Russell's debt to Lotze

Between 1896 and 1898 Russell’s philosophy was considerably influenced by Hermann Lotze. Lotze’s influence on Russell was especially pronounced in introducing metaphysical—anthropological, in particular—assumptions in Russell’s logic and ontology. Three steps in his work reflect this influence. (i) The first such step can be discerned in the Principle of Differentiation, which Russell accepted in the Essay (finished in October 1986); according to this Principle, the objects of human cognition are segmented complexes which have diverse parts (individuals). (ii) After Russell reread Lotze in June 1897, he claimed that the solution of the dilemma of pluralism or monism depends on how we see space and time: as relational or as adjectival? (iii) Russell decided for the relational conception only after he attended lectures by McTaggart on Lotze in January to February 1898. The lectures helped Russell to advance (from April to June 1898) a new theory of judgment according to which judgments relate terms (individuals) which are distinct one from another. Space and time moreover are series of moments and places with external relations between themselves. The discussions Russell had with Moore in May to June 1898 took place only after Russell developed this conception; they did not cause his philosophical turn.
Keywords Keywords: Anthropology   Judgement   G. E. Moore   R. H. Lotze   B. Russell   Space   Time
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.03.004
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