Advertisement

Logical Atomism in Russell’s Later Works

  • Gülberk Koç Maclean
Chapter
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Abstract

The question I will discuss in this paper is whether and in what sense Bertrand Russell’s later works such as Inquiry into Meaning and Truth (1940) and Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (1948) are logical atomist. Even though logical atomism is preserved as a research method in Russell’s later metaphysical and epistemological works, I will show that logical atomism as a metaphysical thesis is not preserved for the following reasons: (1) In Russell’s later work, the atoms of reality do not include particulars, whereas it is essential to the logical atomist metaphysics that there are unrepeatable atoms as ultimate kinds of reality. (2) The metaphysical structure of simple facts is that universal qualities are in compresence relations; the logical atomist metaphysics, however, requires a metaphysical structure whereby particulars exemplify universal qualities and relations. (3) Furthermore, the metaphysical structure of reality is a causal structure. In contrast, the logical atomist metaphysics requires that the structure of reality is a logical structure. (4) Finally, there are no logical facts in Russell’s later works. The logical atomist ontology, on the other hand, posits logical facts to correspond to true negative propositions, general propositions, and existential propositions.

References

Works by Other Authors

  1. Allaire, Edwin (1963). “Bare Particulars.” In Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings, ed. Michael J. Loux. Routledge, 2008: 114–120.Google Scholar
  2. Bostock, David (2012). Russell’s Logical Atomism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bradley, Francis Herbert (1893). Appearance and Reality: A Metaphysical Essay. Second edition (revised), with an Appendix. First Published 1897. London: Swan Sonneschein & Co. Ltd. 1908.Google Scholar
  4. Engel, Pascal (2006). “Bertrand Russell: An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth.” Central Works of Philosophy, Volume 4: The Twentieth Century: From Moore to Popper, ed. John Shand. Kingston, Canada: McGill-Queens University Press. 134–154.Google Scholar
  5. Goodman, Nelson (1968). “Words, Works, and Worlds,” The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce through the Present, eds. Robert B. Talisse and Scott F. Aikin. Princeton University Press, 2011: 174–187.Google Scholar
  6. Goodman, Nelson (1979). “The New Riddle of Induction,” in Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  7. Koç Maclean, Gülberk (2014). Bertrand Russell’s Bundle Theory of Particulars. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  8. O’Leary-Hawthorne, John (1995). “The Bundle Theory of Substance and the Identity of Indiscernibles.” Analysis 55.3: 191–196.Google Scholar
  9. Soames, Scott (2003). The Philosophical Analysis in the 20th Century Volume 1, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Van Cleve, James (1985). “Three Versions of the Bundle Theory of Particulars.” In Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings, ed. Michael J. Loux. Routledge. 2008: 121–130.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gülberk Koç Maclean
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Royal UniversitySW CalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations