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Philosophy

Bertrand Russell Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bertrand Russell 4, separating language into its logical elements

Fourthly, here is a summary of Russell’s effort to render language down into its atoms of meaning — his ‘logical atomism’ or ‘logical analysis’.  As I understand it, this was done to solve many of the problems of philosophy which had been caused, according to BR, by the failure to unravel the elements of meaning that statements are made of.  This became the basis of the new ‘analytic philosophy’ that…

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Bertrand Russell Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bertrand Russell 3, What is Knowledge?

Thirdly, here is a summary of Russell’s epistemology: his understanding of what knowledge is and how we acquire it. All I have done, in order to understand what BR was saying, is to slightly edit and re-word paragraphs from other sites, to give the nub of what he meant and in plain language.  His epistemology was first published in his The Problems of Philosophy (1912).   From here: Russell wrote that there…

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Bertrand Russell Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bertrand Russell 2, boiling maths down to logic

This is a summary of Russell’s logicism which was his attempt to show that mathematics could be boiled down to logic! That was the substance of his Principia Mathematica  (1910-1913) which he wrote with Whitehead.  That first stark statement of mine may not be absolutely correct but it’s the best I can do.  This post consists merely of excerpts, slightly paraphrased and edited from other sites (except where they are directly…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Philosophers logicking on Identity

(This is a long post which I have been unable to break up.  Take it in stages.)    Philosophers since Plato have worried at what exactly Identity and Personal Identity are. They do this by logicking on the words (or ‘concepts’).  The literal  meaning of ‘identity’ from its Greek origins is ‘sameness’ or ‘state of being the same’.  But this is not enough for philosophers. Identity, or what it is…

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Bernard Williams Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bernard Williams 2: Self-hood, Cogito, Freedom of the Will

Self-hood or Personal Identity. (What I have written here is the same as in my post on Identity, here.; and represents my understanding of BW from here.)    BW  logicked his way through the question of whether Self-hood or Personal Identity belongs to one’s body or one’s mind.  It seems he was speculating on what ordinary people’s intuitions on this matter are, rather than offering a theory of his own. …

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Bernard Williams Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bernard Williams 1: Morality

How did I have the presumption to write a post on Bernard Williams’s Moral Philosophy when I didn’t understand much of what I found on the Web on it?  It was because I still felt a presumption to say something. My major difficulty was a lack of sites in which his logicking was translated for non-philosophers to understand.  Perhaps BW was as yet of too recent a vintage and of…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Structuralism Linguistics

Saussure’s Structuralist Linguistics

I have gone through the numerous articles on Saussure’s Structuralism of Language three times, and been beaten back each time by my disbelief that it could have been taken seriously as science or philosophy. . Structuralism from its beginning seems to me to have been handing out nothing but the most obvious of  truisms.  Saussure, for a start, tells us that things in the world don’t come with the right…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Plato

Plato 1: What precisely were his Forms?

Plato, like all the philosophers who followed him, was an example of human insensibility to human life, of reductionism of human life  and of the sensory experience that forms our lives, of severe abstractionism and generalization. These terms I have used in the above paragraph come straight from F.R. Leavis.  I don’t even understand them completely but they are the closest I have yet found to expressing my exasperation with…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Descartes

Descartes 2: He drops the Cogito

Descartes later cheated on himself by using entirely separate arguments, not deduced from the Cogito, to prove that God did after all exist and that He was not a Great Deceiver who would deceive Descartes about what came to him via his senses.  So Descartes could now accept what his senses told him, and discard Cogito ergo Sum entirely! His arguments that God existed were painfully feeble.  But they gave him…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Descartes

Descartes 1: schoolboy-level philosophizing, the Cogito.

Let me jump to about 1637 AD for another example of the pottiness of Philosophy:  ‘Cogito ergo Sum’ – ‘I think, therefore I am’ – wrote Descartes.    Descartes couldn’t convince himself he existed till it occurred to him that he was thinking!  Therefore he must exist!  Did he really think as an adult person that he couldn’t believe he existed until the logic of words proved it?   He later  changed…

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