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The Elusiveness of the OrdinaryStudies in the Possibility of Philosophy$
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Stanley Rosen

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300091977

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300091977.001.0001

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What Do We Talk About?

What Do We Talk About?

(p.204) Chapter 7 What Do We Talk About?
The Elusiveness of the Ordinary

Stanley Rosen

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Bertrand Russell and his remark that “the point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” Russell, however, may not live up to his own good advice. In the series of lectures in which this passage is found, Russell begins the exposition of his chief thesis, the legitimacy of analysis, with a discussion of facts, propositions, symbols, and relations. He proceeds to a discussion of logically proper names, in the course of which he asserts that facts corresponding to statements about names like Piccadilly contain no constituent corresponding to Piccadilly, which can be reduced to a series of classes of material entities.

Keywords:   Bertrand Russell, chief thesis, legitimacy of analysis, logically proper names, series of classes, material entities

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