What Does Russell’s Argument against Naive Realism Prove?
We provide a study of Russell’s argument (in An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth) against naive realism in which we distinguish five different forms of the argument. We agree with McLendon’s (1956) criticism, that Russell’s premiss that naive realism leads to physics (our emphasis) is ambiguous as between “leads historically or psychologically” and “leads logically”. However, physics does logically lead to naive realism, in the sense that it presupposes it. In that case it is physics that is false. There is also the possibility that physics and naive realism are compatible, and that possibility obtains if phenomenalism is true.