Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Bertrand Russell is one of the grandmasters of 20th Century Analytic Philosophy. It is surprising, then, that his work fell out of fashion later in his career. As a result, very little has been discussed concerning Russell’s work from the period of 1927 – 59. This thesis provides an analysis of Russell’s philosophical work from this era. Our attention here is on Russell’s theory of perception and the underlying metaphysical structure that is developed as a result of his scientific outlook. Russell’s philosophy during this time focused almost exclusively on perception, knowledge, and the epistemic relationship humans have with the world according to science. It is these topics that are engaged with and explicated. We discover that, due to Russell's outright acceptance of that conclusion found in physics, metaphysically he defends a four-dimensional neutral monist event ontology; perceptually he defends a causal theory where one's perceptions must be understood as only being of one's brain; and epistemically he is a fallibilist, wherein justification can be found in a coherent set of beliefs founded on intrinsically credible individual propositions, but knowledge itself is ultimately a vexed and imprecise concept.
Olson, Dustin Z., "Bertrand Russell On Perception and Knowledge (1927 - 59)" (2011). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6073.
McMaster University Library