In his 1918 lectures, _The Philosophy of Logical Atomism_, Russell discusses the impossibility of drawing a diagram or "map-in-space" of the form of belief (judgment). In this paper, I argue that an examination of diagrams appended to Russell's _Theory of Knowledge_ shows him already anticipating this symbolizing difficulty in 1913 and—in the midst of attempting to adopt Wittgenstein's doctrine of propositional bipolarity—jettisoning attempts to diagram the form of belief.
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The Historical Dictionary of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy is the only dictionary to date of Bertrand Russell's ideas. It is a guide to the many elements of Russell's philosophy. A glimpse at Russell's work shows instantly why such a text is needed. Taking his books alone, Russell is author of almost 100. Many are classics, several require technical expertise, and together they address dozens of separate disciplines and domains.
My thesis traces Russell's development of his theory of belief from 1913 to 1918 under the impact of his student, Ludwig Wittgenstein. ;In chapter one I focus on Russell's multiple relation theory of belief from 1910 to early 1913 and on Russell's view of perception as a relation between minds and objects. I show that, on Russell's theory, acts of believing or judging are intended to explain the different types of judgments and to account for how propositions acquire a complete (...) sense. I argue that Russell faces difficulties explaining the status of relations occurring in propositions which are believed, and that his account of how we perceive types of objects is in tension with his theory that beliefs are facts. ;In chapter two I examine Wittgenstein's influence on Russell's 1913 work, Theory of Knowledge. I argue that in Theory of Knowledge Russell responds to Wittgenstein's objections to his theory of judgment by proposing a theory of unnamable asymmetrical relations and unasserted mental relations. I further argue that Russell begins to see that, without postulating further judgments and thus entailing a vicious regress, his notion of perception cannot support an adequate account of distinctions between types of entities judged. I claim---with Sommerville and others---that Russell's "paralysis" in the face of Wittgenstein's criticisms in 1913 concerns his inability to explain judgment without explaining type distinctions and vice versa. ;In chapter three I examine the development of Russell's thought between 1914 and late 1918 in response to Wittgenstein. I suggest that in early 1918 Russell begins to accept Wittgenstein's claim that in belief-contexts, the proposition is a fact consisting of grammatical relations of words. I further claim that, unlike Wittgenstein, Russell explains all such relations by giving an account of our psychological needs and limitations. Finally I conjecture that Russell begins to be inclined to reject his relational conception of perception, and of belief as involving a subject, not only because he begins to take neutral monism more seriously, but also because of difficulties internal to his theory of perception, difficulties that Wittgenstein may have suggested to him. (shrink)
In what follows, I give a dialectical reading of his dismissal of metaphysics and of Wittgenstein's objections to Russell in 1913. I argue that Wittgenstein must be read as advocating no particular theory or doctrine — that is, philosophy is an activity and not a body of truths. Furthermore, this insistence is thoroughgoing. Put differently, a dialectical reading must be applied to one's own thought and talk. Characteristically, this sort of dialectical philosophy begins with the question, Is there any definiteness (...) to what I am doing in my own thinking and speaking? Such a question undercuts the easy assumption that what we are doing may be expressed in a body of meaningful statements. In particular, I argue that Wittgenstein does not advocate any particular theory of language. A common reading of Wittgenstein is that he aims to prevent us from misusing language. This view assumes that, for Wittgenstein, the notion of a correct, acceptable or meaningful use of language may be taken for granted. In my view, Wittgenstein does not take the notions of use of language and grammar and its misuse for granted. For Wittgenstein grammar underdetermines what it is to use or misuse language. I argue that an ethical critique is implicit in Wittgenstein's objections to any attempt to speak a priori about language and thought. (shrink)