Since the very beginning of his philosophical career, Russell famously gave center stage to external relations. In 1959, he thus recalls the origin of his long-standing battle in their favor:
It was towards the end of 1898 that Moore and I rebelled against both Kant and Hegel […] Moore was more concerned with the rejection of idealism, while I was most interested in the rejection of monism. The two were, however, closely connected […] through the doctrine as to relations, which Bradley had distilled out of the philosophy of Hegel. I called this ‘the doctrine of internal relations’, and I called my view ‘the doctrine of external relations’ (Russell 1959: Chpt. 5).
A crucial ingredient of Russell’s campaign for external relations was the apparently ineliminable role that they play in science:
I do not believe that […] those who disbelieve in the reality of relations can possibly interpret those numerous parts of science which employ asymmetrical [external] relations (Russell 1924: 176).
Indeed, as we may put it, the scientific image of the world features all sorts of external relations, from the force and elasticity of classical mechanics to…