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Single Idea 21552

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis]

Full Idea

I am persuaded that common speech is full of vagueness and inaccuracy, and that any attempt to be precise and accurate requires modification of common speech both as regards vocabulary and as regards syntax.

Gist of Idea

Common speech is vague; its vocabulary and syntax must be modified, for precision


Bertrand Russell (Mr Strawson on Referring [1957], p.123)

A Reaction

It is interesting that he cites the syntax of ordinary language, as well as the vocabulary. The implication is that vagueness can also be a feature of syntax (and hence his pursuit of logical form), which is not normally mentioned

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Essays in Analysis', ed/tr. Lackey,Douglas [George Braziller 1973], p.123