This collection of essays dates from the first decade of this century, and marks an important period in the evolution of Bertrand Russell's thought. Now available in paperback for the first time, they display all of Russell's clarity, incisiveness and brilliance of exposition, particularly on matters of ethics and the nature of truth. Russell intended the collection to appThis collection of essays dates from the first decade of this century, and marks an important period in the evolution of Bertrand Russell's thought. Now available in paperback for the first time, they display all of Russell's clarity, incisiveness and brilliance of exposition, particularly on matters of ethics and the nature of truth. Russell intended the collection to appeal to those who take an interest in philosophical questions without having had a professional training in philosophy' - those people will find these writings just as illuminating today....
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Philosophical Essays Reviews
A collection of philosophical essays. Some dealing with ethics a few dealing with the nature of truth and facts and arguing against William James pragmatism and, of course, they added the Essay "A free man's worship". I think they put that one in every collection of his.
I suppose this was a somewhat arbitrary title to pick out after having only read his History of Western Philosophy. However, keeping in mind that the Principia Mathematica is probably his quintessential work, I'll probably just stick to his shorter essays, and possibly Why I Am Not a Christian. Despite having only read what can be considered historiography of philosophy by Russell, I am somewhat familiar with analytic philosophy, what's more, I understand Russell's paradox which seems to be the epitome of his methodology.http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rus...Russell takes a logical approach at subjects ranging from ethics to pragmatism. There is a rough theme here, which probably has a lot to do with the philosophical questions or doctrines of the early twentieth century, a period in which Russell was at the height of his intellectual prowess. This collection doesn't really set forth a particular set of ideas that define the analytic approach, but it does display the effectiveness of its methodology. Particularly in the essay entitled the Elements of Ethics, in which Russell analyzes every single semantical possibility of what is meant by words such as true, false, good, bad, just, unjust, etc. Before a proposition is set forth explaining an ethical truth or falsehood, Russell wants us to take into account the meaning of each word, as well as its subjective or objective reality in the context of the sentence. This occasionally makes for a rather convoluted approach at interpretation, and from what I've heard Wittgenstein's writings are the superior example of analytic philosophy. Nevertheless, this was my favorite essay in the book.William James and the pragmatic philosophy occupy the latter half of the book. All that I can say is that after reading this I will most likely never read James, or Peirce, or any other pragmatic philosopher. It really seems to represent everything that I despise in a philosophical doctrine; vagueness, immateriality, faulty relativism, etc. Seriously, ugh. In all honesty, I read these essays as I would if they were printed in a periodical (which, come to think of it many of them were), so I'm sure that I'm overlooking their importance. Russell was such an eclectic philosopher, so it seems like reading him in fragments might be the best way in which to appreciate his thought.
I'm a huge fan of Russell, and I really enjoyed this book, but I have to say that it really does require a particular niche. While some Russell (though it may be only a small portion of his work) is good for everybody, this is a particularly technical piece and a heavy focus on some of Russell's contemporaries. The large focus on William James demands some level of historical awareness and the reality is, not everybody has that, or is up for it when looking for reading.It's a great book, but does require awareness of the history, as so much of philosophy does. It's hard to recommend to anyone outside of the field.
This is the first book i have read for Bertrand Russell, and - as I expected - it did not disappoint me.The essays are eloquent: I did not find almost any challenge in understanding them, at the same time, strong vocab was used: not strange for a writer who was awarded noble prize in literature.The essays had different topics which were a good introduction for me to know Russell's way of philosophical thinking: Element's of ethics, the free man's worship, the study of mathematics, Pragmatism,William Jame's conception of truth, the monistic theory of truth and "on the nature of truth and falsehood". Each of these essays seems like an introduction to a vast topic. In all these topics, the "mathematically influenced" Russell's way of thinking is evident. I highly recommend this book for those who want to read an "introductory book" for Russell.
probably won't finish it...!i bought it because of its translator:شمس الدین ادیب سلطانی