Logical atomism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Logical atomism is a philosophical belief that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy. Its principal exponents were the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, the early work of his Austrian-born pupil and colleague Ludwig Wittgenstein, and his German counterpart Rudolf Carnap.

The theory holds that the world consists of ultimate logical "facts" (or "atoms") that cannot be broken down any further. Having originally propounded this stance in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein rejected it in his later Philosophical Investigations.

The name for this kind of theory was coined in 1918 by Russell in response to what he called "logical holism"; i.e. the belief that the world operates in such a way that no part can be known without the whole being known first. This belief is commonly called monism, and in particular, Russell (and G.E. Moore) were reacting to the absolute idealism dominant then in Britain.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Logical atomism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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