By B. Russell
Bertrand Russell is worried during this ebook with the rules of information. He techniques his topic via a dialogue of language, the relationships of fact to event and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our figuring out of the constitution of the world.
This variation incorporates a new advent via Thomas Baldwin, Clare collage, Cambridge
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Additional info for An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
The above discussion is a necessary preliminary to the attempt to discover what constitutes the essential unity o f a sentence; for this unity, whatever its nature may be, obviously exists in a sentence o f atomic form, and should be first investigated in such sentences. In every significant sentence, some connection is essential between what the several words mean— omitting words which merely serve to indicate syntactical structure. W e saw that “ Caesar died” asserts the existence o f a common member o f two classes, the class o f events which was Caesar and the class of events which are deaths.
40 SENTENCES, SYNTAX, AND PARTS OF SPEECH can only mean: “ the sentence *y precedes x f is false” . For i f we adopt any other interpretation, w e shall have to admit that we can perceive negative facts, which seems preposterous, but per haps is not, for reasons to be given later. I think something similar may be said about “ i f ” : where this word occurs, it must apply to a sentence. Thus it seems that the proposition w e are investigating should be stated: “ at least one o f the sentences *x precedes y and y precedes x* is false, i f x and y are proper names o f events” .
Suppose you say (truly) “ I saw a man” . It is obvious that “ a man” is not the sort of thing one can see; it is a logical abstraction. What you saw was some particular shape, to which we will give the proper name A ; and you judged “ A is human”. T he two sentences “ I saw A ” and “ A is human” enable you to deduce “ I saw a man” , but this latter sentence does not imply that you saw A , or that A is human. When you tell me that you saw a man, I cannot tell whether you saw A or B or C or any other o f the men that exist.
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell