The Great Divide

Swiss Philosophical Preprints (2009)

Kevin Mulligan
University of Geneva
At the turn of the century, Russell, Husserl and Couturat singled out Leibniz the logician as an important precursor of the way they thought philosophy should be done. Like their most gifted contemporaries they conceived of philosophy as essentially argumentative and - as Russell put it in a 1911 talk in French - analytic. Unsurprisingly, the search for the best arguments and analyses meant that good philosophy was cosmopolitan. William James and Ernst Mach were read everywhere. James studied Mach and the pupils of Brentano, whom Stout introduced to Cambridge. Moore recognised the deep kinship between his work on ethics and that of Brentano. Russell was influenced by Peano, used and criticised Meinong and was attacked by Poincaré. Pragmatism was subjected to a series of criticisms by realists in German and in English but gradually began to win adherents, for example in Italy, where Vailati and Calderoni introduced both pragmatism and Austrian philosophy of mind.
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