Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

By Bertrand Russell | Go to book overview

EDITOR'S NOTE

THOSE who, relying on the distinction between Mathematical Philosophy and the Philosophy of Mathematics, think that this book is out of place in the present Library, may be referred to what the author himself says on this head in the Preface. It is not necessary to agree with what he there suggests as to the readjustment of the field of philosophy by the transference from it to mathematics of such problems as those of class, continuity, infinity, in order to perceive the bearing of the definitions and discussions that follow on the work of "traditional philosophy." If philosophers cannot consent to relegate the criticism of these categories to any of the special sciences, it is essential, at any rate, that they should know the precise meaning that the science of mathematics, in which these concepts play so large a part, assigns to them. If, on the other hand, there be mathematicians to whom these definitions and discussions seem to be an elaboration and complication of the simple, it may be well to remind them from the side of philosophy that here, as elsewhere, apparent simplicity may conceal a complexity which it is the business of somebody, whether philosopher or mathematician, or, like the author of this volume, both in one, to unravel.

-vii-

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