By B. Russell
Bertrand Russell is anxious during this publication with the rules of data. 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 figuring out of the constitution of the world.
This variation contains a new advent by way of Thomas Baldwin, Clare university, Cambridge
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Additional info for An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
T w o parts o f one man’s life m ay have different names; for instance, Abram and Abraham, o r Octavianus and Augustus. “ T he universe” may be regarded as a proper name for the whole o f space-time. W e can give a proper name to very small portions o f space-time, provided they are large enough to be noticed. m. on a given date, we can give a proper name to this noise, or, to be still more particular, to the auditory sensation that some one person present has in hearing me. But even when w e have arrived at this degree o f minuteness, we cannot say that we have named something desti tute of structure.
I f we are to avoid entanglement in questions that are not Enguistic, we must distinguish sentences, not b y the complexity which they may happen to have, but b y that implied in their form. “ Alexander preceded Caesar” is complex owing to the complexity o f Alexander and Caesar; but “ x preceded y ” does not, b y its form, imply that x and y are complex. In fact, since Alexander died before Caesar was bom , every constituent of Alexander preceded every constituent o f Caesar. W e may thus accept “x precedes y ' as an atomic form o f proposition, even i f we cannot actually mention an and a y which give an atomic proposition.
And when we say “ Tom preceded Harry” , where “ Tom” and “ Harry” are names 32 SENTENCES, SYNTAX, AND PARTS OF SPEECH of particular noises, we do not presuppose “ T o m occurred” and “Harry occurred” , which are both strictly meaningless. In practice, proper names are not given to single brief occur rences, because most o f them are not sufficiently interesting. When We have occasion to mention them, w e do so by means o f descriptions such as “ the death o f Caesar” o r “ the birth o f Christ” .