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Topoi

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Russell on Negative Judgement

  • Anssi Korhonen
Article
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Abstract

This paper concerns Bertrand Russell’s changing views on negative judgement. ‘Negative judgement’ is considered in the context of three theories of judgement that Russell put forth at different times: (i) a dual relation theory (judgement involves a two-place relation between a subject and a proposition, which is an objective truth or falsehood); (ii) a multiple relation theory (judging relates a subject to a multiplicity of objects); (iii) a psychological theory of judgement (judgment involves a mental content standing in a relation of objective reference to its truth- or false-maker). Four issues are singled out for a more detailed discussion: (i) quality dualism versus quality monism, that is, the question whether judgement comes in two kinds, acceptance and rejection, or whether there is only one judgement-quality (acceptance/assertion); (ii) the structure of negative judging; (iii) the problem of truth-making for negative facts; (iv) the different roles of ‘fact’ in Russell’s theories of truth. What emerges from the discussion is a rough chronology of Russell’s views on negative judgement during the period from 1903 to 1948.

Keywords

Negation Judgement Proposition Fact Truth-making Truth Acceptance Rejection 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Dr. Tuomo Aho for discussions and comments, and for the two anonymous referees of Topoi for detailed comments on an earlier version of the paper. Research for this paper was supported by a grant from Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Funding

This study was funded by a research grant from Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, History and Art StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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