Bertrand Russell quote about knowledge from The Problems of Philosophy - Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.
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Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.
 Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (1912). copy citation

Context

“Many universals, like many particulars, are only known to us by description. But here, as in the case of particulars, knowledge concerning what is known by description is ultimately reducible to knowledge concerning what is known by acquaintance.
The fundamental principle in the analysis of propositions containing descriptions is this: Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.
We shall not at this stage attempt to answer all the objections which may be urged against this fundamental principle. For the present, we shall merely point out that, in some way or other, it must be possible to meet these objections, for it is scarcely conceivable that we can make a judgement or entertain a supposition without knowing what it is that we are judging or supposing about.” source

Meaning and analysis

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