Bertrand Russell

British philosopher and logician (1872–1970) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS[7] (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, and public intellectual. He had influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, and various areas of analytic philosophy.[8]

Quick facts: The Right Honourable The Earl Russell OM FRS,...

The Earl Russell

Russell in 1949
Bertrand Arthur William Russell

(1872-05-18)18 May 1872
Died2 February 1970(1970-02-02) (aged 97)
Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, Wales
EducationTrinity College, Cambridge (BA, 1893)
  • (m. 1894; div. 1921)
  • (m. 1921; div. 1935)
  • (m. 1936; div. 1952)
  • (m. 1952)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
InstitutionsTrinity College, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University of Chicago, University of California, Los Angeles
Academic advisorsJames Ward[2]
A. N. Whitehead
Doctoral studentsLudwig Wittgenstein
Other notable studentsRaphael Demos
Main interests
Notable ideas
Member of the House of Lords
In office
4 March 1931  2 February 1970
Hereditary peerage
Preceded byThe 2nd Earl Russell
Succeeded byThe 4th Earl Russell
Personal details
Political partyLabour (1922–1965)
Other political
Liberal (1907–1922)

He was one of the early 20th century's prominent logicians[8] and a founder of analytic philosophy, along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, his friend and colleague G. E. Moore, and his student and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. Russell with Moore led the British "revolt against idealism".[lower-alpha 2] Together with his former teacher A. N. Whitehead, Russell wrote Principia Mathematica, a milestone in the development of classical logic and a major attempt to reduce the whole of mathematics to logic (see Logicism). Russell's article "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy".[10]

Russell was a pacifist who championed anti-imperialism and chaired the India League.[11][12][13] He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I,[14] and initially supported appeasement against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, before changing his view in 1943, describing war as a necessary "lesser of two evils". In the wake of World War II, he welcomed American global hegemony in favour of either Soviet hegemony or no (or ineffective) world leadership, even if it were to come at the cost of using their nuclear weapons.[15] He would later criticise Stalinist totalitarianism, condemn the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, and become an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament.[16]

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".[17][18] He was also the recipient of the De Morgan Medal (1932), Sylvester Medal (1934), Kalinga Prize (1957), and Jerusalem Prize (1963).

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