Putting form before function: Logical grammar in Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein

Philosophers' Imprint 4:1-47 (2004)
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Abstract

The positions of Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein on the priority of complexes over (propositional) functions are sketched, challenging those who take the "judgment centered" aspects of the Tractatus to be inherited from Frege not Russell. Frege's views on the priority of judgments are problematic, and unlike Wittgenstein's. Russell's views on these matters, and their development, are discussed in detail, and shown to be more sophisticated than usually supposed. Certain misreadings of Russell, including those regarding the relationship between propositional functions and universals, are exposed. Wittgenstein's and Russell's views on logical grammar are shown to be very similar. Russell's type theory does not countenance types of genuine entities nor metaphysical truths that cannot be put into words, contrary to conventional wisdom. I relate this to the debate over "inexpressible truths" in the Tractatus. I lastly comment on the changes to Russell's views brought about by Wittgenstein's influence.

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Kevin Klement
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

Unity through truth.Bryan Pickel - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1425-1452.
The functions of Russell’s no class theory.Kevin C. Klement - 2010 - Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (4):633-664.
Hierarchical Propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (2):215-231.

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References found in this work

Ludwig Wittgenstein: the duty of genius.Ray Monk - 1990 - New York: Maxwell Macmillan International.
The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind.Cora DIAMOND - 1991 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 100 (4):577-577.
Is There a Problem About Substitutional Quantification?Saul A. Kripke - 1976 - In Gareth Evans & John Henry McDowell (eds.), Truth and meaning: essays in semantics. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. pp. 324-419.

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