Knowledge and its Foundations

David Bostock

in Russell's Logical Atomism

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199651443
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741197 | DOI:
Knowledge and its Foundations

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Russell thinks of knowledge in terms of justification, perhaps because that is also how the sceptic thinks, and this leads quite naturally to a foundationalist theory. Among the foundations Russell counts our knowledge of deductive and inductive methods of reasoning, of a priori connections between universals, and of the properties and relations of one’s present sense-data. In pursuit of the last, he came gradually to see that it is difficult to separate the sense-datum, as what is given, from the various interpretations that we ourselves add to it. He always did think of our sense-data as providing us with what he called ‘hard data’, though it is difficult to see any way in which our knowledge of our sense-data is somehow ‘more secure’ than our knowledge of physical objects.

Keywords: knowledge, justification; foundations of knowledge; induction; sense-data; hard data vs.soft data; scepticism

Chapter.  9109 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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