Quotation by Bertrand Russell

For want of the apparatus of propositional functions, many logicians have been driven to the conclusion that there are unreal objects. It is argued, e.g., by Meinong, that we can speak about "the golden mountain," "the round square," and so on; we can make true propositions of which these are the subjects; hence they must have some kind of logical being, since otherwise the propositions in which they occur would be meaningless. In such theories, it seems to me, there is a failure of that feeling for reality which ought to be preserved even in the most abstract studies. Logic, I should maintain, must no more admit a unicorn than zoology can; for logic is concerned with the real world just as truly as zoology, though with its more abstract and general features.
Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), British philosopher, mathematician, activist, pacifist. also in the portion repr. As "Descriptions" in Classics of Analytic Philosophy, ed. R. Ammerman. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, ch. XVI (1919).

Language-based ontologies rest on a mistake.
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