Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (3):pp. 493-494 (2008)
Although everyone knows that Russell had an immense influence upon Wittgenstein's early philosophy, the degree to which Wittgenstein is either adopting or renouncing Russell's views is still largely a matter of dispute. Recent commentators have been in nearly univocal agreement that the Tractatus should be understood as a rejection of Russell's philosophy, and that Wittgenstein was instead more influenced by the "great works of Frege." In his earlier work, Gregory Landini has proposed a more nuanced way to understand Russell than is commonly assumed. In his new book, Landini directs his attention at re-thinking Wittgenstein's early philosophy in light of his revolutionary interpretation of Russell.Too often Russell is read backwards, as it were; that is, his views in later published works are assimilated back into Principia Mathematica. And this leads commentators to interpret the Tractatus as criticizing views which Russell simply did not hold. Two "dogmas" that are commonly perpetuated about Russell are: first, that Principia features a ramified type-theory of entities; and second, that logical atomism is a theory of reductive empiricism, grounded upon "knowledge by acquaintance."
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