Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay

Email Print The English philosopher George Edward Moore was one of the originators of conceptual and linguistic analysis, the dominant trend in modern English philosophy. Moore was the fifth of eight children in a cultivated family. After initial tutoring at home by his father, Moore was sent to a nearby day school, Dulwich College.

Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay

Skepticism Bertrand Russel and Ludwig Wittgenstein's personal and professional relationship is well-known, with Russel having famously sponsored Wittgenstein's submission of Tractatus Logic-Philosophicus for PhD credit at Cambridge University.

Both philosophers were important early contributors to the theory of logical atomism, and although they would both go on to reject many of the ideas central to logical atomism, their work nevertheless represented an important break from philosophical Idealism and set the stage for the developments of the twentieth century Hylton However, despite the general agreement between Russel's The Philosophy of Logical Atomism and Wittgenstein's Tractatus, the philosophers disagree on the question of skepticism.

For Russel, skepticism is an irrefutable positionwhereas Wittgenstein characteristically describes skepticism as being "palpably senseless" Wittgenstein Fully understanding Wittgenstein's meaning requires an analysis of the role of skepticism in both Russel and Wittgenstein's work, but ultimately one can say with relative confidence that Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay is largely successful in dissolving the problem of skepticism, in that he is able to demonstrate how the notion of skepticism falls within a category of thought exercise that Wittgenstein sees as outside the useful parameters of philosophy because it does not actually contain any kind of sense or meaning.

Examining Wittgenstein's description of skepticism as a kind of self-evident nonsense allows one to not only appreciate how he dissolves the supposed problem of skepticism discussed by Russel, but also gives insight into Wittgenstein's larger criticism of the tendency to propose questions for which there is no answer, something Wittgenstein argues is neither useful nor an appropriate part of philosophy.

Instead, Wittgenstein argues for a kind of simple critical methodology of philosophy, in which the full extent of philosophy's purpose is the delineation of what is and is not knowable and intelligible and the pointing out of those statements which fall outside this delineation and thus can be described as senseless or nonsensical.

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In this way, Wittgenstein is able to simultaneously disregard a number of supposedly crucial problems of philosophy while offering his readers a fairly simple means of performing philosophical work going forward.

Before discussing the notion of skepticism Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay greater detail, it will be helpful to provide a brief gloss of logical atomism as such, if only to better contextualize both Russell and Wittgenstein's positions.

Russel proposes that the idea of logical atomism can firstly be understood to mean that he "share[s] the common-sense belief that there are many separate things," and furthermore, that these separate things are not simply "phases and unreal divisions of a single individual Reality" Russell 2.

This what is meant by the term "atomistic. This entire notion is based on what Russell sees as the self-evident truism "that the world contains facts, which are what they are whatever we may choose to think about them, and that there are also beliefs, which have reference to facts, and by reference to facts are either true or false" Russell 6.

In some ways Russel is essentially describing the division between subjectivity and objectivity, with facts representing an objectivity of the universe while beliefs correspond to the subjective experience and interpretation of that objectivity.

Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay

There is a slight difference, of course, because while one can speak of true or false beliefs it is difficult to speak of true or false subjectivities, in that every subjective experience of objectivity is "true" in the sense that it cannot by definition be anything else, even if that subjective experience leads to untrue conclusions regarding the nature of that objectivity.

This is part of why Russell's logical atomism is so useful, because by discussing facts and beliefs rather than the objective and subjective, Russell does not really need to deal with the individual or any of the issues that might arise when attempting to delineate between what is perceived as an individual subjectivity and everything else.

Wittgenstein and russel biographies essay

The idea of logical atomism was groundbreaking because it represented a distinct shift away from Idealism, which posited the existence of a single, holistic reality which could not ultimately be atomized or discussed in legitimately discrete units.

This shift is important for Russell because it allows him discuss reality with an eye towards "passing from those obvious, vague, ambiguous things, that we feel quite sure of, to something precise, clear, definite, which by reflection and analysis we find is involved in the vague thing we start from, and is, so to speak, the real truth of which that vague thing is a sort of shadow" Russell 4.

Russell is concerned with identifying and parsing the atomistic facts which underlie belief and perception, and as such he adopts a position of skepticism, in that he ultimately presumes that what one believes to be true can be analyzed philosophically in order to determine the relation between that belief and the atomistic facts which underlie it.

However, at the same time he seems to recognize that these facts are, in the end, ultimately unattainable, because although there appears to be a kind of correspondence or congruence between the realm of language and thought and the seeming self-evidence of facts, one cannot escape the limitations imposed by subjectivity.

As a result, Russell presumes that skepticism is both necessary and irrefutable, because one will never have sufficient access to the actual facts that might refute a position of skepticism regarding any given proposition.

This does not prevent Russell from making certain claims or arguing for a particular interpretation of certain facts, but it does suggest a kind of asymptotic futility to the process of philosophical investigation, because in Russell's framework, one can only ever move infinitely toward the clarification and refinement of ambiguously rendered "intrinsic obviousness" without ever coming to a definitive kernel of logic or fact Hylton This is why for Russell skepticism is irrefutable.

This skepticism can never be fully justified or refuted, because either situation would require a level of accuracy and knowledge that is ultimately impossible through philosophical inquiry and discussion. As will be seen, this decision to view skepticism as irrefutable represents a kind of misidentification of philosophical propositions, because Wittgenstein makes clear that those statements which cannot be refuted or justified are not merely difficult problems, but are actually meaningless in the sense that they cannot refer to anything intelligible.

As mentioned above, Wittgenstein disagreed sharply with Russel in regards to skepticism, saying "scepticism is not irrefutable, but palpably senseless, if it would doubt where a question cannot be asked.

For doubt can only exist where there is a question; a question only where there is an answer, and this only where something can be said" Wittgenstein This essay introduced Americans to the philosophical work of the European philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Rudolf Carnap.

Nagel sought to adapt the teachings of the logical positivists to the more comprehensive framework of American pragmatic naturalism. In general, the details of Aristotle's life are not well-established. The biographies written in ancient times are often speculative and historians only agree on a few salient points.

ALL PAPERS ON FILE ARE ONLY $/PAGE!!! EXAMPLE TERM PAPERS & Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, who argue against God's existence.

Bibliography lists 15 sources. Essay discusses St. Augustine's biography and his arguments for God's existence. srmvision.com Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, social reformer, and pacifist.

Although he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died. The English philosopher George Edward Moore was one of the originators of conceptual and linguistic analysis, the dominant trend in modern English philosophy..

Born on Nov. 4, , in Upper Norwood, a suburb of London, G. E. Moore was the fifth of eight children in a cultivated family. Wittgenstein may have been a brilliant philosopher, but he was an abject failure when it comes to the most important question of philosophy: How to live a decent, happy, fullfilling life.

Russell, at least, tried.

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