Bertrand Russell Biography


Type: Philosopher, logician, mathematician

Born: 18 May 1872

Died: 2 February 1970

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore, and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed anti-imperialism and went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. 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".

Selected bibliography: <:h2>
  • 1896. German Social Democracy
  • 1903 A Free man's worship, and other essays
  • 1916. Why Men Fight
  • 1918. Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays
  • 1923. The Prospects of Industrial Civilization
  • 1925. What I Believe
  • 1929. Marriage and Morals
  • 1935. Religion and Science
  • 1951. New Hopes for a Changing World
  • 1959. Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare
  • 1961. Fact and Fiction
  • 1967. War Crimes in Vietnam
  • 1951–1969. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell

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