March 7, 2017

An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell

By B. Russell

Bertrand Russell is anxious during this e-book with the rules of data. He ways his topic via a dialogue of language, the relationships of fact to adventure and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our figuring out of the constitution of the world.

This variation encompasses a new advent by way of Thomas Baldwin, Clare university, Cambridge

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B ut perhaps this is a mistake. Consider the propositions: Q 44 SENTENCES, SYNTAX, AND PARTS OF SPEECH is near A 1} Q is far from B j, is simultaneous with Bj, ^ is simultaneous with C l9 A 2 is slightly anterior to Ag, A^ is simul­ taneous with Ba, Bg is simultaneous with Q , Q is near B2, Q is far from A j. This set jof nine propositions is logically equivalent to the one proposition involving A 1? Bj, Q , A*, Ba, Q . The one proposition, therefore, can he an inference, not a datum. There is still a difficulty: “ near” and “ far” are relative terms; in astro­ nomy, Venus is near the earth, but not from the point o f view o f a person handing something to another person.

This, however, implies a certain degree o f benevolence towards your visitor. T o state fact is b y no means always the purpose o f speech} it is just as possible to speak with a view to deceit. ” Thus when we think o f language as a means o f stating facts we are tacitly assum­ ing certain desires in the speaker. It is interesting that language can state facts; it is also interesting that it can state falsehoods. When it states either,' it does so with a view to causing some action in the hearer; if the hearer is a slave, a child, or a dog, the result is achieved more simply b y using the imperative.

Thus when we say to a child “ this is yellow” , what (with luck) we convey to him is: “ this resembles in colour the object which is yellow by definition” . Thus classificatory propositions, or such as assign predicates, would seem to be really propositions assert­ ing similarity. I f so, the simplest propositions are relational. There is, however, a difference between relations that are sym­ metrical and those that are asymmetrical. A relation is symmetrical when, if it holds between x and y , it also holds between y and x\ it is asymmetrical if, when it holds between x and y , it cannot hold between y and x.

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