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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 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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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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2 answers
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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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4 answers
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Is philosophy about organizing our ignorance?

I am interested in B. Russell's quote: Science is what we know; philosophy is what we don't know. What is he saying here in terms of a definition of philosophy? In his sense, is that correct to ...
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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 is Russell 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) ...
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How Russell and Ramsey misunderstood Wittgenstein with regard to the problem of the perfection of language?

In the Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus there is a tension between the aim of achieving a language perfectly ordered, with regard to natural language, and the evidence that the latter is not really ...
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Which is the difference between Sache and Sachverhalt in the Tractatus?

As far as I know, When Russell asked to Wittgenstein to tell him the difference between Sache and Sachverhalt, Wittgenstein answered that "Sachverhalt" is what corresponds to an elementar sätze (an ...
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Where can I find a correlation to Russell's epistemology in the Tractatus?

According to the Structure of the Tractatus, there is: 1) the ontology at the beginning; 2) "a discussion to what Russell calls epistemology, but it is actually the foundation of possible knowledge ...
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In which sense Wittgenstein criticizes Schopenhauer's WILL?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the section 6.53 may be treated as "a criticism of Schopenhauer's Will". As far as I understood there is also another concept involved: the russellian idea that ...
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Russel's paradox compared to Aristotle's logic

How can we easily explain what Russel might mean about Aristotle's logic? Did I understand correctly that, loosely speaking, if we have a statement in Aristotle's logic for example: No human being ...
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What does Bertrand Russell mean by saying Christianity nowadays requires us to use a vaguer meaning?

What does Bertrand Russell mean when he said that: Nowadays it is not quite that. We have to be a little more vague in our meaning of Christianity. For better understanding, can you cite any ...
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What does Russell mean by "term" in Principles of Mathematics?

Bertrand Russell in Principles of Mathematics defines a term as "Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition or can be counted as one." Can someone elaborate on ...
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What justifies Russell's Law of Identity?

The Law of Identity by Bertrand Russell says Whatever is, is. It's hard to find any kind of justification on this statement. Why should this be true and what are the arguments for any opposite ...
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Why does Russell prohibit judgments based on knowledge by description?

I'm new to philosophy and have picked up Bertrand Russell's 'The Problems of Philosophy'. I have a question relating to the end of the chapter on 'Acquaintance and Description'. Russell states that we ...
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What is the “intended project” in Appendix B of Principia Mathematica?

In Linsky's The Evolution of Principia Mathematica it is written, Chapter 6 studies in detail the content of Appendix B, On induction. The appendix consists of a technical proof that even without ...
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1 answer
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Logical Atomism's long term effect on modern culture?

Wittgenstein and Russell both moved away from Logical Atomism, and it is generally considered to have failed as a theory of how language connects to truth. However, as an IT person, when I first ...
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What is the difference between implicit and explicit definitions?

B.Russell holds that certain classes of expressions are to be defined contextually, like definite descriptions or incomplete symbols in general, and some others are to be defined explicitly. What is ...
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1 answer
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What sources discuss Russell's response to Gödel's incompleteness theorems?

In his book My Philosophical Development Russell writes, In my introduction to the Tractatus, I suggested that, although in any given language there are things which that language cannot express, ...
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12 votes
4 answers
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Logic, Russell, joke [closed]

There is a Russell impression with a joke on youtube, in which Russell puts the following questions to G. E. Moore: Do you have any apples in that basket? Do you have some apples in that basket? Do ...
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Utilitarianism and Bertrand Russell

On an interview aired in 1959 Bertrand Russel, talking about religious beliefs said: "...it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty to hold a belief because is useful and not because is true." The open ...
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Did Bertrand Russell ever call his work in logic a failure?

In Logicomix page 272, the fictional Russell said "...despite the failure of my own work in logic..." As far as I know, Russell never threw in the towel. Gödel's sentence is nonsense (neither ...
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In what writings did Bertrand Russell criticize the epistemology of Rene Descartes?

Could someone please list the works?
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What does Russell's speculated law of causality look like in mathematical language?

My complaint is that Russell said non-mathematical language was inaccurate, but he went on to use non-mathematical language regardless. I'd appreciate it if someone can can translate his law of ...
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9 votes
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How does Russell's argument for identity refute that of Wittgenstein's?

In My Philosophical Development Russell wrote, I come next to what Wittgenstein had to say about identity, which has an importance that may not be obvious at once. To explain this theory, I must ...
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6 answers
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Why is Russell so critical of Aristotle?

In A History of Western Philosophy, Russell argues: I conclude that the Aristotelian doctrines with which we have been concerned in this chapter are wholly false, with the exception of the ...
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Meaning: 'A hallucination is a fact, not an error' and the text around?

Source: On the Nature of Acquaintance: Neutral Monism (1914), by Bertrand Russell Maybe the following quote exemplifies difficult writing that besets me. If so, my angst only worsens; if I'm ...
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What is the difference between Aristotle's theory of categories and Russell's theory of types?

A partial answer might come through an introduction. Well, we know that Russell's efforts to understand the contradictory appearance of the class of all classes not members of themselves (a notion ...
Dallas-Rey Davis's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
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7 answers
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Why isn't Cantor's diagonal argument just a paradox?

Cantor's diagonal argument concludes the cardinality of the power set of a countably infinite set is greater than that of the countably infinite set. In other words, the infiniteness of real numbers ...
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Understanding Bertrand Russell 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 ...
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1 answer
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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?
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22 votes
5 answers
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How inaccurate is Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy?

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 have ...
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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 ...
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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!
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 (1) ...
George Chen's user avatar
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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 ...
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