[Menu] [Rousseau] [Spinoza]

Bertrand Arthur William Russell


English philosopher. Russell was born into a liberal and aristocratic family descended from a Prime Minister. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics. He later became devoted to the foundations of mathematics. From 1907 to 1910 he worked in collaboration with Whitehead for ten to twelve hours a day eight months a year on Principia Mathematica. During this period he also laid the foundation of his life as a radical, active, liberal intellectual, beginning by standing as a suffragist candidate for parliament. During the First World War he was imprisoned for six months for publishing the statement that American soldiers would be employed as strike-breakers in Britain, "an occupation to which they are accustomed when in their own country".

After the war, Russell visited Russia and lived for a period in China. He opened an ran a school, but from 1938 to 1944 taught at a number of American universities. He was however denied employment by the City university of New York, on the grounds that his works were "lecherous, libidinous, lustful, venerous, erotomaniac, aphrodisiac, irrelevant, narrowminded, untruthful, and bereft of moral fiber". In the late 40's Russell published his last important philosophical work, but by this time, he was a world famous symbol of philosophy and its radical potential. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, and as the unmistakeble patriarch of the liberal academic world spent the rest of his life actively campaigning for nuclear disarmament.


Russell On The Web

[Menu] [Top] [Spinoza]
Last modified August 16, 1995