22 Matching Annotations
1. Jan 2017
2. sakai.stlawu.edu sakai.stlawu.edu
1. substitute “the present King of France” for “x,” and then deny theresult, the occurrence of “the present King of France” is secondaryand our proposition is true; but if we are to take “xis not bald” andsubstitute “the present King of France” for “x,” then “the presentKing of France” has a primary occurrence and the proposition is false

I'm not clear on this. Does the designation of a description as primary or secondary depend on the truth of the proposition of which it is a part?

2. A description has a “primary”occurrence when the proposition in which it occurs results from sub-stituting the description for “x” in some propositional functionx; adescription has a “secondary” occurrence when the result of substi-tuting the description forxinxgives onlypartof the propositionconcerned

definition of primary and secondary occurences of descriptions

3. which we could not doif “Homer” were a name

Must a name refer to a thing that exists? If so, what is the name of a fictional character? Is Homer a description?

4. Two propositions are “equivalent” when bothare true or both are false

Technical definition of "equivalent"

5. Thus propositions about “the so-and-so”always imply the corresponding propositions about “a so-and-so,”with the addendum that there is not more than one so-and-so.

This is a very clear way to lay out the distinction between the two.

6. . It is false that the present Kingof France is the present King of France, or that the round squareis the round square. When we substitute a description for a name,propositional functions which are “always true” may become false,if the description describes nothing. There is no mystery in this assoon as we realise (what was proved in the preceding paragraph)that when we substitute a description the result is not a value of thepropositional function in question

So, "the present King of France is the present King of France" is logically sound, however it has potential to be false if there is no present King of France?

7. if we attempt to infer, without further premisses, that the author ofWaverleyis the author ofWaverley

Because these are descriptions not names

8. This completes the proof that “Scott is the authorofWaverley” is not the same proposition as results from substitutinga name for “the author ofWaverley,” no matter what name may besubstituted.

This is because "Scott" in "Scott is the author of Waverly" is simply a vehicle to designate Scott the actual person whereas "Scott" in "Scott is Sir Walter" or "Scott is Scott" serves to mean "who we are referring to as Scott" and therefore the word itself actually enters into the content of the statement.

9. On the other hand, whenwe make a proposition about “the person called ‘Scott,’” the actualname “Scott” enters into what we are asserting, and not merely intothe language used in making the assertio

This is the distinction I noted in the previous annotation.

10. This is a way inwhich names are frequently usedj175in practice, and there will, as arule, be nothing in the phraseology to show whether they are beingused in this way orasname

I've never noticed this distinction. "Scott" taken to mean 'Scott himself the person,' and the more removed "Scott" taken to mean 'he who we are referring to as Scott"' are definitely different, though in a subtle way.

11. “Scott is theauthor ofWaverley” is obviously a different proposition from “Scott is

It seems like perhaps this distinction comes from the rhetorical dimension of each statement. They refer to the same "referent" (to use Frege's language) but "the author of Waverly" highlights a specific aspect or capacity of Scott the referent that isn't privileged above other capacities when he is referred to as "Scott."

12. We may, therefore, for the moment, treatnames as capable of being absolute; nothing that we shall have to saywill depend upon this assumption, but the wording may be a little

He answers my last annotation here. The distinction between absolute and non-absolute individuals is not important to the task at hand.

13. If, as may bethe case, whateverseemsto be an “individual” is really capable offurther analysis, we shall have to content ourselves with what may becalled “relative individuals,” which will be terms that, throughout thecontext in question, are never analysed and never occu

Is Russell here saying that "relative individual" refers to "what can be considered an individual for our purposes"? unsure on this.

14. A name is a simple symbol whose meaning is something that canonly occur as subject,i.e.something of the kind that, in ChapterXIII., we defined as an “individual” or a “particular.” And a “simple”symbol is one which has no parts that are symbols.

"Simple symbol" seems like an important term to make note of.

15. proposition “Socrates is a man” is no doubtequivalentto “Socrates ishuman,” but it is not the very same proposition. Theisof “Socratesis human” expresses the relation of subject and predicate; theisof“Socrates is a man” expresses identity.

I'm not sure I'm parsing this claim correctly. I think Russell is saying that "human" in "Socrates is human" subtly differs from "a man" in "Socrates is a man" in that "human" is an adjective attributing the quality of "human" to "Socrates" while the second sentence is making the proposition that Socrates is an instance of humanness.

In other words the difference between (Hs) and (There is sometimes h such that h=s) with H being human as a predicate, h being human as a constant (a man) and s being Socrates as a constant.

Is this how others interpreted this?

16. Now theproposition that “a so-and-so” has the propertyisnota propositionof the form “ x.” If it were, “a so-and-so” would have to be identicalwithxfor a suitablex; and although (in a sense) this may be true insome cases, it is certainly not true in such a case as “a unicorn.”

I don't quite follow his reasoning here.

17. but is always significant andsometimes true

So to clarify, "x is unreal" and "x does not exist" are significant as propositions but "an x" or "some x" cannot be significant as parts of a proposition if x does not refer to something that actually exists? Is this right?

18. In the proposition “Imet a unicorn,” the whole four words together make a significantproposition, and the word “unicorn” by itself is significant, in justthe same sense as the word “man.” But thetwowords “a unicorn” donot form a subordinate group having a meaning of its own.

i.e. "unicorn" exists as a concept, and is significant as such, but because "a unicorn" entails an actual instance of a thing that is a unicorn (sometimes there is x and x is a unicorn) which can't be true (or so we think..) the phrase "a unicorn" is not significant in its own right.

19. Whenyou have taken account of all the feelings roused by Napoleon inwriters and readers of history, you have not touched the actual man

This part made think: what is the nature of the relationship between Napoleon "the actual man" and Napoleon the 'historical character' that is responsible for "rousing feelings" in readers and writers? It seems to me that historical figures or celebrities take on a very different role in our consciousness than do actual people that we personally know and therefore than the actual people that form the basis for those icons or public/historical personas. Don't these people really exist in two capacities: on one hand a living, breathing person (or once living, breathing person), and on the other an icon or character of sorts? Clearly there is a link between Napoleon the physical human that lived and died and Napoleon the character in the drama of history, Jesus the historical person and Jesus the religious/spiritual/cultural icon, Kim Kardashian the physical human being and Kim Kardashian the celebrity/icon/public persona, etc., but are they really the same thing? If someone were to mistakenly believe that Hamlet was a real person that once lived on this earth and that the play about him was a dramatization of historical events, wouldn't Hamlet exist for them in the same way that Napoleon does--a character or icon derived from a once real human being?

20. There is only one world, the “real”world

Being the empirical world?

21. “The function ‘I metxandxis human’ is sometimes true.”

It seems to me that the statement "I met Jones" isn't really any different in form, as Russell says it is. Doesn't it "make explicit" "the function 'I met x and x is Jones' is sometimes true," just as "I met a man" makes explicit "the function ‘I met x and x is human’ is sometimes true”? I'm not clear on the difference

22. In the case of “unicorn,” for example,there is only the concept: there is not also, somewhere among theshades, something unreal which may be called “a unicorn.” Therefore,since it is significant (though false) to say “I met a unicorn,” it is clearthat this proposition, rightly analysed, does not contain a constituent“a unicorn,” though it does contain the concept “unicorn.

I'm having some trouble with this passage. By concept, I presume, Russell means the 'idea' of thing or the the set of characteristics that qualify something as that thing, independent of any actual instance of the thing. Preceding with this definition I'm not sure what he means by "...there is not also, somewhere among the shades, something unreal which may be called “a unicorn.”" What I think he might mean is that because the statement is false (assuming that unicorns do not exist and that it is therefore impossible to meet one) it can be seen as containing the abstract idea, or concept, of "unicorn" but, by virtue of its falsity, not positing any actual instance of "a unicorn" in the way that a statement like "I met a man" does. Not quite sure about this though. Is knowing the truth or falsity of a statement required for determining the "constituents" it contains?