Lecture 17 - Russells project Russell sets out to answer...

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Russell’s project Russell sets out to answer two questions: (1) What is there that we cannot reasonably doubt? (2) What gives us the ideas that we receive by means of the senses?
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First question: what is there that we cannot reasonably doubt? “It has appeared that, if we take any common object of the sort that is supposed to be known by the senses, what the sense immediately tell us is not the truth about the object as it is apart from us, but only the truth about certain sense-data which, so far as we can see, depend upon the relations between us and the object. Thus what we directly see and feel is merely ‘appearance’, which we believe to be a sign of some ‘reality’ behind. But if the reality is not what it appears, have we any means of knowing whether there is any reality at all?” (FP, 248 - 9) Russell thinks we can be certain of no more than the thoughts and feelings we have at the moment.
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Second question: what gives us our sensory ideas? “There is no logical impossibility in the supposition
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Lecture 17 - Russells project Russell sets out to answer...

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