The Joint Philosophical Program of Russell and Wittgenstein and Its Demise

Main Article Content

Nikolay Milkov

Abstract

Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein’s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution—the joint program was abandoned. Section 1 of this paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. The second section determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the first two sections, section 3 recasts along previously undeveloped lines Wittgensein’s logical–philosophical discoveries in the two years following his encounter with Frege in 1912. The paper concludes, in section 4, with an overview of the dramatic consequences the Frege–Wittgenstein critique had for Russell’s philosophical development.
Section
Articles
Author Biography

Nikolay Milkov, University of Paderborn

Privatdozent [Associate Professor] Dr. Nikolay Milkov

Universität Paderborn

Fach Philosophie

References

Anellis, Irving. (2004). ‘The Genesis of the Truth Table Device’. Russell 24: 55–70.
Bell, David. (1999). ‘The Revolution of Moore and Russell: A Very British Coup?’. In A. O’Hear (ed.), German Philosophy Since Kant, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 193–208.
Bradley, F. H. (1883). The Principles of Logic, 2 vols., Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bradley, F. H. (1914). Essays in Truth and Reality. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Bradley, F. H. (1999). Selected Correspondence, January 1905–June 1924, ed. Carol A. Keene. Bristol: Thoemmes Press.
Clark, R. W. (1975). The Life of Bertrand Russell. London: Jonathan Cape and Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Dummett, Michael. (1981). The Interpretation of Frege’s Philosophy. London: Duckworth.
Frege, Gottlob. (1881). ‘On the Scientific Justification of a Conceptual Notation’. In idem, Conceptual Notation and Related Articles, trans. T. W. Bynum. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 83–9.
Frege, Gottlob. (1918/19). ‘Thoughts’. In idem, Collected Papers, Oxford: Blackwell, 1984, pp. 351–72.
Goodstein, R. L. (1972). ‘Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics’. In A. Ambrose and M. Lazerowitz (eds.), Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophy of Language. London: Allen & Unwin, pp. 271–86.
Griffin, Nicholas. (1985). ‘Russell’s Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment’. Philosophical Studies 47: 213–47.
Griffin, Nicholas. (1996). ‘Hager, P. J., Continuity and Change in the Development of Russell’s Philosophy’. Australasian Journal og Philosophy 74: 221–2.
Hager, Paul. (1987). ‘Russell’s and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox’. Russell 7: 3–10.
Hanks, Peter. (2007). ‘How Wittgenstein Defeated Russell’s Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment’. Synthese 154: 121–46.
Hylton, Peter. (2005). Propositions, Functions, and Analysis. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Landini, Gregory. (2003). ‘Wittgenstein’s Tractarian Apprenticeship’. Russell 23: 101–30.
Landini, Gregory. (2007). Wittgenstein’s Apprenticeship with Russell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McGuinness, B. F. (1988). Wittgenstein, A Life, vol. 1, Young Ludwig, 1889–1921. London: Penguin Books.
Milkov, Nikolay. (1999). ‘The Latest Frege’. Prima philosophia 12: 41–8.
Milkov, Nikolay. (2003). A Hundred Years of English Philosophy, Dordrecht: Kluwer (Philosophical Studies Series, vol. 94).
Milkov, Nikolay. (2007). ‘Russell, Wittgenstein, and the Project for “Analytic Philosophy” ’. Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 15: 153–5.
Milkov, Nikolay. (2012). ‘The Construction of the Logical World: Frege and Wittgenstein on Fixing Boundaries of Human Thought’, in: Elisabeth Nemeth et al. (eds.), Crossing Borders: Thinking (Across) Boundaries, Vienna: University of Vienna, 151–61.Monk, Ray. (1996). Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude. London: Jonathan Cape.
Moore, G. E. (1899). ‘The Nature of Judgment’. In idem, The Early Essays, ed. T. Regan. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986, pp. 59–80.
Pears, David. (1979). ‘The Relation between Wittgenstein’s Picture Theory of Propositions and Russell’s Theories of Judgement’. In C. G. Luckhardt (ed.), Wittgenstein: Sources and Perspectives. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, pp. 190–212.
Pinsent, David. (1990). A Portrait of Wittgenstein as a Young Man, ed. G. H. von Wright. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ricketts, Thomas. (2002). ‘Wittgenstein against Frege and Russell’. In Erich Reck (ed.), From Frege to Wittgenstein: Perspectives on Early Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: University Press, pp. 227–51.
Russell, B. (1899/1900). ‘The Principles of Mathematics. Draft of 1988–1900’. In: The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 3, ed. by G. H. Moore, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 15–180.
Russell, B. (1903). The Principles of Mathematics. 2d ed., London: Allen & Unwin, 1937.
Russell, B. (1905). ‘On Fundamentals’. In idem, Foundations of Logic. 1903–05, A. Urquhart (ed.), The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 4. London: Routledge, pp. 359–413.
Russell, B. (1910). ‘On the Nature of Truth and Falsehood’. In Russell (1992: 115–24).
Russell, B. (1911). ‘On the Relations of Universals and Particulars’. In Russell (1992: 162–82).
Russell, B. (1912a). The Problems of Philosophy. London: Thornton Butterworth.
Russell, B. (1912b). ‘On Matter’. In Russell (1992: 77–95).
Russell, B. (1912c). ‘What is Logic?’ In Russell (1992: 54–56).
Russell, B. (1912d). ‘On the Notion of Cause’. In Russell (1918b: 180–208).
Russell, B. (1912/13). ‘Nine Short Manuscripts on Matter’. In Russell (1992: 96–111).
Russell, B. (1914a). Our Knowledge of the External World. London: Allen & Unwin, 1993.
Russell, B. (1914b). ‘The Relation of Sense-Data to Physics’. In Russell (1918b: 145–79).
Russell, B. (1918a). ‘The Philosophy of Logical Atomism’. In idem, Logic and Knowledge, ed. R. C. Marsh. London: Allen & Unwin, 1956, pp. 175–281.
Russell, B. (1918b). Mysticism and Logic. London: Allen & Unwin.
Russell, B. (1968). The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 vol., vol. 2. London: Allen & Unwin.
Russell, B. (1992). Logical and Philosophical Papers, 1909–13. ed. John G. Slater, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 6. London: Routledge.
Russell, B. and Whitehead, A. N. (1910). Principia mathematica, 3 vols., 2d. ed., 1st vol., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925.
Sheffer, H. M. (1913). ‘A set of five independent postulates for Boolean algebras, with application to logical constants’, Transactions of the American Mathematical Society 14: 481–8.
Simons, Peter. (1985). ‘The Old Problem of Complex and Fact’. Teoria 5: 205–25.
Stevens, Graham. (2005). The Russellian Origins of Analytic Philosophy: Bertrand Russell and the Unity of Proposition, London: Routledge.
Wittgenstein, L. (1913). ‘Notes on Logic’. In Wittgenstein (1979: 93–107).
Wittgenstein, L. (1914). ‘Notes Dictated to G. E. Moore in Norway’. In Wittgenstein (1979: 108–119).
Wittgenstein, L. (1922). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Kegan Paul & Unwin.
Wittgenstein, L. (1974). Philosophical Grammar, ed. R. Rhees, trans. Anthony Kenny. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1976). Wittgenstein’s Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics, ed. Cora Diamond, Hassocks: Harvester Press.
Wittgenstein, L. (1979). Notebooks 1914–1916, 2nd ed., eds. G. H. von Wright et al. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1995). Cambridge Letters, eds. B. F. McGuinness and G. H. von Wright, Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1993/8). Wiener Ausgabe, 5 vols., ed. Michael Nedo, Vienna: Springer.