[Inquiry] Re: Russell -- Philosophy Of Logical Atomism

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Thu Aug 7 15:48:31 CDT 2003


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POLA.  Note 7

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| 1.  Facts and Propositions (cont.)
|
| It is important to observe that facts belong to the objective world.
| They are not created by our thought or beliefs except in special cases.
| That is one of the sort of things which I should set up as an obvious truism,
| but, of course, one is aware, the moment one has read any philosophy at all,
| how very much there is to be said before such a statement as that can become
| the kind of position that you want.  The first thing I want to emphasize is
| that the outer world -- the world, so to speak, which knowledge is aiming
| at knowing -- is not completely described by a lot of "particulars", but
| that you must also take account of these things that I call facts, which
| are the sort of things that you express by a sentence, and that these,
| just as much as particular chairs and tables, are part of the real world.
| Except in psychology, most of our statements are not intended merely to
| express our condition of mind, though that is often all that they succeed
| in doing.  They are intended to express facts, which (except when they are
| psychological facts) will be about the outer world.  There are such facts
| involved, equally when we speak truly and when we speak falsely.  When we
| speak falsely it is an objective fact that makes what we say false, and
| it is an objective fact which makes what we say true when we speak truly.
|
| Russell, POLA, pp. 41-42.
|
| Bertrand Russell, "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism", pp. 35-155
| in 'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism', edited with an introduction
| by David Pears, Open Court, La Salle, IL, 1985.  First published 1918.

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