Soames on the metaphysics and epistemology of Moore and Russell [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 129 (3):627–635 (2006)
A critical discussion of selected chapters of the first volume of Scott Soames’s Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century. It is argued that this volume falls short of the minimal standards of scholarship appropriate to a work that advertises itself as a history, and, further, that Soames’s frequent heuristic simplifications and distortions, since they are only sporadically identified as such, are more likely confuse than to enlighten the student. These points are illustrated by reference to Soames’s discussions of Russell’s logical system and the place of the theory of descriptions in his ontological development. It is then argued that Soames’s interpretation of the point of G.E. Moore’s famous “proof” of an external world, while not straightforwardly undermined by the textual evidence, is nonetheless questionable, and plausibly overlooks what is novel in Moore’s discussion. This, it is argued, in his attempt to offer a common sense “refutation of idealism”, rather than (as is more commonly supposed) an anti-skeptical argument “from differential certainty”.
Keywords Soames  Russell  Moore  ontology  external world  theory of descriptions  Meinong  descriptions  proof of an external world
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 20,866
External links
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

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bryan Pickel (2013). Russell on Incomplete Symbols. Philosophy Compass 8 (10):909-923.
Michael Kremer (2008). Soames on Russell's Logic: A Reply. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):209 - 212.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

69 ( #62,019 of 1,907,142 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #199,337 of 1,907,142 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.