Bertrand Russell Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom. Chapter 26: Bertrand Russell 4: breaking statements into logical atoms

BR thought that many problems of Philosophy cease being problems if one exposes the hidden elements of meaning that they are actually made of.  Philosophy had always created insoluble pseudo-problems for itself by not exposing them. This was his Logical Atomism or Logical Analysis. Russell’s had previously tried to reduce mathematics to logic, which was called Logicism (see here).   Now his Logical Atomism was trying to reduce statements in language…

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Russell's epistemology Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom. Chapter 25: Bertrand Russell 3: What is Knowledge?

Thirdly on Russell, here is a summary of his Epistemology: his understanding of what knowledge is and how we acquire it. It was first published in his book The Problems of Philosophy (1912), continued in his Our Knowledge of the External World (1914), and in his article The Relation of Sense-Data to Physics (1914).] I am suddenly speechless on what to give as a punchy summary of BR on this subject.…

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Bertrand Russell Logicism Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has neve been Wisdom. Chapter 24: Bertrand Russell 2: boiling maths down to logic

Russell’s attempt to show that mathematics is just glorified logic is called Logicism.  It was a pretty convincing attempt. He published it in Principia Mathematica  (1910-1913) which he wrote with Whitehead.  This post is a summary of it, paraphrased from other sites that explain it for us.   Logicism is in the philosophy of mathematics and consists of one or more of these theses: that mathematics is an extension of logic,…

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Bertrand Russell Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom. Chapter23: Bertrand Russell 1: his human wisdoms

Bertrand Russell always struck me as lacking in human intelligence.  His mind whirred like a clock, endlessly doing logico-mathematical puzzles, and applying them to human matters.  He showed no awareness of the darkness and depth in men’s souls.  He was rationalistic, humanistic and pacifistic, and believed in his own goodness because goodness, you see, is what he intended. He had no idea of the hearts of human beings or of…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Philosophers logicking on Identity

(This is a long post which I have been unable to break up.  Take it in stages.)    Philosophers since Plato have worried at what exactly Identity and Personal Identity are. They do this by logicking on the words (or ‘concepts’).  The literal  meaning of ‘identity’ from its Greek origins is ‘sameness’ or ‘state of being the same’.  But this is not enough for philosophers. Identity, or what it is…

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Bernard Williams Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom. Chapter 29. Bernard Williams 2: Self-hood, Cogito, Freedom of the Will

Self-hood or Personal Identity. (What I have written here is the same as in my post on Identity, here.; and represents my understanding of BW from here.)    BW  logicked his way through the question of whether Self-hood or Personal Identity belongs to one’s body or one’s mind.  It seems he was speculating on what ordinary people’s intuitions on this matter are, rather than offering a theory of his own. …

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Structuralism Linguistics

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom, chapter 22: Saussure’s Structuralist Linguistics

(‘Philosophy’ has been wisdom only for one type of mind; perhaps for two if one separates Continental from modern Anglophone philosophy.) For instance, reading repeatedly through sites on Saussure, I have been beaten back each time by my disbelief that it could have been taken seriously as Science or as Philosophy.   It seems to me to have been handing out nothing but the most obvious of truisms.  Saussure, for a…

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South Africa Apartheid White liberals

South African liberals fled to whiter colonies

Where have so many white liberals of South Africa dribbled away to, in the decades since 1948 when apartheid started?  They’ve gone to colonialist countries that practise liberal democracy to their heart’s content because that’s what Western White people do.  The few natives who were originally there, were further reduced by genocides, by John Wayne and the US cavalry, and by Australian armed police (as I choose to believe).  The…

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Anti-Philosophy Socrates

‘Philosophy’ has never been Wisdom. Chapter 3: Socrates

(Firstly, the ‘Socratic Problem’ is that Socrates never wrote anything down.  All we have is what Plato wrote as having been said by him.  So we don’t really know what of it was Plato’s own thinking or that of Socrates.) I was amazed by Socrates the first time I came across him, sitting in the empty market-place before breakfast with people gathered round him, and drawing them out with his…

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Archbishop Tutu Palestine-Israel

Tutu 2: Jews and Arabs

In his heart, Palestine has a special place .  He comes out of retirement in December 2017 to say: “God is weeping over President Trump’s inflammatory and discriminatory recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Those who claim divine rights..to physical property..are false prophets….”  (from here). He complains about Jewry’s ‘monopoly of the Holocaust’, and tells them that they aren’t being sufficiently forgiving to those who did it to…

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