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 stated 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 nearly to equate philosophy with a few type - or types - of linguistic research. His contributions to this revolution have been ­ fold: (I) including G. E. Moore he led the winning insurrection opposed to the neo-Hegelianism of Idealists comparable to Bradley and McTaggert; (2) back with Moore he supplied a lot of the impetus for a a bit innovative manner of doing philosophy. (I) and (2) are, after all, shut­ ly comparable, because the new approach of philosophizing will be acknowledged to consti­ tute, largely, the rebel opposed to Idealism. Be this because it may well, how­ ever, the $64000 truth for current attention is that Russell used to be a tremendous impression in turning Anglo-American philosophy within the path it has for this reason taken - towards what will be termed, particularly basic­ ly, the "linguistic philosophy. " regrettably, although his significance as a precursor of the linguistic philosophy is recognized, definitely the right feel during which Russell himself may be thought of a "philosopher of language" has now not, to the current time, been sufficiently clarified. priceless beginnings were made towards an research of this question, yet they've been, withal, simply commence­ nings, and not anything like an enough photograph of Russell's total philoso­ phy of language is almost immediately available.

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1 This conclusion represents a clear and significant triumph, in Russell's thought, for the theory of acquaintance; for it shows him willing to reconstruct a basic ontological category of ordinary language in order to satisfy the requirement that the fundamental entities in our ontology be knowable in the only way this theory deems authentic. " 2 What is required, we have noted, is some word or words which directly refer to objects without describing them in any way. According to him, the only words which function in this way are the demonstratives "this" and "that," for they, and only they, can be used to refer to an object in such a direct manner that it would be impossible to replace them with a description.

46. , p. 207. ' This describes the table by means of the sense-data. " 1 From this passage it is evident, I think, how knowledge by description is fundamentally different from knowledge by acquaintance. In order to know the physical object, even to know that it exists, it must be possible to relate the knowledge we have by acquaintance (of sensedata) with certain "truths" which we bring with us to our experience of the external world. As stated above, this means, for Russell, that knowledge of physical objects is not genuine knowledge; it rests on assumptions and inferences which might conceivably be mistaken.

Pp. A. , pp. , (pp. I67-I80). ") All terms are entities of some kind, whether they be physical objects, relations, properties, fictional beings, or whatever. Thus, he concludes, the role of a description in a sentence is always to stand for some term, to designate some kind of entity. With this as background we can better understand the nature of the problem that led him to formulate his theory of descriptions. In P. 0/ M. his view of the logical function of denoting concepts (or, as I shall say alternatively, denoting phrases or descriptive phrases) is relatively simple and uncomplicated.

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