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By James H. Nichols

Nichols examines the main writings of Alexandre Kojève, and clarifies the nature and brings to mild the significance of his political philosophy. whereas emphasizing the political size of Kojève's idea, Nichols treats all his significant released writings and indicates how the remarkably different elements of Kojève's highbrow exercise pass jointly. this can be a necessary evaluate of Kojève which considers the works that preceded his flip to Hegel, seeks to articulate the nature of his Hegelianism, and displays intimately at the diversified meanings that the top of heritage had in varied sessions of his idea.

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Extra resources for Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End of History (20th Century Political Thinkers)

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We shall begin with logical atomism and discuss its successors in later chapters. Logical atomism has a complicated history. The name stems from two of Russell’s writings, a monograph, “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism,” published in 1918, and an essay, “Logical Atomism,” published in 1924. In “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism,” but not in the later document, Russell gives credit to Wittgenstein for supplying “many of the theories” contained in it. By 1924 Wittgenstein’s contributions were wholly assimilated into Russell’s views and were developed in ways Wittgenstein would surely have disavowed.

Russell says that it is the sort of feature, such as “the condition of weather, that makes my statement true (or false as the case may be)” (p. 182). What are true or false are propositions (or perhaps beliefs) about facts. Propositions are true when there is a one-to-one correlation between the way its linguistic constituents are arranged and the particulars that “hang together” in the world, as Wittgenstein was later to put it. Russell’s categorization of facts in “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism” is extensive and complex; it is the main topic of four of the eight lectures.

But beliefs are not. If there were no cognitive beings, there would be no beliefs, and therefore no truth or falsity, but there would still Philosophical Logic 36 be facts. Facts are complex features, such as a rock’s being white or the moon’s being a satellite of Earth. The existence of such features does not depend on any form of human cognition—for example, whether anyone believes or disbelieves that the moon is a satellite of Earth has nothing to do with whether that feature exists or not. Russell thus begins his inquiry into “what there is” by drawing a distinction between an objective world of fact and the human capacity by means of language to describe and think about it.

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