Download Bertrand Russell’s Philosophy of Language by Robert J. Clack (auth.) PDF

By Robert J. Clack (auth.)

RUSSELL AND THE LINGUISTIC PHILOSOPHY it truly is in most cases said that Bertrand Russell performed an important function within the so-called "revolution" that has taken position in 20th century Anglo-American philosophy, the revolution that has led many philo­ sophers almost to equate philosophy with a few style - or kinds - of linguistic research. His contributions to this revolution have been ­ fold: (I) including G. E. Moore he led the winning rebellion opposed to the neo-Hegelianism of Idealists reminiscent of Bradley and McTaggert; (2) back with Moore he supplied a lot of the impetus for a a little bit progressive approach of doing philosophy. (I) and (2) are, after all, shut­ ly similar, because the new approach of philosophizing will be stated to consti­ tute, largely, the rebel opposed to Idealism. Be this because it may possibly, how­ ever, the real truth for current attention is that Russell used to be a big effect in turning Anglo-American philosophy within the course it has for that reason taken - towards what could be termed, really common­ ly, the "linguistic philosophy. " regrettably, although his value as a precursor of the linguistic philosophy is famous, definitely the right feel during which Russell himself may be thought of a "philosopher of language" has no longer, to the current time, been sufficiently clarified. priceless beginnings were made towards an research of this query, yet they've been, withal, purely start­ nings, and not anything like an sufficient photograph of Russell's total philoso­ phy of language is almost immediately available.

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In another sense, however, this is a quite different criticism of ordinary proper names than the one just examined. "2 This point is clearly, if somewhat crudely, formulated in M. P. D. " 3 The full significance of this passage is not, perhaps, completely clear, but whatever else Russell may be asserting here, he is, at a minimum, suggesting that person should not be regarded as an ontologically basic category but, rather, as a kind of "construct" out of data provided through sense experience. Like the view that ordinary names actually function as descriptions, this view also, I believe, ultimately rests on the assumption that only objects of' acquaintance can be said to be known, though in this case the way in which the assumption is involved is less direct and therefore less immediately evident.

Cf. , p. 223. 30 THE QUEST FOR LOGICAL FORM with those empirical objects which are capable of direct, presentational cognition presupposes a further, far-reaching assumption relating "meaning" to "understanding" and, ultimately, to the theory of acquaintance. This additional assumption played an increasingly large role in Russell's philosophy of language, particularly in his reconstruction of physical-object statements in terms of sense-datum statements. Its legitimacy, as well as that of the reference theory itself, will be examined at the appropriate time.

P. 201. Indeed, he says this in some of those very contexts in which he is attempting to make a clear distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description. , for instance, he implies that it would be possible for him to be acquainted with the Emperor of China, but, as a matter of fact, he is not. (pp. '. " (p. ) One can only conclude that when he makes statements of this sort he is speaking somewhat loosely and is not thinking of acquaintance in the strict sense discussed above.

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