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Russell's Logical Atomism$
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David Bostock

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199651443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651443.001.0001

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Knowledge and its Foundations

Knowledge and its Foundations

Chapter:
(p.135) 8 Knowledge and its Foundations
Source:
Russell's Logical Atomism
Author(s):

David Bostock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651443.003.0008

Russell thinks of knowledge in terms of justification, perhaps because that is also how the sceptic thinks, and this leads quite naturally to a foundationalist theory. Among the foundations Russell counts our knowledge of deductive and inductive methods of reasoning, of a priori connections between universals, and of the properties and relations of one’s present sense-data. In pursuit of the last, he came gradually to see that it is difficult to separate the sense-datum, as what is given, from the various interpretations that we ourselves add to it. He always did think of our sense-data as providing us with what he called ‘hard data’, though it is difficult to see any way in which our knowledge of our sense-data is somehow ‘more secure’ than our knowledge of physical objects.

Keywords:   knowledge, justification, foundations of knowledge, induction, sense-data, hard data vs.soft data, scepticism

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