Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann
Chapter 11: Bertrand Russell
Russell’s influence on Cambridge philosophy is summarized in terms of his logicist attempt to derive all mathematical truths from the axioms and rules of inference of symbolic logic. Keynes’s Treatise on Probability is explained as a parallel attempt to explain the logical foundations of probability. His view was that probability was a matter of judgement and logic rather than statistical frequencies. The early Keynes also took up and extended Russell’s epistemological views, particularly the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description. These views were later criticized by Ramsey. Different views regarding how Keynes addressed these criticisms of his early probability view are briefly summarized, and Russell and Keynes are compared in terms of their later careers.
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