Bertrand's random-chord paradox purports to illustrate the inconsistency of the principle of indifference when applied to problems in which the number of possible cases is infinite. This paper shows that Bertrand's original problem is vaguely posed, but demonstrates that clearly stated variations lead to different, but theoretically and empirically self-consistent solutions. The resolution of the paradox lies in appreciating how different geometric entities, represented by uniformly distributed random variables, give rise to respectively different nonuniform distributions of random chords, (...) and hence to different probabilities. The principle of indifference appears consistently applicable to infinite sets provided that problems can be formulated unambiguously. (shrink)
This article argues that nationalism is an important topic in Bertrand Russell's thinking about politics and society and that his writings on this subject are worthy of consideration by those who study nationalism today Russell anticipates contemporary "modernist" and "ethnicist" accounts of nationalism, providing, over a lifetime, the precedent of both of these theories struggling within the bosom of one thinker. Russell's theory is structurally closer to that of the modernists. Like them, Russell believes that the growth of a (...) modern global economy has made all nationalisms, whether progressive or reactionary, obsolete. But after declaring the obsolescence of nationalism in 1917, Russell was compelled to wrestle with the persistence and vitality of nationalist movements and sentiment throughout the rest of the century. The author argues that Russell's experience suggests that this modernism, which dismissed all nationalisms, led to political absurdities and compelled Russell to argue for the distinction between predatory and imperialist nationalismsa distinction he had rejected in the wake of World War I. (shrink)
The article that follows is the second part of a study on Freedom prepared by the author for the International Dictionary of the Basic Terms of Philosophy and political Thought. The first half of the essay appeared in Philosophy Today, Summer 1960, pp. 126-136.
During the First World War, Bertrand Russell was political commentator for _The Tribunal_, the official weekly publication of the No-Conscription Fellowship, of which Russell was Action Chairman. This volume contains many short papers from that period, which reflect Russell's immediate reponses to developments in the conflict. These documents bear witness to Russell's growing commitment to pacifism, and reveal the development of the patterns of political argument, rhetoric and activism which were to characterise his work throughout his life.
RésuméPrésentation de la correspondance inédite entre Bertrand Russell et Louis Couturat, proba‐blement la plus remarquable qui nous reste de Russell tant par son ampleur que par son contenu. Ľauteur en expose ici les thèmes les plus importants, concernant en particulier les fondements de la géométrie et la logique mathématique, et les met en relation avec les positions philosophiques respectives de Russell et de Couturat.SummaryIntroduction to the unpublished correspondance between Bertrand Russell and Louis Couturat – probably the (...) most remarkable that remains from Russell, as tar as its richness and its content is concerned. The author exposes the most important themes concerning mainly the foundations of geometry and of mathematical logic which she relates with the respective philosophical positions of Russell and Couturat.ZusammenfassungEs wird der noch unveröffentlichte Briefwechsel zwischen Bertrand Russell und Louis Couturat vorgestellt. Was Russell betrifft, so dürfte es sich sowohl in bezug auf den Umfang als auch in bezug auf den Gehalt um das Bemerlcenswerteste handeln, was er uns zurückgelassen hat. Die Autorin stellt die wichtigsten Themen dar, die im besonderen die Grundlagen der Geometrie sowie der mathematischen Logik berühren, und sie setzt diese in Beziehung zu der von Russell und Couturat eingenommenen philosophischen Positionen. (shrink)
Praised for its accessibility and comprehensiveness, Philosophy: The Quest for Truth provides an excellent selection of classical and contemporary readings on nineteen key problems in philosophy. Louis P. Pojman has carefully organized the essays in each section so that they present pro/con dialogues that allow students to compare and contrast the philosophers' positions. Topics covered include the nature of philosophy, the existence of God, immortality, knowledge, the mind-body question, personal identity, free will and determinism, ethics, political philosophy, and the (...) meaning of life. The sixth edition offers selections from Plato, Reni Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, William James, Bertrand Russell, John Hick, John Hospers, and James Rachels--as well as essays by Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, Thomas Hobbes, George Berkeley, Immanuel Kant, Gilbert Ryle, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alvin Plantinga, and many others. In Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, Sixth Edition, Pojman offers substantial introductions to each of the nineteen philosophical problems. In addition, each of the seventy-six readings is accompanied by an individual introduction with a biographical sketch of the philosopher, study questions, and reflective questions that challenge students to analyze and critique the material. Short bibliographies following each major section and a detailed glossary further enhance the text's pedagogical value. Invaluable for introductory courses in philosophy, this highly acclaimed text inspires and guides students' quest for wisdom. New to the Sixth Edition:: * Six selections: William Lane Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument and the Anthropic Principle William Rowe: An Analysis of the Ontological Argument Daniel Dennett: Postmodernism and Truth William James: The Dilemma of Determinism Harry Frankfurt: Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person John Rawls: The Contemporary Liberal Answer * A student companion website -- http://www.oup.com/us/quest -- featuring study and review questions, discussion questions, chapter overviews and summaries, topical links, suggestions for further reading, and PowerPoint lecture aids * More exercises in the excursus on logic. (shrink)
Now in a third edition, Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a highly acclaimed, topically organized collection that covers five major areas of philosophy--theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, freedom and determinism, and moral philosophy. Editor Louis P. Pojman enhances the text's topical organization by arranging the selections into a pro/con format to help students better understand opposing arguments. He also includes accessible introductions to each chapter, subsection, and individual reading, a unique feature for (...) an anthology of this depth. While the book focuses on a compelling sampling of classical material--including selections from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant--it also incorporates some of philosophy's best twentieth-century and contemporary work, featuring articles by Bertrand Russell, Richard Taylor, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, and others. This third edition contains an expanded glossary, more extensive section introductions, and twelve new selections: Karl Popper: "Epistemology without a Knowing Subject" Richard Rorty: "Dismantling Truth: Solidarity Versus Objectivity" Daniel Dennett: "Postmodernism and Truth" Bruce Russell: "The Problem of Evil: Too Much Suffering" David Chalmers: "Against Materialism: Can Consciousness Be Reductively Explained?" Baron Paul Henri d'Holbach: "A Defense of Determinism" Michael Levin: "A Compatibilist Defense of Moral Responsibility" Plato: Socratic Morality: "Crito" Herodotus: "Custom Is King" J. L. Mackie: "The Subjectivity of Values" Louis P. Pojman: "A Critique of Mackie's Theory of Moral Subjectivism" Thomas Nagel: "Moral Luck". (shrink)
_Russell on Religion_ presents a comprehensive and accessible selection of Bertrand Russell's writing on religion and related topics from the turn of the century to the end of his life. The influence of religion pervades almost all Bertrand Russell's writings from his mathematical treatises to his early fiction. Russell contends with religion as a philosopher, as a historian, as a social critic and as a private individual. The papers in this volume are arranged chronologically for optimum coherence of (...) the development of Russell's thinking and are divided into five main sections: * Personal statements * Religion and Philosophy * Religion and Science * Religion and Morality * Religion and History. Students at all levels will find this a valuable insight into Russell's thought on religion. (shrink)