Bertrand russell, on denoting, the analytic tradition, spring 2017. The philosophy of logical atomism 1918 1 1 facts and propositions 1 2 particulars, predicates, and relations 15 3 atomic and molecular propositions 32 4 propositions and facts with more than one verb. The contrast between descriptions and names the main reading i gave you was russells 1919 paper, descriptions, which is in some ways clearer than his classic exposition of the theory of descriptions, which. By denoting phrase i mean a phrase such as any one of the following. In the case of indefinite descriptions, russell argues that to define an indefinite description and thus assign it meaning would require specifying a definite object it describes. Why i am not a christian bertrand russell natural thinker. Taylor the concern for simplicity is a unifying theme in much of bertrand russells philosophical works. A prolific writer, he was also a populariser of philosophy and a commentator on a large variety of topics. You may copy it, give it away or reuse it under the terms of the project gutenberg license included with this ebook or online at.
Bertrand arthur william russell 18721970 was a british philosopher, logician, essayist and social critic best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. Metaphysics is not a school or tradition but rather a subdiscipline within philosophy, as are ethics, logic and epistemology. In 1905, bertrand russell argued that certain logical puzzles are solved if definite descriptions are treated as quantified expressions rather than referential expression, as frege had thought. Abstract despite its enormous popularity, russells theory of definite descriptions has received various criticisms. He wrote original philosophy on dozens of subjects, but his most important work was in logic, mathematical philosophy, and analytic philosophy. Pdf russells theory of definite descriptions researchgate. Russells theory of descriptions lawrence university. He employs cartesian radical doubt in the beginning as he concentrates on our knowledge of the physical world. Throughout his life, russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also sometimes suggested that his sceptical nature had led him to.
Bertrand russell s theory of descriptions rtd can be appreciated against the background of russell s view about the connections between language and the world, although this view is not itself a part of the theory. Project gutenbergs the problems of philosophy, by bertrand russell this ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. The power of freges logic to dispel philosophical problems was immediately recognized. Tiie object of the following, paper is to consider what it is that we know in cases wlhere we know propositions. Two of the most important objections against this theory are those arising from the argument from incompleteness and the argument from donnellans distinction. Tagged as analytic, bertrand russell, descriptions, philosophy, philosophy of language.
In bertrand russells hands, for example, the analysis of descriptions became a powerful tool for executing important epistemological and metaphysical projects. Russell delivered this lecture on march 6, 1927 to the national secular society, south london branch, at battersea town hall. So, none of the above criticisms poses a genuine threat to russells theory of definite descriptions. In praise of idleness bertrand russell like most of my generation, i was brought up on the saying. Education and the social order by bertrand russell in chm, djvu, fb3 download ebook. His contributions to logic, epistemology, and the philosophy of. In the novel through the lookingglass by lewis carroll, the messenger says he passed nobody on the road, and he is met with the observation. Philosophy of language philosophy of language russells theory of descriptions. The origins of russells theory of descriptions scholarly journal.
In short, russell argued that the syntactic form of descriptions phrases that took the form of the aardvark and an aardvark is misleading, as it does not correlate their logical and. As usual, such dry descriptions tell only half the story. Introduction to mathematical philosophy bertrand russell. Whoeverconsidersconception,gestation,andinfancycannot. Pdf the proper statement and assessment of russells theory depends on. Russell sprouts born into a liberal and influential family of the british aristocracy often contemplated suicide educated by tutors 3. A description may be of two sorts, definite and indefinite or ambig uous. Curiously, russell omits proper names, but he would count them as.
The contrast between descriptions and names the main reading i gave you was russell s 1919 paper, descriptions, which is in some ways clearer than his classic exposition of the theory of descriptions, which. The ghost of madness 19211970 the free press, 2001. Being a highly virtuous child, i believed all that i was told, and acquired a conscience which has kept. Bertrand russell, british philosopher and logician, founding figure in the analytic movement in angloamerican philosophy, and recipient of the 1950 nobel prize for literature. Bertrand russell biography bertrand arthur william russell, 3rd earl russell, om, frs 18 may 1872 2 february 1970, was an influential british logician, philosopher, and mathematician, working mostly in the 20th century. Bertrand arthur william russell, 3rd earl russell om frs 18 may 1872 2 february 1970, was a british philosopher, logician, and mathematician. Russells theory of descriptions thomas c ryckman bertrand russells theory of descriptions rtd can be appreciated against the background of russells view about the connections between language and the world, although this view is not itself a part of the theory. He was a nobel prize winner for literature and was imprisoned several times as a result of his pacifism. Bertrand arthur william russell, 3rd earl russell, om frs 18 may 1872 2 february 1970 was a british philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and nobel laureate. Freges basic law 5 for any concepts, f and g, the extension of f. Bertrand russell books biography and list of works. Bertrand russell uses an analytic method to make distinctions concerning our judgments about reality.
Russell thinks this first part of his theory is a virtue because it is supposed to explain how discourse about nonexistent entities is possible. A free mans worship first published as the free mans worship in dec. Education and the social order by bertrand russell pdf. Definite descriptions refers to a particular object, which occurs in the world a name is a simple symbol, which occurs as a subject by itself a name has no meaning there are 2 types of names.
His most influential contributions include his championing of logicism the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic, his refining of. The theory of descriptions is the philosopher bertrand russells most significant contribution to the philosophy of language. Bertrand russell a history of western philosophy and its connection with political and social circumstances from the earliest times to the present day simon and schuster, new york all rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form copyright, 1945, by bertrand russell published by simon and. The problems of philosophy advances an epistemological theory and a discussion of truth. Bertrand russell stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Melvyn bragg and his guests discuss the influential british philosopher bertrand russell. Reprinted by permission of the bertrand russell peace foundation. In bertrand russells hands, for example, the analysis of descriptions became a powerful tool for executing important epistemological and. Bertrand russell, from the english school of clever chaps the stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy describes bertrand arthur william russell 18721970 as a british philosopher, logician, essayist and social critic best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. Referential uses of descriptions raise familiar problems for the theory. In bertrand russell s hands, for example, the analysis of descriptions became a powerful tool for executing important epistemological and metaphysical projects. The latter two theories connection with simplicityconsiderations.
The theory of descriptions is the philosopher bertrand russell s most significant contribution to the philosophy of language. Kenneth blackwell, of the bertrand russell archivesresearch center, mcmaster university, contributed to the project in a major way by not only errorchecking the bulk of. Its mood and language have often been explained, even by. It is also known as russell s theory of descriptions commonly abbreviated as rtd. A free mans worship by bertrand russell a brief introduction. An explication of bertrand russells solutions to the puzzles of the bald king of france and the problem of negative existentials through the use of. Consider, for instance, the hoary problem of nonbeing. Bertrand russell 18721970 was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century and the greatest logician since aristotle. In early 2009, i began a project to make russells introduction to mathematical philosophy available free online.
Born in 1872 into an aristocratic family, russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of analytic. Philosophy of language russells theory of descriptions. Bertrand russell was born in 1872 and died in 1970. In the case of the soul, this is obvious from the facts ofgrowth. Russells theory of definite descriptions philosophy of.
On denoting denoting phrases russell includes all kinds of quantified subject phrases a man, every man, some man etc. Russells theory of descriptions university of notre dame. One of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, he transformed philosophy and can lay claim to being one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Since then, philosophers and, more recently, linguists have debated the relevance of this paradigm to the study of the semantics of natural language.151 1522 1188 1577 1199 803 1026 28 680 461 1504 121 499 232 170 306 887 42 561 703 1545 882 1429 852 103 613 55 1497 1357 1226 991 535 595 193 322