Monday, July 10, 2017

Bertrand Russell

This is a story I should of worked on for a long time.
I know people will say more BS, but really in the 80's in middle school,
I remember my teacher asking me a bunch of questions.
Like What do I think about this and what do you think about that etc.
She was asking me questions that where related to Bertrand Russell.
I was 13 at the time who the hell is Bertrand Russell?
So I didn't know anything about him but she knew of his works.

I had the same view point as Bertrand Russell when I was 13 and
I am talking about right on! We think alike! I think my teacher thought
I was a reincarnation of him. Even though he died after I was born.
Still strange! I agree I do fit in there with Bertrand or he fit in with me,
(metaphysics) but anyway...

~~~~~Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell OM FRS
18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician,
historian, writer, social critic and political activist. At various points in his life he
considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he
had never been any of these in any profound sense. He was born in Monmouthshire
into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in Britain. 

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism".
He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his
predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore, and his protégé Ludwig
Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians.
With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create
a logical basis for mathematics. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been
considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence
on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science,
computer science and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language,
epistemology, and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed anti-imperialism
and went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he campaigned
against Adolf Hitler, then criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement
of the United States in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of
nuclear disarmament. In 1950 Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
"in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions
humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".

Russell is generally credited with being one of the founders of analytic philosophy.
He was deeply impressed by Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), and wrote on
every major area of philosophy except aesthetics. He was particularly prolific in the
field of metaphysics, the logic and the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy
of language, ethics and epistemology. When Brand Blanshard asked Russell
why he didn't write on aesthetics, Russell replied that he didn't know anything
about it, "but that is not a very good excuse, for my friends tell me it has not
deterred me from writing on other subjects".

~~~~~Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872–1970) was a British philosopher,
logician, essayist and social critic best known for his work in mathematical logic
and analytic philosophy. His most influential contributions include his championing
of logicism (the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic),
his refining of Gottlob Frege’s predicate calculus (which still forms the basis of
most contemporary systems of logic), his defense of neutral monism
(the view that the world consists of just one type of substance which is
neither exclusively mental nor exclusively physical), and his theories of
definite descriptions and logical atomism. 

Attempts to sum up Russell’s life have been numerous. One of the more famous
comes from the Oxford philosopher A.J. Ayer. As Ayer writes,
“The popular conception of a philosopher as one who combines universal learning
with the direction of human conduct was more nearly satisfied by Bertrand Russell
than by any other philosopher of our time” (1972a, 127). Another telling comment
comes from the Harvard philosopher W.V. Quine: “I think many of us were drawn
to our profession by Russell’s books. He wrote a spectrum of books for a
graduated public, layman to specialist. We were beguiled by the wit and a sense
of new-found clarity with respect to central traits of reality” (1966c, 657).

Despite such comments, perhaps the most memorable encapsulation of Russell’s life
and work comes from Russell himself. As Russell tells us...

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth 
stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell

That was a point for me when I did my homework or a project I had to do
in middle school. It was hard to do something like that but it sets a foundation
for better writing and understanding in life.