Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense".

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None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.

A hallucination is a fact not an error, what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.

Reason is a harmonising controlling force rather than a creative one.

Neither a man, nor a crowd, nor a nation, can be trusted to act humanely, or to think sanely, under the influence of a great fear.

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.

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.

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.

Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.

Dogmatism and skepticism are both in a sense absolute philosophies, one is certain of knowing the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because like Spinoza's God it won't love us in return.

If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.

Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people's happiness and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy not even mine.

All movements go too far.

The universe may have a purpose but nothing we know suggests that if so this purpose has any similarity to ours.

With the introduction of agriculture mankind entered upon a long period of meanness misery and madness from which they are only now being freed by the beneficent operation of the machine.

Most people would sooner die than think, in fact they do so.

The observer when he seems to himself to be observing a stone is really if physics is to be believed observing the effects of the stone upon himself.

Indignation is a submission of our thoughts but not of our desires.

Next to enjoying ourselves the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves or more generally in the acquisition of power.

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