Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (Routledge Classics)
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Few philosophers have had a more profound influence on the course of modern philosophy than Bertrand Russell. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell is a comprehensive anthology of Russell’s most definitive essays written between 1903 and 1959. First published in 1961, this remarkable collection is a testament to a philosopher whom many consider to be one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. This is an essential introduction to the brilliance of Bertrand Russell.
poaching? A resolute egalitarian who answers these questions in the affirmative will find himself forced to regard apes as the equals of human beings. And why stop with apes? I do not see how he is to resist an argument in favour of Votes for Oysters. An adherent of evolution should maintain that not only the doctrine of the equality of all men, but also that of the rights of man, must be condemned as unbiological, since it makes too emphatic a distinction between men and other animals. There
unusual in ways of which we are unaware. For such reasons, no form of self-evidence seems to afford an absolute criterion of truth. Nevertheless, it is perhaps true that judgments having a high degree of subjective certainty are more apt to be true than other judgments. But if this be the case, it is a result to be demonstrated, not a premiss from which to start in defining truth and falsehood. As an initial guarantee, therefore, neither self-evidence nor subjective certainty can be accepted as
must depend upon the state, and therefore upon prior political and economic reforms. The world, however, was moving more and more in the direction of war and dictatorship, and I saw nothing useful that I could do in practical matters. I therefore increasingly reverted to philosophy, and to history in relation to ideas. History has always interested me more than anything else except philosophy and mathematics. I have never been able to accept any general schema of historical development, such as
have fallen below, or risen above, the ordinary level. They are: idiots, criminals, prophets, and discoverers. A wise herd will learn to tolerate the eccentricity of those who rise above the average, and to treat with a minimum of ferocity those who fall below it. As regards relations to other herds, modern technique has produced a conflict between self-interest and instinct. In old days, when two tribes went to war, one of them exterminated the other, and annexed its territory. From the point
fierceness, war, death, and slavery. War is the chief promoter of despotism, and the greatest obstacle to the establishment of a system in which irresponsible power is avoided, as far as possible. The prevention of war is therefore an essential part of our problem—I should say, the most essential. I believe that, if once the world were freed from the fear of war, under no matter what form of government or what economic system, it would in time find ways of curbing the ferocity of its rulers. On