ONT Re: Russell -- Philosophy Of Logical Atomism
POLA. Note 25
| 4.3. How shall we describe the logical form of a belief?
| I want to try to get an account of the way that a belief is made up.
| That is not an easy question at all. You cannot make what I should call
| a map-in-space of a belief. You can make a map of an atomic fact but not
| of a belief, for the simple reason that space-relations always are of the
| atomic sort or complications of the atomic sort. I will try to illustrate
| what I mean.
| The point is in connexion with there being two verbs in the judgment
| and with the fact that both verbs have got to occur as verbs, because
| if a thing is a verb it cannot occur otherwise than as a verb.
| Suppose I take "A believes that B loves C".
| "Othello believes that Desdemona loves Cassio."
| There you have a false belief. You have this odd
| state of affairs that the verb "loves" occurs in
| that proposition and seems to occur as relating
| Desdemona to Cassio whereas in fact it does not
| do so, but yet it does occur as a verb, it does
| occur in the sort of way that a verb should do.
| I mean that when A believes that B loves C, you have to have a verb
| in the place where "loves" occurs. You cannot put a substantive in
| its place. Therefore it is clear that the subordinate verb (i.e.,
| the verb other that believing) is functioning as a verb, and seems
| to be relating two terms, but as a matter of fact does not when a
| judgment happens to be false. That is what constitutes the puzzle
| about the nature of belief.
| You will notice that whenever one gets to really close quarters
| with the theory of error one has the puzzle of how to deal with
| error without assuming the existence of the non-existent.
| I mean that every theory of error sooner or later wrecks itself by assuming
| the existence of the non-existent. As when I say "Desdemona loves Cassio",
| it seems as if you have a non-existent love between Desdemona and Cassio,
| but that is just as wrong as a non-existent unicorn. So you have to
| explain the whole theory of judgment in some other way. I come now
| to this question of a map. Suppose you try such a map as this:
| Desdemona -----------> Cassio
| The question of making a map is not so strange as you might suppose
| because it is part of the whole theory of symbolism. It is important
| to realize where and how a symbolism of that sort would be wrong:
| Where and how it is wrong is that in the symbol you have this relationship
| relating these two things and in the fact it doesn't really relate them.
| You cannot get in space any occurrence which is logically of the same
| form as belief.
| When I say "logically of the same form" I mean that one can be obtained
| from the other by replacing the constituents of the one by the new terms.
| If I say "Desdemona loves Cassio" that is of
| the same form as "A is to the right of B".
| Those are of the same form, and I say that nothing
| that occurs in space is of the same form as belief.
| I have got on here to a new sort of thing, a new beast for our
| zoo, not another member of our former species but a new species.
| The discovery of this fact is due to Mr. Wittgenstein.
| Russell, POLA, pp. 89-91.
| 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.