Ideas from 'The Relation of Sense-Data to Physics' by Bertrand Russell [1914], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Mysticism and Logic' by Russell,Bertrand [Unwin 1989,0-04-824021-4]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
Continuity is a sufficient criterion for the identity of a rock, but not for part of a smooth fluid
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Physical things are series of appearances whose matter obeys physical laws
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
We need not deny substance, but there seems no reason to assert it
The assumption by physicists of permanent substance is not metaphysically legitimate
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Where possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / b. Nature of sense-data
Russell held that we are aware of states of our own brain
Sense-data are qualities devoid of subjectivity, which are the basis of science
Sense-data are not mental, but are part of the subject-matter of physics
Sense-data are objects, and do not contain the subject as part, the way beliefs do
No sensibile is ever a datum to two people at once
Sense-data are usually objects within the body, but are not part of the subject
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / c. Unperceived sense-data
We do not know whether sense-data exist as objects when they are not data
Ungiven sense-data can no more exist than unmarried husbands
'Sensibilia' are identical to sense-data, without actually being data for any mind
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
Individuating sense-data is difficult, because they divide when closely attended to
Sense-data may be subjective, if closing our eyes can change them
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / a. Space
There is 'private space', and there is also the 'space of perspectives'
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / i. Modern matter
Matter is the limit of appearances as distance from the object diminishes