ONT Re: Russell -- Philosophy Of Logical Atomism
POLA. Note 24
| 4.2. What is the Status of 'p' in "I believe 'p'"? (concl.)
| I ought to say a word or two about "reality". It is a vague word,
| and most of its uses are improper. When I talk about reality as
| I am now doing, I can explain best what I mean by saying that
| I mean everything you would have to mention in a complete
| description of the world; that will convey to you what
| I mean.
| Now I do 'not' think that false propositions would have to be
| mentioned in a complete description of the world. False beliefs
| would, of course, false suppositions would, and desires for what
| does not come to pass, but not false propositions all alone, and
| therefore when you, as one says, believe a false proposition, that
| cannot be an accurate account of what occurs.
| It is not accurate to say "I believe the proposition 'p'" and
| regard the occurrence as a twofold relation between me and 'p'.
| The logical form is just the same whether you believe a false or
| a true proposition. Therefore in all cases you are not to regard
| belief as a two-term relation between yourself and a proposition,
| and you have to analyse up the proposition and treat your belief
| Therefore the belief does not really contain a proposition as a constituent
| but only contains the constituents of the proposition as constituents. You
| cannot say when you believe, "What is it that you believe?" There is no
| answer to that question, i.e. there is not a single thing that you are
| believing. "I believe that today is Tuesday." You must not suppose
| that "That today is Tuesday" is a single object which I am believing.
| That would be an error. That is not the right way to analyse the
| occurrence, although that analysis is linguistically convenient,
| and one may keep it provided one knows that it is not the truth.
| Russell, POLA, pp. 88-89.
| Bertrand Russell, "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism", pp. 35-155
| in 'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism', edited with an introduction
| by David Pears, Open Court, La Salle, IL, 1985. First published 1918.