Analytic Philosophy

Bertrand Russell

What was Bertrand Russell’s theory of knowledge?

Russell distinguished between two kinds of knowledge. Knowledge by acquaintance was direct knowledge of “sense data,” mental states, thoughts, and feeling. More indirect “knowledge by description” was ultimately based on knowledge by acquaintance. For example, I have knowledge by acquaintance of this page as I am typing it into my computer, but knowledge by description of Burma, where I have never been.


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