David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 163 (2):245 - 261 (2008)
While considerable ink has been spilt over the rejection of idealism by Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore at the end of the 19th Century, relatively little attention has been directed at Russell’s A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, a work written in the early stages of Russell’s philosophical struggles with the metaphysics of Bradley, Bosanquet, and others. Though a sustained investigation of that work would be one of considerable scope, here I reconstruct and develop a two-pronged argument from the Philosophy of Leibniz that Russell fancied—as late as 1907—to be the downfall of the traditional category of substance. Here, I suggest, one can begin to see Russell’s own reasons—arguments largely independent of Moore—for the abandonment of idealism. Leibniz, no less than Bradley, adhered to an antiquated variety of logic: what Russell refers to as the subject-predicate doctrine of logic. Uniting this doctrine with a metaphysical principle of independence—that a substance is prior to and distinct from its properties—Russell is able to demonstrate that neither a substance pluralism nor a substance monism can be consistently maintained. As a result, Russell alleges that the metaphysics of both Leibniz and Bradley has been undermined as ultimately incoherent. Russell’s remedy for this incoherence is the postulation of a bundle theory of substance, such that the category of “substance” reduces to the most basic entities—properties.
|Keywords||Bertrand Russell F. H. Bradley G. W. Leibniz Metaphysics Substance Properties Individuation G. E. Moore Independence Subject-predicate logic Idealism Monism Pluralism Judgment Relations|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
James W. Allard (2005). The Logical Foundations of Bradley's Metaphysics: Judgment, Inference, and Truth. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Baldwin (1991). The Identity Theory of Truth. Mind 100 (1):35-52.
Nicholas Griffin (1991). Russell's Idealist Apprenticeship. Clarendon Press.
H. Hochberg (1978). Thought, Fact and Reference: The Origins and Ontology of Logical Atomism. University of Minnesota Press.
Peter Hylton (1990). Russell, Idealism, and the Emergence of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stephen Puryear (2010). Review of Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (8).
J. A. Cover (1999). Substance and Individuation in Leibniz. Cambridge University Press.
Stefano Di Bella (2005). The Science of the Individual: Leibniz's Ontology of Individual Substance. Springer.
Nicholas Okrent (2000). Leibniz on Substance and God in “That a Most Perfect Being Is Possible”. Philosophy and Theology 12 (1):79-93.
John Whipple (2011). Continual Creation and Finite Substance in Leibniz's Metaphysics. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:1-30.
Bertrand Russell (2003). Russell on Metaphysics: Selections From the Writings of Bertrand Russell. Routledge.
Richard Parker (1984). Bradley's Paradox and Russell's Theory of Relations. Philosophy Research Archives 10:261-273.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1972). Leibniz. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1976). Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. University of Notre Dame Press.
Pierfrancesco Basile (2012). Russell on Spinoza's Substance Monism. Metaphysica 13 (1):27-41.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #47,418 of 1,140,280 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #46,991 of 1,140,280 )
How can I increase my downloads?