New PDF release: An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth

By B. Russell

ISBN-10: 0415136008

ISBN-13: 9780415136006

Bertrand Russell is worried during this booklet with the rules of information. He methods his topic via a dialogue of language, the relationships of fact to adventure and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our realizing of the constitution of the world.

This variation contains a new advent by means of Thomas Baldwin, Clare university, Cambridge

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Example text

Then we can say “ Tom and D ick are A Y \ W e can say “ I said Tom ” but not “ I said ‘Tom ’ ” . Strictly, we ought not to say “ I said ‘A* ” ; we ought to say “I said an ‘A ’ A ll this illus­ trates a general principle, that when we use a general term, such as “ A ” or “ man” , w e are not having in our minds a universal, but an instance to which the present instance is similar. When we say “ I said ‘A ’ ” , what we really mean is “ I made a noise closely similar to the noise I am now about to make: *A* ” .

My present problem is this: can w e state anything equivalent to the above in terms w hich are not concerned w ith language, but with events? It would seem that we are concerned w ith a characteristic o f temporal relations, and yet, when w e try to state what this characteristic is, we appear to be driven to stating a characteristic o f sentences about temporal relations. A n d w hat applies to temporal relations applies equally to all other asym ­ metrical relations. W hen I hear the sentence “ Brutus killed C aesar” , I perceive the time-order o f the w ords; if I did not, I could not k n o w that I had heard that sentence and not “ Caesar killed Brutus” .

Suppose I say first “ A ” and then “ B ” ; you may judge: “ the sound ‘A ’ preceded the sound ‘B’ ” . But this implies “the sound ‘A ’ occurred” and “ the sound ‘B’ occurred” , and adds that one occurrence was earlier than the other. Your statement, therefore, is really analogous to such a statement as “ after I went out I got wet” . It is a mole­ cular statement whose atoms are “ A occurred” and “ B occurred” . N ow what do we mean by “ A occurred” ? W e mean that there was a noise o f a certain class, the class called “ A ” .

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An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell


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