Russell’s Second Philosophy of Time (1899–1913)

Nikolay Milkov


Russell’s second philosophy of time (1899–1913), which will be the subject of this
paper, is of special interest for two reasons. (1) It was basic to his New
Philosophy, later called the “philosophy of logical atomism”. In fact, this
philosophy didn’t initially emerge in the period of 1914– 1919, as many interpreters
(e.g. A. J. Ayer) suggest, but with the introduction of Russell’s second philosophy
of time (and space). The importance of Russell’s second philosophy of time for his
early and middle philosophy can be seen from the fact that it survived the dramatic
changes in his philosophy of August–December 1900, and of July 1905. There is of
course no surprise about this point: it served as their fundament. (2) Russell’s
second philosophy of time is a locus classicus of all so called B-theories of time
which define it in terms of the relations of before, after and simultaneous between
events or moments.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; absolute theory of time; theory of time; order; relation; relationist theory of time; B-series

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