In Innovations in the History of Analytical Philosophy. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 229 – 264 (2017)

Alexander Klein
McMaster University
The standard, foundationalist reading of Our Knowledge of the External World requires Russell to have a view of perceptual acquaintance that he demonstrably does not have. Russell’s actual purpose in “constructing” physical bodies out of sense-data is instead to show that psychology and physics are consistent. But how seriously engaged was Russell with actual psychology? I show that OKEW makes some non-trivial assumptions about the character of visual space, and I argue that he drew those assumptions from William James’s Principles. This point helps us take a fresh look at the complex relationship between the two men. In light of this surprising background of agreement, I highlight ways their more general approaches to perception finally diverged in ways that put the two at epistemological odds.
Keywords Bertrand Russell  William James  Spatial Perception  Our Knowledge of the External World  Pragmatism  Early Analytic Philosophy
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Principia Mathematica.Alfred North Whitehead & Bertrand Arthur William Russell - 1910 - Cambridge, England: University Press.
Certainty, a Refutation of Scepticism.Peter D. Klein - 1981 - University of Minnesota Press.
Essays in Experimental Logic.John Dewey - 1916 - Chicago, IL, USA: Dover Publications.

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