Topics Worth Investigating

  1. What is the difference, if any, between Aristotle's law of the excluded middle and Russell's law of contradiction? Why can't logical principles such as these support the coherence theory of truth?

  2. Russell writes:

    Thus, for example, it is possible that life is one long dream, and that the outer world has only that degree of reality that the objects of dreams have; but although such a view does not seem inconsistent with known facts, there is no reason to prefer it to the common-sense view, according to which other people and things do really exist.

    How would a coherence theorist attempt to refute this objection?

  3. If Russell is correct about the nature of truth, then why can't truth be dependent on the mind? Why would subjectivism be mistaken on his view?

  4. Russell notes that truth and falsity are not mind-dependent except in this case:

    They create beliefs, but when once the beliefs are created, the mind cannot make them true or false, except in the special case where they concern future things which are within the power of the person believing, such as catching trains.

    Does Russell's view concerning intentional action contradict Aristotle's position on "future truths" as expressed in the reading selection, "The Sea-Fight Tomorrow"? How would you relate this view to William James' genuine option theory?