Bernard Linsky FRSC
My Courses this term (Fall 2015): Phil 120A1
(See Dept website and eClass for those registered.)
Research and Teaching Interests
My research has been in areas of Philosophical Logic related to Metaphysics and in the History of Logic, in particular, Bertrand Russell's logic. My PhD thesis, on "Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms" developed into an interest in properties, both as the meaning of predicates and as universals in metaphysics. This interest in semantics has led to several papers on logical form, definite descriptions, and how to extend the notion of rigid designation to general terms. Between 1990 and 2006 I wrote a series of papers with Edward Zalta, applying his "Object Theory" to problems about the semantics of necessity and quantified modal logic and the philosophy of mathematics. I also began to study of Bertrand Russell's logic as a theory of properties and propositions, and then, after a first visit to the Bertrand Russell Archives in 2003, various manuscripts by Russell. A series of papers came out of the notes that Russell made on the works of Gottlob Frege in 1902, and a few sheets from the largely missing manuscript of Principia Mathematica from around 1910. I have published edited notes and manuscripts that Russell made for the second edition of PM , from 1925, and a collection of papers on Principia Mathematica based on a conference at McMaster University held in 2010. A collection of papers on Russell's The Problems of Philosophy was published in 2015. I am currently studying notes on Russell’s lectures taken by Henry Sheffer, T.S. Eliot, G.E. Moore and Harry T. Costello.
I have become hooked on archival scholarship because I have had great luck finding materials in archives, though that is mostly because no one had ever looked for them before. In 2004 Ken Blackwell and I stumbled onto three half sheets of Russell’s original manuscript from PM in the Bertrand Russell Archives. In 2012 I located the originals of Henry Sheffer’s notes from Russell’s courses at Cambridge University in 1910. The next year my research assistant, Nika Pona, located a handwritten translation of a 1912 paper on Russell in Polish by Leon Chwistek. In May 2014 I found Harry Costello’s notes in the Archives of Trinity College, Connecticut. The papers included his lecture notes for Russell’s symbolic logic course at Harvard University in 1914, as well as a small notebook in which he recorded Russell’s lectures. I also find things in old books such as the fact that Russell's famous example of "The present King of France" from "On Denoting"(1905) comes from Richard Whately's Elements of Logic (1827). (For the details see my paper on Russell's review of Meinong from 1905.)
Current research continues my study of Russell's logic and metaphysics and his relation to other logicians and philosophers. I am also studying the details of the logic of Principia Mathematica, such as why there is no theorem *2.17. These projects include:
(1) Editing Sheffer's notes on Russell's Lectures on Logic at Cambridge, October-December 1910 and both Harry Costello's and T.S Elliot's notes on Russell's lectures at Harvard University in 1914.
(2) Editing a translation by Rose Rand of Chwistek's 1912 monograph Zasada sprzecznosci w swietle nowsych Bertranda Russella (The Law of Contradiction in the light of recent investigations of Bertrand Russell).
(3) A paper on Russell’s propositional logic: “Peirce’s Law from Principles of Mathematics to Principia Mathematica.”
Recent and Upcoming Talks
June:Bertrand Russell’s Course on Logic at Harvard in 1914, Society for the Study of the History of Analytic Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin
May: Propositional Logic from Principles of Mathematics to Principia Mathematica, Society for Exact Philosophy, McMaster University, Hamilton
April: Peirce's Law from Principles of Mathematics to Principia Mathematica, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, Vancouver
May: Writing The Problems of Philosophy, Society for the Study of the History of Analytic Philosophy, Montreal
November: Leonard Linsky Memorial Conference, University of Chicago
November: Russell and Wittgenstein at the Crossroads 1911-1921, Bertrand Russell Research Centre, McMaster University
April: Terceiro Simposio Internacional de Filosophia da Linguagem e Metafisica na Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro
- AB, (General Honors, Philosophy) University of Chicago 1971
PhD, (Philosophy) Stanford University 1975
- 2009-10 Associate Chair (Graduate Studies), Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta
2005-08 Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta
1999-03 Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta
2002 (July-August) Visiting Professor, University of Auckland, New Zealand
1997-99 Acting Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta
1982-97 Associate Professor with tenure
1976-82 Assistant Professor
1975-76 Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
Awards and Honours
- 2014 Royal Society of Canada, Fellow November 2014
2012 Bertrand Russell Society Book Award
1998-2000 Society for Exact Philosophy: President
- Acquaintance, Knowledge and Logic: New Essays on Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy , Donovan Wishon & Bernard Linsky , eds., Stanford: CSLI, 2015, x + 277 pp.
- The Palgrave Centenary Companion to Principia Mathematica , Nicholas Griffin & Bernard Linsky, eds., Houndsmills Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013, xxvii + 458 pp.
- The Evolution of Principia Mathematica: Bertrand Russell's Manuscripts and Notes for the Second Edition Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, vii + 410 pp.
- On Denoting: 1905-2005 Bernard Linsky & Guido Imaguire, eds., Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2005, 451pp.
- Russell’s Metaphysical Logic Stanford: CSLI Publications, 1999, vii+150pp.
- Philosophy and Biology Mohan Matthen & Bernard Linsky, eds., ( Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 14 ), Calgary: Univ. of Calgary Press, 1988, 267pp.
- Book Chapters
- Ernst Schroeder and Zermelo's Anticipation of Russell's Paradox, in La crise des fondaments: quelle crise?, Francois Lepage and Karine Fredet, eds., Montreal: Les Cahiers d'Ithaque, 2013, 7-23.
- Russell's Theory of descriptions and the idea of logical construction, in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy, Michael Beaney, ed., Oxford University Press, 2013, 402-429.
- Quantification and Descriptions, in The Continuum Companion to Philosophical Logic, Leon Horsten and Richard Pettigrew, eds., London and New York: Continuum, 2011, 77-104.
- Kripke on Proper and General Names, in Saul Kripke, Alan Berger, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 17-48.
- From Descriptive Functions to Sets of Ordered Pairs, in Reduction -- Abstraction -- Analysis : Proceedings of the 31th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg, 2008 , Alexander Hieke and Hannes Leitgeb, eds., Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2009, 259-272.
- Russell and Frege on the Logic of Functions, in 200 Years of Analytic Philosophy : The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication, Vol 4 (2008), 1-17 . www.thebalticyearbook.org The Baltic International Yearbook
- Leon Chwistek's Theory of Constructive Types, in The Golden Age of Polish Philosophy: Kazimierz Twardowski’s Philosophical Legacy , S. Lapointe, Jan Wolenski, Mathieu Marion and Wioletta Miskiewicz, eds., Springer, 2009, 203 - 219.
- Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Bernard Linsky, Russell vs. Frege on Definite Descriptions as Singular Terms, in Russell vs. Meinong: The Legacy of “On Denoting” , Nicholas Griffin and Dale Jacquette, eds., London: Routledge, 2009, 40-64.
- Logical Types in Arguments about Knowability and Belief, in New Essays on the Knowability Paradox , J. Salerno, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, 163-179.
- Logical Analysis and Logical Construction, in The Analytic Turn: Analysis in Early Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology , Michael Beaney, ed., London: Routledge, 2007, 107-122.
- Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Bernard Linsky What is Frege's Theory of Descriptions?, in B. Linsky and G. Imaguire, eds., On Denoting: 1905-2005 , Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2005, 195-250.
- Classes of Classes and Classes of Functions in Principia Mathematica, in Godehard Link, ed. One Hundred Years of Russell's Paradox . Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004, pp. 435-447.
- The Metaphysics of Logical Atomism, in The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell , Nicholas Griffin, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 371-391.
- The Resolution of Russell's Paradox in Principia Mathematica, in Philosophical Perspectives, 16, Language and Mind, 2002 , James E. Tomberlin, ed., Boston and Oxford: Blackwell, 395-417.
- Russell's Logical Form, LF, and Truth-Conditions, in Logical Form and Language , Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter, eds., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002, 391-408.
- Metaphysics II (1945 to the present), in Philosophy of Meaning, Knowledge and Value in the 20th Century, Routledge History of Philosophy, Vol. X , John Canfield, ed., London: Routledge, 1996, 108-133.
- Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta, In Defense of the Simplest Quantified Modal Logic, Philosophical Perspectives, 8, Logic and Language , J.E. Tomberlin, ed. Atascadero: Ridgeview, 1994, 431-58. Chinese translation by Xing Tao Tao in Zhexue Yicong [Philosophical Translations] (Beijing), 1994, 45-53.
- Why Russell Abandoned Russellian Propositions, in Russell and Analytic Philosophy , A. D. Irvine and G. A. Wedeking, eds., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993, 193-209.
- Refereed Journal Articles
- Russell's Paradox of Predicates Frontiers of Philosophy in China, 2014, 9(1), 149-165.
- Ernst Mally's Anticipation of Encoding Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 2(5), 1-14. http://jhaponline.org
- Notes and Correspondence for Russell's 1905 Review of Meinong Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 34(1), Summer 2014, 35-62. This paper describes the origin of Russell's example of "the present King of France."
- Luosu Beilun de Yuyanzhe: Shiluode yu Cemeilo (translation of Ernst Schroeder and Zermelo's Anticipation of Russell's Paradox, by Chen Lei) Shijie Zhexue (World Philosophy, Beijing) 2013, 3: 136-144.
- Russell's Notes for 'Meinong's Theory of Complexes and Assumptions' Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 33(2), Winter 2013-14, 143-70.
- Leon Chwistek, The Principles of Pure Type Theory (1922), translated by Adam Trybus and with an Introductory note by Bernard Linsky, History and Philosophy of Logic, 33(4), 2012, 429-352.
- Critical Notice: Richard Gaskin, The Unity of the Proposition, in Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41, 2011, 469-482.
- Russell's Notes on Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, from §53, Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 26(2), Winter 2006-7, 127-66. Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies
- Bernard Linsky and Edward N. Zalta, What is Neo-Logicism?, The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic,2006, 12:1, 60-99.
- Russell's Notes on Frege for Appendix A of The Principles of Mathematics , Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 24(2), Winter 2004-05, 133-72. Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies
- Russell’s Marginalia in his Copies of Frege’s Works, Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 24(1), 2004, 5-36. Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies
- Leon Chwistek on the no-classes theory in Principia Mathematica, History and Philosophy of Logic, 25(1), 2004, 53-71.
- The Substitutional Paradox in Russell’s 1907 Letter to Hawtrey, [corrected version] Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, n.s. 22(2), 2002, 151-160. Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies
- Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta, Naturalized Platonism versus Platonized Naturalism, The Journal of Philosophy XCII, Oct., 1995, 525-55.
- Truth Makers for Modal Propositions, The Monist Apr (77:2), 1994, 192-206.
- A Note on the ‘Carving up Content’ Principle in Frege's Theory of Sense, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 33, 1992, 126-35. Chinese translation by Wang Xuegang in Zhexue Yicong [Philosophical Translations](Beijing) 1993, 60-65.
- Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta, Is Lewis a Meinongian?, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69, 1991, 438-53.
- Truth at a World is a Modality, Philosophia 20, 1991, 387-94.
- Was the Axiom of Reducibility a Principle of Logic?, Russell: The Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives 10, Winter 1990-91, 125-40. reprinted in: Early Analytic Philosophy: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, W.W.Tait, ed., Chicago: Open Court, 1997, 107-121 and in Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments Vol. 2, A.D. Irvine, ed., London and New York: Routledge, 1999, 250-264. Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies
- Propositional Functions and Universals in Principia Mathematica in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66, 1988, 447-60.
- Factives, Blindspots and Some Paradoxes, Analysis 64, 1986, 10-15.
- General Terms as Designators, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65, 1984, 259-76.
- Phenomenal Qualities and the Identity of Indistinguishables, Synthese 59, 1984, 363-80.
- Is Transmutation Possible?, Philosophical Studies 41, 1982, 367-81.
- Putnam on the Meaning of Natural Kind Terms, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7, 1977, 819-28.
- Critical Notices, Encyclopedia Entries and Invited Papers
- Leonard Linsky on Russell against Meinong, Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin , n.149, Spring 2014, 13-18.
- Logical Constructions, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , E. Zalta, ed., revised 2014, http://plato.stanford.edu Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Bernard Linsky and Kenneth Blackwell, New manuscript leaves and the printing of the first edition of Principia Mathematica, Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies , n.s. 25(2), Winter 2005-06, 141-54.
- General Terms as Rigid Designators, Philosophical Studies (2006) 128: 655-667.
- Remarks on Platonized Naturalism, Croatian Journal of Philosophy ,V(13),2005,3-15.
- Hugues Leblanc (pp. 1434-5) and Dana Scott (pp. 2169-2170) in Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers , J.R. Shook, ed. London: Thoemmes, 2005.
- The Notation in Principia Mathematica, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , Edward N. Zalta (ed.) http://plato.stanford.edu Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Placing Abstract Objects in Naturalism, Philosophical Inquiry , XXIII (1-2), 2001, 73-85.
- Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta, In Defense of the Contingently Nonconcrete, Philosophical Studies 84, 1996, 283-294
- Philosophy After Quine, Eidos 13(2), 1996, 55-65.
- The Vienna Circle and German Speaking Culture Before and After World War II, Acta Analytica (Slovenia) 14, 1995, 189-94.
- Russell's Logical Constructions, Studies in Dialectics of Nature (Beijing), Vol. 11 Supplementary Issue, 1995, 129-48. in Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments Vol. 3, A.D.Irvine, ed., London and New York: Routledge, 1999, 128-50.
- G.W. Fitch's Paleontology, Philosophical Studies 73, 1994, 189-93.
- The Logical Form of Descriptions, (Critical Notice of Stephen Neale's Descriptions ), Dialogue XXXI, 1992, 677-83.
- Critical Notice of: Nathan Salmon, Reference and Essence, Canadian Journal of Philosophy ,14, 1984, 499-515.
- Bernard Linsky & John King-Farlow, John Heintz's Subjects and Predicates , Philosophical Inquiry 6, 1984, 47-56.
- Critical Notice: Baruch Brody, Identity and Essence, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12, 1982, 391- 407.
- Critical Notice: Mark Platts, Ways of Meaning, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 10, 1980, 513-23.