Fact and Fiction (Routledge Classics) 1st Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415487320
ISBN-10: 0415487323
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Paperback, August 19, 2009
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About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). A celebrated mathematician and logician, Russell was and remains one of the most genuinely widely read and popular philosophers of modern times.


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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415487323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415487320
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,343,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Viraga on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Russell often gathered essays he thought would have lasting value, and published them as collections. This book not only has essays, but the text of talks he gave on the BBC. The topics are wide and disparate. He begins with books (and their authors) that made a deep impression on him while he was in his formative years. Then follow essays on politics, starting off with "What is Freedom?" and "What is Democracy?" -- two basic questions that many people don't even think about. The "Divertissement" section contains pieces of fiction. Russell stated that he found fiction a useful medium to express ideas he half-believed in, but had no firm grounds for belief. The last section is on "Peace and War," and includes the famous Vienna and Manchester addresses on nuclear bombs. His style is incisive and pithy as usual. If you like Russell, you should not miss reading this book.
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By Luc REYNAERT on May 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Besides literary reviews (Shelley, Turgenev, Ibsen, Swift), B. Russell tackles in these short comments the crucial problems of our world: freedom, power, science, war and peace, truth or the real nature of mankind.

Political, economic and mental freedom
Holders of power, always and everywhere, are indifferent to the good or evil of those who have no power, except in so far as they are restrained by fear. Therefore, mankind needs democracy in order to break the monopoly of political power. Liberty cannot be secured without democratic elections. But within democracy, there should be tolerance against minorities cemented in laws.
Economic freedom doesn't mean `laissez-faire'. It consists in freeing man from economic compulsion. If a man is law-abiding and willing to work, he must not be allowed to starve. Laissez-faire cannot secure this result.
Mental freedom means freedom of opinion, free discussion, free inquiry and free speculation. Education should promote the courage of dissent and free inquiry, and should combat the forces of militant ignorance.

Science in itself is ethically neutral. It confers power, but for evil as much as for good. It has always had an intimate and sinister connection with war. If one wishes to exterminate the human race, it will show one how to do it. But, if Pythagoras, Galileo and James Watt had not existed, daily life would be profoundly different from what it is.

War and peace
Militarists have often been able to achieve their aims. History is a long series of imperialist conquests. Today, some who profess democracy admit that total war might end in total death. They are prepared to see the human race destroy itself rather than forgo the pleasures of fanaticism.
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Fact and Fiction (Routledge Classics)
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