The Underlying Presuppositions of Logical Atomism

  • Richard FumertonEmail author
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)


There are all kinds of interesting questions concerning what ultimately motivates logical atomists to conclude that it is both important and possible to analyze all meaningful statements into an ideal language whose key terms refer to logical atoms. It is tempting to think that Russell’s interest in logical atomism is tied closely to his conviction that direct acquaintance is not only the key to understanding direct knowledge but also the key to understanding what I call direct thought. I think a version of that view is correct, but that one should keep distinct the question of how to understand the distinction between direct and indirect thought from more specific ideas about how to locate the objects of direct thought. I’ll try to suggest that there are good reasons for divorcing the idea of direct thought from what I take to be the view that Russell never gave up, the view that the analysis of direct thought involves the idea of direct acquaintance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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