Bella asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Bertrand Russell - Appearance & Reality Question (10 pts best answer)?

According to Russell what is reality comprised of? What does Russell argue is what makes reality objective and why it important for reality to be objective? Thankss

3 Answers

  • Kurt
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    5. Russell's Neutral Monism

    One final major contribution to philosophy was Russell's defence of neutral monism, the view that the world consists of just one type of substance that is neither exclusively mental nor exclusively physical. Like idealism (the view that there exists nothing but the mental) and physicalism (the view that there exists nothing but the physical), neutral monism rejects dualism (the view that there exist distinct mental and physical substances). However, unlike both idealism and physicalism, neutral monism holds that this single existing substance may be viewed in some contexts as being mental and in others as being physical. As Russell puts it,

    “Neutral monism”—as opposed to idealistic monism and materialistic monism—is the theory that the things commonly regarded as mental and the things commonly regarded as physical do not differ in respect of any intrinsic property possessed by the one set and not by the other, but differ only in respect of arrangement and context. (CP, Vol. 7, 15)

    To help understand this general suggestion, Russell introduces the analogy of a postal directory:

    The theory may be illustrated by comparison with a postal directory, in which the same names comes twice over, once in alphabetical and once in geographical order; we may compare the alphabetical order to the mental, and the geographical order to the physical. The affinities of a given thing are quite different in the two orders, and its causes and effects obey different laws. Two objects may be connected in the mental world by the association of ideas, and in the physical world by the law of gravitation. … Just as every man in the directory has two kinds of neighbours, namely alphabetical neighbours and geographical neighbours, so every object will lie at the intersection of two causal series with different laws, namely the mental series and the physical series. ‘Thoughts’ are not different in substance from ‘things’; the stream of my thoughts is a stream of things, namely of the things which I should commonly be said to be thinking of; what leads to its being called a stream of thoughts is merely that the laws of succession are different from the physical laws. (CP, Vol. 7, 15)

    In other words, when viewed as being mental, a thought or idea may have associated with it other thoughts or ideas that seem related even though, when viewed as being physical, they have very little in common. As Russell explains, “In my mind, Caesar may call up Charlemagne, whereas in the physical world the two were widely sundered” (CP, Vol. 7, 15). Even so, it is a mistake, on this view, to postulate two distinct types of thing (the idea of Caesar, and the man Caesar) that are composed to two distinct substances (the mental and the physical). Instead, “The whole duality of mind and matter, according to this theory, is a mistake; there is only one kind of stuff out of which the world is made, and this stuff is called mental in one arrangement, physical in the other” (CP, Vol. 7, 15).

    Russell appears to have developed this theory around 1913, while he was working on his Theory of Knowledge manuscript, and on his 1914 Monist article, “On the Nature of Acquaintance.” Decades later, in 1964, he remarked that “I am not conscious of any serious change in my philosophy since I adopted neutral monism” (Eames 1967, 511).

    Russell's most important writings relating to these topics include “On Denoting” (1905), “Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description” (1910a), “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism” (1918, 1919), “Logical Atomism” (1924), The Analysis of Mind (1921), The Analysis of Matter (1927a), and Theory of Knowledge (CP, Vol. 7).

    This comes from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - perhaps it is helpful?

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Bertrand Russell Appearance And Reality

  • Julia
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Russell Brands world consists of Katy Perry and L O V E

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