A book which is intended as an introduction to Bertrand Russell and his views in a variety of fields. In addition to being one of the most important logicians and philosophers of this century, Russell was also, for a very long time, one of it most prominent public figures, and his influence on his time was not confined to academic subjects. Nearly all of his 70 books, including some whose positions are now rather clearly dated, are still, or were until (...) very recently, in print, a continuing tribute both to the attraction of his views and to the grace and polish of his literary style for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950. (shrink)
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the author recalls his connection to that memorable event. The origin and development of the plan that led to the continuing publication of volumes in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell is sketched, and the author’s role in giving Ronald W. Clark access to the Archives to write the first major biography of Russell is disclosed.
Alfred Jules Ayer was born in London and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He attended sessions of the logical positivist ‘Vienna Circle’ in 1932, and taught at Oxford from 1933 until joining the Army in 1940. His Language, Truth and Logic was published in 1936, and The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge in 1940. After war service he returned to Oxford in 1945, and became Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College, London, the following (...) year. The Problem of Knowledge was published in 1956. In 1959 he returned to Oxord as Wykeham Professor of Logic, a post he held until his retirement in 1977. He had been made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1952, and was knighted in 1970. Among his publications after he returned to Oxford are The Concept of a Person , Philosophical Essays , The Origins of Pragmatism , Metaphysics and Common Sense , Russell and Moore: the Analytical Heritage , Probability and Evidence , The Central Questions of Philosophy , and Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. (shrink)