Download e-book for kindle: On Denoting by Bertrand Russell

By Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell,18 may well 1872–2 February 1970) used to be a British thinker, truth seeker, mathematician, historian, author, social critic and political activist. At quite a few issues in his lifestyles he thought of himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist. within the early twentieth century, Russell led the British "revolt opposed to idealism".He is taken into account one of many founders of analytic philosophy together with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore, and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. he's commonly held to be one of many twentieth century's foremost logicians.With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an try and create a logical foundation for arithmetic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been thought of a "paradigm of philosophy". His paintings has had a substantial impact on common sense, arithmetic, set conception, linguistics, synthetic intelligence, cognitive technological know-how, and philosophy, in particular the philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.

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Practical tasks carried out by the students are really ‘auto-demonstrations’, so they carry the even stronger 26 RHETORIC AND REALITY implicit message that ‘our understanding, and consequent control of materials and events, is so good that I (the teacher) don’t even have to do it for you but you can do it for yourself. The other implicit message in all of this is the one that Hacking has drawn attention to: that phenomena are not easy to produce. It requires skill to devise a situation which allows a phenomenon to be seen clearly, instead of being masked by other phenomena and processes, as it usually is in a complex situation.

The courses placed a heavy emphasis upon measurement, especially of physical constants. The arguments made for scientific education and for the practical teaching of science within universities in the mid-nineteenth century were readily transferred to, although not readily accepted by, the public and endowed grammar schools. These arguments were set out with particular clarity in a seminal report published in 1867 by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and entitled On the Best Means of Promoting Scientific Education in Schools (BAAS 1868).

So we cannot approach anything and ‘just observe it’; we always bring our own particular set of ‘spectacles’ to the act of observing. This influences what we choose to observe, and our prior ideas also influence what we observe. To say that is not, however, to go so far as to claim (as some have done) that all observations are ‘theory-laden’, and that no clear distinction can therefore be drawn between ‘data’ and ‘explanations’ (or, to use other terms, between ‘evidence’ and ‘theory’). There is, I think, a continuum ranging from observations which are readily agreeable by everyone, and based largely on categories and quantities which are part of everyday nontechnical discourse, to observations which more obviously carry a theoretical ‘load’ (such as the ‘observation’ of an electric current by noting the position of a pointer on an ammeter).

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