By B. Russell
Bertrand Russell is anxious during this e-book with the rules of data. He ways his topic via a dialogue of language, the relationships of fact to adventure and an research into how wisdom of the constitution of language is helping our realizing of the constitution of the world.
This variation contains a new advent by means of Thomas Baldwin, Clare university, Cambridge
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Additional resources for An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
It is interesting that language can state facts; it is also interesting that it can state falsehoods. When it states either,' it does so with a view to causing some action in the hearer; if the hearer is a slave, a child, or a dog, the result is achieved more simply b y using the imperative. There is, how ever, a difference between the effectiveness o f a lie and that o f the truth: a lie only produces the desired result so long as the truth is expected. In fact, no one could learn to speak unless truth were the rule: if, when your child sees a dog, you say “cat” , “ horse” , or “ crocodile” , at random, you will not be able to deceive him by saying “ dog” when it is not a dog.
A single grammatical sentence may not be logically single. “ I went out and found it was raining” is logically indistinguish able from the two sentences: “ I went out” , “ I found it was raining” . But the sentence “ when I went out I found it was raining” is logically single: it asserts that two occurrences were simultaneous. “ Caesar and Pompey were great generals” is logically two sentences, but “ Caesar and Pom pey were alike in being great generals” is logically one. For our purposes, it will be convenient to exclude sentences which are not logically single, but consist o f two assertions joined b y “ and” or “ but” or “ although” or some such conjunction.
It is a mole cular statement whose atoms are “ A occurred” and “ B occurred” . N ow what do we mean by “ A occurred” ? W e mean that there was a noise o f a certain class, the class called “ A ” . Thus when we say “ A preceded B” our statement has a concealed logical form, which is the same as that o f the statement: “ first there was the bark o f a dog, and then the neigh o f a horse” . Let us pursue this a little further. I say “ A ” . ” Then you reply “ you said ‘A ’ ” . N ow the noise you make when saying “ A ” in this reply is different from the noise I originally made; therefore, i f “ A ” were the name o f a particular noise, your statement would be false.