Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s by Paul J. Hager (auth.)

By Paul J. Hager (auth.)

The normal view of Russell's paintings among philosophers has been that repeat­ edly, in the course of his lengthy and exclusive occupation, an important alterations of brain on enjoyable­ damental issues have been major adequate to reason him to successively undertake a variety of greatly new philosophical positions. therefore Russell is visible to have embraced after which deserted, among others, neo-Hegelianism, Platonic re­ alism, phenomenalism and logical atomism, ahead of settling ultimately on a kind of impartial monism that philosophers have usually stumbled on to be outstanding. This view of Russell is captured in C. D. Broad's recognized comment that "Mr. Russell professional­ duces a special method of philosophy each few years . . . " (Muirhead, 1924: 79). Reflecting this photo of Russell constantly altering his place, books and papers on Russell's philosophy have normally belonged to at least one of 2 forms. both they've got focused on specific classes of his notion which are taken to be in particular major, or, accepting the view of his successive conversion to dis­ tinctly diverse philosophical positions, they've got supplied a few account of every of those supposedly disconnected sessions of his notion. whereas a lot strong paintings has been performed on Russell's philosophy, this framework has had its barriers, the most one being that it conceals the elemental continuity in the back of his thought.

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Additional resources for Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s Philosophy

Sample text

Just as we saw philosophical analysis extending our understanding of the nature of mathematics, so also with science (cf. E, J, Q). e. Russell suggests that all sound philosophy may be parasitic on science and mathematics. This view locates philosophy at the frontiers of the particular exact sciences. As the frontier is extended, territory that once belonged to philosophy becomes exact enough to be incorporated into science. Thus "every advance in knowledge robs philosophy of some problems which formerly it had....

3 Since white is a predicate in the first of these forms and a term ofa relation in the second, Russell was led to regard it as a property in the first case, but as a particular in the second one. (Though, as we will find in Part Two, he had other reasons for the rather odd claim that whiteness is a particular). Such open-mindedness about the logical form appropriate to a given set of facts lies behind a well-known passage in the lectures on Logical Atomism. Having defined 'particulars' as "terms of relations in atomic facts", Russell adds: That is the definition of particulars, and I want to emphasise it because the definition of a particular is something purely logical.

Russell's very different approach was in accord with McTaggart's views in the sense that he hoped that his project to analyse the nature of the various sciences and the dialectical relationships between them would, if carried out in sufficient detail, reveal something of the nature of the Absolute. However, despite siding with McTaggart on pluralism and the knowability of the Absolute, the neo-Hegelian Russell was also heavily influenced by Bradley, particularly in matters to do with logic. 2 Russell's Neo-Hegelian Strategy The nature and scope of Russell's neo-Hegelian philosophy has recently become much better understood due to the publication of his papers of the period (Papers 2), as well as Griffin's detailed study of this phase of his work, Russell's Idealist Apprenticeship (1991).

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