales [Review of Aled Eirug, The Opposition to the Great War in Wales, 1914-1918]. [REVIEW]Andrew G. Bone - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:86-92.
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  41. Bible Studies: Frank Russell and the "Book of Books".Ruth Derham - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:43-51.
    Religion was as much a concern for Frank Russell throughout his life as it was for younger brother Bertrand and their father before them. Each advocated its rational study untainted by Christian dogma. The chance discovery of an amusing film review by Frank Russell of the biblical epic The Dawn of the World became the catalyst for an exploration of this theme in the paper that follows, as well as providing the opportunity to explore the foundations of Frank’s agnosticism and (...)
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  42. Hegel's Proto-Modernist Conception of Philosophy as Science.Zeyad El Nabolsy - 2020 - Problemata: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 11 (4):81-107.
    I argue that the reception of Hegel in the sub-field of history and philosophy of science has been in part impeded by a misunderstanding of his mature metaphilosophical views. I take Alan Richardson’s influential account of the rise of scientific philosophy as an illustration of such misunderstanding, I argue that the mature Hegel’s metaphilosophical views place him much closer to the philosophers who are commonly taken as paradigms of scientific philosophy than it is commonly thought. Hegel is commonly presented as (...)
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  43. Why Russell Was Not an Epistemic Structural Realist.Landon D. C. Elkind & Jeremy Shipley - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:5-26.
    Bertrand Russell’s work in philosophy of science has been identified as a progenitor of structuralism in contemporary philosophy. It is often unclear, however, how the philosophical problems facing contemporary structuralist programmes relate to the problems of philosophy as Russell saw them. We contend that Russell has been mistakenly identified as an epistemic structural realist. The goal of this essay is to clarify the relationship between Russell’s programme and contemporary structuralist projects. In doing so, we hope to display the motivation for (...)
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  44. Arnošt Kolman’s Critique of Mathematical Fetishism.Jakub Mácha & Jan Zouhar - 2020 - In Radek Schuster (ed.), The Vienna Circle in Czechoslovakia. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 135-150.
    Arnošt Kolman (1892–1979) was a Czech mathematician, philosopher and Communist official. In this paper, we would like to look at Kolman’s arguments against logical positivism which revolve around the notion of the fetishization of mathematics. Kolman derives his notion of fetishism from Marx’s conception of commodity fetishism. Kolman is aiming to show the fact that an entity (system, structure, logical construction) acquires besides its real existence another formal existence. Fetishism means the fantastic detachment of the physical characteristics of real things (...)
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  45. Russell’s Conception of Propositional Attitudes in Relation to Pragmatism.Nikolay Milkov - 2020 - An Anthology of Philosophical Studies 14:117-128.
    The conventional wisdom has it that between 1905 and 1919 Russell was critical to pragmatism. In particular, in two essays written in 1908–9, he sharply attacked the pragmatist theory of truth, emphasizing that truth is not relative to human practice. In fact, however, Russell was much more indebted to the pragmatists, in particular to William James, as usually believed. For example, he borrowed from James two key concepts of his new epistemology: sense-data, and the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and (...)
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  46. "Philosophie ist Möglichkeitswissenschaft" - Zur Beziehung von Philosophie, Wissenschaft und logischer Analyse bei Russell.Thomas Mormann - 2020 - Aufklärung Und Kritik 2020 (1):51 - 64.
    Bis heute wird Russells Philosophie nicht selten der Vorwurf gemacht, es fehle ihr an Kohärenz und Zusammenhang. Russell wird als ein Autor charakterisiert, der alle paar Jahre eine neue alternative Philosophie vorgeschlagen habe. In der vorliegenden Arbeit soll dagegen argumentiert werden, daß diese These auf einer zu oberflächlichen Ein–schätzung von Russells Denken beruht. Seine Philosophie verfügte sehr wohl über eine Einheit, die durch ihre charakteristische einheitsstiftende Methode vermittelt wurde. Dies war die Methode der logischen Analyse, die sich als Invariante in (...)
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  47. Letters of Bertrand Russell and Wincenty Lutosławski on Immortality, Matter and Plato.Tomasz Mróz - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:27-42.
    Wincenty Lutosławski was internationally recognized in the academic world as a prominent Plato scholar. His fragmentary correspondence with Bertrand Russell is presented in this paper. Before World War II he initiated an exchange of letters with Russell on issues such as reincarnation, but the replies he received were laconic and discouraging. This changed, however, after the war when Russell published his History of Western Philosophy. Despite their different philosophical positions, Lutosławski’s opinion on this work as a whole was favourable, in (...)
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  48. DESCRIPTION, ESPACE LOGIQUE ET ENJEU DE L'IMPLICATION DE L'OUVERTURE AU LANGAGE POUR LA CONCEPTION DU JUGEMENT DE LA LOGIQUE DE PORT-ROYAL.Katarina Peixoto - 2020 - Logique Et Analyse 249 (249-250):79-95.
    In this study, I intend to show how and why, in the Port-Royal Logic, a singular term can reveal the nature of the logical judgment in the handbook. As I argue, the treatment given to one of thee singular terms, namely, the defined descriptions, in the terminology introduced by Russell, leads to an opening to langage that sounds unexpected and unjustified. Considering the privilege of thinking over langage and also that judgment is the mental act that defines logic, however, we (...)
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  49. Two Arguments for Emotivism and a Methodological Moral.Charles Pigden - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 39:5-35.
    In 1913 Russell gave up on the Moorean good. But since naturalism was not an option, that left two alternatives: the error theory and non-cognitivism. Despite a brief flirtation with the error theory Russell preferred the non-cognitivist option, developing a form of emotivism according to which to say that something is good is to express the desire that everyone should desire it. But why emotivism rather than the error theory? Because emotivism sorts better with Russell’s Fundamental Principle that the “sentences (...)
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  50. A New Companion to Russell Studies [Review of Russell Wahl, Ed., The Bloomsbury Companion to Bertrand Russell].Aaron Preston - 2020 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40:75-86.
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