Russell's "Do Differences Differ?"


  • Thomas R. Foster Ball State University



This paper examines one of Russell’s views, held about the turn of the century, found in a short, unpublished manuscript entitled “Do Differences Differ?”. This work was one of Russell’s early attempts to focus solely on the issue of whether relations were universal or specific relations. Written before The Principles of Mathematics, the manuscript can serve as a step toward that work. To provide a framework for our discussion, we look at aspects of his yet earlier views on this matter. In discussion of the manuscript itself, the present paper divides “Do Differences Differ?” into four distinct parts, discusses some issues and problems with its view, and ends with four distinct responses by Russell to its view.