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Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901-1950

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0851247342
ISBN-10: 0851247342
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bertrand Russell Robert Charles Marsh is also at Trinity College.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Spokesman Books (May 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851247342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851247342
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,298,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on May 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book reproduces Russell's famous article 'On Denoting' that appeared in "Mind" in 1905. It provides the earliest account of his theory of descriptions that was later developed in principia mathematica and 'improved' by W.V Quine. (It is however, a dog to read!) It is truly a fundamental work in logical analysis and I recommend it to you all.
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Format: Paperback
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970) was an influential British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and political activist. In 1950, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, in recognition of his many books such as A History of Western Philosophy, The Problems of Philosophy, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, The Analysis of Mind, Our Knowledge of the External World, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, Mysticism and Logic, etc.

Editor Robert Marsh said in the Preface to this 1956 volume, “The ten essays in this volume represent work extending through fifty years in the life of one of the greatest philosophers of our times. All of the essays are representative, and several can be regarded as among the most important of his writings… most of these papers have previously been available only in libraries with unusually full periodical collections, and this in itself would serve as ample justification for reprinting them in book form….
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This book, consisting of some of Bertrand Russell's technical essays on philosophy, epistemology, etc., was a rather engaging read for me. However, much in the book requires considerable knowledge of philosophy in order to be able to fundamentally understand the issues Russell addressed. One particular essay, second from last in the book, is titled "On Order in Time", and it is basically couched in symbolic logic, which is a level of logic beyond my level of technical expertise. Therefore, I chose to entirely skip over that essay. Also, the first essay of the book, "The Logic of Relations" was mainly versed in symbolic logic, and I skipped over most of it. Otherwise, I read every essay in the book, and I found most of them to be of considerable interest to me.

One of my "gripes" against Russell's philosophizing is his repudiation of consciousness

and mind as properties of reality that MUST be reckoned with, if one is going to have a

remotely comprehensive worldview. I have just bought Russell's The Analysis of Mind, but haven't yet begun reading it. However, given Russell's predilection to dismiss mind as (somehow) synonymous with physical brain activity, I'm not anticipating much in his analysis of mind that I'll find enlightening.

Another area of Russell's philosophy that I find to be gravely problematic is his effort to find meaning in language within the structure or form of the language, whereas my understanding of meaning in language is such that meaning is never within the form or structure of the language, but is precisely in the ascription of meaning given to the structured symbolism of the language by a conscious entity. Without consciousness, meaning is an absurd oxymoron.
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I would give 5 stars to Russell's essays but 3 stars to this edition.
This edition contains most of the important/technical papers that russel wrote & are still worth reading for any serious philosophy student. The editor did a great job at selection but his snobbish introductory essays prefacing each russell essay is a complete waste of space & (your) time. The editor should have but didn't bother to update the logical symbols in the 1st russell essay, 'logic of relations', with the result that it would be incomprehensible even to people trained in symbolic logic.
'philosophy of logical atomism', for me anyway, helps me understand wittgenstein's Tractatus, which was otherwise incomprehsible to me.
I didn't make it through 'on denoting'. Who would really care about this important but by now mainly historical essay if you have already learned quantification theory & description theory?
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