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By Omar W. Nasim

The writer demonstrates the numerous position that the various Edwardian philosophers performed within the formation of Russell's paintings at the challenge of the exterior global performed on the tail-end of an issue which raged among approximately 1900-1915.

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Extra info for Bertrand Russell and the Edwardian Philosophers: Constructing the World (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Sample text

It is a distinction between the material thing as it appears imperfectly or wrongly and the same thing as it appears more fully and correctly’ (Stout 1905, 153). This is, to be sure, one of Cook Wilson’s objections made to Stout in his letter. Stout urges that sensible appearances are more than just the ‘appearing’ of a thing: they are what themselves appear. What Stout means by this is that sensible appearances are distinct psychical existents that are distinguished from external things and their qualities, and also from mental acts.

It is Cook Wilson’s confusion between the ‘mere appearing of a thing’ and ‘the appearance of a thing’ that sets Stout apart from the Old Realism and some of the early British Empiricists. All in all, what must be emphasized here about Stout’s position is that his presentations are supposed to be existents in their own right, which, as he says, have ‘an existence and a positive nature of their own, distinct from material things and their attributes … the sensible appearance [or presentation] is itself something that appears …’65 This is not only a point disputed by Dawes Hicks, but is also essentially the point which Cook Wilson allegedly misunderstands in his criticisms of Stout’s 1904 paper.

In later chapters all these features will eventually be related to the British New Realists and Russell. The second part of this chapter will deal with a broad, but important, notion of Stout’s called ‘ideal constructions’. This notion is spread over many texts, some of which are strictly psychological. I will make an effort to sift out what is important and interesting for our purposes. I believe some important things can be learnt from considering Stout’s ideal constructions, especially by way of contrasting them (as Stout himself does) not only with those of Mill, Locke and Kant, but also with Russell’s notion of ‘logical construction’.

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