Russell’s Many Points

In Alexander Hieke & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis. Ontos Verlag. pp. 11--239 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Bertrand Russell was one of the protagonists of the programme of reducing “disagreeable” concepts to philosophically more respectable ones. Throughout his life he was engaged in eliminating or paraphrasing away a copious variety of allegedly dubious concepts: propositions, definite descriptions, knowing subjects, and points, among others. The critical aim of this paper is to show that Russell’s construction of points, which has been considered as a paradigm of a logical construction überhaupt, fails for principal mathematical reasons. Russell could have known this, if he had taken into account some pertinent results due to Hausdorff or Tarski. Its constructive aim is to show that one can save Russell’s thesis – that points can be defined in terms of events or regions – by using the conceptual resources of modern pointless topology.

Author's Profile

Thomas Mormann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München (PhD)


Added to PP

346 (#27,670)

6 months
15 (#68,464)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?