Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy”. His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.
The Good Life Is One Inspired By Love And Guided By Knowledge.
Three Passions, Simple But Overwhelmingly Strong, Have Governed My Life: The Longing For Love, The Search For Knowledge, And Unbearable Pity For The Suffering Of Mankind.
The Demand For Certainty Is One Which Is Natural To Man, But Is Nevertheless An Intellectual Vice.
The Infliction Of Cruelty With A Good Conscience Is A Delight To Moralists. That Is Why They Invented Hell.
There Is Something Feeble And A Little Contemptible About A Man Who Cannot Face The Perils Of Life Without The Help Of Comfortable Myths.
Collective Fear Stimulates Herd Instinct, And Tends To Produce Ferocity Toward Those Who Are Not Regarded As Members Of The Herd.
Liberty Is The Right To Do What I Like; License, The Right To Do What You Like.
Ethics Is In Origin The Art Of Recommending To Others The Sacrifices Required For Cooperation With Oneself.
Men Who Are Unhappy, Like Men Who Sleep Badly, Are Always Proud Of The Fact.
Reason Is A Harmonising, Controlling Force Rather Than A Creative One.
Indignation Is A Submission Of Our Thoughts, But Not Of Our Desires.
Awareness Of Universals Is Called Conceiving, And A Universal Of Which We Are Aware Is Called A Concept.
Love Is Something Far More Than Desire For Sexual Intercourse; It Is The Principal Means Of Escape From The Loneliness Which Afflicts Most Men And Women Throughout The Greater Part Of Their Lives.
Admiration Of The Proletariat, Like That Of Dams, Power Stations, And Aeroplanes, Is Part Of The Ideology Of The Machine Age.
I Remain Convinced That Obstinate Addiction To Ordinary Language In Our Private Thoughts Is One Of The Main Obstacles To Progress In Philosophy.
Many A Man Will Have The Courage To Die Gallantly, But Will Not Have The Courage To Say, Or Even To Think, That The Cause For Which He Is Asked To Die Is An Unworthy One.
To Understand A Name You Must Be Acquainted With The Particular Of Which It Is A Name.
In The Revolt Against Idealism, The Ambiguities Of The Word Experience Have Been Perceived, With The Result That Realists Have More And More Avoided The Word.
Religions, Which Condemn The Pleasures Of Sense, Drive Men To Seek The Pleasures Of Power. Throughout History Power Has Been The Vice Of The Ascetic.
If All Our Happiness Is Bound Up Entirely In Our Personal Circumstances It Is Difficult Not To Demand Of Life More Than It Has To Give.
It Is Possible That Mankind Is On The Threshold Of A Golden Age; But, If So, It Will Be Necessary First To Slay The Dragon That Guards The Door, And This Dragon Is Religion.
Machines Are Worshipped Because They Are Beautiful And Valued Because They Confer Power; They Are Hated Because They Are Hideous And Loathed Because They Impose Slavery.
Why Is Propaganda So Much More Successful When It Stirs Up Hatred Than When It Tries To Stir Up Friendly Feeling?
Mathematics May Be Defined As The Subject In Which We Never Know What We Are Talking About, Nor Whether What We Are Saying Is True.
The Slave Is Doomed To Worship Time And Fate And Death, Because They Are Greater Than Anything He Finds In Himself, And Because All His Thoughts Are Of Things Which They Devour.
The Fundamental Concept In Social Science Is Power, In The Same Sense In Which Energy Is The Fundamental Concept In Physics.
Freedom Comes Only To Those Who No Longer Ask Of Life That It Shall Yield Them Any Of Those Personal Goods That Are Subject To The Mutations Of Time.
When The Intensity Of Emotional Conviction Subsides, A Man Who Is In The Habit Of Reasoning Will Search For Logical Grounds In Favour Of The Belief Which He Finds In Himself.
To Acquire Immunity To Eloquence Is Of The Utmost Importance To The Citizens Of A Democracy.
I Do Not Pretend To Start With Precise Questions. I Do Not Think You Can Start With Anything Precise. You Have To Achieve Such Precision As You Can, As You Go Along.
Aristotle Could Have Avoided The Mistake Of Thinking That Women Have Fewer Teeth Than Men, By The Simple Device Of Asking Mrs. Aristotle To Keep Her Mouth Open While He Counted.
The Megalomaniac Differs From The Narcissist By The Fact That He Wishes To Be Powerful Rather Than Charming, And Seeks To Be Feared Rather Than Loved. To This Type Belong Many Lunatics And Most Of The Great Men Of History.
If Any Philosopher Had Been Asked For A Definition Of Infinity, He Might Have Produced Some Unintelligible Rigmarole, But He Would Certainly Not Have Been Able To Give A Definition That Had Any Meaning At All.
With The Introduction Of Agriculture Mankind Entered Upon A Long Period Of Meanness, Misery, And Madness, From Which They Are Only Now Being Freed By The Beneficent Operation Of The Machine.
A Truer Image Of The World, I Think, Is Obtained By Picturing Things As Entering Into The Stream Of Time From An Eternal World Outside, Than From A View Which Regards Time As The Devouring Tyrant Of All That Is.
Dogmatism And Skepticism Are Both, In A Sense, Absolute Philosophies; One Is Certain Of Knowing, The Other Of Not Knowing. What Philosophy Should Dissipate Is Certainty, Whether Of Knowledge Or Ignorance.
Every Philosophical Problem, When It Is Subjected To The Necessary Analysis And Justification, Is Found Either To Be Not Really Philosophical At All, Or Else To Be, In The Sense In Which We Are Using The Word, Logical.
The Pleasure Of Work Is Open To Anyone Who Can Develop Some Specialised Skill, Provided That He Can Get Satisfaction From The Exercise Of His Skill Without Demanding Universal Applause.
The Man Who Can Centre His Thoughts And Hopes Upon Something Transcending Self Can Find A Certain Peace In The Ordinary Troubles Of Life, Which Is Impossible To The Pure Egoist.
One Should Respect Public Opinion Insofar As Is Necessary To Avoid Starvation And Keep Out Of Prison, But Anything That Goes Beyond This Is Voluntary Submission To An Unnecessary Tyranny.
I Would Never Die For My Beliefs Because I Might Be Wrong.
The Whole Problem With The World Is That Fools And Fanatics Are Always So Certain Of Themselves, And Wiser People So Full Of Doubts.
It Has Been Said That Man Is A Rational Animal. All My Life I Have Been Searching For Evidence Which Could Support This.
A Sense Of Duty Is Useful In Work But Offensive In Personal Relations. People Wish To Be Liked, Not To Be Endured With Patient Resignation.
The Only Thing That Will Redeem Mankind Is Cooperation.
The Trouble With The World Is That The Stupid Are Cocksure And The Intelligent Are Full Of Doubt.
One Of The Symptoms Of An Approaching Nervous Breakdown Is The Belief That One's Work Is Terribly Important.
I've Made An Odd Discovery. Every Time I Talk To A Savant I Feel Quite Sure That Happiness Is No Longer A Possibility. Yet When I Talk With My Gardener, I'm Convinced Of The Opposite.
None But A Coward Dares To Boast That He Has Never Known Fear.
Much That Passes As Idealism Is Disguised Hatred Or Disguised Love Of Power.