An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell

An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell

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 event and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our knowing of the constitution of the world.

This version incorporates a new creation by way of Thomas Baldwin, Clare collage, Cambridge

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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” .

Some cases are simpler than “ Caesar died” , others are more complex. Suppose I point to a daffodil and say “ this is yellow” ; here “ this” may be taken as the proper name o f a part o f m y present visual field, and “ yellow” may be taken as a class-name. This proposition, so interpreted, is simpler than “ Caesar died” , since it classifies a given object; it is logically 34 SENTENCES, SYNTAX, AND PARTS OF SPEECH analogous to “ this is a death” . W e have to be able to know such propositions before w e can know that two classes have a common member, which is what is asserted b y “ Caesar died” .

It is therefore possible to amalgamate w ritten and read w o rd s, substituting fo r each a material object — a m ound o f in k, as N eu rath says— w hich is a w ritten or printed w o rd accord in g to circum stances. T h e distinction betw een w ritin g and reading is o f course im portant, b u t alm ost everyth in g that needs to b e said about it can b e said in connection w ith the difference betw een speakin g and hearing. A g iv e n w o rd , sa y “ d o g ” , m ay b e uttered, heard, w ritten, o r read b y m an y people o n m an y occasions.

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