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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

"He was more a poet than a politician" - subtly observes Christopher Farley. It creates Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and the Atlantic Peace Foundation, an organization fighting for curbing the nuclear arms race. He welcomed the coup in Prague and condemned the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. And already in 1963, when about Vietnam, few have heard, begins to protest against American aggression in that country. Together with Jean Paul Sartre and other authoritative figures creates a public tribunal on war crimes in Vietnam. This causes a sharp attacks against Russell in the West. Solid newspaper "New York Times" publishes an article offensive "Corpse on the horse," which recalls the medieval legend of a certain King of the Moors, who died on the eve of battle, and his body, richly ornamented, was raised on a horse. The article compared with Russell "relic", thrown into battle like a "totem", "worn character." It even certified "communist henchmen."

Noting the 80th anniversary (1952), then he can release more than two dozen books, including "Impact of Science on Society" (1952), "Portraits from Memory" (1956), "Fact and Fiction" (1962). One of the most impressive of his works - 3 languid "Autobiography" (1967-1969).

Russell died of influenza in February 1970, and two years later, a conference dedicated to his century, published a collection of works dedicated to him.

Those who do not know him personally, he seemed cold sage, arrogant aristocrat, but in fact Russell was quite different. Charming companion and attentive listener. Many of those who spoke with him, wrote to him: "You have changed my life." He advised his friend. "Do not try to be important. Self-important fools often. " He was a natural, lively, witty, ironic, liked to quote poets. The main principles of his ethics were intellectual honesty and public debt. On one of his visitors, he said: "Nice people, but lacks the public interest." It was the most pejorative characterization.

Russell, familiar from childhood with Bernard Shaw, not only surpassed in its longevity, but also could compete with him in wit. Here are some of his aphorisms: "The difference between man and machine is that the machine can be wrong." "The Prime Minister retains the House of Lords as a first step to transform his post in inherited." "I can not understand how someone who was ever the slightest relation to education, able to assume that all people are equal." "People's opinions do not depend on their virtue, but from the circumstances in which they find themselves" ...

Russell - not only a real philosopher of mathematics, but also the founder of a new "analytic" era in philosophy.

According to Russell, the notion of spirit and matter disappear from the science of the future, they will be replaced with casual laws, mathematically defined and limited to the facts. Russell calls his teachings "logical atomism"; atoms, which he has in mind - it is logical outcomes rather than physical analysis. So mathematically logical thinking is elevated to a new height in the philosophical building. Math - it's not just the science of numbers and size, is the science of all contents, which is achievable entirely appropriate certainty and coherence. Thus, the mathematics will also perform the duty and logic, it is a case of the application of the general logic, or, on the contrary, the logic is a kind of extended mathematics. For logic and can not be taken in the old classical sense, as necessary, updating and expanding its content, to understand it as a general logic of relations, it should be possible to establish the basic types of relationships and bring them to their formal elements. However, it will be able to respond to this task only if it is established steady language of symbols in which logic could fix the basic concepts by themselves and form their compounds. This kind of language characters Russell in collaboration with AN Whitehead suggested in the "Principles of Mathematics" - major work of modern logic.

Russell knows a major drawback of modern logistics - it is that the deployment of rational thinking in its various relations can never lead to new statements, but always depends on the background, so that everything stays in the mind created by the range of opportunities. But the drawback meets his preferences, his penchant for thinking of links created relationships equilibration.

"I'm English Whig and as a true Englishman, like compromises." Higher moral rule Russell, his categorical imperative act so that excite more harmonized than opposing passion. This rule is true for everything that applies to human influence - for his own self, his family, his city, his country, and even his world as a whole, if it is able to influence it.

To achieve his goal, he needs a proper upbringing and social order. So the philosopher-mathematician becomes, in the end, the philosopher-politician, philosopher, society and culture. Russell was at the epicenter of political and social events. This prompted him to adjust his views, learning from what is happening. Did not want or could not understand some critics Russell searched for "contradictions" in his statements. In response, Russell told them, "I am not ashamed that I change my views. Is physicist, made the discovery in 1900, would not specify their findings in the future? "

But there was in his views and deeds of some unchanging core, humanistic principle - commitment to universal values ​​of goodness, justice and human rights. Was a connection between the performances of Russell, a young scientist, for the victims of the colonial regime in the Belgian Congo in the late 1890s, support for the movement for women's equality in 1907 and your venerable philosopher, almost 60 years later, in a world divided into two blocks, when he spoke out against the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe and in defense of Arab refugees in the Middle East when greeted "Prague Spring", condemned the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and also supported the U.S.

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