Popular quotes: The meaning an history behind "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher, logician,
mathematician, historian, social reformist and pacifist (for which he was
imprisoned during WWI). Along with G.E. Moore, Russell is generally recognized
as one of the founders of analytic philosophy. He is also often credited with
being one of the two most important logicians (a person who studies logic) of
the twentieth century. In addition, Russell made significant contributions to a
broad range of subjects including education, history, political theory and
After a life marked by controversy, he was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949
and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, "in recognition of his varied and
significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of
thought." He is noted for his many anti-war and anti-nuclear protests and as a
champion of free trade and anti-imperialism; for example, he campaigned against
Hitler and for nuclear disarmament, and criticized Soviet totalitarianism and
the USA's involvement in Vietnam.
Most bibliographies cite 80 or more works written by him, but that is a mere
fraction of his total output. In 1983 McMaster University began publishing
The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. The collection is currently up
to16 volumes with much more to come. Apparently, an additional three
volumes are devoted to simply cataloguing his bibliography (the Russell archives
at McMaster University hold more than 30,000 letters written by him). Of all his
works, he is perhaps best remembered for his History of Western Philosophy
More quotes from Bertrand Russell:
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct.
We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of
the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the
other, that you can boast about it.
There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
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