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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher,
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating how conclusions follow from prem ...
ian, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic,
set theory Set theory is the branch of mathematical logic that studies sets, which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of mathematics, is mostly concern ...
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Ling ...
,
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by animals and humans. Example tasks in which this is done include speech ...
, cognitive science,
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to Applied science, practical discipli ...
and various areas of analytic philosophy, especially
philosophy of mathematics The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. It aims to understand the nature and methods of mathematics, and find out the place of mathematics in people' ...
,
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy, philosophy of language investigates the nature of language and the relations between language, language users, and the world. Investigations may include inquiry into the nature of Meaning (philosophy of language), meanin ...
,
epistemology Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields such as ethics, logic, and metaphysics. Epi ...
, and
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
.Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"Bertrand Russell"
1 May 2003.
He was one of the early 20th century's most prominent
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating how conclusions follow from prem ...
ians, 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 Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian- British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He is consi ...
. Russell with Moore led the British "revolt against
idealism In philosophy, the term idealism identifies and describes metaphysical perspectives which assert that reality is indistinguishable and inseparable from perception and understanding; that reality is a mental construct closely connected to ...
". 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 Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating how conclusions follow from prem ...
(see Logicism). Russell's article " On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". Russell was a pacifist who championed anti-imperialism and chaired the India League. He occasionally advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm"
world government World government is the concept of a single political authority with jurisdiction over all humanity. It is conceived in a variety of forms, from tyrannical to democratic, which reflects its wide array of proponents and detractors. A world gove ...
. He went to prison for his pacifism during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
. Later, Russell concluded that the war against Adolf Hitler's
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and also criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, condemned the United States' war on Vietnam 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 Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints. Overview Every person attempts to have a cognitive proficiency ...
". He was also the recipient of the De Morgan Medal (1932), Sylvester Medal (1934), Kalinga Prize (1957), and Jerusalem Prize (1963).


Biography


Early life and background

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born at Ravenscroft, Trellech, Monmouthshire, United Kingdom, on 18 May 1872, into an influential and liberal family of the British aristocracy. His parents, Viscount and Viscountess Amberley, were radical for their times. Lord Amberley consented to his wife's affair with their children's tutor, the biologist Douglas Spalding. Both were early advocates of birth control at a time when this was considered scandalous. Lord Amberley was a deist, and even asked the philosopher John Stuart Mill to act as Russell's secular godfather. Mill died the year after Russell's birth, but his writings had a great effect on Russell's life. His paternal grandfather, Lord John Russell, later 1st Earl Russell (1792–1878), had twice been
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
in the 1840s and 1860s. A member of Parliament since the early 1810s, he met with Napoleon Bonaparte in Elba. The Russells had been prominent in England for several centuries before this, coming to power and the peerage with the rise of the Tudor dynasty (see: Duke of Bedford). They established themselves as one of the leading Whig families and participated in every great political event from the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536–1540 to the Glorious Revolution in 1688–1689 and the Great Reform Act in 1832.G. E. Cokayne,; Vicary Gibbs, H. A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, eds. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed. 13 volumes in 14. 1910–1959. Reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000. Lady Amberley was the daughter of
Lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, chief, or ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peerage ...
and Lady Stanley of Alderley. Russell often feared the ridicule of his maternal grandmother, one of the campaigners for education of women.


Childhood and adolescence

Russell had two siblings: brother Frank (nearly seven years older than Bertrand), and sister Rachel (four years older). In June 1874, Russell's mother died of diphtheria, followed shortly by Rachel's death. In January 1876, his father died of bronchitis after a long period of depression. Frank and Bertrand were placed in the care of staunchly Victorian paternal grandparents, who lived at
Pembroke Lodge Pembroke Lodge is an initial, mainstream category listed (Grade II) Georgian two-storey large house in Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It sits on high ground with views across the Thames valley to Windsor, the Ch ...
in Richmond Park. His grandfather, former Prime Minister Earl Russell, died in 1878, and was remembered by Russell as a kindly old man in a wheelchair. His grandmother, the Countess Russell (née Lady Frances Elliot), was the dominant family figure for the rest of Russell's childhood and youth. The Countess was from a Scottish
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their n ...
family and successfully petitioned the Court of Chancery to set aside a provision in Amberley's will requiring the children to be raised as agnostics. Despite her religious conservatism, she held progressive views in other areas (accepting Darwinism and supporting
Irish Home Rule The Irish Home Rule movement was a movement that campaigned for self-government (or "home rule") for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It was the dominant political movement of Irish nationalism from 1870 to the ...
), and her influence on Bertrand Russell's outlook on
social justice Social justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. In Western and Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals ...
and standing up for principle remained with him throughout his life. Her favourite Bible verse, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil", became his motto. The atmosphere at Pembroke Lodge was one of frequent prayer, emotional repression and formality; Frank reacted to this with open rebellion, but the young Bertrand learned to hide his feelings. Russell's adolescence was lonely and he often contemplated suicide. He remarked in his autobiography that his keenest interests in "nature and books and (later) mathematics saved me from complete despondency;" only his wish to know more mathematics kept him from suicide. He was educated at home by a series of tutors.The Nobel Foundation (1950)
Bertrand Russell: The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950
Retrieved 11 June 2007.
When Russell was eleven years old, his brother Frank introduced him to the work of Euclid, which he described in his autobiography as "one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love". During these formative years he also discovered the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Russell wrote: "I spent all my spare time reading him, and learning him by heart, knowing no one to whom I could speak of what I thought or felt, I used to reflect how wonderful it would have been to know Shelley, and to wonder whether I should meet any live human being with whom I should feel so much sympathy." Russell claimed that beginning at age 15, he spent considerable time thinking about the validity of Christian religious dogma, which he found unconvincing. At this age, he came to the conclusion that there is no
free will Free will is the capacity of agents to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. Free will is closely linked to the concepts of moral responsibility, praise, culpability, sin, and other judgements which apply only to ac ...
and, two years later, that there is no life after death. Finally, at the age of 18, after reading Mill's ''Autobiography'', he abandoned the " First Cause" argument and became an atheist. He travelled to the continent in 1890 with an American friend, Edward FitzGerald, and with FitzGerald's family he visited the Paris Exhibition of 1889 and climbed the
Eiffel Tower The Eiffel Tower ( ; french: links=yes, tour Eiffel ) is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Locally nicknamed ...
soon after it was completed.


University and first marriage

Russell won a scholarship to read for the
Mathematical Tripos The Mathematical Tripos is the mathematics course that is taught in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. It is the oldest Tripos examined at the University. Origin In its classical nineteenth-century form, the tripos was ...
at Trinity College, Cambridge, and began his studies there in 1890, taking as coach Robert Rumsey Webb. He became acquainted with the younger George Edward Moore and came under the influence of Alfred North Whitehead, who recommended him to the Cambridge Apostles. He quickly distinguished himself in mathematics and philosophy, graduating as seventh Wrangler in the former in 1893 and becoming a Fellow in the latter in 1895. Russell was 17 years old in the summer of 1889 when he met the family of Alys Pearsall Smith, an American Quaker five years older, who was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College near
Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-largest city in the U.S., the second-largest city in both the Northeast megalopolis and Mid-Atlantic regions after New York City. Since ...
. He became a friend of the Pearsall Smith family. They knew him primarily as "Lord John's grandson" and enjoyed showing him off. He soon fell in love with the puritanical, high-minded Alys, and contrary to his grandmother's wishes, married her on 13 December 1894. Their marriage began to fall apart in 1901 when it occurred to Russell, while cycling, that he no longer loved her. She asked him if he loved her and he replied that he did not. Russell also disliked Alys's mother, finding her controlling and cruel. A lengthy period of separation began in 1911 with Russell's affair with Lady Ottoline Morrell, and he and Alys finally divorced in 1921 to enable Russell to remarry. During his years of separation from Alys, Russell had passionate (and often simultaneous) affairs with a number of women, including Morrell and the actress Lady Constance Malleson. Some have suggested that at this point he had an affair with Vivienne Haigh-Wood, the English governess and writer, and first wife of T. S. Eliot.


Early career

Russell began his published work in 1896 with ''German Social Democracy'', a study in politics that was an early indication of a lifelong interest in political and social theory. In 1896 he taught German social democracy at the London School of Economics. He was a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb. He now started an intensive study of the foundations of mathematics at Trinity. In 1897, he wrote ''An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry'' (submitted at the Fellowship Examination of Trinity College) which discussed the
Cayley–Klein metric In mathematics, a Cayley–Klein metric is a metric on the complement of a fixed quadric in a projective space which is defined using a cross-ratio. The construction originated with Arthur Cayley's essay "On the theory of distance"Cayley (1859), ...
s used for non-Euclidean geometry. He attended the First International Congress of Philosophy in Paris in 1900 where he met Giuseppe Peano and
Alessandro Padoa Alessandro Padoa (14 October 1868 – 25 November 1937) was an Italian mathematician and logician, a contributor to the school of Giuseppe Peano. He is remembered for a method for deciding whether, given some formal theory, a new primitive noti ...
. The Italians had responded to Georg Cantor, making a science of
set theory Set theory is the branch of mathematical logic that studies sets, which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of mathematics, is mostly concern ...
; they gave Russell their literature including the '' Formulario mathematico''. Russell was impressed by the precision of Peano's arguments at the Congress, read the literature upon returning to England, and came upon Russell's paradox. In 1903 he published '' The Principles of Mathematics'', a work on foundations of mathematics. It advanced a thesis of logicism, that mathematics and logic are one and the same. At the age of 29, in February 1901, Russell underwent what he called a "sort of mystic illumination", after witnessing Whitehead's wife's acute suffering in an angina attack. "I found myself filled with semi-mystical feelings about beauty... and with a desire almost as profound as that of the Buddha to find some philosophy which should make human life endurable", Russell would later recall. "At the end of those five minutes, I had become a completely different person." In 1905, he wrote the essay " On Denoting", which was published in the philosophical journal '' Mind''. Russell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1908. The three-volume '' Principia Mathematica'', written with Whitehead, was published between 1910 and 1913. This, along with the earlier ''The Principles of Mathematics'', soon made Russell world-famous in his field. In 1910, he became a University of Cambridge lecturer at Trinity College, where he had studied. He was considered for a Fellowship, which would give him a vote in the college government and protect him from being fired for his opinions, but was passed over because he was "anti-clerical", essentially because he was agnostic. He was approached by the Austrian engineering student
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian- British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He is consi ...
, who became his PhD student. Russell viewed Wittgenstein as a genius and a successor who would continue his work on logic. He spent hours dealing with Wittgenstein's various phobias and his frequent bouts of despair. This was often a drain on Russell's energy, but Russell continued to be fascinated by him and encouraged his academic development, including the publication of Wittgenstein's '' Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'' in 1922. Russell delivered his lectures on logical atomism, his version of these ideas, in 1918, before the end of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
. Wittgenstein was, at that time, serving in the Austrian Army and subsequently spent nine months in an Italian prisoner of war camp at the end of the conflict.


First World War

During
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, Russell was one of the few people to engage in active pacifist activities. In 1916, because of his lack of a Fellowship, he was dismissed from Trinity College following his conviction under the Defence of the Realm Act 1914. He later described this, in '' Free Thought and Official Propaganda'', as an illegitimate means the state used to violate freedom of expression. Russell championed the case of Eric Chappelow, a poet jailed and abused as a conscientious objector. Caroline Moorehead, ''Bertrand Russell: A Life'' (1992), p. 247. Russell played a significant part in the ''Leeds Convention'' in June 1917, a historic event which saw well over a thousand "anti-war socialists" gather; many being delegates from the Independent Labour Party and the Socialist Party, united in their pacifist beliefs and advocating a peace settlement. The international press reported that Russell appeared with a number of Labour Members of Parliament (MPs), including Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden, as well as former Liberal MP and anti-conscription campaigner, Professor Arnold Lupton. After the event, Russell told Lady Ottoline Morrell that, "to my surprise, when I got up to speak, I was given the greatest ovation that was possible to give anybody". His conviction in 1916 resulted in Russell being fined £100 (), which he refused to pay in hope that he would be sent to prison, but his books were sold at auction to raise the money. The books were bought by friends; he later treasured his copy of the King James Bible that was stamped "Confiscated by Cambridge Police". A later conviction for publicly lecturing against inviting the United States to enter the war on the United Kingdom's side resulted in six months' imprisonment in Brixton Prison (see '' Bertrand Russell's political views'') in 1918. He later said of his imprisonment: While he was reading Strachey's '' Eminent Victorians'' chapter about Gordon he laughed out loud in his cell prompting the warder to intervene and reminding him that "prison was a place of punishment". Russell was reinstated to Trinity in 1919, resigned in 1920, was Tarner Lecturer in 1926 and became a Fellow again in 1944 until 1949. In 1924, Russell again gained press attention when attending a "banquet" in the House of Commons with well-known campaigners, including Arnold Lupton, who had been an MP and had also endured imprisonment for "passive resistance to military or naval service".


G. H. Hardy on the Trinity controversy

In 1941, G. H. Hardy wrote a 61-page pamphlet titled ''Bertrand Russell and Trinity'' – published later as a book by Cambridge University Press with a foreword by C. D. Broad—in which he gave an authoritative account of Russell's 1916 dismissal from Trinity College, explaining that a reconciliation between the college and Russell had later taken place and gave details about Russell's personal life. Hardy writes that Russell's dismissal had created a scandal since the vast majority of the Fellows of the College opposed the decision. The ensuing pressure from the Fellows induced the Council to reinstate Russell. In January 1920, it was announced that Russell had accepted the reinstatement offer from Trinity and would begin lecturing from October. In July 1920, Russell applied for a one year leave of absence; this was approved. He spent the year giving lectures in China and Japan. In January 1921, it was announced by Trinity that Russell had resigned and his resignation had been accepted. This resignation, Hardy explains, was completely voluntary and was not the result of another altercation. The reason for the resignation, according to Hardy, was that Russell was going through a tumultuous time in his personal life with a divorce and subsequent remarriage. Russell contemplated asking Trinity for another one-year leave of absence but decided against it, since this would have been an "unusual application" and the situation had the potential to snowball into another controversy. Although Russell did the right thing, in Hardy's opinion, the reputation of the College suffered with Russell's resignation, since the 'world of learning' knew about Russell's altercation with Trinity but not that the rift had healed. In 1925, Russell was asked by the Council of Trinity College to give the ''Tarner Lectures'' on the Philosophy of the Sciences; these would later be the basis for one of Russell's best-received books according to Hardy: ''The Analysis of Matter'', published in 1927. In the preface to the Trinity pamphlet, Hardy wrote:


Between the wars

In August 1920, Russell travelled to Soviet Russia as part of an official delegation sent by the British government to investigate the effects of the Russian Revolution. He wrote a four-part series of articles, titled "Soviet Russia—1920", for the magazine '' The Nation''. He met Vladimir Lenin and had an hour-long conversation with him. In his autobiography, he mentions that he found Lenin disappointing, sensing an "impish cruelty" in him and comparing him to "an opinionated professor". He cruised down the
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe. Situated in Russia, it flows through Central Russia to Southern Russia and into the Caspian Sea. The Volga has a length of , and a catch ...
on a steamship. His experiences destroyed his previous tentative support for the revolution. He subsequently wrote a book, ''The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism'',Russell, Bertran
The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism by Bertrand Russell
1920
about his experiences on this trip, taken with a group of 24 others from the UK, all of whom came home thinking well of the Soviet regime, despite Russell's attempts to change their minds. For example, he told them that he had heard shots fired in the middle of the night and was sure that these were clandestine executions, but the others maintained that it was only cars backfiring. Russell's lover Dora Black, a British author, feminist and socialist campaigner, visited Soviet Russia independently at the same time; in contrast to his reaction, she was enthusiastic about the
Bolshevik revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. in the Soviet Union, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin that was a key mom ...
. The following year, Russell, accompanied by Dora, visited Peking (as
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the Capital city, capital of the China, People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's Li ...
was then known outside of China) to lecture on philosophy for a year. He went with optimism and hope, seeing China as then being on a new path. Other scholars present in China at the time included John Dewey and Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel-laureate poet. Before leaving China, Russell became gravely ill with
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli. Symptoms typically include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. The severit ...
, and incorrect reports of his death were published in the Japanese press. When the couple visited Japan on their return journey, Dora took on the role of spurning the local press by handing out notices reading "Mr. Bertrand Russell, having died according to the Japanese press, is unable to give interviews to Japanese journalists". Apparently they found this harsh and reacted resentfully. Dora was six months pregnant when the couple returned to England on 26 August 1921. Russell arranged a hasty divorce from Alys, marrying Dora six days after the divorce was finalised, on 27 September 1921. Russell's children with Dora were John Conrad Russell, 4th Earl Russell, born on 16 November 1921, and Katharine Jane Russell (now Lady Katharine Tait), born on 29 December 1923. Russell supported his family during this time by writing popular books explaining matters of
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which ...
, ethics, and education to the layman. From 1922 to 1927 the Russells divided their time between London and Cornwall, spending summers in
Porthcurno Porthcurno ( kw, Porthkornow, Porthcornow, meaning ''"pinnacle cove"'', see below) is a small village covering a small valley and beach on the south coast of Cornwall, England in the United Kingdom. It is the main settlement in a civil and an e ...
. In the
1922 Events January * January 7 – Dáil Éireann (Irish Republic), Dáil Éireann, the parliament of the Irish Republic, ratifies the Anglo-Irish Treaty by 64–57 votes. * January 10 – Arthur Griffith is elected President of Dáil Éirean ...
and 1923 general elections Russell stood as a Labour Party candidate in the Chelsea constituency, but only on the basis that he knew he was extremely unlikely to be elected in such a safe Conservative seat, and he was unsuccessful on both occasions. After the birth of his two children, he became interested in education, especially early childhood education. He was not satisfied with the old traditional education and thought that progressive education also had some flaws; as a result, together with Dora, Russell founded the experimental Beacon Hill School in 1927. The school was run from a succession of different locations, including its original premises at the Russells' residence, Telegraph House, near Harting, West Sussex. During this time, he published " On Education, Especially in Early Childhood". On 8 July 1930 Dora gave birth to her third child Harriet Ruth. After he left the school in 1932, Dora continued it until 1943.Inside Beacon Hill: Bertrand Russell as Schoolmaster. Jespersen, Shirley ERIC# EJ360344, published 1987 In 1927 Russell met Barry Fox (later Barry Stevens), who became a well-known Gestalt therapist and writer in later years. They developed an intensive relationship, and in Fox's words: "...for three years we were very close." Fox sent her daughter Judith to Beacon Hill School. From 1927 to 1932 Russell wrote 34 letters to Fox. Upon the death of his elder brother Frank, in 1931, Russell became the 3rd Earl Russell. Russell's marriage to Dora grew increasingly tenuous, and it reached a breaking point over her having two children with an American journalist, Griffin Barry. They separated in 1932 and finally divorced. On 18 January 1936, Russell married his third wife, an
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
undergraduate named Patricia ("Peter") Spence, who had been his children's governess since 1930. Russell and Peter had one son, Conrad Sebastian Robert Russell, 5th Earl Russell, who became a prominent historian and one of the leading figures in the Liberal Democrat party. Russell returned in 1937 to the London School of Economics to lecture on the science of power. During the 1930s, Russell became friend and collaborator of V. K. Krishna Menon, then President of the India League, the foremost lobby in the United Kingdom for Indian self-rule. Russell was chair of the India League from 1932–1939.


Second World War

Russell's political views changed over time, mostly about war. He opposed rearmament against
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
. In 1937, he wrote in a personal letter: "If the Germans succeed in sending an invading army to England we should do best to treat them as visitors, give them quarters and invite the commander and chief to dine with the prime minister." In 1940, he changed his appeasement view that avoiding a full-scale world war was more important than defeating Hitler. He concluded that Adolf Hitler taking over all of Europe would be a permanent threat to democracy. In 1943, he adopted a stance toward large-scale warfare called "relative political pacifism": "War was always a great evil, but in some particularly extreme circumstances, it may be the lesser of two evils." Before World War II, Russell taught at the University of Chicago, later moving on to Los Angeles to lecture at the
UCLA Department of Philosophy The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA's academic roots were established in 1881 as a teachers college then known as the southern branch of the Califor ...
.Bertrand Russell Rides Out Collegiate Cyclone
''
Life Life is a quality that distinguishes matter that has biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from that which does not, and is defined by the capacity for growth, reaction to stimuli, metabolism, energy ...
'', Vol. 8, No. 14, 1 April 1940
He was appointed professor at the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1940, but after a public outcry the appointment was annulled by a court judgment that pronounced him "morally unfit" to teach at the college because of his opinions, especially those relating to sexual morality, detailed in '' Marriage and Morals'' (1929). The matter was however taken to the New York Supreme Court by Jean Kay who was afraid that her daughter would be harmed by the appointment, though her daughter was not a student at CCNY. Many intellectuals, led by John Dewey, protested at his treatment.
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein ( ; ; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theor ...
's oft-quoted aphorism that "great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" originated in his open letter, dated 19 March 1940, to
Morris Raphael Cohen Morris Raphael Cohen ( be, Мо́рыс Рафаэ́ль Ко́эн; July 25, 1880 – January 28, 1947) was an American philosopher, lawyer, and legal scholar who united pragmatism with logical positivism and linguistic analysis. This union c ...
, a professor emeritus at CCNY, supporting Russell's appointment. Dewey and Horace M. Kallen edited a collection of articles on the CCNY affair in '' The Bertrand Russell Case''. Russell soon joined the Barnes Foundation, lecturing to a varied audience on the history of philosophy; these lectures formed the basis of '' A History of Western Philosophy''. His relationship with the eccentric Albert C. Barnes soon soured, and he returned to the UK in 1944 to rejoin the faculty of Trinity College.


Later life

Russell participated in many broadcasts over the BBC, particularly '' The Brains Trust'' and for the Third Programme, on various topical and philosophical subjects. By this time Russell was world-famous outside academic circles, frequently the subject or author of magazine and newspaper articles, and was called upon to offer opinions on a wide variety of subjects, even mundane ones. En route to one of his lectures in
Trondheim Trondheim ( , , ; sma, Tråante), historically Kaupangen, Nidaros and Trondhjem (), is a city and municipality in Trøndelag county, Norway. As of 2020, it had a population of 205,332, was the third most populous municipality in Norway, an ...
, Russell was one of 24 survivors (among a total of 43 passengers) of an aeroplane crash in Hommelvik in October 1948. He said he owed his life to smoking since the people who drowned were in the non-smoking part of the plane. '' A History of Western Philosophy'' (1945) became a best-seller and provided Russell with a steady income for the remainder of his life. In 1942, Russell argued in favour of a moderate
socialism Socialism is a left-wing economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes th ...
, capable of overcoming its metaphysical principles. In an inquiry on dialectical materialism, launched by the Austrian artist and philosopher Wolfgang Paalen in his journal '' DYN'', Russell said: "I think the metaphysics of both Hegel and Marx plain nonsense—Marx's claim to be 'science' is no more justified than Mary Baker Eddy's. This does not mean that I am opposed to socialism." In 1943, Russell expressed support for Zionism: "I have come gradually to see that, in a dangerous and largely hostile world, it is essential to Jews to have some country which is theirs, some region where they are not suspected aliens, some state which embodies what is distinctive in their culture". In a speech in 1948, Russell said that if the
USSR The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, it was nominally a federal union of fifteen nati ...
's aggression continued, it would be morally worse to go to war after the USSR possessed an atomic bomb than before it possessed one, because if the USSR had no bomb the West's victory would come more swiftly and with fewer casualties than if there were atomic bombs on both sides. At that time, only the United States possessed an atomic bomb, and the USSR was pursuing an extremely aggressive policy towards the countries in Eastern Europe which were being absorbed into the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. Many understood Russell's comments to mean that Russell approved of a first strike in a war with the USSR, including
Nigel Lawson Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, (born 11 March 1932) is a British Conservative Party politician and journalist. He was a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Blaby from 1974 to 1992, and served in the cabinet of Margar ...
, who was present when Russell spoke of such matters. Others, including Griffin, who obtained a transcript of the speech, have argued that he was merely explaining the usefulness of America's atomic arsenal in deterring the USSR from continuing its domination of Eastern Europe. Just after the atomic bombs exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russell wrote letters, and published articles in newspapers from 1945 to 1948, stating clearly that it was morally justified and better to go to war against the USSR using atomic bombs while the United States possessed them and before the USSR did. In September 1949, one week after the USSR tested its first A-bomb, but before this became known, Russell wrote that USSR would be unable to develop nuclear weapons because following Stalin's purges only science based on Marxist principles would be practised in the Soviet Union. After it became known that the USSR had carried out its nuclear bomb tests, Russell declared his position advocating the total abolition of atomic weapons. In 1948, Russell was invited by the BBC to deliver the inaugural
Reith Lectures The Reith Lectures is a series of annual BBC radio lectures given by leading figures of the day. They are commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on Radio 4 and the World Service. The lectures were inaugurated in 1948 to mark the historic cont ...
—what was to become an annual series of lectures, still broadcast by the BBC. His series of six broadcasts, titled ''Authority and the Individual'', explored themes such as the role of individual initiative in the development of a community and the role of state control in a progressive society. Russell continued to write about philosophy. He wrote a foreword to ''Words and Things'' by Ernest Gellner, which was highly critical of the later thought of
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian- British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He is consi ...
and of ordinary language philosophy. Gilbert Ryle refused to have the book reviewed in the philosophical journal '' Mind'', which caused Russell to respond via ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its sister paper '' The Sunday Times'' ( ...
''. The result was a month-long correspondence in ''The Times'' between the supporters and detractors of ordinary language philosophy, which was only ended when the paper published an editorial critical of both sides but agreeing with the opponents of ordinary language philosophy. In the King's Birthday Honours of 9 June 1949, Russell was awarded the Order of Merit, and the following year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. When he was given the Order of Merit,
George VI George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was also the last Emperor of I ...
was affable but slightly embarrassed at decorating a former jailbird, saying, "You have sometimes behaved in a manner that would not do if generally adopted". Russell merely smiled, but afterwards claimed that the reply "That's right, just like your
brother A brother is a man or boy who shares one or more parents with another; a male sibling. The female counterpart is a sister. Although the term typically refers to a familial relationship, it is sometimes used endearingly to refer to non-famili ...
" immediately came to mind. In 1950, Russell attended the inaugural conference for the
Congress for Cultural Freedom The Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was an anti-communist advocacy group founded in 1950. At its height, the CCF was active in thirty-five countries. In 1966 it was revealed that the CIA was instrumental in the establishment and funding of the ...
, a
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, ...
-funded anti-communist organisation committed to the deployment of culture as a weapon during the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term '' cold war'' is used because t ...
. Russell was one of the best-known patrons of the Congress, until he resigned in 1956. In 1952, Russell was divorced by Spence, with whom he had been very unhappy. Conrad, Russell's son by Spence, did not see his father between the time of the divorce and 1968 (at which time his decision to meet his father caused a permanent breach with his mother). Russell married his fourth wife, Edith Finch, soon after the divorce, on 15 December 1952. They had known each other since 1925, and Edith had taught English at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, sharing a house for 20 years with Russell's old friend
Lucy Donnelly Lucy Martin Donnelly (September 18, 1870 – August 3, 1948) was a teacher of English at Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr College ( ; Welsh: ) is a women's liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Founded as a Quaker institution in 1885, B ...
. Edith remained with him until his death, and, by all accounts, their marriage was a happy, close, and loving one. Russell's eldest son John suffered from serious mental illness, which was the source of ongoing disputes between Russell and his former wife Dora. In September 1961, at the age of 89, Russell was jailed for seven days in Brixton Prison for a "breach of the peace" after taking part in an anti-nuclear demonstration in London. The magistrate offered to exempt him from jail if he pledged himself to "good behaviour", to which Russell replied: "No, I won't." In 1962 Russell played a public role in the Cuban Missile Crisis: in an exchange of telegrams with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev assured him that the Soviet government would not be reckless. Russell sent this telegram to President Kennedy:
YOUR ACTION DESPERATE. THREAT TO HUMAN SURVIVAL. NO CONCEIVABLE JUSTIFICATION. CIVILIZED MAN CONDEMNS IT. WE WILL NOT HAVE MASS MURDER. ULTIMATUM MEANS WAR... END THIS MADNESS.
According to historian Peter Knight, after JFK's assassination, Russell, "prompted by the emerging work of the lawyer Mark Lane in the US ... rallied support from other noteworthy and left-leaning compatriots to form a Who Killed Kennedy Committee in June 1964, members of which included Michael Foot MP,
Caroline Benn Caroline Middleton DeCamp Benn (13 October 1926 – 22 November 2000), formerly Viscountess Stansgate, was an educationalist and writer, and wife of the British Labour politician Tony Benn (formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate). Biography Ben ...
, the publisher Victor Gollancz, the writers
John Arden John Arden (26 October 1930 – 28 March 2012) was an English playwright who at his death was lauded as "one of the most significant British playwrights of the late 1950s and early 60s". Career Born in Barnsley, son of the manager of a glass f ...
and J. B. Priestley, and the Oxford history professor Hugh Trevor-Roper." Russell published a highly critical article weeks before the Warren Commission Report was published, setting forth ''16 Questions on the Assassination'' and equating the Oswald case with the Dreyfus affair of late 19th-century France, in which the state convicted an innocent man. Russell also criticised the American press for failing to heed any voices critical of the official version.


Political causes

Bertrand Russell was opposed to war from a young age; his opposition to World War I being used as grounds for his dismissal from Trinity College at Cambridge. This incident fused two of his most controversial causes, as he had failed to be granted Fellow status which would have protected him from firing, because he was not willing to either pretend to be a devout Christian, or at least avoid admitting he was agnostic. He later described the resolution of these issues as essential to freedom of thought and expression, citing the incident in Free Thought and Official Propaganda, where he explained that the expression of any idea, even the most obviously "bad", must be protected not only from direct State intervention, but also economic leveraging and other means of being silenced: Russell spent the 1950s and 1960s engaged in political causes primarily related to nuclear disarmament and opposing the Vietnam War. The 1955 Russell–Einstein Manifesto was a document calling for nuclear disarmament and was signed by eleven of the most prominent nuclear physicists and intellectuals of the time. In 1966–1967, Russell worked with
Jean-Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, ; ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism (and phenomenology), a French playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and lite ...
and many other intellectual figures to form the Russell Vietnam War Crimes Tribunal to investigate the conduct of the United States in Vietnam. He wrote a great many letters to world leaders during this period. Early in his life Russell supported
eugenicist Eugenics ( ; ) is a fringe set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population. Historically, eugenicists have attempted to alter human gene pools by excluding people and groups judged to be inferior or ...
policies. He proposed in 1894 that the state issue certificates of health to prospective parents and withhold public benefits from those considered unfit. In 1929 he wrote that people deemed "mentally defective" and "feebleminded" should be sexually sterilized because they "are apt to have enormous numbers of illegitimate children, all, as a rule, wholly useless to the community." Russell was also an advocate of
population control Population control is the practice of artificially maintaining the size of any population. It simply refers to the act of limiting the size of an animal population so that it remains manageable, as opposed to the act of protecting a species from ...
:
The nations which at present increase rapidly should be encouraged to adopt the methods by which, in the West, the increase of population has been checked. Educational propaganda, with government help, could achieve this result in a generation. There are, however, two powerful forces opposed to such a policy: one is religion, the other is nationalism. I think it is the duty of all to proclaim that opposition to the spread of birth is appalling depth of misery and degradation, and that within another fifty years or so. I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the whole world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.
On 20 November 1948, in a public speech at Westminster School, addressing a gathering arranged by the New Commonwealth, Russell shocked some observers by suggesting that a preemptive nuclear strike on the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, it was nominally a federal union of fifteen nationa ...
was justified. Russell argued that war between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed inevitable, so it would be a humanitarian gesture to get it over with quickly and have the United States in the dominant position. Currently, Russell argued, humanity could survive such a war, whereas a full nuclear war after both sides had manufactured large stockpiles of more destructive weapons was likely to result in the
extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the Endling, last individual of the species, although the Functional ext ...
of the human race. Russell later relented from this stance, instead arguing for mutual disarmament by the nuclear powers. In 1956, immediately before and during the Suez Crisis, Russell expressed his opposition to European imperialism in the Middle East. He viewed the crisis as another reminder of the pressing need for a more effective mechanism for international governance, and to restrict national sovereignty to places such as the Suez Canal area "where general interest is involved". At the same time the Suez Crisis was taking place, the world was also captivated by the Hungarian Revolution and the subsequent crushing of the revolt by intervening Soviet forces. Russell attracted criticism for speaking out fervently against the Suez war while ignoring Soviet repression in Hungary, to which he responded that he did not criticise the Soviets "because there was no need. Most of the so-called Western World was fulminating". Although he later feigned a lack of concern, at the time he was disgusted by the brutal Soviet response, and on 16 November 1956, he expressed approval for a declaration of support for Hungarian scholars which Michael Polanyi had cabled to the Soviet embassy in London twelve days previously, shortly after Soviet troops had entered Budapest. In November 1957 Russell wrote an article addressing US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, urging a summit to consider "the conditions of co-existence". Khrushchev responded that peace could be served by such a meeting. In January 1958 Russell elaborated his views in '' The Observer'', proposing a cessation of all nuclear weapons production, with the UK taking the first step by unilaterally suspending its own nuclear-weapons program if necessary, and with Germany "freed from all alien armed forces and pledged to neutrality in any conflict between East and West". US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles replied for Eisenhower. The exchange of letters was published as ''The Vital Letters of Russell, Khrushchev, and Dulles''.''Yours Faithfully, Bertrand Russell'' (pp. 212–213). Russell was asked by '' The New Republic'', a liberal American magazine, to elaborate his views on world peace. He urged that all nuclear weapons testing and flights by planes armed with nuclear weapons be halted immediately, and negotiations be opened for the destruction of all hydrogen bombs, with the number of conventional nuclear devices limited to ensure a balance of power. He proposed that Germany be reunified and accept the Oder-Neisse line as its border, and that a neutral zone be established in Central Europe, consisting at the minimum of Germany, Poland, Hungary, and
Czechoslovakia , rue, Чеськословеньско, , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 ...
, with each of these countries being free of foreign troops and influence, and prohibited from forming alliances with countries outside the zone. In the Middle East, Russell suggested that the West avoid opposing
Arab nationalism Arab nationalism ( ar, القومية العربية, al-Qawmīya al-ʿArabīya) is a nationalist ideology that asserts the Arabs are a nation and promotes the unity of Arab people, celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language ...
, and proposed the creation of a United Nations peacekeeping force to guard Israel's frontiers to ensure that Israel was prevented from committing aggression and protected from it. He also suggested Western recognition of the People's Republic of China, and that it be admitted to the UN with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He was in contact with Lionel Rogosin while the latter was filming his anti-war film '' Good Times, Wonderful Times'' in the 1960s. He became a hero to many of the youthful members of the New Left. In early 1963, Russell became increasingly vocal in his disapproval of the Vietnam War, and felt that the US government's policies there were near-
genocidal Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group—in whole or in part. Raphael Lemkin coined the term in 1944, combining the Greek word (, "race, people") with the L ...
. In 1963 he became the inaugural recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, an award for writers concerned with the freedom of the individual in society. In 1964 he was one of eleven world figures who issued an appeal to Israel and the Arab countries to accept an arms embargo and international supervision of nuclear plants and rocket weaponry. In October 1965 he tore up his Labour Party card because he suspected Harold Wilson's Labour government was going to send troops to support the United States in Vietnam.


Final years, death and legacy

In June 1955, Russell had leased Plas Penrhyn in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, Wales and on 5 July of the following year it became his and Edith's principal residence. Russell published his three-volume autobiography in 1967, 1968, and 1969. He made a
cameo appearance A cameo role, also called a cameo appearance and often shortened to just cameo (), is a brief appearance of a well-known person in a work of the performing arts. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly ei ...
playing himself in the anti-war
Hindi Hindi (Devanāgarī: or , ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern, and western India. Hindi has been ...
film ''Aman'', by Mohan Kumar, which was released in India in 1967. This was Russell's only appearance in a feature film. On 23 November 1969, he wrote to ''The Times'' newspaper saying that the preparation for show trials in Czechoslovakia was "highly alarming". The same month, he appealed to Secretary General U Thant of the United Nations to support an international war crimes commission to investigate alleged torture and genocide by the United States in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The following month, he protested to Alexei Kosygin over the expulsion of
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn. (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) was a Russian novelist. One of the most famous Soviet dissidents, Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken critic of communism and helped to raise global awareness of political repr ...
from the Soviet Union of Writers. On 31 January 1970, Russell issued a statement condemning "Israel's aggression in the Middle East", and in particular, Israeli bombing raids being carried out deep in Egyptian territory as part of the War of Attrition, which he compared to German bombing raids in the
Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain, also known as the Air Battle for England (german: die Luftschlacht um England), was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of the Royal Navy defende ...
and the US bombing of Vietnam. He called for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre- Six-Day War borders. This was Russell's final political statement or act. It was read out at the International Conference of Parliamentarians in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, ) is the capital of Egypt and its largest city, home to 10 million people. It is also part of the largest urban agglomeration in Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East: The Greater Cairo metr ...
on 3 February 1970, the day after his death. Russell died of influenza, just after 8 pm on 2 February 1970 at his home in Penrhyndeudraeth. His body was cremated in Colwyn Bay on 5 February 1970 with five people present. In accordance with his will, there was no religious ceremony but one minute's silence; his ashes were scattered over the Welsh mountains later that year. Although he was born in Monmouthshire, which was not legally re-included into Wales until 1972, and died in Penrhyndeudraeth in Wales, Russell identified as English. Later that year, on 23 October, he left an estate valued at £69,423 (equivalent to £ million in ).Russell, 1970, p.
at probatesearch.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
In 1980, a memorial to Russell was commissioned by a committee including the philosopher A. J. Ayer. It consists of a bust of Russell in
Red Lion Square Red Lion Square is a small square in Holborn, London. The square was laid out in 1684 by Nicholas Barbon, taking its name from the Red Lion Inn. According to some sources, the bodies of three regicides—Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Hen ...
in London sculpted by Marcelle Quinton. Lady Katharine Jane Tait, Russell's daughter, founded the Bertrand Russell Society in 1974 to preserve and understand his work. It publishes the ''Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin'', holds meetings and awards prizes for scholarship, including the Bertrand Russell Society Award. She also authored several essays about her father; as well as a book, ''My Father, Bertrand Russell'', which was published in 1975. All members receive ''Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies''. For the sesquicentennial of his birth, in May 2022, McMaster University's Bertrand Russell Archive, the university’s largest and most heavily used research collection, organized both a physical and virtual exhibition on Russell’s anti-nuclear stance in the post-war era
''Scientists'' ''for Peace: the Russell-Einstein Manifesto and the Pugwash Conference''
which included the earliest version of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation held a commemoration at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, London, on 18 May, the anniversary of his birth. For its part, on the same day, ''
La Estrella de Panamá ''La Estrella de Panamá'' is the oldest daily newspaper in Panamá. The newspaper originally began in 1849 as a Spanish-language translation insert of an English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may al ...
'' published a biographical sketch by Francisco Díaz Montilla, who commented that " f hehad to characterize Russell's work in one sentence ewould say: criticism and rejection of dogmatism." Bangladesh's first leader,
Mujibur Rahman Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ( bn, শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান; 17 March 1920 – 15 August 1975), often shortened as Sheikh Mujib or Mujib and widely known as Bangabandhu (meaning ''Friend of Bengal''), was a Bengali polit ...
, named his youngest son Sheikh Russel in honour of Bertrand Russell.


Marriages and issue

Russell first married Alys Whitall Smith (died 1951) in 1894. The marriage was dissolved in 1921 with no issue. His second marriage was to Dora Winifred Black MBE (died 1986), daughter of Sir Frederick Black, in 1921. This was dissolved in 1935, having produced two children: * John Conrad Russell, 4th Earl Russell (1921–1987) *Lady Katharine Jane Russell (1923–2021), who married Rev. Charles Tait in 1948 and had issue Russell's third marriage was to Patricia Helen Spence (died 2004) in 1936, with the marriage producing one child: * Conrad Sebastian Robert Russell, 5th Earl Russell (1937–2004) Russell's third marriage ended in divorce in 1952. He married Edith Finch in the same year. Finch survived Russell, dying in 1978.


Titles and honours from birth

Russell held throughout his life the following styles and honours: *from birth until 1908: The Honourable Bertrand Arthur William Russell *from 1908 until 1931: The Honourable Bertrand Arthur William Russell, FRS *from 1931 until 1949: The Right Honourable The Earl Russell, FRS *from 1949 until death: The Right Honourable The Earl Russell, OM, FRS


Views


Philosophy

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 Aesthetics, or esthetics, is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines aesthetic values, often expressed t ...
. He was particularly prolific in the fields of
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
, logic and the philosophy of mathematics, the
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy, philosophy of language investigates the nature of language and the relations between language, language users, and the world. Investigations may include inquiry into the nature of Meaning (philosophy of language), meanin ...
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concer ...
and
epistemology Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields such as ethics, logic, and metaphysics. Epi ...
. When
Brand Blanshard Percy Brand Blanshard (; August 27, 1892 – November 19, 1987) was an American philosopher known primarily for his defense of reason and rationalism. A powerful polemicist, by all accounts he comported himself with courtesy and grace in philoso ...
asked Russell why he did not write on aesthetics, Russell replied that he did not know anything about it, though he hastened to add "but that is not a very good excuse, for my friends tell me it has not deterred me from writing on other subjects". On ethics, Russell wrote that he was a utilitarian in his youth, yet he later distanced himself from this view. For the advancement of science and protection of liberty of expression, Russell advocated The Will to Doubt, the recognition that all human knowledge is at most a best guess, that one should always remember:


Religion

Russell described himself in 1947 as an agnostic or an atheist: he found it difficult to determine which term to adopt, saying: For most of his adult life, Russell maintained religion to be little more than
superstition A superstition is any belief or practice considered by non-practitioners to be irrational or supernatural, attributed to fate or magic, perceived supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs ...
and, despite any positive effects, largely harmful to people. He believed that religion and the religious outlook serve to impede knowledge and foster fear and dependency, and to be responsible for much of our world's wars, oppression, and misery. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the British Humanist Association and President of Cardiff Humanists until his death.


Society

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. Russell argued for a "scientific society", where war would be abolished, population growth would be limited, and prosperity would be shared. He suggested the establishment of a "single supreme world government" able to enforce peace, claiming that "the only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation". Russell also expressed support for guild socialism, and commented positively on several socialist thinkers and activists. Russell was an active supporter of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, being one of the signatories of A. E. Dyson's 1958 letter to ''The Times'' calling for a change in the law regarding male homosexual practices, which were partly legalised in 1967, when Russell was still alive. Russell advocated – and was one of the first people in the UK to suggest – a universal basic income. In "Reflections on My Eightieth Birthday" ("Postscript" in his ''Autobiography''), Russell wrote: "I have lived in the pursuit of a vision, both personal and social. Personal: to care for what is noble, for what is beautiful, for what is gentle; to allow moments of insight to give wisdom at more mundane times. Social: to see in imagination the society that is to be created, where individuals grow freely, and where hate and greed and envy die because there is nothing to nourish them. These things I believe, and the world, for all its horrors, has left me unshaken".


Freedom of opinion and expression

Russell was a champion of freedom of opinion and an opponent of both censorship and indoctrination. In 1928, he wrote: "The fundamental argument for freedom of opinion is the doubtfulness of all our belief... when the State intervenes to ensure the indoctrination of some doctrine, it does so because there is no conclusive evidence in favour of that doctrine ... It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions make it impossible to make a living". In 1957, he wrote: "'Free thought' means thinking freely ... to be worthy of the name freethinker he must be free of two things: the force of tradition and the tyranny of his own passions."


Education

Russell has presented ideas on the possible means of control of education in case of scientific dictatorship governments, of the kind of this excerpt taken from chapter II "General Effects of Scientific Technique" of "The Impact of Science on society". He pushed his visionary scenarios even further into details, in the chapter III "Scientific Technique in an Oligarchy" of the same book, stating as an example


Selected bibliography

Below is a selected bibliography of Russell's books in English, sorted by year of first publication: *1896. ''German Social Democracy''. London: Longmans, Green *1897. ''An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press *1900. ''A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press *1903. '' The Principles of Mathematics''. Cambridge University Press *1903. ''A Free man's worship, and other essays''. *1905. '' On Denoting'', '' Mind'', Vol. 14. . Basil Blackwell *1910. ''Philosophical Essays''. London: Longmans, Green *1910–1913. '' Principia Mathematica.'' (with Alfred North Whitehead). 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press *1912. ''
The Problems of Philosophy ''The Problems of Philosophy'' is a 1912 book by the philosopher Bertrand Russell, in which the author attempts to create a brief and accessible guide to the problems of philosophy. He introduces philosophy as a repeating series of (failed) att ...
''. London: Williams and Norgate *1914. ''Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy''. Chicago and London: Open Court Publishing. *1916. ''Principles of Social Reconstruction''. London, George Allen and Unwin *1916. '' Why Men Fight''. New York: The Century Co *1916. ''The Policy of the Entente, 1904–1914 : a reply to Professor Gilbert Murray''. Manchester: The National Labour Press *1916. ''Justice in War-time''. Chicago: Open Court *1917. ''Political Ideals''. New York: The Century Co. *1918. '' Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1918. ''Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism, and Syndicalism''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1919. '' Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy''. London: George Allen & Unwin. ( for Routledge paperback) *1920. ''The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1921. ''The Analysis of Mind''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1922. ''The Problem of China''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1922. '' Free Thought and Official Propaganda'', delivered at South Place Institute *1923. ''The Prospects of Industrial Civilization'', in collaboration with Dora Russell. London: George Allen & Unwin *1923. ''The ABC of Atoms'', London: Kegan Paul. Trench, Trubner *1924. ''Icarus; or, The Future of Science''. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner *1925. ''The ABC of Relativity''. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner *1925. ''What I Believe''. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner *1926. ''On Education, Especially in Early Childhood''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1927. ''The Analysis of Matter''. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner *1927. ''An Outline of Philosophy''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1927. '' Why I Am Not a Christian''. London: Watts *1927. ''Selected Papers of Bertrand Russell''. New York: Modern Library *1928. ''Sceptical Essays''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1929. '' Marriage and Morals''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1930. ''The Conquest of Happiness''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1931. ''The Scientific Outlook'', London: George Allen & Unwin *1932. ''Education and the Social Order'', London: George Allen & Unwin *1934. ''Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1935. '' In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1935. ''Religion and Science''. London: Thornton Butterworth *1936. ''Which Way to Peace?''. London: Jonathan Cape *1937. ''The Amberley Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley'', with Patricia Russell, 2 vols., London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press; reprinted (1966) as ''The Amberley Papers. Bertrand Russell's Family Background'', 2 vols., London: George Allen & Unwin *1938. '' Power: A New Social Analysis''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1940. ''An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth''. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. *1945. ''The Bomb and Civilisation''. Published in the ''Glasgow Forward'' on 18 August 1945 *1945. '' A History of Western Philosophy and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' New York: Simon and Schuster *1948. ''Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1949. ''Authority and the Individual''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1950. '. London: George Allen & Unwin *1951. ''New Hopes for a Changing World''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1952. ''The Impact of Science on Society''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1953. ''Satan in the Suburbs and Other Stories''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1954. ''Human Society in Ethics and Politics''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1954. ''Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1956. ''Portraits from Memory and Other Essays''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1956. ''Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950'', edited by Robert C. Marsh. London: George Allen & Unwin *1957. ''Why I Am Not A Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects'', edited by Paul Edwards. London: George Allen & Unwin *1958. ''Understanding History and Other Essays''. New York: Philosophical Library *1958. ''The Will to Doubt''. New York: Philosophical Library *1959. ''Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1959. '' My Philosophical Development''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1959. ''Wisdom of the West: A Historical Survey of Western Philosophy in Its Social and Political Setting'', edited by Paul Foulkes. London: Macdonald *1960. ''Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind'', Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company *1961. ''The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell'', edited by R. E. Egner and L. E. Denonn. London: George Allen & Unwin *1961. ''Fact and Fiction''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1961. ''Has Man a Future?'' London: George Allen & Unwin *1963. ''Essays in Skepticism''. New York: Philosophical Library *1963. ''Unarmed Victory''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1965. ''Legitimacy Versus Industrialism, 1814–1848''. London: George Allen & Unwin (first published as Parts I and II of ''Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914'', 1934) *1965. ''On the Philosophy of Science'', edited by Charles A. Fritz, Jr. Indianapolis: The Bobbs–Merrill Company *1966. ''The ABC of Relativity''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1967. ''Russell's Peace Appeals'', edited by Tsutomu Makino and Kazuteru Hitaka. Japan: Eichosha's New Current Books *1967. ''War Crimes in Vietnam''. London: George Allen & Unwin *1951–1969. ''The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell'', 3 vols., London: George Allen & Unwin. Vol. 2, 1956 *1969. ''Dear Bertrand Russell... A Selection of his Correspondence with the General Public 1950–1968'', edited by Barry Feinberg and Ronald Kasrils. London: George Allen and Unwin Russell was the author of more than sixty books and over two thousand articles. Additionally, he wrote many pamphlets, introductions, and letters to the editor. One pamphlet titled, ''I Appeal unto Caesar': The Case of the Conscientious Objectors'', ghostwritten for Margaret Hobhouse, the mother of imprisoned peace activist
Stephen Hobhouse Stephen Henry Hobhouse (5 August 1881 – 2 April 1961) was a prominent English peace activist, prison reformer, and religious writer. Family Stephen Henry Hobhouse was born in Pitcombe, Somerset, England. He was the eldest son of Henry Hob ...
, allegedly helped secure the release from prison of hundreds of conscientious objectors. His works can be found in anthologies and collections, including ''The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell'', which McMaster University began publishing in 1983. By March 2017 this collection of his shorter and previously unpublished works included 18 volumes, and several more are in progress. A bibliography in three additional volumes catalogues his publications. The Russell Archives held by McMaster's
William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections William is a male given name of Germanic origin.Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, ''Oxford Dictionary of First Names'', Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, , p. 276. It became very popular in the English language after the Norman conquest of Engl ...
possess over 40,000 of his letters.


See also

*
Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club The Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club, founded in October 1878, is a philosophy discussion group that meets weekly at the University of Cambridge during term time. Speakers are invited to present a paper with a strict upper time limit of 4 ...
* Criticism of Jesus * Joseph Conrad (Russell's impression) *
List of peace activists This list of peace activists includes people who have proactively advocated diplomatic, philosophical, and non-military resolution of major territorial or ideological disputes through nonviolent means and methods. Peace activists usually work wi ...
* List of pioneers in computer science * Information Research Department * Type theory *
Type system In computer programming, a type system is a logical system comprising a set of rules that assigns a property called a type to every "term" (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Usually the terms are various constructs of a computer progra ...
*
Logicomix ''Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth'' is a graphic novel about the foundational quest in mathematics, written by Apostolos Doxiadis, author of ''Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture'', and at the time Berkeley's theoretical computer scientis ...
, a graphic novel about the foundational quest in mathematics, the narrator of the story being Bertrand Russell and with his life as the main storyline


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

Primary sources *1900, ''Sur la logique des relations avec des applications à la théorie des séries'', ''Rivista di matematica 7'': 115–148. *1901, ''On the Notion of Order'', ''Mind (n.s.) 10'': 35–51. *1902, (with Alfred North Whitehead), ''On Cardinal Numbers'', ''American Journal of Mathematics 24'': 367–384. *1948, BBC Reith Lectures: Authority and the Individual A series of six radio lectures broadcast on the BBC Home Service in December 1948. Secondary sources *John Newsome Crossley. ''A Note on Cantor's Theorem and Russell's Paradox'', ''Australian Journal of Philosophy'' 51, 1973, 70–71. * Ivor Grattan-Guinness. ''The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870–1940''. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. *Alan Ryan. ''Bertrand Russell: A Political Life'', New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.


Further reading

; Books about Russell's philosophy * Alfred Julius Ayer. ''Russell'', London: Fontana, 1972. . A lucid summary exposition of Russell's thought. *Elizabeth Ramsden Eames. ''Bertrand Russell's Theory of Knowledge'', London: George Allen and Unwin, 1969. . A clear description of Russell's philosophical development. * Celia Green. ''The Lost Cause: Causation and the Mind-Body Problem'', Oxford: Oxford Forum, 2003. Contains a sympathetic analysis of Russell's views on causality. *
A. C. Grayling Anthony Clifford Grayling (; born 3 April 1949) is a British philosopher and author. He was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and spent most of his childhood there and in Nyasaland (now Malawi). In 2011 he founded and became the first M ...
. ''Russell: A Very Short Introduction'', Oxford University Press, 2002. * Nicholas Griffin. ''Russell's Idealist Apprenticeship'', Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. *A. D. Irvine, ed. ''Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments'', 4 volumes, London: Routledge, 1999. Consists of essays on Russell's work by many distinguished philosophers. *Michael K. Potter. ''Bertrand Russell's Ethics'', Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2006. A clear and accessible explanation of Russell's moral philosophy. *P. A. Schilpp, ed. ''The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell'', Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University, 1944. *John Slater. ''Bertrand Russell'', Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1994. ; Biographical books *A. J. Ayer. '' Bertrand Russell'', New York: Viking Press, 1972, reprint ed. London: University of Chicago Press, 1988, *Andrew Brink. ''Bertrand Russell: A Psychobiography of a Moralist'', Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1989, *
Ronald W. Clark William Ronald Clark, known as Ronald William Clark (2 November 1916 – 9 March 1987) was a British author of biography, fiction and non-fiction. Early life and education Clark was born in London as William Ronald Clark, the only child of bank c ...
. ''The Life of Bertrand Russell'', London: Jonathan Cape, 1975, *Ronald W. Clark. ''Bertrand Russell and His World'', London: Thames & Hudson, 1981, *Rupert Crawshay-Williams. ''Russell Remembered'', London: Oxford University Press, 1970. Written by a close friend of Russell's * John Lewis.
Bertrand Russell: Philosopher and Humanist
', London: Lawerence & Wishart, 1968 * Ray Monk. ''Bertrand Russell: Mathematics: Dreams and Nightmares'', London: Phoenix, 1997, *Ray Monk. ''Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude, 1872–1920'' Vol. I, New York: Routledge, 1997, *Ray Monk. ''Bertrand Russell: The Ghost of Madness, 1921–1970'' Vol. II, New York: Routledge, 2001, *Caroline Moorehead. ''Bertrand Russell: A Life'', New York: Viking, 1993, * George Santayana. "Bertrand Russell", in ''Selected Writings of George Santayana'', Norman Henfrey (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, I, 1968, pp. 326–329 *Peter Stone et al.
Bertrand Russell's Life and Legacy
'. Wilmington: Vernon Press, 2017. * Katharine Tait. ''My Father Bertrand Russell'', New York: Thoemmes Press, 1975 *Alan Wood. ''Bertrand Russell: The Passionate Sceptic'', London: George Allen & Unwin, 1957.


External links

* * * * * * *
Bertrand Russell – media
on YouTube

at McMaster University
The Bertrand Russell Society
*
BBC ''Face to Face'' interview
with Bertrand Russell and John Freeman, broadcast 4 March 1959 * including the Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1950 "What Desires Are Politically Important?"
Interview with Ray Monk
at ''Today'', 18 May 2022 (from 2:58:35) {{DEFAULTSORT:Russell, Bertrand 1872 births 1970 deaths 19th-century atheists 19th-century English mathematicians 19th-century English philosophers 19th-century essayists 20th-century atheists 20th-century English mathematicians 20th-century English philosophers 20th-century essayists Academics of the London School of Economics Alumni of Trinity College, Cambridge Analytic philosophers Anti–Vietnam War activists Aristotelian philosophers Atheist philosophers British anti–nuclear weapons activists British anti–World War I activists British atheism activists British cultural critics British ethicists British Nobel laureates Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activists British consciousness researchers and theorists Consequentialists Critics of Christianity Critics of religions Critics of the Catholic Church Critics of work and the work ethic De Morgan Medallists Deaths from influenza Earls Russell Empiricists English agnostics English anti-fascists English anti–nuclear weapons activists English atheist writers English essayists English historians of philosophy English humanists English logicians English male non-fiction writers English Nobel laureates English pacifists English people of Scottish descent English people of Welsh descent English political commentators English political philosophers English political writers English prisoners and detainees English sceptics English social commentators English socialists Epistemologists European democratic socialists Fellows of the Royal Society Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge Founders of philosophical traditions Free love advocates Free speech activists Freethought writers Georgists Honorary Fellows of the British Academy Infectious disease deaths in Wales Intellectual historians Jerusalem Prize recipients Kalinga Prize recipients LGBT rights activists from England Liberal socialism Linguistic turn Logicians Mathematical logicians Members of the Order of Merit Metaphilosophers Metaphysicians Metaphysics writers Moral philosophers Nobel laureates in Literature Nonviolence advocates Ontologists People from Harting People from Monmouthshire Philosophers of culture Philosophers of economics Philosophers of education Philosophers of ethics and morality Philosophers of history Philosophers of language Philosophers of law Philosophers of literature Philosophers of logic Philosophers of love Philosophers of mathematics Philosophers of mind Philosophers of religion Philosophers of science Philosophers of sexuality Philosophers of social science Philosophers of technology Philosophers of war Political philosophers Presidents of the Aristotelian Society Residents of Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park Rhetoric theorists Bertrand Russell Secular humanists Set theorists Social critics The Nation (U.S. magazine) people Theorists on Western civilization Universal basic income writers University of California, Los Angeles faculty University of Chicago faculty Utilitarians Writers about activism and social change Writers about communism Writers about globalization Writers about religion and science Writers about the Soviet Union