When first the opposition of fact and ideal grows fully visible, a spirit of fiery revolt, of fierce hatred of the gods, seems necessary to the assertion of freedom. To defy with Promethean constancy a hostile universe, to keep its evil always in view, always actively hated, to refuse no pain that the malice of Power can invent, appears to be the duty of all who will not bow before the inevitable. But indignation is still a bondage, for it compels our thoughts to be occupied with an evil world; and in the fierceness of desire from which rebellion springs there is a kind of self-assertion which it is necessary for the wise to overcome. Indignation is a submission of our thoughts, but not of our desires; the Stoic freedom in which wisdom consists is found in the submission of our desires, but not of our thoughts. From the submission of our desires springs the virtue of resignation; from the freedom of our thoughts springs the whole world of art and philosophy, and the vision of beauty by which, at last, we half reconquer the reluctant world. But the vision of beauty is possible only to unfettered contemplation, to thoughts not weighted by the load of eager wishes; and thus Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of Time.
-- Bertrand Russell, A Free Man's Worship
Bertrand A.W. (Arthur William) Russell
. His grandfather was Lord John Russell
, who had twice served as Prime Minister under Queen Victoria. Born 1872
in Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire
; died 2 Feb 1970
in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth
. To poorly echo
of other noders
, he was a scientist
, a mathematician
, and a philosopher
. What an odd combination
. Russell was married three times (some information states four): to Alys Pearsall Smith
), Dora Black
), and Patricia (Peter) Helen Spence
). He was "notorious for his many affairs
He is primarily of interest due to deep connections to both the philosophical and mathematical fields. He was occassionally described as a man with very deep conflicts between his logical self and his spiritual and thought processes. It is this very intertwingularity which most people find so fascinating about him. There is a Bertrand Russell Society dedicated to his study.
Russell was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (his primary education was private). He earned first-class degrees in both mathematics and moral sciences, and was elected to the Royal Society in 1908. He was convicted for anti-war activities in 1916, and convicted again two years later and received six months in prison. He ran unsuccessfully for parliament three times in England in 1907, 1922, and 1923. He taught in the United States in the late 1930s, and was offered a teaching appointment at City College, New York City, but the appointment was revoked in 1940. In 1949 he was awarded the Order of Merit.
He is the author of over 4,300 works, according to A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell, ISBN 041511644-9. Of course, this includes speeches, columns, and other important information. Interesting works include:
The Bertrand Russell Archives
at McMaster University
suggest that Russell had correspondence with over 29,000 individuals. He is possibly one of the most prolific writers
in human history
. There are, of course, many more important works you should read.
He received the Nobel Prize
He is known perhaps most among mathematicians for his discovery of Russell's paradox
, but also for his contributions to logical thought
, specifically in regards to contemporary formal logic
. He co-authored the Principia Mathematica
with Alfred North Whitehead
Russell also had strong anti-war and anti-nuclear sentiments. He, with Albert Einstein
, released a manifesto in 1955
, calling for the curtailment of nuclear weapons. He was a prime organizer of the first Pugwash Conference
, which was an event for scientists concerned about the proliferation
of nuclear weapons
He was the president and founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
, and was once again imprisoned (briefly) in 1961
. He went on to keep writing, speaking, and teaching.