Ideas from 'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' by Bertrand Russell [1918], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Russell's Logical Atomism' by Russell,Bertrand (ed/tr Pears,David) [Fontana 1972,-]].

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science
The business of metaphysics is to describe the world
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Reducing entities and premisses makes error less likely
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / a. What makes truths
Facts make propositions true or false, and are expressed by whole sentences
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 8. Making General Truths
Not only atomic truths, but also general and negative truths, have truth-makers [Rami]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 3. Types of Set / c. Unit (Singleton) Sets
Normally a class with only one member is a problem, because the class and the member are identical
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
In a logically perfect language, there will be just one word for every simple object
Romulus does not occur in the proposition 'Romulus did not exist'
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
There are a set of criteria for pinning down a logically proper name [Sainsbury]
You can understand 'author of Waverley', but to understand 'Scott' you must know who it applies to
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive
Treat description using quantifiers, and treat proper names as descriptions [McCullogh]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / e. Empty names
A name has got to name something or it is not a name
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 9. Fictional Mathematics
Numbers are classes of classes, and hence fictions of fictions
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / d. Logical atoms
Russell's new logical atomist was of particulars, universals and facts (not platonic propositions) [Linsky,B]
Russell's atomic facts are actually compounds, and his true logical atoms are sense data [Quine]
Logical atomism aims at logical atoms as the last residue of analysis
Once you have enumerated all the atomic facts, there is a further fact that those are all the facts
Logical atoms aims to get down to ultimate simples, with their own unique reality
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
You can't name all the facts, so they are not real, but are what propositions assert
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
Russell asserts atomic, existential, negative and general facts [Armstrong]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 8. States of Affairs
Modern trope theory tries, like logical atomism, to reduce things to elementary states [Ellis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
'Existence' means that a propositional function is sometimes true
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
Modal terms are properties of propositional functions, not of propositions
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation
Perception goes straight to the fact, and not through the proposition
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / b. Error
The theory of error seems to need the existence of the non-existent
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Russell uses 'propositional function' to refer to both predicates and to attributes [Quine]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Propositions don't name facts, because each fact corresponds to a proposition and its negation
19. Language / D. Propositions / 3. Concrete Propositions
In 1918 still believes in nonlinguistic analogues of sentences, but he now calls them 'facts' [Quine]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 6. Propositions Critique
An inventory of the world does not need to include propositions
I no longer believe in propositions, especially concerning falsehoods
I know longer believe in shadowy things like 'that today is Wednesday' when it is actually Tuesday
19. Language / F. Communication / 4. Private Language
The names in a logically perfect language would be private, and could not be shared
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
You can discuss 'God exists', so 'God' is a description, not a name