THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (Special Nook Edition) BY BERTRAND RUSSELL [The Analysis of Mind] Winner of the NOBEL PRIZE (Author of A History of Western Philosophy, Why I Am Not A Christian, The Problems of Philosophy and More) NOOKBook Bertrand Russell [NOOK Book]
THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (Special Nook Edition)
BY BERTRAND RUSSELL
[The Analysis of Mind]
NOOKBook Bertrand Russell
Winner of the NOBEL PRIZE (Author of A History of Western Philosophy, Why I Am Not A Christian, The Problems of Philosophy and More)
This book collects 15 seminal essays and lectures on the philosophy of mind by Bertrand Russell. In the book, Russell reconciles "the materialistic tendency of psychology with the anti-materialistic tendency of physics ... according to which the "stuff" of the world is neither mental nor material, but a "neutral stuff," out of which both are constructed."
LECTURE I. RECENT CRITICISMS OF "CONSCIOUSNESS"
LECTURE II. INSTINCT AND HABIT
LECTURE III. DESIRE AND FEELING
LECTURE IV. INFLUENCE OF PAST HISTORY ON PRESENT OCCURRENCES IN LIVING
LECTURE V. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL CAUSAL LAWS
LECTURE VI. INTROSPECTION
LECTURE VII. THE DEFINITION OF PERCEPTION
LECTURE VIII. SENSATIONS AND IMAGES
LECTURE IX. MEMORY
LECTURE X. WORDS AND MEANING
LECTURE XI. GENERAL IDEAS AND THOUGHT
LECTURE XII. BELIEF
LECTURE XIII. TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD
LECTURE XIV. EMOTIONS AND WILL
LECTURE XV. CHARACTERISTICS OF MENTAL PHENOMENA
The definition of truth and falsehood, which is our topic to-day, lies strictly outside our general subject, namely the analysis of mind. From the psychological standpoint, there may be different kinds of belief, and different degrees of certainty, but there cannot be any purely psychological means of distinguishing between true and false beliefs. A belief is rendered true or false by relation to a fact, which may lie outside the experience of the person entertaining the belief. Truth and falsehood, except in the case of beliefs about our own minds, depend upon the relations of mental occurrences to outside things, and thus take us beyond the analysis of mental occurrences as they are in themselves. Nevertheless, we can hardly avoid the consideration of truth and falsehood. We wish to believe that our beliefs, sometimes at least, yield KNOWLEDGE, and a belief does not yield knowledge unless it is true. The question whether our minds are instruments of knowledge, and, if so, in what sense, is so vital that any suggested analysis of mind must be examined in relation to this question. To ignore this question would be like describing a chronometer without regard to its accuracy as a time-keeper, or a thermometer without mentioning the fact that it measures temperature.
Many difficult questions arise in connection with knowledge. It is difficult to define knowledge, difficult to decide whether we have any knowledge, and difficult, even if it is conceded that we sometimes have knowledge to discover whether we can ever know that we have knowledge in this or that particular case. I shall divide the discussion into four parts:
I. We may regard knowledge, from a behaviourist standpoint, as exhibited in a certain kind of response to the environment. This response must have some characteristics which it shares with those of scientific instruments, but must also have others that are peculiar to knowledge. We shall find that this point of view is important, but not exhaustive of the nature of knowledge.
II. We may hold that the beliefs that constitute knowledge are distinguished from such as are erroneous or uncertain by properties which are intrinsic either to single beliefs or to systems of beliefs, being in either case discoverable without reference to outside fact. Views of this kind have been widely held among philosophers, but we shall find no reason to accept them.
III. We believe that some beliefs are true, and some false. This raises the problem of VERIFIABILITY: are there any circumstances which can justifiably give us an unusual degree of certainty that such and such a belief is true? It is obvious that there are circumstances which in fact cause a certainty of this sort, and we wish to learn what we can from examining these circumstances.
IV. Finally, there is the formal problem of defining truth and falsehood, and deriving the objective reference of a proposition from the meanings of its component words.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic.
Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 1900s. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein, and is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy." His work has had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.
Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed free trade and anti-imperialism. Russell went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the United States of America's involvement in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. One of his last acts was to issue a statement which condemned Israeli aggression in the Middle East.
In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought."
Russell is generally credited with being one of the founders of analytic philosophy. He was deeply impressed by Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) and wrote on every major area of philosophy except aesthetics. He was particularly prolific in the field of metaphysics, the logic and the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, ethics and epistemology. When Brand Blanshard asked Russell why he didn't write on aesthetics, Russell replied that he didn't know anything about it, "but that is not a very good excuse, for my friends tell me it has not deterred me from writing on other subjects."