Meaning of the word “the”

I need some help track­ing down a quo­ta­tion. I’m pretty sure that it was an early 20th cen­tury philoso­pher—per­haps Rus­sell. He was ex­plain­ing that mod­ern philos­o­phy no longer tries to find the mean­ing of life. Post-Wit­gen­stein, it has nar­rowed its am­bi­tions and now seeks only to dis­cover the mean­ing of words. He goes on to ex­plain why even this is likely to prove difficult. And then (here is the part I like) he wryly com­ments that in spite of the difficul­ties, there has been some progress in work­ing out the mean­ing of the word “the”.

Does that ring a bell for any­one?