Russell. N.s. Vol. 35, no. 1. Summer 2015

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
Nicholas Griffin“Russell’s Neutral Monist Theory of Desire”
ABSTRACT: Russell’s theory of desire in The Analysis of Mind is subject to a seemingly overwhelming objection, apparently stated first by Wittgenstein and subsequently elaborated even more compellingly by Anthony Kenny. The puzzle is that, before he became a neutral monist, Russell had used essentially the same argument as part of a critique of William James’s theory of knowledge. Since Russell had already formulated the argument as part of his case against generally naturalistic, and specifically neutral monist, theories of propositional attitudes, why did he think his own neutral monist theory of desire was exempt? I canvass various suggestions, but argue that none of them are effective.
Richard McDonough“Monk on Russell’s Heart of Darkness”
ABSTRACT: The paper argues that Russell’s fascination with Conrad’s Heart of Darkness reveals a positive aspect of Russell’s character neglected by Monk’s biography. Section 1 sketches some of the darker aspects of Russell’s character. §2 outlines the relevant themes in Heart of Darkness. §3 argues that Russell’s fascination both with Conrad and his novel derives from his resolute commitment to a painful exercise in self-knowledge. §4 explains the more positive perspective on Russell’s “strength of mind” that emerges from this argument.
Andrew Lugg“Russell and Wittgenstein on Incongruent Counterparts and Incompatible Colours”
ABSTRACT: Russell (in Principles of Mathematics) and Wittgenstein (in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus) largely agree on the twin questions of why pairs of congruent objects cannot always be made to coincide and why surfaces can never be uniformly two colours at once. Both philosophers take space and colour to be mathematically representable, construe the relevant impossibilities as mathematical and hold that mathematical impossibility is at root logical. It is not by chance that Russell says nothing about the phenomena in his Introduction to the Tractatus or surprising that Wittgenstein was unmoved by the objection that his account of colour incompatibility puts paid to his early philosophy.
Rebecca Keller and Jonathan Westphal“What Does Russell’s Argument against Naive Realism Prove?”
ABSTRACT: We provide a study of Russell’s argument (in An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth) against naive realism in which we distinguish five different forms of the argument. We agree with McLendon’s (1956) criticism, that Russell’s premiss that naive realism leads to physics (our emphasis) is ambiguous as between “leads historically or psychologically” and “leads logically”. However, physics does logically lead to naive realism, in the sense that it presupposes it. In that case it is physics that is false. There is also the possibility that physics and naive realism are compatible, and that possibility obtains if phenomenalism is true.
Kenneth Blackwell“Russell’s Personal Shorthand”
Graham StevensReview of Nicholas Griffin and Bernard Linsky, eds., The Palgrave Centenary Companion to Principia Mathematica
Patrick DeaneReview of Robert Colls, George Orwell: English Rebel
Chris PincockReview of William Demopoulos, Logicism and Its Philosophical Legacy
Sheila TurconReview of Constance Malleson, The Coming Back

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The text for this page was prepared at McMaster University and maintained by Arlene Duncan. Last updated 16 November 2015.