Russell, Bertrand Arthur William

(1872-1970)
   A British mathematician, logician and philosopher, Bertrand Russell began philosophical life by going through Kantian and Hegelian phases in which he sought a synthesis of all reality, but then eventually moved (in his words) from viewing the world as a bowl of jelly to as a bucket of shot. Key to his logical atomism was the attempt finally to confirm his childhood fascination with the certainty of geometry by reducing arithmetic to logic. He sought to do this first via classes and then propositional functions, the latter of which led to his influential essay, 'On Denoting' (1905). This early work culminated in the monumental three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910-13), a collaborative effort with Alfred North Whitehead. Through these years Russell's metaphysics grew increasingly austere as he sought to eradicate Neoplatonism from his philosophy. Along with his logical atomism Russell defended an uncompromising atheism that challenges one to find dignity by living in the face of 'unyielding despair'. While Russell found some religious satisfaction in mathematics and philosophy (he was fascinated by Pythagoras in particular), he remained a vocal critic of organised religion, and of Christianity in particular. His anti-Christian writings are collected in Why I am Not a Christian (1957), a fairly conventional set of objections to the morality and rationality of Christian belief. Russell engaged in a famous debate on the existence of God with F. C. Copleston, which was aired on the BBC and has frequently been anthologised since. Ever the sceptical empiricist, when asked how he would defend his disbelief in a post-mortem encounter with God, Russell replied: 'Not enough evidence!' Russell's atheism also shows itself in his influential history of philosophy, in which he expresses bafflement at the idea that there could be such a thing as a Christian philosopher such as Aquinas. He coped with other philosophers that he respected more, such as Leibniz, by simply disregarding their Christian commitments.
   Further reading: Blackwell and Ruja 1994; Monk 1996 and 2000; Pears 1972; Roberts 1979; Russell 1946, 1957, 1959, 1961 and 1983-; Schilpp 1989; Tait 1975

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Russell,Bertrand Arthur William — Rus·sell (rŭsʹəl), Bertrand Arthur William. Third Earl Russell. 1872 1970. British philosopher, mathematician, social critic and writer who had a profound influence on the development of symbolic logic and 20th century analytic philosophy. His… …   Universalium

  • Russell, Bertrand Arthur William — (1872–1970) English philosopher. Russell was born into the liberal and aristocratic family descended from the Prime Minister, John Russell, and educated first at home, and then from 1890 at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics.… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Russell, Bertrand (Arthur William), 3er Conde Russell — (18 may. 1872, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Inglaterra–2 feb. 1970, cerca de Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Gales). Filósofo y lógico británico. Es conocido sobre todo por su trabajo en lógica matemática y su defensa de diversas causas sociales y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Russell, Bertrand (Arthur William), 3rd Earl Russell — born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Eng. died Feb. 2, 1970, near Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Wales British logician and philosopher. He is best known for his work in mathematical logic and for his advocacy on behalf of a variety of… …   Universalium

  • Russell, Bertrand Arthur William Russell, tercer conde de — ► (1872 1970) Matemático, filósofo y sociólogo británico. En el campo de las matemáticas, siguiendo la línea de Boole, Frege, Morgan y Peano, subordina dicha ciencia a la lógica pura e intenta deducir toda la matemática a partir de un pequeño… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bertrand Arthur William Russell — Bertrand Russell Pour les articles homonymes, voir Russell. Bertrand Russell Philosophe et Logicien Époque Contemporaine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bertrand Arthur William Russell — noun English philosopher and mathematician who collaborated with Whitehead (1872 1970) • Syn: ↑Russell, ↑Bertrand Russell, ↑Earl Russell • Instance Hypernyms: ↑logician, ↑logistician, ↑philosopher …   Useful english dictionary

  • Russell, Bertrand — ▪ British logician and philosopher in full  Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Viscount Amberley of Amberley and of Ardsalla  born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales died Feb. 2, 1970,… …   Universalium

  • Russell — Russell, Bertrand Arthur William …   Philosophy dictionary

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