By B. Russell

Bertrand Russell is anxious during this publication with the rules of information. He methods his topic via a dialogue of language, the relationships of fact to event and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our figuring out of the constitution of the world.

This variation features a new advent by way of Thomas Baldwin, Clare collage, Cambridge

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Extra resources for An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth

Example text

It might be objected that, when I say “ T om preceded Harry” , this implies “ Tom occurred” and “ Harry occurred” , just as when I said “ the sound ‘A ’ preceded the sound fB* ” , that implied “ ‘A* occurred” and “ ‘B’ occurred” . This, I think, would be a logical error. When I say that an unspecified member o f a class occurred, my statement is significant provided I know what class is meant; but in the case o f a true proper name, the name is meaningless unless it names something, and if it names some­ thing, that something must occur.

The important point, for us, is that we have apparently been led to an atomic form involving six terms, nam dy: “ the proximity of Q to A x and its comparative remoteness from is an occurrence slightly anterior to the proximity o f Q to Bj and its comparative remote­ ness from A / ’. W e are tempted to conclude that we cannot avoid an atomic form o f this degree o f complexity if we are to have sensible evidence o f such a matter as one person handing an object to another person. B ut perhaps this is a mistake.

It is argued that, on the basis o f a single experience, a num ber o f verbal statements are justified. T h e character o f such statements is investigated, and it is contended that they m ust alw ays be confined to matters b elon gin g to the b iograp h y o f the observer; th ey can b e such as “ I see a canoid patch o f colou r” , but not such as “ there is a d o g ” . Statements o f this 21 AN IN Q U IRY INTO M EAN IN G AND TRUTH latter k in d alw ays in v o lv e , in their justification, som e elem ent o f inference.

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