Quotes of the Day for 18 May 2009 – Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born at Ravenscroft in Wales on this day in 1872, but raised at London after his parents' deaths. Tutored at home, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1890, distinguishing himself in mathematics and philosophy. During WW I he campaigned against British involvement and was imprisoned for six months. (Other than belatedly opposing Hitler, he was against all wars during his life.) He had great hopes for "the Communist experiment" but was not impressed at meeting Lenin or at the unhappy result in the Soviet state. He wrote at least 80 books on philosophy, mathematics, morality, and politics, sixteen volumes of his unpublished work have been released by McMaster University, which also has more than 30,000 letters he wrote. He was the 3rd Earl Russell, and won the 1950 Nobel Prize for literature.
You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.
Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.
Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoon to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoon, who gives us this assurance.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
All from Bertrand Russell, 1872 - 1970
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