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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British[1] philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, atheist, socialist, pacifist, and social critic.[2] Although he spent most of his life in England, he was born in Wales where he also died, aged 97.[3]

Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 1900s. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Frege and his protégé Wittgenstein, and is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians.[2] He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy."[4] His work has had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, eugenics, set theory, linguistics, and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed free trade and anti-imperialism.[5][6] Russell went to prison for his pacifist activism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then he criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the United States of America's involvement in the Vietnam War, and finally became an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament.[7]

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."[8]



Bertrand Russell was born on 18 May 1872 at Cleddon Hall, Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales, into a liberal family of the British aristocracy.

His paternal grandfather, John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, was the third son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, and had twice been asked by Queen Victoria to form a government, serving her as Prime Minister in the 1840s and 1860s.[9]
Bertrand Russell's father, John Russell, Viscount Amberley

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. They established themselves as one of Britain's leading Whig (Liberal) families, and participated in every great political event from the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536–40 to the Glorious Revolution in 1688–89 to the Great Reform Act in 1832.[9][10]

Russell's mother Katharine Louisa (1844–1874) was the daughter of Edward Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley, and was the sister of Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle.[7]

Russell's parents were radical for their times. Russell's father, Viscount Amberley, was an atheist and 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.[11] John Russell's atheism was evident when he asked the philosopher John Stuart Mill to act as Russell's secular godfather.[12] Mill died the year after Russell's birth, but his writings had a great effect on Russell's life.

Childhood and adolescence

Russell had two siblings: Frank (nearly seven years older than Bertrand), and Rachel (four years older). In June 1874 Russell's mother died of diphtheria, followed shortly by Rachel's death. In January 1876, his father also died of bronchitis following a long period of depression. Frank and Bertrand were placed in the care of their staunchly Victorian grandparents, who lived at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, his grandfather, who had been Prime Minister, died in 1878, and was remembered by Russell as a kindly old man in a wheelchair. As a result, his widow, the Countess Russell (née Lady Frances Elliot), was the dominant family figure for the rest of Russell's childhood and youth.[7][11]

The countess was from a Scottish Presbyterian family, and successfully petitioned a British court 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), and her influence on Bertrand Russell's outlook on social justice and standing up for principle remained with him throughout his life — her favourite Bible verse, 'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2), 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 very lonely, and he often contemplated suicide. He remarked in his autobiography that his keenest interests were in sex, religion and mathematics, and that only the wish to know more mathematics kept him from suicide.[13] He was educated at home by a series of tutors.[8] His brother Frank introduced him to the work of Euclid, which transformed Russell's life.[11][14]

Also, during these formative years, he discovered the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. In his Autobiography, he writes: "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."[15] Russell claimed that beginning at age 15, he spent considerable time thinking about the validity of Christian religious dogma, and by 18 had decided to discard the last of it.[16]

University and first marriage

Russell won a scholarship to read for the Mathematical Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, and commenced his studies there in 1890.[17] He became acquainted with the younger G.E. 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 a high Wrangler in 1893 and becoming a Fellow in the latter in 1895.[18][19]

Russell first met the American Quaker Alys Pearsall Smith when he was seventeen years old. He became a friend of the Pearsall Smith family—they knew him primarily as 'Lord John's grandson' and enjoyed showing him off—and travelled with them to the continent; it was in their company that Russell visited the Paris Exhibition of 1889 and was able to climb the Eiffel Tower soon after it was completed.[20]

He soon fell in love with the puritanical, high-minded Alys, who was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, and, contrary to his grandmother's wishes, he married her on 13 December 1894. Their marriage began to fall apart in 1901 when it occurred to Russell, while he was out on his bicycle, that he no longer loved her. She asked him if he loved her and he replied that he didn't. Russell also disliked Alys's mother, finding her controlling and cruel. It was to be a hollow shell of a marriage and they finally divorced in 1921, after a lengthy period of separation.[21] During this period, Russell had passionate (and often simultaneous) affairs with a number of women, including Lady Ottoline Morrell and the actress Lady Constance Malleson.[22]

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, where he also lectured on the science of power in the autumn of 1937.[23] He was also a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb.[24]

He now started an intensive study of the foundations of mathematics at Trinity during which he discovered Russell's paradox which challenged the foundations of set theory. In 1903 he published his first important book on mathematical logic, The Principles of Mathematics showing that mathematics could be deduced from a very small number of principles, and contributing significantly to the cause of logicism.[25]

In 1905 he wrote the essay "On Denoting", which was published in the philosophical journal Mind. Russell became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908.[7] The first of three volumes of Principia Mathematica, written with Whitehead, was published in 1910, which, along with the earlier The Principles of Mathematics, soon made Russell world famous in his field.

In 1910 he became a lecturer in the University of Cambridge where he soon received an approach from the Austrian engineering student Ludwig Wittgenstein, who became his PhD student and whom he viewed 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.[26] Russell delivered his lectures on Logical Atomism, his version of these ideas, in 1918 before the end of the First World War and whilst Wittgenstein was still a prisoner of war.

First World War

During the First World War, Russell was one of a very small number of intellectuals engaged in pacifist activities, and, in 1916, he was dismissed from Trinity College following his conviction under the Defence of the Realm Act.[27] A later conviction resulted in six months' imprisonment in Brixton prison (see Bertrand Russell's views on society).[28] Russell was released from prison in September 1918.

Between the wars, and second marriage

In August 1920, Russell travelled to Russia as part of an official delegation sent by the British government to investigate the effects of the Russian Revolution.[29] He met Lenin and had an hour-long conversation with him. In his autobiography, he mentions that he found Lenin rather disappointing, and that he sensed an "impish cruelty" in him. He also cruised down the Volga on a steam-ship. Russell's lover Dora Black also visited Russia independently at the same time — she was enthusiastic about the revolution, but Russell's experiences destroyed his previous tentative support for it.

Russell subsequently lectured in Beijing on philosophy for one year, accompanied by Dora. He went there with optimism and hope, as China was then on a new path. Among other scholars there was Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian poet and also a Nobel Laureate.[8] While in China, Russell became gravely ill with pneumonia, and incorrect reports of his death were published in the Japanese press.[30] When the couple visited Japan on their return journey, Dora notified the world that "Mr. Bertrand Russell, having died according to the Japanese press, is unable to give interviews to Japanese journalists." The press were not amused and did not appreciate the sarcasm.[31]

On the couple's return to England on 26 August 1921, Dora was six months pregnant, and Russell arranged a hasty divorce from Alys, marrying Dora six days after the divorce was finalised, on 27 September 1921. Their children 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 himself during this time by writing popular books explaining matters of physics, ethics, and education to the layman. Some have suggested that at this point he had an affair with Vivienne Haigh-Wood, first wife of T. S. Eliot.[32]

Together with Dora, he also 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. On 8 July 1930 Dora welcomed her third child, a daughter, Harriet Ruth. After he left the school in 1932, Dora continued it until 1943.[33][34]

Upon the death of his elder brother Frank, in 1931, Russell became the 3rd Earl Russell. He once said that his title was primarily useful for securing hotel rooms.

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.[34] They separated in 1932 and finally divorced. On 18 January 1936, Russell married his third wife, an Oxford undergraduate named Patricia ("Peter") Spence, who had been his children's governess since the summer of 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.[7]

Second World War

Russell opposed rearmament against Nazi Germany, but in 1940 changed his 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, "Relative Political Pacifism": War was always a great evil, but in some particularly extreme circumstances, it may be the lesser of two evils.[citation needed]

Post-Second World War

Before the Second World War, Russell taught at the University of Chicago, later moving on to Los Angeles to lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was appointed professor at the City College of New York in 1940, but after a public outcry, the appointment was annulled by a court judgement: his opinions (especially those relating to sexual morality, detailed in Marriage and Morals ten years earlier) made him "morally unfit" to teach at the college. The protest was started by the mother of a student who would not have been eligible for his graduate-level course in mathematical logic. Many intellectuals, led by John Dewey, protested against his treatment.[35] Albert Einstein's often-quoted aphorism that "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds..." originated in his open letter in support of Russell, during this time.[36] Dewey and Horace M. Kallen edited a collection of articles on the CCNY affair in The Bertrand Russell Case. He soon joined the Barnes Foundation, lecturing to a varied audience on the history of philosophy; these lectures formed the basis of History of Western Philosophy. His relationship with the eccentric Albert C. Barnes soon soured, and he returned to Britain in 1944 to rejoin the faculty of Trinity College.[37]

Later life

During the 1940s and 1950s, Russell participated in many broadcasts over the BBC, particularly The Brains Trust and the Third Programme, on various topical and philosophical subjects. By this time Russell was world famous outside of academic circles, frequently the subject or author of magazine and newspaper articles, and was called upon to offer up opinions on a wide variety of subjects, even mundane ones. En route to one of his lectures in Trondheim, Russell was one of 24 survivors (among a total of 43 passengers) in a aeroplane crash in Hommelvik in October 1948.[38] History of Western Philosophy (1945) became a best-seller, and provided Russell with a steady income for the remainder of his life.

In a speech in 1948 [39] Russell said that if the USSR's aggression continued, it would be morally worse to go to war after the USSR possessed an atomic bomb than before they 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 atom bombs on both sides. At that time, only the USA possessed an atomic bomb, and the USSR was pursuing an extremely aggressive policy towards the countries in Eastern Europe which it was absorbing into its sphere of influence. Many understood Russell's comments to mean that Russell approved of a first strike in a war with the USSR, including Lawson, who was present when Russell spoke. 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.[38]

In the King's Birthday Honours of 9 June 1949, Russell was awarded the Order of Merit,[40] and the following year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.[7][8] When he was given the Order of Merit, King George VI was affable but slightly embarrassed at decorating a former jailbird, saying that "You have sometimes behaved in a manner that would not do if generally adopted."[41] Russell merely smiled, but afterwards claimed that the reply "That's right, just like your brother" immediately came to mind.

In 1952, Russell was divorced by Peter, with whom he had been very unhappy. Conrad, Russell's son by Peter, 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, Pennsylvania, sharing a house for twenty years with Russell's old friend Lucy Donnelly. 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 John's mother, Russell's former wife, Dora. John's wife Susan was also mentally ill, and eventually Russell and Edith became the legal guardians of their three daughters (two of whom were later found to have schizophrenia).

In 1962, Russell played a public role in the Cuban Missile Crisis: in an exchange of telegrams with the Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev assured him that the Soviet government would not be reckless.[42]

Political causes

Russell spent the 1950s and 1960s engaged in various political causes, primarily related to nuclear disarmament and opposing the Vietnam war (see also Russell Vietnam War Crimes Tribunal). The 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto was a document calling for nuclear disarmament and was signed by 11 of the most prominent nuclear physicists and intellectuals of the time.[43] He wrote a great many letters to world leaders during this period. He was in contact with Lionel Rogosin while the latter was filming his anti-war film Good Times, Wonderful Times in the 1960s. He also became a hero to many of the youthful members of the New Left. In early 1963, in particular, Russell became increasingly vocal about his disapproval of what he felt to be the US government's near-genocidal policies in South Vietnam. In 1963 he became the inaugural recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, an award for writers concerned with the freedom of the individual in society.[44] In October 1965 he tore up his Labour Party card because he feared the party was going to send soldiers to support the USA in the Vietnam War.[7]

Final years and death

Russell published his three-volume autobiography in 1967, 1968, and 1969. 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 USA in South Vietnam. The following month, he protested to Alexei Kosygin over the expulsion of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from the Writers Union.

On 31 January 1970, Russell issued a statement which condemned Israeli aggression in the Middle East and called for Israeli withdrawal from territory occupied in 1967. The statement said that:

The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was "given" by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled in masses from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. [...] What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.[45]
—Bertrand Russell, 31 January 1970

This was Russell's final political statement or act. It was read out at the International Conference of Parliamentarians in Cairo on 3 February 1970, the day after his death.

Russell died of influenza on 2 February 1970 at his home, Plas Penrhyn, in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, Wales. He was cremated in Colwyn Bay on 5 February 1970. In accordance with his will there was no religious ceremony; his ashes were scattered over the Welsh mountains later that year.

Self-assessment and summary of his own life

At the age of 84, Russell added a five-paragraph prologue to a new publication of his autobiography, giving a summary of the work and his life, titled What I have lived for.[46]

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. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

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

Bertrand Russell series
Russell in 1907

Russell in 1907

* Bertrand Russell
* Views on philosophy
* Views on society
* Russell's paradox
* Russell's teapot
* Theory of Descriptions
* Logical atomism

Views on philosophy
Main article: Bertrand Russell's views on 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. He was particularly prolific in the field of metaphysics, the logic and the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, ethics and epistemology. When Brand Blanshard asked Russell why he didn't write on aesthetics, Russell replied that he didn't know anything about it, "but that is not a very good excuse, for my friends tell me it has not deterred me from writing on other subjects."[47]

Views on society
Main article: Bertrand Russell's views on society

Political and social activism occupied much of Russell's time for most of his life, which makes his prodigious and seminal writing on a wide range of technical and non-technical subjects all the more remarkable. Russell remained politically active almost to the end of his life, writing to and exhorting world leaders and lending his name to various causes. Also was famously noted for saying "No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God."[48]

Further reading

Selected bibliography of Russell's books

This 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: Cambridge University Press.
* 1905. On Denoting, Mind, vol. 14. ISSN: 00264425. 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. London: Williams and Norgate.
* 1914. Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy. Chicago and London: Open CPublishing.
* 1916. Principles of Social Reconstruction. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 1916. Justice in War-time. Chicago: Open Court.
* 1917. Political Ideals. New York: The Century Co.
* 1918. Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays. London: Longmans, Green.
* 1918. Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism, and Syndicalism. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 1919. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin. (ISBN 0-415-09604-9 for Routledge paperback) (Copy at
* 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.
* 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. 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.
* 1938. Power: A New Social Analysis. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 1940. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
* 1945. 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. Unpopular Essays. 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.
* 1959. Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 1959. My Philosophical Development. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 1959. Wisdom of the West, 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. On the Philosophy of Science, edited by Charles A. Fritz, Jr. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
* 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.
* 1967–1969. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 vols.. London: George Allen & Unwin.
* 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.

Note: This is a mere sampling, for Russell also wrote many pamphlets, introductions, articles and letters to the editor. His works also can be found in any number of anthologies and collections, perhaps most notably The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, which McMaster University began publishing in 1983. This collection of his shorter and previously unpublished works is now up to 16 volumes, and many more are forthcoming. An additional three volumes catalogue just his bibliography. The Russell Archives at McMaster University also have more than 30,000 letters that he wrote.

Additional references


* 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 23: 367-384.

[edit] Secondary references

* John Newsome Crossley. A Note on Cantor's Theorem and Russell's Paradox, Australian Journal of Philosophy 51: 70-71.
* Ivor Grattan-Guinness, 2000. The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870-1940. Princeton University Press.

Books about Russell's philosophy

* Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments, edited by A. D. Irvine, 4 volumes, London: Routledge, 1999. Consists of essays on Russell's work by many distinguished philosophers.
* Bertrand Russell, by John Slater, Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1994.
* Bertrand Russell's Ethics. by Michael K. Potter, Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2006. A clear and accessible explanation of Russell's moral philosophy.
* The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, edited by P.A. Schilpp, Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University, 1944.
* Russell, by A. J. Ayer, London: Fontana, 1972. ISBN 0-00-632965-9. A lucid summary exposition of Russell's thought.
* The Lost Cause: Causation and the Mind-Body Problem, by Celia Green. Oxford: Oxford Forum, 2003. ISBN 0-9536772-1-4 Contains a sympathetic analysis of Russell's views on causality.
* Russell's Idealist Apprenticeship, by Nicholas Griffin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Biographical books

* Bertrand Russell: Philosopher and Humanist, by John Lewis (1968)
* Bertrand Russell, by A. J. Ayer (1972), reprint ed. 1988: ISBN 0-226-03343-0
* The Life of Bertrand Russell, by Ronald W. Clark (1975) ISBN 0-394-49059-2
* Bertrand Russell and His World, by Ronald W. Clark (1981) ISBN 0-500-13070-1
* Bertrand Russell: Mathematics: Dreams and Nightmares by Ray Monk (1997) ISBN 0-75380-190-6
* Bertrand Russell: 1872–1920 The Spirit of Solitude by Ray Monk (1997) ISBN 0-09-973131-2
* Bertrand Russell: 1921–1970 The Ghost of Madness by Ray Monk (2001) ISBN 0-09-927275-X
* Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, and Christos Papadimitriou (2009)


1. ^ Sidney Hook, "Lord Russell and the War Crimes Trial", Bertrand Russell: critical assessments, Volume 1, edited by A. D. Irvine, (New York 1999) page 178
2. ^ a b Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Bertrand Russell", 1 May 2003
3. ^ Hestler, Anna (2001). Wales. Marshall Cavendish. p. 53. ISBN 076141195X.
4. ^ Ludlow, Peter, "Descriptions", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = [1].
5. ^ Richard Rempel (1979). "From Imperialism to Free Trade: Couturat, Halevy and Russell's First Crusade". Journal of the History of Ideas (University of Pennsylvania Press) 40 (3): 423–443. doi:10.2307/2709246.
6. ^ Bertrand Russell (1988) [1917]. Political Ideals. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-10907-8.
7. ^ a b c d e f g The Bertrand Russell Gallery
8. ^ a b c d The Nobel Foundation (1950). Bertrand Russell: The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950. Retrieved on 11 June 2007.
9. ^ a b Bloy, Marjie, Ph.D.. "Lord John Russell (1792-1878)". Retrieved 28 October 2007.
10. ^ Cokayne, G.E.; Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors. 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.
11. ^ a b c Paul, Ashley. "Bertrand Russell: The Man and His Ideas.". Retrieved 28 October 2007.
12. ^ Russell, Bertrand and Perkins, Ray (ed.) Yours faithfully, Bertrand Russell. Open Court Publishing, 2001, p. 4.
13. ^ The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, p.38
14. ^ Lenz, John R. (date unknown) (PDF). Bertrand Russell and the Greeks. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
15. ^ The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, p.35
16. ^ "Bertrand Russell on God". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1959. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
17. ^ Russell, the Hon. Bertrand Arthur William in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
18. ^ O'Connor, J. J.; E. F. Robertson (October 2003). "Alfred North Whitehead". School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
19. ^ Griffin, Nicholas; Albert C. Lewis. "Bertrand Russell's Mathematical Education". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 44, No. 1.. pp. 51–71. Retrieved 8 November 2007. (subscription required)
20. ^ Wallenchinsky et al. (1981), "Famous Marriages Bertrand...Part 1".
21. ^ Wallenchinsky et al. (1981), "Famous Marriages Bertrand...Part 3".
22. ^ Kimball, Roger. "Love, logic & unbearable pity: The private Bertrand Russell". The New Criterion Vol. 11, No. 1, September 1992. The New Criterion. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
23. ^ Simkin, John. "London School of Economics". Retrieved 16 November 2007.
24. ^ Russell, Bertrand (2001). Ray Perkins. ed. Yours Faithfully, Bertrand Russell: Letters to the Editor 1904-1969. Chicago: Open Court Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 0-8126-9449-X. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
25. ^ "Bertrand Russell, Biography". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
26. ^ Russell on Wittgenstein
27. ^ He was reinstated 1919, resigned 1920, was Tarner Lecturer 1926, and became a Fellow again 1944–1949."Trinity in Literature". Trinity College. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
28. ^ Vellacott, Jo (1980). Bertrand Russell and the Pacifists in the First World War. Brighton: Harvester Press. ISBN 0855274549.
29. ^ "Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)". Farlex, Inc.. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
30. ^ ""Bertrand Russell Reported Dead"" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 April 1921. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
31. ^ Russell, Bertrand (2000). Richard A . Rempel. ed. "Uncertain Paths to Freedom: Russia and China, 1919-22". 15. Routledge. lxviii. ISBN 0415094119.
32. ^ Monk, Ray (2004; online edition, January 2008). "‘Russell, Bertrand Arthur William, third Earl Russell (1872–1970)’". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Pressmonth=September. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35875. Retrieved 14 March 2008. (subscription required)
33. ^ Inside Beacon Hill: Bertrand Russell as Schoolmaster. Jespersen, Shirley ERIC# EJ360344, published 1987
34. ^ a b ""Dora Russell"". 12 May 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
35. ^ Leberstein, Stephen (November/December 2001). ""Appointment Denied: The Inquisition of Bertrand Russell"". Academe. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
36. ^ [2] Einstein quotations and sources. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
37. ^ ""Bertrand Russell"". 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
38. ^ a b Griffin, Nicholas (ed.) (2002). "The Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell". Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 0415260124.
39. ^ A philosopher’s letters | Love, Bertie |
40. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38628, p. 2796, 3 June 1949. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
41. ^ Ronald W. Clark, Bertrand Russell and His World, p94. (1981) ISBN 0-500-13070-1
42. ^ Sanderson Beck. World Peace Efforts Since Gandhi. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
43. ^ Russell, Bertrand; Albert Einstein (9 July 1955). ""Russell Einstein Manifesto"". Retrieved 17 February 2008.
44. ^ Jerusalem International Book Fair
45. ^ Russell, Bertrand; Perkins, Ray (2002). Yours faithfully, Bertrand Russell: a lifelong fight for peace, justice, and truth in letters to the editor. Chicago: Open Court. ISBN 0-8126-9450-3.
46. ^ [3] Accessed 23 July 2009. The prologue for the autobiography was written in July, 1956.
47. ^ Blanshard, in Paul Arthur Schilpp, ed., The Philosophy of Brand Blanshard, Open Court, 1980, p. 88, quoting a private letter from Russell.
48. ^ "Problem of Evil".


* Bertrand Russell. 1967–1969, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 volumes, London: George Allen & Unwin.
* Wallechinsky, David & Irving Wallace. 1975-1981, "Famous Marriages Bertrand Russell & Alla Pearsall Smith, Part 1" & "Part 3", on "Alys" Pearsall Smith, webpage content from The People's Almanac, webpages: Part 1 & Part 3 (accessed 8 November 2008).
* Russell B, (1944) "My Mental Development", in Schilpp, Paul Arturn "The Philosophy of Betrand Russell", New York, Tudorm 1951, pp 3–20

External links

Writings available online

* Works by Bertrand Russell at Project Gutenberg
* "A Free Man's Worship" (1903)
* "Am I an Atheist or an Agnostic?" (1947)
* "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?" 1930
* "Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind" (1950)
* "In Praise of Idleness" (1932)
* "What Desires Are Politically Important?" (1950)
* Political Ideals (1917)
* The Problems of Philosophy
* Proposed Roads to Freedom (1918)
* "16 Questions on the Assassination" (of President Kennedy)
* The Analysis Of Mind
* Russell, Bertrand (1953). "What is an Agnostic?". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008.
* Why I am not a Christian
* The War and Non-Resistance—A Rejoinder to Professor Perry
* War and Non-Resistance (1915)
* The Ethics of War (1915)
* Principia Mathematica (1910)
* "The Elements of Ethics" (1910)
* The Principles of Mathematics (1903)
* An essay on the foundations of geometry
* Is There a God? (1952)
* From:
o History of Western Philosophy (1946)
o My Philosophical Development (1959)
o Portraits from Memory and Other Essays (1956)
o Unpopular Essays (1950)
o Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1920)
o The Scientific Outlook (1954)
o An Outline of Philosophy (1951)
o Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare (1959)
o Our Knowledge of the External World (1914)
o Legitimacy Versus Industrialism 1814-1848 (1935)
o Authority and the Individual (1949)
o Education and the Social Order (1932)
o Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories (1954)
o Why Men Fight: A Method of Abolishing the International Duel (1917)
o Justice in Wartime (1917)
o Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays (1917)
o The Autobiography Of Bertrand Russell 1872-1914 (1951)
o The Autobiography Of Bertrand Russell 1914-1944 (1956)


* Works by Bertrand Russell in audio format from LibriVox
* Sound clips of Bertrand Russell speaking


* Pembroke Lodge — childhood home and museum]
* The Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly
* The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation
* Bertrand Russell in Japan
* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Bertrand Russell", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .
* Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery
* Bertrand Russell entry by A.D. Irvine in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1 May 2003
* The Bertrand Russell Archives
* Resource list
* The First Reith Lecture given by Russell (Real Audio)
* Nobel Prize
* Bertrand Russell at 100 Welsh Heroes
* Key Participants: Bertrand Russell - Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement: A Documentary History
* PM@100: LOGIC FROM 1910 TO 1927 Conference at the Bertrand Russell Research Centre (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada), to be held on May 21–24, 2010, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Principia Mathematica.


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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