Russell. N.s. Vol. 20, no. 1. Summer 2000

Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies is published by The Bertrand Russell Research Centre, McMaster University. For ordering information, including prices, see the back issues table.

Editor's Notes
F.A. Rodriguez-Consuegra"Frege, Peano and Russell on Descriptions: a Comparison"
ABSTRACT: The main thesis of this paper is that some of the most important ideas and symbolic devices that made Russell's theory of descriptions possible were already present in writings by Frege and especially Peano that Russell knew well. The paper contains a detailed comparison between the relevant parts of Russell's theory--including manuscripts recently published--and some of Frege and Peano's insights, as well as a discussion of numerous possible objections that could be posed to the main claim. Even if Russell was not actually influenced by those insights, the parallelism is close enough to be worth analyzing, especially in the case of Peano, whose writings are not very well known.
Charles Sayward"Remarks on Peano Arithmetic"
ABSTRACT: Russell held that the theory of natural numbers could be derived from three primitive concepts: number, successor and zero. This leaves out multiplication and addition. Russell introduces these concepts by recursive definition. It is argued that this does not render addition or multiplication any less primitive than the other three. To this it might be replied that any recursive definition can be transformed into a complete or explicit definition with the help of a little set theory. But that is a point about set theory, not number theory. We have learned more about the distinction between logic and set theory than was known in Russell's day, especially as this affects logicist aspirations.
Audre Jean Brokes"Semantic Empiricism and Direct Acquaintance in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism"
ABSTRACT: In The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Russell defends a version of semantic empiricism according to which direct acquaintance with logical atoms is the source of our semantic capacities. Previous commentators have construed Russellian acquaintance in one of two ways: either as an act of de re designation involving neither conceptualization nor propositional content, or as a species of belief de re, which does involve conceptualization or classification. I argue that two further, interim possibilities have been overlooked: that direct acquaintance involves purely phenomenal content or that direct acquaintance involves protoconceptual content. I conclude, however, that on none of the four interpretations considered, can direct acquaintance with logical atoms be the source of our semantic capacities.
Nicholas Griffin"The Bertrand Russell Research Centre"
ABSTRACT: The creation, components and mission of The Bertrand Russell Research Centre ("BRRC") at McMaster University are described. The components are Russell, the Russell Editorial Project's Collected Papers and Russell-l. Plans are being laid to incorporate other activities relevant to Russell Studies.
Louis GreenspanReview of Thom Weidlich, Appointment Denied: the Inquisition of Bertrand Russell
Nicholas GriffinReview of Gary Ostertag, ed., Definite Descriptions: a Reader
Ray PerkinsReview of S. Jack Odell, On Russell
Peter StoneReview of Bart Schultz, ed., "The Social and Political Philosophy of Bertrand Russell", Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Stefan AnderssonReview of Gunnar Fredriksson, Wittgenstein; Svante Nordin, Filosofernas Krig

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