The essays included in this edition include: Mysticism and Logic, The Place of Science in a Liberal Education, A Free Man's Worship, The Study of Mathematics, Mathematics and the Metaphysicians, On Scientific Method in Philosophy, The Ultimate Constituents of Matter, The Relation of Sense-data to Physics, On the Motion of Cause, and Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description.
The essays included in this edition include: Mysticism and Logic, The Place of Science in a Liberal Education, A Free Man's Worship, The Study of Mathematics, Mathematics and the Metaphysicians, On Scientific Method in Philosophy, The Ultimate Constituents of Matter, The Relation of Sense-data to Physics, On the Motion
of Cause, and Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description.
Bertrand 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."
Russell described himself both as an agnostic and an atheist. For most of his adult life Russell maintained that religion is little more than superstition and, despite any positive effects that religion might have, it is largely harmful to people. He believed religion and the religious outlook (he considered communism and other systematic ideologies to be forms of religion) serve to impede knowledge, foster fear and dependency, and are responsible for much of the war, oppression, and misery that have beset the world. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the British Humanist Association and President of Cardiff Humanists until his death.
Political and social activism occupied much of Russell's time for most of his life. Russell remained politically active almost to the end of his life, writing to and exhorting world leaders and lending his name to various causes. He was noted for saying "No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God."
Russell determined man to be "the product of causes ... his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms, that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand ... "
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. 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.
Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. 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, computer science, and philosophy, especially 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 United States of America's involvement 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."