Bertrand Russell

1872 - 1970

A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on certainty, clarity, duty, preparation, purity, work, and world

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. Certain characteristics of the subject are clear. To begin with, we do not, in this subject, deal with particular things or particular properties: we deal formally with what can be said about "any" thing or "any" property. We are prepared to say that one and one are two, but not that Socrates and Plato are two, because, in our capacity of logicians or pure mathematicians, we have never heard of Socrates or Plato. A world in which there were no such individuals would still be a world in which one and one are two. It is not open to us, as pure mathematicians or logicians, to mention anything at all, because, if we do so we introduce something irrelevant and not formal.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Source: J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on health and questions

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on compromise, creativity, idealism, life, limitations, men, practicality, purity, reason, and world

Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on children

We want far better reasons for having children than not knowing how to prevent them.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on cooperation and mankind

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on knowledge, life, love, mankind, pity, simplicity, and suffering

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Source: Bertrand Russell, Autobiography

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on future, past, and security

Indemnity for the past and security for the future.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Source: Memoir of Fox, vol. iii. p. 345, Letter to the Hon. T. Maitland.

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on patriotism

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on correction, earth, logic, philosophy, and time

In the first place a philosophical proposition must be general. It must not deal specially with things on the surface of the earth, or within the solar system, or with any other portion of space and time. . . . This brings us to a second characteristic of philosophical propositions, namely that they must be a priori. A philosophical proposition must be such as can neither be proved nor disproved by empirical evidence. . . . Philosophy, if what has been said is correct, becomes indistinguishable from logic as that word has now come to be used.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Source: On Scientific Method in Philosophy, Russell

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A Quote by Bertrand Arthur William Russell on belief, paradox, philosophy, simplicity, and worth

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.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Source: The Philosophy of Logical Atomism

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