Things that made me laugh today, and some that have intrigued me.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
"If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give." 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.
Together with G.E. Moore, Russell is generally recognized as one of the main founders of modern analytic philosophy. Together with Kurt Gödel, he is regularly credited with being one of the most important logicians of the twentieth century.
Over the course of a long career, Russell also made significant contributions to a broad range of other subjects, including the history of ideas, ethics, political theory, educational theory and religious studies. In addition, generations of general readers have benefited from his many popular writings on a wide variety of topics in both the humanities and the natural sciences. Like Voltaire, to whom he has sometimes been compared, he wrote with style and wit and had enormous influence.
After a life marked by controversy—including dismissals from both Trinity College, Cambridge, and City College, New York—Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Noted also for his many spirited anti-nuclear protests and for his campaign against western involvement in the Vietnam War, Russell remained a prominent public figure until his death at the age of 97. more