David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 151 (1):99 - 124 (2006)
Bertrand Russell’s 1903 masterpiece The Principles of Mathematics places great emphasis on the need to separate propositions from psychological items such as thoughts. In 1919 (and until the end of his career) Russell explicitly retracts this view, however, and defines propositions as “psychological occurrences”. These psychological occurrences are held by Russell to be mental images. In this paper, I seek to explain this radical change of heart. I argue that Russell’s re-psychologising of the proposition in 1919 can only be understood against the background of his struggle with the problem of the unity of the proposition in earlier work. Once this is recognized, and the solution to the problem offered by the 1919 theory is appreciated, new light is also shed on Russell’s naturalism. I go on to compare Russell’s psychological “picture theory” with the vehemently anti-psychological picture theory of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and suggest that, once the background of the dispute is brought into clearer focus, Russell’s position can be seen to have many advantages over its more celebrated rival.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Sean Crawford (2014). Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes? Philosophical Studies 168 (1):179-210.
Similar books and articles
B. Brogaard (2006). The 'Gray's Elegy' Argument, and the Prospects for the Theory of Denoting Concepts. Synthese 152 (1):47 - 79.
Gregory Landini (1998). Russell's Hidden Substitutional Theory. Oxford University Press.
Kevin C. Klement, Russell-Myhill Paradox. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Anssi Korhonen (2009). Russell's Early Metaphysics of Propositions. Prolegomena 8 (2):159-192.
Stewart Candlish & Nic Damnjanovic (2012). The 'Tractatus' and the Unity of the Proposition. In Jl Zalabardo (ed.), Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Peter W. Hanks (2007). How Wittgenstein Defeated Russell's Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment. Synthese 154 (1):121 - 146.
Sajahan Miah (2006). Russell's Theory of Perception 1905-1919. New York: Continuum.
Graham Stevens (2004). From Russell's Paradox to the Theory of Judgement: Wittgenstein and Russell on the Unity of the Proposition. Theoria 70 (1):28-61.
Graham Stevens (2003). The Truth and Nothing but the Truth, yet Never the Whole Truth: Frege, Russell and the Analysis of Unities. History and Philosophy of Logic 24 (3):221-240.
Graham Stevens (2008). Russell and the Unity of the Proposition. Philosophy Compass 3 (3):491–506.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #50,188 of 1,410,178 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #75,846 of 1,410,178 )
How can I increase my downloads?