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Questions tagged [bertrand-russell]

Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was a British philosopher and logician who is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy and modern logic.

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How did Wittgenstein become interested in the philosophy of language?

As far as I know he was doing engineering and became interested in the foundations of mathematics and went to Frege and upon his advice he went to study logic from Russell. So what happened which ...
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Can Frege overcome Russell's critique in “On denoting”?

I would like to know what would be the best way to overcome the criticism of Frege laid out by Russell in "On denoting", especially in regard to the third "paradox" presented. This paradox states ...
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Why does Russell's writing suggest that Kant was right about mathematics being synthetic a priori?

As I was reading "The problems of philosophy" by Bertrand Russell I got the impression that Kant was right and Hume was wrong in the case of a priori knowledge of synthetic mathematic nature and I'm ...
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How did Fitch's opposition to the Russell-Whitehead theory of types turn out since the 1950's?

In a footnote to Appendix C of Frederic Fitch's Symbolic Logic (page 217), Fitch writes about his article, "Self-Reference in Philosophy": It is reprinted here in order to indicate more fully my ...
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Specific questions from reading Russell's “The Problems of Philosophy”

I don’t understand the following things from Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy, page 49-52: What is meant by “we can only know what is required in order to secure the correspondence.” (...
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“Space” according to Bertrand Russell

I have a specific question in regards to understanding “The Problems of Philosophy” by Russell. In the third chapter (page 46) he writes: But the space of science is neutral as between touch and ...
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What are the main errors of Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy?

This discussion of A History of Western Philosophy complains about its errors and omissions, but doesn't give examples of the former. A previous question asked "how inaccurate" Russell's book was, and ...
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Do Alexius Meinong's impossible worlds describe all impossible worlds/things? [duplicate]

Does his impossible worlds category include (and can describe) literally all impossible things/worlds? Inconsistencies, paradoxes, impossible solutions to problems (and impossible problems); really ...
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Is a set containing itself already a paradox?

This is inspired by Russel's paradox stating there is not set of all sets. It uses the presupposition that set can contain itself. However, this already seems paradoxical. Suppose a set A = {}. Then ...
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Can any logic system provide the impossible solution to Russell's paradox in naive set theory?

In naive set theory in classical logic, we cannot describe or find a solution to Russell's set paradox (it is impossible). But is it there any logic system or any method that can provide this ...
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Is there any logical system/method where impossible/illogical/inconsistent things can exist (like a solution to Russell's paradox that makes sense)? [duplicate]

Discussing with a philosopher about impossible things existing or being allowed within a particular logic system, he told me: "This is a funny thing about logically impossible things. You can prove ...
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Can paraconsistent or other logics make the impossible happen?

A paraconsistent logic system it is defined as "a logical system that attempts to deal with contradictions in a discriminating way. Alternatively, paraconsistent logic is the subfield of logic that ...
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Is a barber a barber if he doesn't get paid?

For reference: The Barber Paradox. The Barber is he who shaves all those, and only those, who doesn't shave themselves. Now the question is: Who shaves the Barber? The paradox being that if ...
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Learning Peano's notation

This is more a request than a question. I would like to read Russell's The Logic of Relations in which he uses Peano's notation. I'm looking for a text available online which would explain thoroughly ...
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What did Bertrand Russell mean: 'Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself'?

Primary Source: Russell on Ethics: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand Russell (1999). p. 109 I first chanced on this quote from: Thomas Morris. Philosophy For Dummies (1999 1 ed). p. 87. In the ...
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Russell on freedom of realm of thought from public control

In Political Ideals (1917), Bertrand Russell wrote The whole realm of thought and opinion is utterly unsuited to public control; it ought to be as free, and as spontaneous as is possible to those ...
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Meaning of 'statement of fact' in a book by Russell

I'm reading Political Ideals (1917) by Bertrand Russell. Today, I reached this sentence in chapter 4: One fact which emerges from these considerations is that no obstacle should be placed in the ...
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Quote of Russell on Mathematics

My memory seems to be failing me at the moment, but I seem to recall Russell saying something like the following on some occasion: The consistency of mathematics does not show that it is true but ...
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In which publication does Bertrand Russell define “philosophy”?

I've personally read a book or an article by Bertrand Russell where he defines philosophy. The definition --- IIRC --- is that philosophy is the study of the unknown. If it becomes a matter of fact, ...
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What is the meaning of these criticisms of Aristotelian logic?

I'm reading Ray Monk's biography of Wittgenstein and, on a scathing book review of Wittgenstein's, Monk writes, There follows a list of such mistakes, which are, for the most part the weaknesses ...
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The Orphic Socrates

Short introduction Reading about Socrates I found he was more or less Orphic in his beliefs. He believed in the indestructibility of mind or life after dead. Also in certain ascetic life. On the ...
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why Bertrand Russell's paradox had such a high impact and relevance?

The paradox of Bertrand Russell he formulated in 1918, I believe, has undermined the attempt to found mathematics on a strictly logical basis. I remember that an intuitive way of putting the paradox ...
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Can we doubt the existence of our thoughts and feelings? How?

I'm reading Russell's "The problems of philosophy" and he says that the only thing we can be certain about is the existence of our "Sense-data" which are mainly our thoughts and emotions. I wonder if ...
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On the clarification of Russell's response to Henkin on the issue of consistency of Principia Mathematica

Background In Henkin's article Are Logic and Mathematics Identical Henkin writes, But I must mention, also, a second aim of the Russell-Whitehead Principia which also fared ill in the subsequent ...
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what does Bertrand Russell mean by saying this

he said on the preface of "history of western philosophy": "the student of Rousseau may have difficulty in doing justice to his connection with the Sparta of Plato and Plutarch." what does this mean? ...
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Russell and Meinong on Presentations and Representaitons

I am reading Russell's second installment in the series On Meinong's Theory of Complexes and Assumption. Among many things, presentations are discussed a lot in these articles. What exactly do Russell ...
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Most respectable in conservatism

Bertrand Russell wrote in his "History of Western Philosophy" describing John Locke, the following: He makes a great deal of the imperishable character of the precious metals, which, he says, are ...
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Russell on Negative Facts

Okay. I am reading Russell's paper "On Propositions: What They are and How They Mean". Since the truth or falsehood of a belief depends upon a fact to which the belief "refers", and propositions are ...
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Quantificational vs Referential vs Predicational descriptions

Reading Peter Ludlow's article on descriptions, it's clear to me that descriptions can be interpreted, found or considered in 3 different ways. They can be seen as quantificational, referential or ...
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A Version of the Liar Paradox in Russell's paper “On the Nature of Knowledge”

I just finished reading Russell's paper "On the Nature of Truth", in which appears a form of the well-known Liar's Paradox. Here is the passage I am interested in: This argument would be conclusive,...
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Some questions on Graham Priest's remarks about Russell's solution of paradoxes

In his book Beyond the Limits of Thought while talking about Russell's solution of paradoxes Graham Priest writes (text made bold, footnotes and references omitted), Russell solved these problems ...
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What are the premises for “On Induction” (Russell)?

I'm reading the "On Induction" by Bertrand Russell at the moment. The argument itself makes sense to me. However, I can't formulate a set of premises for an assignment I have to complete. Is it simply ...
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When a guru convinces hundres to castrate themselves, what form of power does the guru have over his followers?

According to New York Post, "guru in bling" convinced hundreds to castrate themselves. By text book standards, this guru has no control of information and has no way of enforcing isolation on ...
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What does Russell mean when he's rephrasing “I have two hands”?

In Russell's book "History of Western Philosophy," he talks about the uniqueness of numbers, and how numbers are different from perceptions. And so he discusses the sentence "I have two hands" - where ...
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How do we know the world wasn't created 5 minutes ago?

How do we know the world wasn't created 5 minutes ago? I'm currently having to write an essay on this question, and working from the assumption that it is indeed logically tenable that the world is ...
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Some clarifications for a sentence from Bertrand Russell's work

I just started reading Russell's "Human Knowledge: Its scope and limits." One of Russell's sentences struck me as particularly interesting. Russell said, I quote ...Inference from a group of events ...
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According to Russell, are sense data NOT the only things immediately known, or are they not purely mental?

In Russell's Problems of Philosophy, in refutal Berkeley's argument for idealism -in Russel's words "whatever can be immediately known must be in a mind"- he states: Berkeley was right in ...
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What is going on with Russell's “beauty cold and austere” of mathematics?

I admit that this is an idle question, but I wondered why it is that mathematics appears "beautiful cold and austere" to those who are particularly gifted at it. The full quite from wikipedia on this ...
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What is the relation between pure and applied mathematics?

What do philosophers say about the relation between pure and applied mathematics? In particular, what does Russell say? I'm guessing that's covered in e.g. The Analysis of Matter, but he's a dry read....
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How could Wittgenstein not rule out that there was a rhinoceros in the living room?

I read a graphic novel called "Logicomix" years ago and have wondered this ever since.
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How does Frege's definition of number solve the Julius Caesar problem?

How does Frege's definition of number solve the Julius Caesar problem? Frege's definition of number in the end of Foundation is such: the number belonging to the concept F is the extension of the ...
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What did Wittgenstein (mean to) achieve in the Tractatus?

I read the Tractatus about a decade ago, and was impressed, both by it and I suppose myself! But suddenly I'm seriously wondering what the book has or could achieve. Not so much how it changed ...
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Bertrand Russell about Aristotle

Why does Bertrand Russell say that Aristotle was the last Greek philosopher to face the world cheerfully? ... I need(!) an answer to this question. I've read the whole chapter on Aristotle (in the ...
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What is the axiom of reducibility? And what philosophical controversies did it incite?

Trying to come to terms with basics concerning philosophy of logic, and wish to ask about some particular issue: What is in simple words the axiom of reducibility put forward by Russell? And what is ...
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Why was Russell's theory of descriptions taken seriously?

Russell's theory of descriptions revolves around the definite and the indefinite articles of the English language in an attempt to solve some of the basic but serious problems in philosophy of ...
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What do logicists mean when they try to “reduce mathematics to logic”?

I've read a lot about Russell and other Logicism advocates and their trial to reduce math to logic. But what does that mean? We know that all known mathematics can be reduced to Set theory, is that ...
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A question regarding the similarity of relations from Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philsophy

I do not understand the basis of one of Russell's claims at the end of the chapter 'Similarity of Relations' in his Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. I have taken an excerpt and emboldened the ...
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What responses have made to Kripke's criticism of the descriptivist theory of meaning?

Under the influence of Kripke's acute analysis, there has been a growing trend of modern essentialism, or in other words, the assertion that there are 'essential' descriptors (rigid designators) that '...
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which problem Russell is focusing on while providing a solution, in his introduction to the Tractatus?

In the final part of his introduction to the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Russell provides a possible solution to the problem of the impossibility of self-reference of logic: There is one ...
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can a vague sentence be considered meaningful in the Tractatus?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein draws a demarcation among meaningful sentences (1), the meaningless propositions of logic (2: sinnlos sätze) and nonsensical propositions (3: unsinnig sätze). 1) ...