Russellian Acquaintance and Frege’s Puzzle

Mind 126 (502):321-370 (2017)

Authors
Donovan Wishon
University of Mississippi
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that a number of recent Russell interpreters, including Evans, Davidson, Campbell, and Proops, mistakenly attribute to Russell what I call ‘the received view of acquaintance’: the view that acquaintance safeguards us from misidentifying the objects of our acquaintance. I contend that Russell’s discussions of phenomenal continua cases show that he does not accept the received view of acquaintance. I also show that the possibility of misidentifying the objects of acquaintance should be unsurprising given underappreciated aspects of Russell’s overall theory of knowledge and acquaintance. Finally, I consider the radical impact that Russell’s actual views on acquaintance have for our understanding of his well-known George IV case in ‘On Denoting’. In particular, I argue that Russell’s treatment of the George IV case is not a one-size-fits-all solution to Frege’s Puzzle and provides no support for the received view of acquaintance.
Keywords Bertrand Russell  Knowledge by Acquaintance  Frege's Puzzle  Philosophy of Language  Phenomenal Continua
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv193
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References found in this work BETA

Perception and Sense Data.Gary Hatfield - 2013 - In Michael Beaney (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytical Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 948-974.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Russellian Arguments for Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):461-474.
Sidgwick’s Legacy? Russell and Moore on Meaning and Philosophical Inquiry.Sébastien Gandon - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 6 (1).

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