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856.4.0.u: http://critica.filosoficas.unam.mx/index.php/critica/article/view/159/152

100.1.#.a: Sosa, Ernesto

524.#.#.a: Sosa, Ernesto (1975). Russell, Berkeley and Objective Matter. Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía; Vol 7 No 21, 1975; 35-41. Recuperado de https://repositorio.unam.mx/contenidos/4115191

245.1.0.a: Russell, Berkeley and Objective Matter

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506.1.#.a: La titularidad de los derechos patrimoniales de esta obra pertenece a las instituciones editoras. Su uso se rige por una licencia Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Internacional, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode.es, fecha de asignación de la licencia 2018-10-31, para un uso diferente consultar al responsable jurídico del repositorio por medio del correo electrónico alberto@filosoficas.unam.mx

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520.3.#.a: The problem discussed in the paper is how Russell can avoid reaching the conclusion that the notion of objective matter is meaningless without rejecting his Principle of Knowledge. Berkeley accepted a similar principle and could not avoid that conclusion. The principle of knowledge says that (a) “Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.” And “we shall say that we have acquaintance with anything of which we are directly aware, without the intermediary of any process of inference or any knowledge of truths”. Russell would have to admit the conclusion if he accepted the following propositions (that seem obvious): (b) One cannot be acquainted with any (objective, material) table in itself. (c) The constituents of the proposition P, namely that the table before me (a certain objective and material table) is rectangular, are the table itself and the quality of being rectangular. Here the conclusion would be that (d) We cannot understand P. But a similar argument can be made about every proposition that is about a material object. Russell’s way out consists in denying (c). Fortunately his theory of descriptions provides a different analysis of P. What the proposition means is really the following conjunction: (i) There is at least one thing that has the property of being the table before me. (ii) There is at most one thing that has the property of being the table before me. (iii) Nothing has the property of being the table before me without having the property of being rectangular. So, (c) is false since the table before me is not a constituent of P. The constituents of P are certain properties and relations and oneself. Now the problem is that if we are acquainted with ourselves and other properties and relations, Russell cannot be sure that we can be acquainted with the property of being a table. The key to the solution of this problem is to be found in Chapter X of The Problems of Philosophy, where Russell says: “Many universals, like many particulars, are only known to us by description. But here, as in the case of particulars, knowledge concerning what is known by description is ultimately reducible to knowledge concerning what is known by acquaintance.” Berkeley had also admitted that if we could find a clear relation between (the notion of) matter and our ideas of colours, forms, etc., we could then understand the notion of matter. The idea that matter holds those qualities doesn’t seem to mean anything. Rusell, as we gather from Chapters II and III, thinks that this relation is causality. Matter, with its properties, causes the relevant sensations in us. We are acquainted with the effect, but are we acquainted with the notion of cause? Russell’s answer is that what is useful in the notion of cause involves only functional relations between events, and these functional relations can be known by acquaintance since they are presumably relations of space and time. Hugo Margáin Resumen

773.1.#.t: Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía; Vol 7 No 21 (1975); 35-41

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doi: https://doi.org/10.22201/iifs.18704905e.1975.159

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245.1.0.b: Russell, Berkeley y la materia objetiva

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Artículo

Russell, Berkeley and Objective Matter

Sosa, Ernesto

Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM, publicado en Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, y cosechado de Revistas UNAM

Licencia de uso

Procedencia del contenido

Cita

Sosa, Ernesto (1975). Russell, Berkeley and Objective Matter. Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía; Vol 7 No 21, 1975; 35-41. Recuperado de https://repositorio.unam.mx/contenidos/4115191

Descripción del recurso

Autor(es)
Sosa, Ernesto
Tipo
Artículo de Investigación
Área del conocimiento
Artes y Humanidades
Título
Russell, Berkeley and Objective Matter
Fecha
2018-10-31
Resumen
The problem discussed in the paper is how Russell can avoid reaching the conclusion that the notion of objective matter is meaningless without rejecting his Principle of Knowledge. Berkeley accepted a similar principle and could not avoid that conclusion. The principle of knowledge says that (a) “Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.” And “we shall say that we have acquaintance with anything of which we are directly aware, without the intermediary of any process of inference or any knowledge of truths”. Russell would have to admit the conclusion if he accepted the following propositions (that seem obvious): (b) One cannot be acquainted with any (objective, material) table in itself. (c) The constituents of the proposition P, namely that the table before me (a certain objective and material table) is rectangular, are the table itself and the quality of being rectangular. Here the conclusion would be that (d) We cannot understand P. But a similar argument can be made about every proposition that is about a material object. Russell’s way out consists in denying (c). Fortunately his theory of descriptions provides a different analysis of P. What the proposition means is really the following conjunction: (i) There is at least one thing that has the property of being the table before me. (ii) There is at most one thing that has the property of being the table before me. (iii) Nothing has the property of being the table before me without having the property of being rectangular. So, (c) is false since the table before me is not a constituent of P. The constituents of P are certain properties and relations and oneself. Now the problem is that if we are acquainted with ourselves and other properties and relations, Russell cannot be sure that we can be acquainted with the property of being a table. The key to the solution of this problem is to be found in Chapter X of The Problems of Philosophy, where Russell says: “Many universals, like many particulars, are only known to us by description. But here, as in the case of particulars, knowledge concerning what is known by description is ultimately reducible to knowledge concerning what is known by acquaintance.” Berkeley had also admitted that if we could find a clear relation between (the notion of) matter and our ideas of colours, forms, etc., we could then understand the notion of matter. The idea that matter holds those qualities doesn’t seem to mean anything. Rusell, as we gather from Chapters II and III, thinks that this relation is causality. Matter, with its properties, causes the relevant sensations in us. We are acquainted with the effect, but are we acquainted with the notion of cause? Russell’s answer is that what is useful in the notion of cause involves only functional relations between events, and these functional relations can be known by acquaintance since they are presumably relations of space and time. Hugo Margáin Resumen
Idioma
spa
ISSN
ISSN electrónico: 1870-4905; ISSN impreso: 0011-1503

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