By Paul J. Hager (auth.)
The basic view of Russell's paintings among philosophers has been that repeat edly, in the course of his lengthy and amazing profession, an important alterations of brain on enjoyable damental issues have been major sufficient to reason him to successively undertake a range of notably new philosophical positions. therefore Russell is noticeable to have embraced after which deserted, among others, neo-Hegelianism, Platonic re alism, phenomenalism and logical atomism, earlier than settling eventually on a sort of impartial monism that philosophers have regularly came upon to be great. This view of Russell is captured in C. D. Broad's well-known comment that "Mr. Russell professional duces a unique approach of philosophy each few years . . . " (Muirhead, 1924: 79). Reflecting this photo of Russell constantly altering his place, books and papers on Russell's philosophy have usually belonged to at least one of 2 types. both they've got targeting specific classes of his inspiration which are taken to be in particular major, or, accepting the view of his successive conversion to dis tinctly varied philosophical positions, they've got supplied a few account of every of those supposedly disconnected sessions of his suggestion. whereas a lot strong paintings has been performed on Russell's philosophy, this framework has had its boundaries, the most one being that it conceals the fundamental continuity at the back of his thought.
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Extra info for Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s Philosophy
Sense-data. On the narrow interpretation analysis finishes up at the simples (or at least what are then currently taken to be simples). However, for the broad interpretation analysis is not yet complete. The desk as a physical object is not replaced by sense-data simpliciter, but rather by a special compound arrangement of sense-data. e. a collection of sense-data having definite relations to one another. Thus, on the broad interpretation, analysis finishes at a complex composed of simples identified during the analysis.
I find that by fixity of attention divisions and distinctions appear where none at first was visible, just as through a microscope you can see the bacilli in impure water which without the microscope are not discernible. There are many who decry analysis, but it has seemed to me evident, as in the case of the impure water, that analysis gives new knowledge without destroying any of the previously existing knowledge. This applies not only to the structure of physical things, but quite as much to concepts.
Iii) Analysis leads to premises that are decreasingly self-evident. This point is emphatically made in I and P, however we need to beware of a certain confusion that results from ambiguity of the word 'simple' and the use Russell makes of it on different occasions. 1. Characteristics of RusselJian results and premisses Results (or data) Premisses More complex (B, C, D, E, F) Relatively concrete (E) Common knowledge (D, E, F) Vague (D, F, G, J, N, P, Q) Logically interdependent (F, L) More obvious (G, I) Undeniable (C, G) Inexact and approximate (D, J) Indubitable (N, P) Puzzling (N) Confused (B) Self-evident (A) Ambiguous (G) Simpler (B, C, E, F, I) Abstract (E) Precise (F, G, P) Logically independent (F, L) Less obvious (I) Definite (G) Dubitable (K, P) Clear(B, G) This greatly assists in our understanding of the claim that the premisses are less self-evident than the results.