Bertrand Russell’s professional philosophical reputation rests mainly on his mathematical logic and theory of knowledge. In this study, first published in 1985, however, Kenneth Blackwell considers Russell’s writings on ethics and metaethics and uncovers the conceptual unity in Russell’s normative ethic. He traces that unity to the influence of Spinoza’s central ethical concept, the ‘intellectual love of God’, and then evaluates the ethic which he terms ‘impersonal self-enlargement’. The introduction discusses the metaethical background to Russell’s ethic and the difficulties inherent (...) in Russell’s view that ethical knowledge is not possible. The first section then examines Russell’s writings on Spinoza from 1894 to 1964, dividing them into three periods, the second part analyzes Russell’s two interpretations of the main concept, traces 'impersonal self-enlargement' in Russell’s own ethical writings, and evaluates the ethic in relation to other ethical theories and on its own merits as a ‘way of living’. This book provides a foundation for a positive re-evaluation of Russell’s status in the major philosophical field of ethics and will be welcomed by students of moral philosophy as well as those interested in Bertrand Russell’s works. (shrink)
_Theory of Knowledge_ gives us a picture of one of the great minds of the twentieth century at work. It is possible to see the unsolved problems left without disguise or evasion. Historically, it is invaluable to our understanding of both Russell's own thought and his relationship with Wittgenstein.
Three half-leaves of the final manuscript of Principia Mathematica have come to light in the Bertrand Russell Archives. They were originally tucked in Russell's own copy but avoided archival notice because their versos had been employed for an index of propositions used in theorem *350·62. The leaves form the whole of a folio 152 and the top half of 153 and include *336·51 through part of *336·52, on pages 400–1 of Volume III. Markings by the Cambridge University Press add to (...) our knowledge of the typesetting and proofreading of PM and give some indication of the fate of the remainder of the approximately 5–6,000 manuscript leaves, of which only one had been known to have survived. (shrink)