Wednesday, September 12, 2007

4.1251 Here now the vexed question “whether all relations are internal or external” disappears.

“Relations” seems to have different senses: definitional/necessary/internal and factual/contingent/external. If this is so, then the vexed question looks like “Are all banks financial institutions or sides of rivers?” A question not worth asking. 4.1241 implies an internal connection between questions of sense (logical) and questions of form (metaphysical). The vexed metaphysical question of 4.125 seems to be the result of a mistake about logic/sense. Cf. the second paragraph of the foreword.

Black (p. 198) says that this might be a reference to G. E. Moore’s essay “Relations,” which attacks the views of Bradley and others on internal relations. Hegelian, idealist views on relations certainly were a concern of Russell’s.

Marie McGinn says that “This remark and the one following (4.1252) make a clear reference to Russell. Russell had argued against the intelligibility of internal relations and held that all relations are external.” (p. 178)

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