Historical Dictionary of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy by Rosalind Carey

By Rosalind Carey

Educational thinker, philosopher, public highbrow, educator, political activist, and freethinker, Bertrand Russell was once and continues to be a colossus. No different unmarried thinker within the final 2 hundred years will be acknowledged to have created quite a bit and inspired such a lot of. His Principia Mathematica, written with A. N. Whitehead, ranks as one of many maximum books on common sense seeing that Aristotle. His philosophical paintings on language, which means, good judgment, brain, and metaphysics shaped the foundation of 20th-century philosophy. Russell was once lively in different political routine of liberation and peace, and his renowned writings, together with the best-selling History of Western Philosophy, gained the Nobel prize in literature in 1950.

Historical Dictionary of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy deals a entire, present consultant to the numerous points of Russell's paintings. via its chronology, introductory essay, bibliography, and 1000s of cross-referenced dictionary entries on techniques, humans, works, and technical phrases, Russell's influence on philosophy and similar fields is made obtainable to the reader during this must-have reference.

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In that essay, he develops an analysis of descriptive phrases, like ‘the king of France’ in sentences like ‘The king of France is bald,’ in terms of quantified sentences no longer containing the original descriptive phrase, showing that the superficial form of a sentence may conceal its real logical form. Russell’s Platonist theory of meaning is not softened but rather intensified by his 1905 theory of descriptions and the general doctrine of incomplete symbols developing out of it. For in this analysis, the assumption that every word in a sentence has meaning is given up, only to be reintroduced at a deeper level: in the logically correct expression of a proposition, every word must have some thing as its meaning and that thing is known by acquaintance.

The first president of the United States’) that have meaning by virtue of the fact that the words in the descriptions either denote something in a person’s present experience or else are associated with further descriptions, whose words denote something of which that person is immediately aware. In this period, Russell’s sympathetic reading of Alexius Meinong’s psychological and phenomenological work leads him to turn increasingly toward descriptive psychology. , universals and sense data). These developments make their way into a developing theory of knowledge and belief.

But in 1901, with work on the book underway, Russell’s study of Georg Cantor’s work in transfinite arithmetic and of Cantor’s paradox of cardinals led him to the discovery of his own paradox of classes for logic and set theory. The seriousness of the contradiction, known as Russell’s paradox, stems from the fact that it arises from very natural assumptions about forming sets (when posed as a problem for set theory) or predicates (when posed as a problem for logic). The discovery that a contradiction lurked among the terms and truths he intended to use to define mathematics immediately created a great obstacle to this task.

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