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Bertrand Russell - aged 8 - he already knows...

Bertrand Russell
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Russell, Bertrand Arthur William

Russell (rùs´el), Bertrand Arthur William. Third Earl Russell
1872-1970

  • British philosopher, mathematician, social critic, and writer who had profound influence on the development of symbolic logic, logical positivism, and the set theory of mathematics. His written works include Principia Mathematica (1910-1913), written with internal linkAlfred North Whitehead, and A History of Western Philosophy (1945). He won the 1950 Nobel Prize for literature.

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    Alfred North Whitehead


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    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

    "The universe is full of internal linkmagical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."

    "There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it."



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    Boredom

    Boredom is . . . a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. The Conquest of Happiness, ch. 4 (1930).

    Conventionality

    Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. The Conquest of Happiness, ch. 9 (1930).

    Liberals

    The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. Unpopular Essays, "Philosophy and Politics" (1950).

    Progress

    internal linkprocess which led from the internal linkamoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress-though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. A Free Man's Worship and Other Essays, ch. 2 (1976).

    Illusion

    A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. "On the Nature of Acquaintance: Neutral Monism" (1914; repr. in Logic and Knowledge, 1956).

    Obscenity

    Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. Look (New York, 23 Feb. 1954).

    Mathematics

    Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. Mysticism and Logic, ch. 4 (1917; article first published in International Monthly, vol. 4, 1901). In a letter of March 1912 to Lady Ottoline Morrell, Russell wrote: "I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe-because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return."



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    By the late 1960s, not long before his death, Russell turned decisively against the United States. He was convinced that their war in Vietnam was immoral and dangerous to civilization. Some of his last actions were plans to set up a war crimes tribunal in Sweden to try American policy-makers from the
    Johnson Administration. Such actions turned this man, then in his nineties, into a guru for many of the internal linkyouth of the 'sixties who looked to him for moral leadership.


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    The point of view of modern internal linkforce-field theory and wave mechanics corresponds to the ancient geometric-internal linkharmonic vision of universal order as being an interwoven configuration of wave patterns. Bertrand Russell, who began to see the profound value of the musical and geometric base to what we now call internal linkPythagorean mathematics and number theory, also supported this view in The Analysis of Matter: 'What we internal linkperceive as various qualities of matter,' he said, 'are actually differences in periodicity.'
      
    Pythagoras
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