Logic, Topology and Physics: Points of Contact between Bertrand Russell and Max Newman

  • I. Grattan-Guinness Middlesex University


This article reviews the interactions between Russell and the English mathematician

Max Newman. The most substantial one occurred in 1928, when Newman

published some penetrating criticisms of Russell’s philosophy of science, and

followed up with two long letters to Russell on logical knowledge and on the

potential use of topology in physics. The exchange, which opened up some

issues in Russell’s philosophy that he did not fully cope with either at the time

or later, is transcribed here. Their joint involvements with the Royal Society of

London are also recorded.

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