Author(s): Ogbinaka*

The paper establishes that Bertrand Russell’s theory of logical atomism is an outcome of his advocacy of the ontology of realism premised upon a tripod of the strands of idealism, rationalism and empiricism. This is argued to be the basis of both Russell’s analytic philosophy and method of logical analysis. It is against the position of a few scholars who hold that an empiricist philosophy should be devoid of element of rationalism; and vice versa. This problem, evident in Russell’s philosophy, has made his critiques to charge his philosophy of inconsistency. Adopting a methodology that is comparative and analytical, the paper sets out to address this.

The unity and the direction that the development of Russell’s philosophy took can consequently be justified by this fact. This position debunks the generally held, but wrong, view that Russell’s philosophy was undiluted empiricism or inconsistent philosophical thinker who changes his views at every turn of criticism. The paper attempts to answer the questions: What is the foundation of Russell’s logical atomism? How does this contribute to the unity and understanding of the philosophy of logical atomism? Was Russell an empiricist or inconsistent thinker? The fact is established that his philosophy is built upon a tripod of varied philosophical traditions that did not paradoxically affect the outcome of the philosophy of logical atomism negatively. Leibniz, Hume and a form of idealism were position at every turn manifest in this philosophy. The social and philosophical consequences of atomism and analytical approach were outlined by the paper.


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