© 2018

The Philosophy of Logical Atomism

A Centenary Reappraisal

  • Landon D. C. Elkind
  • Gregory Landini


  • Offers a comprehensive critical survey of issues of historical interpretation and evaluation of the logical atomism lectures and logical atomism itself

  • Fills this gap in the scholarly literature on Bertrand Russell and the importance and the impact of the lectures on Russell’s contemporaries and on subsequent analytic philosophy

  • Taps into a fruitful, constant, and ongoing discussion among scholars on the merits of Russell's theory on logical atomism


Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. History of Russell’s Logical Atomism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Landon D. C. Elkind
      Pages 3-37
    3. Gregory Landini
      Pages 39-67
    4. Gülberk Koç Maclean
      Pages 69-90
  3. Influences on Russell’s Logical Atomism

  4. Metaphysics: Fundamentality and Negative Facts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Bernard Linsky
      Pages 181-197
    3. Katarina Perovic´
      Pages 199-218
  5. Language: The Theory of Judgment and Descriptivism

  6. Epistemology: Acquaintance and Analysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-261
    2. David Fisher, David Charles McCarty
      Pages 263-289
    3. Richard Fumerton
      Pages 291-304
    4. James Levine
      Pages 305-334

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive critical survey of issues of historical interpretation and evaluation in Bertram Russell's 1918 logical atomism lectures and logical atomism itself. These lectures record the culmination of Russell's thought in response to discussions with Wittgenstein on the nature of judgment and philosophy of logic and with Moore and other philosophical realists about epistemology and ontological atomism, and to Whitehead and Russell’s novel extension of revolutionary nineteenth-century work in mathematics and logic.  Russell's logical atomism lectures have had a lasting impact on analytic philosophy and on Russell's contemporaries including Carnap, Ramsey, Stebbing, and Wittgenstein. Comprised of 19 original essays, this book will demonstrate how the direct and indirect influence of these lectures thus runs deep and wide.


Bertrand Russell logical atomism empiricism neutral monism centenary lectures

Editors and affiliations

  • Landon D. C. Elkind
    • 1
  • Gregory Landini
    • 2
  1. 1.University of IowaIowa City, IAUSA
  2. 2.University of IowaIowa City, IAUSA

About the editors

Gregory Landini is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, USA. He is the author of four books on the founding figures of analytic philosophy, including the groundbreaking Russell's Hidden Substitutional Theory in 1998 - explaining how the early substitutional logic of Russell’s type-free ontology of propositions, which was planned for his never realized second volume of The Principles of Mathematics (1903) evolved into the “no-propositions” simple type formal grammar of Principia Mathematica (1910). It’s sequel, Wittgenstein’s Apprenticeship with Russell (2007) argues that Wittgenstein’s Tractarian doctrines were offered in alliance with Russell’s 1914 program for scientific method in philosophy with an emulation of Principia’s logic as its essence. Together with his book Russell (2010), all three earned Bertrand Russell Society Book Awards. The fourth book, Frege’s Notations: What they are and how they mean (2012) is in Palgrave Macmillan’s History of Analytic Philosophy Series. Landini has written many scholarly articles on Russell, including “Whitehead’s (Badly) Emended Principia” and “Typos of Principia Mathematica” in History and Philosophy of Logic, “Russellian Facts About the Slingshot” in Axiomathes, and “Zermelo and Russell’s Paradox: Is There a Universal Set?” and “Logicism and the Problem of Infinity: The Number of Numbers” in Philosophia Mathematica. He is a director of the Bertrand Russell Society.

Landon D. C. Elkind is a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Iowa, USA. He is treasurer of the Bertrand Russell Society and of the Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy. His dissertation, In Defense of Logical Atomism, concerns both the necessary features of the underlying logic of logical atomism and what doctrines are essential to logical atomism, especially in light of its historical development.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Philosophy of Logical Atomism
  • Book Subtitle A Centenary Reappraisal
  • Editors Landon D. C. Elkind
    Gregory Landini
  • Series Title History of Analytic Philosophy
  • Series Abbreviated Title History of Analytic Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-94363-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-40487-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-94364-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXVII, 343
  • Number of Illustrations 16 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Logic
    Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site