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I recently picked up a remaindered copy of Future Pasts:  The Analytic Tradition in Twentieth-Century Philosophy, ed. J. Floyd & S. Shieh (Oxford University Press, 2001), an interesting collection of essays in honor of the late Burton Dreben, a philosopher at Harvard whose influence far outstripped his actual publications. 

Dreben taught for more than three decades at Harvard during a time when it reigned supreme as the preeminent philosophy department in the United States, and perhaps the English-speaking world:  this was the department of Quine, Rawls, Putnam, and Goodman which, until the 1970s, had no serious rival.  Dreben's influence came partly from the impact he had on his more prolific colleagues (most importantly, Quine) but primarily from his teaching, and the opportunity being at Harvard afforded him to educate (some less sympathetic would say, "indoctrinate") both graduate students and (famously) junior faculty (most of whom would go on to posts elsewhere:  several are represented in the Floyd & Shieh volume [for example, Thomas Ricketts, Michael Friedman, Gary Hatfield]). 

Dreben's pedagogical impact was so great that philosophers began to speak of some young philosophers being "Drebenized," i.e., of being converted to Dreben's rather distinctive view of philosophy, and of philosophy's development in the 20th-century.  (Martha Nussbaum, by contrast, has written about the gross sexism of the Harvard Department in the early 1970s, mentioning G.E.L. Owen by name, and Dreben by description--a subject, perhaps, for a different day.)

I had always heard that view represented by a dictum attributed to Dreben:  "Philosophy is garbage.  But the history of garbage is scholarship."  The Floyd & Sheih volume has a more mild version of that saying as its motif:  "Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is scholarship."  In either version, the question is:  why did Dreben have such a dim view of the discipline?  What was this skeptical view of philosophy which so many of those "Drebenized" adopted?

John Rawls's "Afteword" to the Floyd & Sheih volume offers some suggestive remarks about "Burt" Dreben's view of philosophy.  Here are some excerpts (from pp. 419, 421-422):

[Dreben] will say...that many misread Taraski's theory of truth, not understanding that Tarski is doing mathematics, proving a theorem in mathematical logic, and that Tarski's result on the theory of truth has nothing to do with philosophy.  Tarski's result cannot be seen as a philosophical theory of truth, for there is no such thing.  Philosophy doesn't contain such theories.  Rather, it seeks understanding, and that is different....

Burt often says that there are no theories in philosophy.  This goes together with his calling metaphysics "nonsense," as he often does.  But what does Burt mean by saying this?  One thing he means is that philosophical arguments rest on premises, or taking certain things as given--on "data," as he often says.  One of Burt's favorite examples is the long dispute between Carnap and Quine about analyticity.  Carnap takes as his "data" that analytic statements are true in virtue of the meanings of their terms, and he presents a theory of meaning to support this claim.  The statements Carnap takes to be paradigmatically analytic, however, Quine thinks are simply obvious.  Anyone can see that they are true.  For Quine, there is no particular kind of way in which they are true.  They are simply true.  Neither philosopher can convince the other of the premises, or the "data," of his argument.

Burt would not, of course, deny the plain fact that philosophers make many complicated arguments.  But he thinks that at bottom there are no arguments one philosopher can use to convince another of a metaphysical point.  At the basic level, philosophers simply rely on and appeal to different "data."  It is a standoff with no resolution by argument.  Burt has said that Quine is a metaphysician, a metaphysician of science.  By that he means that Quine doesn't argue for physicalism, or scientific realism.  He assumes it and works out his view from there....

There is no theory of truth, no theory of meaning, no theory of knowledge, no theory of perception, and the rest, despite centuries of philosophers discussing these things....[T]he theory of quantification is a theory, but he stresses that it is a theory in logic and mathematics.  It is not philosophy, which has to do with understanding and should lead to that....

The crucial questions in understanding Burt's view are:  What is philosophical understanding?  What is it the understanding of?  How does understanding differ from having a theory?  I wonder how I can give answers to these questions in my work in moral and political philosophy, whose aims Burt encourages and supports.  Sometimes Burt indicates that my normative moral and political inquiries do not belong to philosophy proper.  Yet this raises the question.  Why not?  And what counts as philosophy?

Rawls doesn't try to answer the questions in the final paragraph.  Assuming that Dreben was not just perversely and obstinately stipulative about what is to count as philosophy and what not, can anyone explain Dreben's view?  His view about the status of philosophical argument has a pleasing resonance (to my ear) with Nietzsche's views, but, as Rawls describes it, Dreben's views also sound more dogmatic than principled (e.g., why isn't what Rawls does "philosophy"?).  What do philosophers think?  No anonymous postings, of course.

December 20, 2004 in Philosophy in the News | Permalink


Though Jason Stanley will scream bloody murder to hear me say it, I took several seminars with Burton Dreben as an undergraduate, and also had Warren Goldfarb as one of my main mentors, so I got a good dose of this line of thinking--and, perhaps, some small nugget of appreciation (though not more than one might hope for at that young age!). Here are my no-doubt-youthful and somewhat inaccurate impressions of some of Dreben's basic lines of thought. Others with more sustained and closer contact will have better testimony.

One of the points Burton Dreben was interested in hammering home is that we, as philosophers, sometimes too easily take for granted the meaningfulness of some of the questions we are asking. Language has all kinds of genuine uses, and, in all kinds of substantive fields, it is fruitful and insightful to begin seeking explanations for various facts that we've uncovered and building theories that help illuminate the facts. But sometimes the 'data' that we're beginning with are not content-laden facts at all, but rather prephilosophical pictures--on this view--about things like what is true by virtue of meaning, what is merely obvious, and so on (to use the example from Rawls's afterword). When we make these kinds of statements, we are typically expressing various attitudes, which play real and important roles in our lives; but we are taking the surface grammar of the statements to indicate a deeper affinity with certain other kinds of statements for which explanation and theory construction is more appropriate. Then we begin to engage in full-blown philospophical theorizing, but about nothing, as it were. And many of the debates between philosophers (say realists and anti-realists) begin to look like grand efforts at sparring in the wind. There is no adjudicating these debates; for they are not really debates *about* anything for which the tools we are applying have any role. And wherever we come out on these questions, the language itself would continue to play its useful and genuine roles with or without the theory. So the theory is importantly unhinged from any real uses of the language. Wittgenstein's motto (adopted by Dreben) in response to the criticism that he is destroying everything important by engaging in this kind of project is that what was being destroyed were only houses of cards, and what they were clearing up was the rough ground of language upon which real and useful thought might stand. (Tarski's theories, interpreted as proofs in logic would be an example: there is useful work to be done in logic, but not--on this view--on theories of truth.)

If you see things roughly along these lines, then you can see that what Dreben was saying about Rawls is best understood more as a compliment than as a dogmatic rejection of Rawls's work as 'philosophical' in some privileged sense. Where Rawls--it seems to be--is deeply in line with Dreben is in his willingness to treat certain meta-ethical questions as ultimately not so useful. What Dreben--it seems to me--respected in Rawls's work is that Rawls got down to business and actually produced useful work helping us see in the detail the kinds of principles that underly actual normative practices in modern constitutional democracies. To say that this was not 'philosophy' was to say that it was useful and worthwhile--if I understand what Dreben was getting at. It was to say that Rawls's work did not suffer from the kinds of problems that Dreben thought infected much philosophical thinking.

Stepping back, it seems to me that there's something a bit sad that has happened both with this line of thought and with some more recent responses to it. Dreben was often fond of saying things like 'philosophy is over' and that all that is left to do is the 'history of philosophy.' Many philosophers outside of the group that were highly influenced by Dreben at Harvard have come to think of this as a quirky and unorthodox outlier view, one that is perhaps better seen as creating obstacles to philosophical development than offering anything useful. Certainly, it seems to me that when you look at work like that of Allan Gibbard's in meta-ethics, we have learned quite a bit by sticking to certain questions and not just 'stopping philosophy'--as Dreben sometimes suggested. But at its best, Dreben-like thinking might still make us philosophers more reflective about what it is we are doing when we ask philosophical questions, and might prompt us to spend more time carefully framing and choosing our battles. Perhaps this means that we--like Rawls--will end up no longer doing 'philosophy' in some bad sense and only in a more useful sense. But this couldn't be all bad.

Going in the other direction, though, I think there's something very important to learn from Rawls's last question too--even if we were to accept Dreben's insights. Dreben saw Rawls's work as useful, and not as falling prey to many of the kinds of criticisms he (Dreben) was fond of waging. (The same is true of Tarski's work.) But most of us think of this as philosophical work in some sense. The appropriate conclusion for us to draw, then, is that it's not going to be so easy to know the genuine scope and reach of Dreben's intended criticisms. It would seem to me a laudable goal to ask, persistently and reflectively, where our work lies on this dividing line as we do it. And this kind of questioning--it seems to me--may end up being more compatible with more useful philosophy than the advocates of the different sides of this debate sometimes concede. So I wonder: is there a way to usefully incorporate Dreben's insights into more current philosophical thinking than presently seems to be occurring?

Posted by: Rob Kar | December 21, 2004 01:36 AM

A bit of background on the "history of nonsense" quote.

"Nonsense is nonsense -- but the history of nonsense is scholarship" is actually a quote from Saul Lieberman, who uttered it when introducing Gershom Scholem at a famous lecture in the 1940s at the Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC. (Lieberman was a great Talmudic scholar; Scholem was, of course, one of the greatest scholars of Jewish mysticism. Bios of each can be found at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/slieberman.html and http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/scholem.html.) Dreben's first wife's father was Shalom Spiegel, who was a great scholar of medieval Hebrew. (Bio at http://www.jtsa.edu/campus/registrar/bulletin/spiegel.pdf.) So the quotation had great resonance for Dreben, in multiple ways.

A version of the (Lieberman-Scholem) story can be found in Cynthia Ozick's 2002 New Yorker profile of Scholem at: http://gonsalves.org/favorite/Scholem.htm

Posted by: tamar | December 21, 2004 09:14 AM

I can't help with any answers, but I am curious and would like to add to the questions.

I believe I got all my "info" on Dreben directly or indirectly from defenders of what Dreben declared "nonsense." I think it's fair to say that these opponents of Dreben's didn't think there was anything worth worrying about behind his charges, but that's perhaps to be expected. It made me curious.

One obvious and quite fundamental question that Dreben must have faced, but that in my almost complete ignorance I don't know his answer to, is whether he counted his own disagreements with other philosophers over whether this or that is nonsense as among the disputes that only appear to be meaningful but are really just "grand attempts at sparring in the wind"?

Anybody know his answer? Is it addressed in the book?

Posted by: Keith DeRose | December 21, 2004 11:12 AM

A point related to Keith's question: I'm sure I know less than anyone here about Dreben, but from the above description he sounds to me at least as "unhinged" from "real use of language" as he apparently accuses others of being. For instance, it appears that what Dreben would call "philosophy" is what most people would call "bad philosophy," and what Dreben would call "not philosophy" is what most people would call "good philosophy." Putting the distinction Dreben's way certainly seems to have more startling consequences than putting it in the way I think most of us would. But it's not immediately clear to me that Dreben's way doesn't just misuse the word "philosophy."

Posted by: david | December 21, 2004 01:45 PM


I think the problem w/ your reading is that Dreben would (almost certainly) consider very large parts of what goes on at, say, Rutgers or Notre Dame it be "philosphy" in his pejorative sense, but most philosophers don't seem to think this is "bad philosophy", at least not according to the latest gourmet report. (Note that it's not clear he'd think all the work at either place is "philosophy" in his pejorative sense- but the large chunks of more or less a priori, pre-critical metaphysics would be.) So, he's surely using the world in a technical sense, and this confuses lots of people, and is perhaps not a good idea, but he's not saying what you seem to think.

Posted by: Matt | December 21, 2004 02:03 PM

I had the good fortune of knowing Burt Dreben during his later teaching career at Boston University, when he was married to Juliet Floyd, a former student of his at Harvard and one of the editors of the book in question. He was a popular teacher of important classes on Russell, Wittgenstein, and others. He was also a distinct voice in a pluralistic and fascinating department.

In his later life, at least, his outlook seemed to rest on the thesis, which Professor Leiter correctly traces to Nietzsche, that all arguments about the ultimate nature of things lean on certain "choices" or "options" that are not themselves demonstrable. For him, this meant that philosophical theories are ultimately arbitrary, being the product of the thinker's prejudices or will rather than of reason itself. In this sense he was situated in the same place as other postmodern thinkers like Rorty.

Rawls indicates, of course, the problem with this position, which is the problem with all kinds of radical skepticism: it rests on assumptions about the nature of reality, knowledge, and language that are themselves "arbitrary" by its own lights. Dreben's nemesis at Boston University, Stanley Rosen, liked to remind his students that this problem in Dreben's philosophy was the same one that Plato successfully objected to in the philosophy of Protagoras.

I wonder if the flourishing of serious normative philosophy in the last thirty years suggests that history has passed over the postmodern moment of Dreben, Rorty, etc.

Posted by: Matt Simpson | December 21, 2004 03:13 PM

First Matt,

I am sure you're mostly right, but I still feel like I have a small bone to pick here. Dreben's claim, according to the second Matt, is apparently that "philosophical" arguments rest on arbitrary, non-demonstrable assumptions. But it seems to me that these are exactly what most of us would call *bad* philosophical arguments. Now Dreben's view might be, as you suggest, that an awful lot of philosophical arguments are "bad" in this sense; Dreben might want to show that philosophers at Notre Dame or Rutgers almost always fail to make "good" philosophical arguments, i.e. arguments with non-arbitrary premises. And if that's his view, then for all I know, he is right. But Dreben should defend that claim with an argument, rather than with a unconventional and obfuscating definition of "philosophy". (And of course I'm not claiming Dreben hasn't provided the requisite argument. I'm only claiming I don't see the argument yet.)

Posted by: david | December 21, 2004 06:24 PM

the problem with this position, which is the problem with all kinds of radical skepticism: it rests on assumptions about the nature of reality, knowledge, and language that are themselves "arbitrary" by its own lights. Dreben's nemesis at Boston University, Stanley Rosen, liked to remind his students that this problem in Dreben's philosophy was the same one that Plato successfully objected to in the philosophy of Protagoras.

But do you know how Dreben responded to this problem?

Posted by: Keith | December 22, 2004 12:21 PM

Here’s a few quick reflections on just a few things from above. I had a fair number of conversations with Dreben and attended a few of his classes when I was a student. But I don’t have a basis for saying much with great confidence, or to say much at all regarding some of the above. (I don’t have much of a guess about how Dreben would answer, for example, Rawls’ questions about what philosophical understanding is and what its about.)

Dreben thought you couldn’t make good sense of some (OK, many) philosophical debates. Rawls alludes to attempts to explain (if you prefer, philosophically explain) logical validity. Rawls suggests that Dreben’s view has some affinities with Kant’s view that there is nothing more fundamental than reason itself to which one can appeal in assessing reason and its products. Just to say this would be consistent with a position that held that would-be attempts were therefore mistaken. Dreben went further in holding that in fact in some sense one couldn’t really even understand them.

Dreben didn’t make pretend he had some neutral criterion for meaningfulness that his opponents would accept. As Rawls notes, Dreben’s pedagogical methodology (when he was at his best, at least) was to closely examine specific attempts to address various questions—such as the aforementioned question of what makes validities valid. (Call these ‘metaphysical’ questions, or ‘philosophical’ questions, if you want. I don’t know whether it would be particularly interesting to try to discuss in the abstract what counts as one. I can’t imagine he thought there was some general criterion for this either.) So, he would spend a semester looking, for example, at the twists and turns of how Russell’s views on such putative questions developed, attempting to bring out that it’s not even clear what the question was supposed to be, what would count as answering it, or even as a relevant consideration.

I suppose that proceeding in this way via cases, without the benefit of an agreed upon criterion of meaningfulness, was what made him in some sense Wittgensteinian. When someone with this sort of methodology ascends from specific worked cases (or when someone else does so on his or her behalf), you’re not likely to get much of interest besides sloganeering. That’s in the nature of the case. But (in addition to his work in math logic) Dreben did publish 8 or 9 articles (perhaps more) toward the end of his life. So, one might want to look at what he said to see some examples of how he proceeded and to see what one thinks of the results—though, as Rawls mentions, Dreben was at his best when people who knew the texts well and had some developed views of their own pressed him. And that doesn’t show up so much in the published papers. Also, the papers I’ve read tend more towards limning Quine’s point of view than towards the sort of criticism gestured at above.

Now, since he didn’t have a neutral criterion to offer, it’s not surprising that his opponents might not have found that his applications of this method always yielded compelling results. He took it to be the case that in these disputes, as elsewhere, there’s an element of judgment. It’s not always very pleasant, when you’re not convinced, to be told you’re among the goats, not the sheep. (I know from experience!) But, in reply to Keith’s query, I think you can see why he wouldn’t take the mere fact that he didn’t convince some people to be sufficient for his claims to be themselves nonsensical. He didn’t argue generally, from the difficulty of persuading others, to nonsensicality, so why should he argue this way as applied to his own disagreements? (We likewise tell our freshmen that the difficulty of convincing others doesn’t seem in itself sufficient to conclude that moral claims are subjective or what have you.) Of course, Keith didn’t explicitly attribute this kind of argument to Dreben, but what other reason did you have in mind for thinking he might face the problem that his own disagreements with others about the status of certain disputes must itself by his own lights be counted among the disputes he considered nonsensical?

(Speaking of those were not convinced, I can’t resist an anecdote. Dummett had just delivered a lecture on Wittgenstein on logical necessity. Dreben arose excitedly to disagree with the interpretation. “But Burt,” Dummett said,” you think *all* this stuff is nonsense.” To which Dreben replied,” No, no, no, no, no! . . . Well, yes.”)

Let me close by registering my disagreement with the suggestion that Dreben held that fundamental philosophical matters are a matter of arbitrary decision. He *did* claim that one mark of a great philosopher (at least, one kind of greatness) was that their views were sufficiently developed and ramified that they affected their very conception of the task, methods, data, and questions of philosophy; and that as a result it was often very difficult to find neutral ground upon which the views of two great philosophers could be adjudicated. Among his favorite examples were Carnap and Quine’s disagreements. He was quite amusing on Carnap’s reply to Quine in the Schilpp volume, where you find Carnap trying to explain some elementary logic to Quine, as if Quine maybe couldn’t follow a few elementary steps in the propositional calculus. Carnap and Quine had deep respect for each other and knew each others’ work intimately. And yet they so often seem to talk right past each other. Now there’s an interesting datum. (Another intersting example: Locke vs. Leibniz on “first truths,” the topic of Margaret Wilson’s first paper. I don’t know whether Dreben was formally on her dissertation committee.) But Dreben’s view surely wasn’t that one could then just choose whom to agree with, say by flipping a coin.

Interestingly, Rawls says something that sounds a bit like the poster’s remarks about arbitrary choices. He writes that, according to Dreben: “Whether we accept a mathematical structure as helping us to understand an intuitive logical notion like validity is up to us.” Perhaps this isn’t so well put. Note, however, that Rawls immediately continues: “It depends on our judgment upon critical reflection.” Then comes the remark about Kant on reason.

By the way, what’s this about one person seeming to fear that another would (supposedly) scream bloody murder for having taken someone’s class? Should one really care in this manner what others think about whom one reads, talks to, productively disagrees with, etc.? What happened to ‘nothing philosophical is foreign to me’ and ‘think for yourself’?

Oops, what I had intended to be a few sentences has become rather long-winded. Clearly, I am procrastinating. (See John Perry’s essay on putting procrastination to work.) I must get back to more pressing matters.

Posted by: Steven Gross | December 22, 2004 09:17 PM

"...Stanley Rosen liked to remind his students that this problem in Dreben's philosophy was the same one that Plato successfully objected to in the philosophy of Protagoras."--matt simpson

"But do you know how Dreben responded to this problem?"--keith de rose

Keith--maybe he responded
"What Rosen said is scholarship! What Plato said was garbage!"

I wish I had his faith in the historian's alchemical ability to turn dross into gold--I should have thought that the history of philosophy, like programming, worked on the GIGO principle. (Or am I just mistaken in assuming that he thought the title of "scholarship" conveyed any higher worth than garbage?)

Posted by: Tad Brennan | December 22, 2004 09:21 PM

But, in reply to Keith’s query, I think you can see why he wouldn’t take the mere fact that he didn’t convince some people to be sufficient for his claims to be themselves nonsensical. He didn’t argue generally, from the difficulty of persuading others, to nonsensicality, so why should he argue this way as applied to his own disagreements? (We likewise tell our freshmen that the difficulty of convincing others doesn’t seem in itself sufficient to conclude that moral claims are subjective or what have you.) Of course, Keith didn’t explicitly attribute this kind of argument to Dreben, but what other reason did you have in mind for thinking he might face the problem that his own disagreements with others about the status of certain disputes must itself by his own lights be counted among the disputes he considered nonsensical?

I was genuinely asking for how he responded. For all I knew (and, actually, for all I still know), Dreben agreed that his own claims of nonsense were themselves nonsense. And for all I knew and know, he denied this -- in which case, the natural follow-up indeed would have been to ask on what basis he escaped the charge that he claimed others fell to. If he "didn’t have a neutral criterion to offer," did he have any criterion, or even a guide, to offer, so that opponents could then assess whether the offered guide is a reliable one? Or was the situation really as it was represented to me -- and I stress that I never witnessed any of these encounters, and got my reports of them entirely from the anti-Dreben side -- that he simply pronounced, and if his pronouncement was challenged, he had only force of personality (but a considerable amount of that) to back it up?

Posted by: Keith DeRose | December 22, 2004 10:18 PM

Keith writes: "I was genuinely asking for how he responded. For all I knew (and, actually, for all I still know), Dreben agreed that his own claims of nonsense were themselves nonsense. And for all I knew and know, he denied this." Sorry Keith, I wasn't trying to be coy. In anticipating the follow-up question, I meant to be suggesting the answer. (Expecting too much of accommodation.) So, more flat-footedly: No, I don't think he considered himself to be speaking nonsense when he said things like "Here Russell has literally fallen into nonsense." And I don't think he would have thought someone who disagreed would have fallen into nonsense. You could say that he thought there was a fact of the matter about whether Russell had fallen into nonsense, and about whether he, Dreben, had in so saying. But I believe, following Quine, he would have had a deflationary view of such fact-talk: to say it's a fact that P is just another (perhaps emphatic) way of saying P.

He certainly sometimes simply pronounced. (And sometimes pronounced and pronounced at great volume.) This was sometimes very annoying and could be pedagogically disasterous. That why I said he was at his best when pressed by informed interlocuters. It got him out of diatribe mode and back to the texts he was using as examples.

I don't know if I have much that's informative to say about what on Dreben's view might have been a guide to when you've got a bad question. I suggested something above about marks of a bad question: not having a sufficient grasp of what would count as an answer to the question or as even a relevant consideration. But I'm hesitant to ascribe anything more specific or substantive to Dreben -- first, because I really don't know what he'd say; second, because he had a particular interest in the failed attempts of philosophers to successfully supply clear, non-question-begging criteria for meaningfulness (Carnap again is a particularly sophisticated example). I know that's not very satisfying: both my ignorance of what he'd say, and his reluctance to say anything more substantive and specific. But one could see whether those papers he published supply some further materials for an answer, maybe not explicitly, but as an example of his practice. Perhaps they don't.

For fun, I supply a favorite quote of Dreben's - Kant on the question 'What is truth?' (paraphrasing from memory): It's a mark of great sagacity to be able to tell when one has a good question and when not. Otherwise one winds up with the ludicrous spectacle, as the ancients said, of one man milking a he-goat and the other holding a sieve underneath.

Incidentally (anticipating a possible reaction), I wouldn't think it'd be correct to conclude that Dreben was unflective about his methodology -- which would be quite damning given his repeated charge that many philosophers (not the "great" ones, though) tend to be unreflective about their methodology with bad consequences.

Finally, a (no doubt unecessary) disclaimer: I'm not defending any of this, just trying to add some possibly helpful remarks based on my encounters, to the extent I am in a position to do so.

Posted by: Steven Gross | December 23, 2004 08:05 AM

Thanks, Steven!
(I should divulge that I recruited Steven to add to this discussion, and that he did so despite [or perhaps in light of his above mention of Perry on procrastination: because of] a looming deadline he faces.)

Posted by: Keith DeRose | December 23, 2004 08:20 AM

Let me add one other remark. I don't mean to make it sound like Dreben was some mystic, and one either saw the light or didn't (though that was the sort of disasterous pedagogical effect he could have). Even though he might not have been willing to say much in direct answer to such questions 'when is a question a good (read: non-nonsensical) question?', he had lots (and lots and lots, sometimes) to say in reply to questions like 'what happens when Russell tries to provide an explanation of logical truth?'. And perhaps through such examples of worked cases he did after all say something indirectly in answer to the first, more general question.

Posted by: Steven Gross | December 23, 2004 08:23 AM

Oops - our posts crossed, making it seem that I've ignored your 'thank you'. So: you're welcome. And thanks for alerting me to the thread and raising your question.

Posted by: Steven Gross | December 23, 2004 09:06 AM

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