Download e-book for kindle: Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s by Paul J. Hager (auth.)

By Paul J. Hager (auth.)

ISBN-10: 9401043647

ISBN-13: 9789401043649

ISBN-10: 9401108447

ISBN-13: 9789401108447

The common view of Russell's paintings among philosophers has been that repeat­ edly, in the course of his lengthy and unique occupation, the most important alterations of brain on enjoyable­ damental issues have been major sufficient to reason him to successively undertake a range of notably new philosophical positions. hence Russell is noticeable to have embraced after which deserted, among others, neo-Hegelianism, Platonic re­ alism, phenomenalism and logical atomism, earlier than settling ultimately on a sort of impartial monism that philosophers have in general came across to be impressive. This view of Russell is captured in C. D. Broad's well-known comment that "Mr. Russell professional­ duces a distinct procedure of philosophy each few years . . . " (Muirhead, 1924: 79). Reflecting this photograph of Russell continuously altering his place, books and papers on Russell's philosophy have generally belonged to 1 of 2 varieties. both they've got focused on specific sessions of his notion which are taken to be specifically major, or, accepting the view of his successive conversion to dis­ tinctly assorted philosophical positions, they've got supplied a few account of every of those supposedly disconnected classes of his idea. whereas a lot solid paintings has been performed on Russell's philosophy, this framework has had its barriers, the most one being that it conceals the fundamental continuity in the back of his thought.

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Clearly, fundamental or primitive, epistemological propositions will figure amongst the left hand half hierarchy. Our present task is to decide exactly where they fit into this hierarchy of propositions. For a start, we know that there is a strong epistemological motivation underlying Russell's major philosophising. Alan Wood, in a fragment specifically endorsed by RusselI,9 has claimed that Russell's "overriding motive was yearning for absolutely certain impersonal knowledge" (MPD: 192). Looking back on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, Russell himself wrote that up to the age of thirty eight he gave most of his energies to the task of finding out "whether anything could be known" because he "wanted certainty in the kind of way in which people want religious faith" (PfM: 53).

It is more secure epistemically because all of the elements of the construction are objects of acquaintance. So, while the logical construction is a new abstract complex, its elements are types of particulars and relations previously known by acquaintance. A determined sceptic might acknowledge that the preceding selection of quotations does indeed demonstrate a common thread in various Russellian characterisations of analysis, yet nevertheless hold that the common thread is overlaid by important differences at various crucial stages in Russell's work.

Numbers, the Homeric gods, relations, chimeras and four-dimensional spaces" (PoM: 449) are some of the denizens of this world of being. "Being is that which belongs to every conceivable term, to every possible object of thought ... "(PoM: 449). "Existence", on the other hand, "is the prerogative of some only amongst beings" (PoM: 449). Some existent objects are fundamental, in the sense that they are arrived at by analysis and survive further steps in analysis. 22 So, in Russell's Platonist phase all objects are unchanging, independent and subsistent.

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


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