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Title: Bertrand Russell's neutral monism
Author: Ahmed, Mafizuddin
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1968
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This work is a study of Russell's neutral monism with special emphasis on the stages of its development. Two distinct phases are recognised; these are called 'partial neutralism' and 'complete neutral monism'. The first is advocated in 'The Analysis of Mind' and the second in his later works. The work is mainly interpretative. This involves comparison and criticism of the views expressed at different stages and the interpretations given by critics and commentators and Russell's replies to them, as also clearing up certain ambiguities and misunderstandings. In this respect it is a critical exposition of Russell's theory. The discussions begin with a historical sketch of the development of neutral monism in general with brief reproduction of the views of its early propounders (Chapter I). Russell's theory is discussed in several chapters. First, a preliminary account is given snowing how he comes to adopt it at first partially and then completely from the position of logical atomism (Chapter II). The theories of the neutral stuff, matter, and mind are then discussed separately in some detail indicating in each case the important changes made at different stages (Chapters III, IV, V). Finally, some questions concerning body, mind and person are considered, and reference is made to the modern 'Identity Hypothesis' and Strawson's views on persons (Chapter VI). The final version of Russell's theory seems to attain a sort of theoretical completeness and to avoid certain difficulties involved in the earlier theory of partial neutralism. The Identity Hypothesis is found to be originally Russell's idea, and to be tenable as an aspect of neutral monism rather than in its present physicalist form. Strawson's arguments for the 'primitiveness' of the concept of a person seem unsatisfactory; Russell's theory may be wrong, but Strawson's position does not prove that it is so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy