On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy

ISBN : 9780198811251

Fraser MacBride
288 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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The concepts of particular and universal have become so familiar that their significance has become difficult to discern, like coins that have been passed back and forth too many times, worn smooth so their values can no longer be read. On the Genealogy of Universals seeks to overcome our sense of over-familiarity with these concepts by providing a case study of their evolution during the late 19th century and early 20th century, a study that shows how the history of these concepts is bound up with the origins and development of analytic philosophy itself. Understanding how these concepts were taken up, transfigured and given up by the early analytic philosophers, enables us to recover and reanimate the debate amongst them that otherwise remains Delphic - to interpret some of the early, originating texts of analytic philosophy that have hitherto baffled commentators, including Moore's early papers, to appreciate afresh the neglected contributions of philosophical figures that historians of analytic philosophy have mostly since forgot, including Stout and Whitehead, and to shed new light upon the relationships of Moore to Russell and Russell to Wittgenstein.


1 Kantian Prequel: Idols of the Tribe
2 Moore: The Most Platonic System of Modern Times
3 Moore: Neque Substantia Neque Accidens
4 Russell's Early Philosophy: I Share Locke's Wonder
5 The Birth of the Particular-Universal Distinction: But a Sleep and a Forgetting
6 Moore and Whitehead Towards Categorial Pluralism: Predication is a Muddled Notion
7 G. F. Stout: So Sensible an Election for Oxford
8 Russell's Higher-Order Judgment Relation: A New Beast for Our Zoo
9 Wittgenstein's Tractatus: Die allgemeine Form des Satzes ist: Es verhalt sich so und so
10 Ramsey: About the Forms of Atomic Propositions We Can Know Nothing Whatever

About the author: 

Fraser MacBride is Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Manchester and Editor of the Monist. He was previously Chair of Logic and Rhetoric at the University of Glasgow and a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He has also been the Visiting Bertrand Russell Professor at McMaster University where the Bertrand Russell Archive is held. He has published widely on metaphysics, the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of language as well as the history of analytic philosophy with an especial interest in the existence and nature of relations.

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