logical fiction

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Bertrand Russell (1872—1970) philosopher, journalist, and political campaigner

logical atomism


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Russell called items shown to be logical constructions out of other items, logical fictions; an example is the way ‘the average man’ is shown to be a logical fiction when we see how to translate statements made using the term into others that do not even appear to refer to such an entity. The usage is slightly confusing since, unlike fictions, logical constructions really exist. For example, showing that numbers are logical constructions out of sets is not so much showing that numbers do not exist, as showing what it means to say that they do.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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