Almost five decades after his death, there is still ample reason to pay attention to the life and legacy of Bertrand Russell. This is true not only because of his role as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, but also because of his important place in twentieth-century history as an educator, public intellectual, critic of organized religion, humanist, and peace activist. The papers in this anthology explore Russell’s life and legacy from a wide variety of perspectives. This is altogether fitting, given the many-sided nature of Russell, his life, and his work.
The first section of the book considers Russell the man, and draws lessons from Russell’s complicated personal life. The second examines Russell the philosopher, and the philosophical world within which his work was embedded. The third scrutinizes Russell the atheist and critic of organized religion, inquiring which parts of his critical stance are worth emulating today. The final section revisits Russell the political activist; it directs an eye both at Russell’s own long career of peace activism, but also at his place in a highly political family tradition of which he was justifiably proud.
This book thus constitutes an invitation, if one were needed, to the world of Bertrand Russell. Those new to Russell, but with an interest in biography, philosophy, religion, or politics, will hopefully find something to learn here. This may spark an interest in learning more about Russell. But this book is not just intended for the Russell neophyte. The book sheds fresh light on a number of topics central to Russell studies—his connections to other philosophers, for example. Scholars well-versed in Russell studies will enjoy grappling with the treatment given to these topics here.
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About the Author
Nancy C. Doubleday joined McMaster University in 2009, where she holds the Hope Chair in Peace and Health, in Peace Studies, and is
Associate Professor of Philosophy. She also holds associate appointments at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and at the United Nations University Institute for Water,
Environment and Health.
Tim Madigan is President of the Bertrand Russell Society and coeditor,
with Peter Stone, of the book Bertrand Russell, Public
Intellectual (Tiger Bark Press, 2016). He is Professor and Chair of
Philosophy and Director of the Irish Studies Program at St. John
Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
Table of Contents
I. Russell the Man 1
Chapter 1 An Affair Remembered: Bertrand Russell and Joan Follwell, 1927-1929
Eileen O’Mara Walsh
Chapter 2 Philosophical Biography Reconsidered
II. Russell’s Philosophical World
Chapter 3 The Limits and Basis of Logical Tolerance: Carnap’s Combination of Russell and Wittgenstein
Ádám Tamás Tuboly
Chapter 4 Edmund Husserl and Bertrand Russell, 1905-1918: The Not-So-Odd Couple
Chapter 5 Is Russell's Conclusion about the Table Coherent?
III. Russell, Religion, and Spirituality
Chapter 6 “Waking Up” to Bertrand Russell’s Anticipation of Sam Harris’ “Spirituality” without Religion
Chapter 7 Russell on Religion and Science
Raymond Aaron Younis
IV. Peace, Protest, and Politics
Chapter 8 Lord John Russell and Crimes against Humanity: The Great Famine Tribunal
Chapter 9 Engaged Learning: Paths to Peace Praxis through the Russell Archives
Nancy C. Doubleday
About the Contributors