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By Nicholas Griffin

Bertrand Russell ranks as one of many giants of twentieth century philosophy. This better half makes a speciality of Russell's contributions to trendy philosophy and, consequently, concentrates at the early a part of his profession. via his books, journalism, correspondence and political task he exerted a profound impact on smooth suggestion. New readers will locate this the handiest and obtainable advisor to Russell on hand. complicated scholars and experts will discover a conspectus of modern advancements within the interpretation of Russell.

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Extra resources for The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell

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This theory is a version of what is now called ‘the identity theory of truth’. Cf Baldwin [1991]. 28 nicholas griffin eliminated. The targets for the analysis, therefore, are sentences in which the chief verb expresses a propositional attitude, such as ‘Othello believes that Desdemona loves Cassio’ (to use Russell’s favourite example), where ‘that Desdemona loves Cassio’ seems to refer to a proposition. Russell’s new analysis treats belief in this case as a four-place relation holding between Othello, Desdemona, love, and Cassio.

This was taken to show that the logical form of such statements was quite different from their grammatical form. Thus, although the methods of analysis were now much more linguistic than they had been in The Principles of Mathematics, explicit grammar is a much less direct guide to analysis than it had been in the days when Russell held that every word had a meaning and that the correctness of one’s analysis of a proposition was to be checked by ‘assigning the meaning of each word in the sentence expressing the proposition’ (POM, p.

43). Terms are neither linguistic nor psychological, but objective constituents of the world. Concepts, universals, complexes, concrete and abstract particulars, physical objects, and mental states are all terms. Indeed, anything that can be counted as one or made the subject of a proposition is a term. Sentences express propositions which are complexes of terms related together. All complex unities are propositions (POM, pp. 139, 442),22 and all propositions are complex terms. Not all terms exist but all have some kind of ontological standing, which Russell called being.

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