By B. Russell
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Extra resources for An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
All other physical sentences can theoretically be either proved or disproved (as the case may be), or rendered probable or improbable,· by sentences of these forms; and we ought not to include as a datum anything capable of logical proof or disproof by means of other data. But this is merely by way of anticipation. In a sentence of atomic form, expressed in a strictly logical language, there are a finite number of proper names (any finite number from one upwards), and there is one word which is not a proper name.
What you saw was some particular shape, to which we will give the proper name A; and you judged "A is human". The two sentences "I saw A" and "A is human" enable you to deduce "I saw a man", but this latter sentence does not imply that you saw A, or that A is human. When you tell me that you saw a man, I cannot tell whether you saw A or B or C or any other of the men that exist. What is known is the truth of some proposition of the form : "I saw x and x is human". '> This form is not atomic, being compounded of HI saw x and "xis human".
Observe that the order of words can be Changed, and that · we can say "Caesar killed Brutus" just as easily as "Brutus killed . · not imply that there are universals. It only asserts that the status of a word, as op� to its instances, is the same as that ofDog as opposed to various particular dogs. • This does SENTENCES, SYNTAX, AND PARTS OF SPEECH Caesar,,, we are apt to think that the words are definite things which are capable of different arrangements. This is a mistake: the words · are abstractions, and the verbal utterances can only have whichever order they do have.
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by B. Russell