chapter  3
9 Pages

Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description

In this chapter I start off with Bertrand Russell. No doubt the distinction between ostensible and inostensible terms and reference owes a lot to Bertrand Russell’s famous distinction between “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description”. His article with the same title already hints at our distinction at the very start:

The object of the following paper is to consider what it is that we know in cases where we know propositions about ‘the so-and-so’ without knowing who or what the so-and-so is. For example, I know that the candidate who gets most votes will be elected, though I do not know who is the candidate who will get most votes.1