So claims Bertrand Russell at the outset of 'In Praise of Idleness', a collection of essays in which he espouses the virtues of cool reflection and free enquiry; a voice of calm in a world of maddening unreason. With characteristic clarity and humour, Russell surveys the social and political consequences of his beliefs. From a devastating critique of the ancestry of fascism to a vehement defence of 'useless' knowledge, with consideration given to everything from insect pests to the human soul, 'In Praise of Idleness' is a tour de force that only Bertrand Russell could perform.
In this timely work, Russell, philosopher, agnostic, mathematician, and renowned peace advocate, offers a brief yet insightful study of the conflicts between science and traditional religion during the last four centuries. Examining accounts in which scientific advances clashed with Christian doctrine or biblical interpretations of the day, from Galileo and the Copernican Revolution, to the medical breakthroughs of anesthesia and inoculation, Russell points to the constant upheaval and reevaluation of our systems of belief throughout history. In turn, he identifies where similar debates between modern science and the Church still exist today. Michael Ruse's new introduction brings these conflicts between science and theology up to date, focusing on issues arising after World War II. This classic is sure to interest all readers of philosophy and religion, as well as those interested in Russell's thought and writings.
'These propositions may seem mild, yet, if accepted, they would absolutely revolutionize human life.' With these words Bertrand Russell introduces what is indeed a revolutionary book. Taking as his starting-point the irrationality of the world, he offers by contrast something 'wildly paradoxical and subversive' - a belief that reason should determine human actions. Today, besieged as we are by the numbing onslaught of twenty-first-century capitalism, Russell's defence of scepticism and independence of mind is as timely as ever. In clear, engaging prose, he guides us through the key philosophical issues that affect our daily lives - freedom, happiness, emotions, ethics and beliefs - and offers no-nonsense advice.
Bertrand Russell’s professional philosophical reputation rests mainly on his mathematical logic and theory of knowledge. In this study, first published in 1985, however, Kenneth Blackwell considers Russell’s writings on ethics and metaethics and uncovers the conceptual unity in Russell’s normative ethic. He traces that unity to the influence of Spinoza’s central ethical concept, the ‘intellectual love of God’, and then evaluates the ethic which he terms ‘impersonal self-enlargement’. The introduction discusses the metaethical background to Russell’s ethic and the difficulties inherent in Russell’s view that ethical knowledge is not possible. The first section then examine...
The key to human nature that Marx found in wealth and Freud in sex, Bertrand Russell finds in power. Power, he argues, is man's ultimate goal, and is, in its many guises, the single most important element in the development of any society. Writting in the late 1930s when Europe was being torn apart by extremist ideologies and the world was on the brink of war, Russell set out to found a 'new science' to make sense of the traumatic events of the day and explain those that would follow. The result was Power, a remarkable book that Russell regarded as one of the most important of his long career. Countering the totalitarian desire to dominate, Russell shows how political enlightenment and human understanding can lead to peace - his book is a passionate call for independence of mind and a celebration of the instinctive joy of human life.
Bertrand Russell was born in 1872 and died in 1970. One of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, he transformed philosophy and can lay claim to being one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He was a Nobel Prize winner for Literature and was imprisoned several times as a result of his pacifism. His views on religion, education, sex, politics and many other topics, made him one of the most read and revered writers of the age. This, his autobiography, is one of the most compelling and vivid ever written. This one-volume, compact paperback edition contains an introduction by the politician and scholar, Michael Foot, which explores the status of this classic nearly 30 years after the publication of the final volume.
Not to be confused with the philosophy of mathematics, mathematical philosophy is the structured set of rules that govern all existence. Or, in a word: logic. While this branch of philosophy threatens to be an intimidating and abstract subject, it is one that is surprisingly simple and necessarily sensible, particularly at the pen of writer Bertrand Russell, who infuses this work, first published in 1919, with a palpable and genuine desire to assist the reader in understanding the principles he illustrates. Anyone interested in logic and its development and application here will find a comprehensive and accessible account of mathematical philosophy, from the idea of what numbers actually are, through the principles of order, limits, and deduction, and on to infinity. British philosopher and mathematician BERTRAND ARTHUR WILLIAM RUSSELL (1872-1970) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Among his many works are Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Power: A New Social Analysis (1938), and My Philosophical Development (1959).