Ideas from 'The Analysis of Mind' by Bertrand Russell [1921], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Analysis of Mind' by Russell,Bertrand [Routledge 1995,0-415-09097-0]].

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12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / a. Sense-data theory
In 1921 Russell abandoned sense-data, and the gap between sensation and object
                        Full Idea: In 'The Analysis of Mind' Russell gave up talk of 'sense-data', and ceased to distinguish between the act of sensing and what is sensed.
                        From: report of Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921]) by A.C. Grayling - Russell Ch.2
                        A reaction: This seems to lead towards the modern 'adverbial' account of sensing, where I don't sense 'data', but where qualia (such as redness) are our particular mode of directly perceiving objects, where insects might directly perceive them in a different mode.
Seeing is not in itself knowledge, but is separate from what is seen, such as a patch of colour
                        Full Idea: Undeniably, knowledge comes through seeing, but it is a mistake to regard the mere seeing itself as knowledge; if we are so to regard it, we must distinguish the seeing from what is seen; a patch of colour is one thing, and our seeing it is another.
                        From: Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921], Lec. VIII)
                        A reaction: This is Russell's 1921 explanation of why he adopted sense-data (but he rejects them later in this paragraph). This gives a simplistic impression of what he intended, which has three components: the object, the 'sensibile', and the sense-datum.
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
We cannot assume that the subject actually exists, so we cannot distinguish sensations from sense-data
                        Full Idea: If we are to avoid a perfectly gratuitous assumption, we must dispense with the subject as one of the actual ingredients of the world; but when we do this, the possibility of distinguishing the sensation from the sense-datum vanishes.
                        From: Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921], Lec. VIII)
                        A reaction: This is the reason why Russell himself rejected sense-data. It is more normal, I think, to reject them simply as being superfluous. If the subject can simply perceive the sense-data, why can't they just perceive the object more directly?
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 4. Memory
It is possible the world came into existence five minutes ago, complete with false memories
                        Full Idea: There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that "remembered" a wholly unreal past.
                        From: Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921], p.159)
                        A reaction: One of the great sceptical arguments! At a stroke it undermines forever any dreams that memories are totally certain. This is an extra scepticism, which arises if you decide that current experience IS totally certain.
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 3. Reliabilism / b. Anti-reliabilism
Knowledge needs more than a sensitive response; the response must also be appropriate
                        Full Idea: Accuracy of response to stimulus does not alone show knowledge, but must be reinforced by appropriateness, i.e. suitability of realising one's purpose.
                        From: Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921], p.261), quoted by Michael Potter - The Rise of Analytic Philosophy 1879-1930 66 'Rel'
                        A reaction: The aim of 'realising one's purpose' puts a very pragmatist spin on this. The point is a good one, and seems to apply particularly to Nozick's accurate 'tracking' account of knowledge.
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self
In perception, the self is just a logical fiction demanded by grammar
                        Full Idea: In perception, the idea of the subject appears to be a logical fiction, like mathematical points and instants; it is introduced, not because observation reveals it, but because it is linguistically convenient and apparently demanded by grammar.
                        From: Bertrand Russell (The Analysis of Mind [1921], Lec. VIII)
                        A reaction: In 1912, Russell had felt that both the Cogito, and the experience of meta-thought, had confirmed the existence of a non-permanent ego, but here he offers a Humean rejection. His notion of a 'logical fiction' is behaviouristic. I believe in the Self.