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The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (Open Court Classics) Paperback – March 19, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0875484433 ISBN-10: 0875484433 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Open Court Classics
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company; New edition edition (March 19, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875484433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875484433
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,117,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). A celebrated mathematician and logician, Russell was and remains one of the most genuinely widely read and popular philosophers of modern times.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stuart W. Mirsky on February 1, 2006
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Bertrand Russell, one of the fathers of modern analytical philosophy, started out under the influence of the presiding English philosophical metaphysician of his day, the Hegelian F. H. Bradley. But he soon found himself in opposition to the kind of "monist" thinking Bradley exemplified. Russell made his major contributions to philosophy early on in the field of symbolic logic, which he all but revolutionized, and in the philosophy of mathematics, when he applied a logicist approach to establishing the fundamentals of mathematics in a joint effort with Alfred North Whitehead.

But Russell is not well remembered or studied today for this work though he lived a very long life thereafter and was much in the public eye as a peace activist, outspoken atheist (and some time agnostic) and all around spokesman for progressive ideas. What Russell is especially well known for in philosophical circles, however, is his role as teacher and mentor to the even more controversial and philosophically influential Viennese transplant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Cambridge philosopher who supplanted him and whose work helped undermine the logical foundations Russell had built for mathematics.

Wittgenstein first sought Russell out when, as an engineering student in England, he became fascinated by Russell's work. After their initial meeting Wittgenstein became his student and, at least at the outset, Russell's designated successor. It was during his time with Russell that Wittgenstein developed ideas, under Russell's tutelage, which were to influence Russell himself and, as Russell notes repeatedly in this book, became the source for Russell's own new philosophy of logical atomism.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Farffleblex Plaffington on October 23, 1997
This brief work serves as a fine introduction to the academic Russell for those curious about what distinguishes him among philosophers of the twentieth century and/or for those chiefly familiar with his "popular" works, such as "Why I Am Not a Christian" and "Marriage and Morals."

While Philosophy of Logical Atomism certainly does not cover his academic philosophy in depth, and it contains a number of points that he later amended (this is true of much of his academic philosophy), it is a good starting point for the Russell initiate as he can be a very difficult read in other academic texts.

The Theory of Descriptions and the Theory of Types are both presented here. The Theory of Descriptions in its "indefinite" and "definite" form (as opposed to its presence as only the Definite Theory of Descriptions in Principia Mathematica).

Anyone with a serious interest in analytical philosophy should be familiar with this material, and at the very least, the Philosophy of Logical Atomism will defintely tell you who wrote Waverly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Luth on January 4, 2011
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When I finally opened this book to read Russell's essays (beginning on p. 35), the binding immediately cracked and the next page came loose...not exactly what I was looking for when I bought the book.

You can read all of the essays in this book, and other related ones as well, in "Logic And Knowledge" -- I would recommend that route ...
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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, Mysticism and Logic, Why I am Not a Christian, Religion and Science, The Analysis of Mind, Our Knowledge of the External World, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 188-page Open Court paperback edition.]

This book contains a series of lectures given in the winter of 1917-1918; they were first published in The Monist in 1918, then reprinted in Logic and Knowledge in 1956. A 1924 essay called “Logical Atomism” is added at the end of the book.
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By A Customer on October 14, 1998
An excellent short introduction to the philosophy of logical atomism. The lectures should be read along with Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Russell's logical atomism differs significantly from Wittgenstein's version of the theory but both share certain key features which make the theory distinctive. Those who enjoy "mathematical Philosophy" will not be disappointed.
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