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2
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1answer
68 views

Can anyone explain the very beginning of The Analysis of Matter to me?

Can anyone explain the very beginning of The Analysis of Matter to me? What exactly is it that he is saying is an aesthetic choice with respect to physics? I just opened up the book and can't get ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Understanding Bertrand Russel on agnosticism and atheism as self-descriptions

I came across this very interesting quote, but it is giving me some confusion. Since Russel was a philosopher I thought it was best to come to the Philosophy stack exchange. And this is by no means a ...
2
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0answers
58 views

Universal quantifier in Russell's Theory of descriptions - Who is the UNIVERSE?

In Russell's 1905 paper "on denoting" in which he introduces his theory of descriptions, he uses his method of analyzing propositions that include denoting phrases (descriptive ones), by rewriting ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

About Anselm's Ontological Argument and Bertrand Russell

Did Bertrand Russell read and analyse Anselm's Ontological Argument and if so did he have anything positive to say about it?
10
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3answers
442 views

How inaccurate is a History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

I finished reading 'A History of Western Philosophy' by Bertrand Russell a while ago. Not being an expert by any stretch I thought it was very good (informative, accessible, enjoyable etc..). But I ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

On the Axiom of Infinity

Russell, in Principia Mathematica, says the following of his Axiom of Infinity: "The axiom of infinity will be true in some possible worlds and false in others" He is notoriously sheepish about ...
2
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1answer
145 views

Tractatus 3.333 and Russell's paradox

Can anyone explain to a non-logician how Tractatus 3.333 refutes (or fails to refute) Russell's Paradox? Please explain his use of symbols!
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Recommendations for reading in Russell's Mathematical Philosophy

I am looking for any suggestions for research-level survey articles that expose Russell's type theory (in the context of his philosophy of mathematics). Of particular interest are: Russell's reasons ...
8
votes
3answers
293 views

Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Responses to the bricklayer critique of Dewey's definition of Inquiry

Apparently, Russell and Dewey had a very provocative debate in the philosophical literature of their time. Unfortunately I am only familiar with Russell's side of the debate, and want to learn more ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Question regarding proof of ❋3.47 in Principia Mathematica by Whitehead and Russell

❋3.03 in the the last step seems unnecessary. Can someone explain to me why 3.03 is listed? The last step can be written out in full like this: ⊦: p .⊃. q ⊃ r ...
0
votes
2answers
157 views

Question regarding the proof 3.3 in the Principia Mathematica

As far as I can understand, the key of PM is to make sure there are no leaps and gaps when making inferences. In other words, all the premises and rules of inferences should be explicitly enumerated ...
2
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2answers
369 views

How might one counter this criticism of Stoicism by Bertrand Russell?

Reading about Stoicism, I have encountered a criticism to which I cannot form a strong counter-argument. Did anyone or can anyone provide a rebuttal to the following argument against Stoicism? ...
4
votes
0answers
100 views

Where did Bertrand Russell describe the circumstances which keep the impulse alive?

In Bertrand Russell's Proposed Roads to Freedom, he wrote: All the most important work springs from an uncalculating impulse, and is best promoted, not by rewards after the event, but by ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

Why are set theory and numbers important to philosophy?

I'm reading David Papineau's Philosophical Devices, and there's a section on numbers and set theory. But there's not deeper hint on why it's important to philosophy. I guess that in mathematics we ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

What did Russell intend to achieve with “The Impact of Science on Society”?

I have been reading Russell's "The Impact of Science on Society" and I found it to be a very strange book. This book has become like a Bible to some conspiracy theorists, and I can see why. However, I ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Why did Thales say the water is the originating principle, according to Russell?

If I remember Russells Short History of Western Philosophy correctly, Russell unequivocally maintains that Thales was the first philosopher of note. He said: The world is made of water Russell ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

Does Wittgensteins own solution to Russells Paradox actually work?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein attempts a solution of Russells paradox 3.333 A function cannot be its own argument, because the functional sign already contains the prototype of its own argument ...
1
vote
5answers
418 views

Russell's Paradox & Existence of God

Russell's paradox is a famous theorem in set theory. It asserts that "the collection of all sets is not a set itself". In the other words "the set of all sets doesn't exist" in the world which ZFC ...
6
votes
1answer
575 views

What were some of Russell's arguments against Kant's system of thought?

I just finished reading Bertrand Russell's 'A History of Western Philosophy', and while I thoroughly enjoyed the book and find Russell's own work quite interesting, his overview of Kant seemed a bit ...
5
votes
2answers
443 views

The use of propositions and propositional functions by Russell in Logical Atomism

I recently had a chance to go through a book by Bertrand Russell : - "The philosophy of logical atomism" . I guess Russell abandoned some of this philosophy later on his life but nevertheless I had ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What does the type theory in the Principia Mathematica and that of contemporary logic have in common?

The SEP entry on second order or higher logic in passing say that countable order logic is type theory. My impression that this is the type theory of the Principia (I may be wrong here). There is ...
4
votes
2answers
283 views

Does Cogito ergo sum need to be more specific?

Something about my translation has bothered me since I originally posted my question (which follows below). It concerns what Bertrand Russell wrote in "On Denoting". Ryno indicated a circularity with ...
23
votes
2answers
4k views

Did Russell understand Gödel's incompleteness theorems?

Russell was active in philosophy (although no longer in math) for many years after the Gödel's 1931 publication. Gödel's paper were not obscure, and Russell would have been aware of their effect on ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

What caused the turns from monism to dualism in Russell and Chalmers?

Why did Chalmers shift from idealism to dualism? And Russell from materialism to neutral monism? Edit: The particulars of Russell is recounted in A.C. Grayling's 'Russell: A Very Short Introduction' ...
11
votes
3answers
296 views

20th Century History of Philosophy

I just read "The History of Western Philosophy" and liked it very much. I would like to now read a history that covers the span after Russell wrote the book, from 1940-present. Can anyone recommend a ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible for something to have no cause?

Bertrand Rusell writes in his essay "Why I Am Not A Christian": There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; [...] Warren Rachelle, however, states in his ...