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Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits Paperback – June 24, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0415083027 ISBN-10: 0415083028 Edition: 2nd

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Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits + The Problems of Philosophy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (June 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415083028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415083027
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,495,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


It is the nearest thing to a systematic philosophy written by one who does not believe in systems of philosophy. Its scope is encyclopedic . . . a joy to read.
–Sidney Hook, The New York Times

His intelligibility comes of stating things directly as he himself sees them, sharply defined and readily crystallized in the best English philosophical style.
Times Literary Supplement

Of peculiar importance is that it is an exemplar, for the general reader, of Russell's special contribution to human knowledge. In it he applies with his usual lucidity and wit, the methods of inquiry, which he has done so much to develop, to the question of how we come to know whatever we do know about the universe.
The Observer

About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). The leading British Philosopher of the twentieth century, who made major contributions to the area of logic and epistemology. Politically active and habitually outspoken, his ethical principles twice lead to imprisonment

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Coyle on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
To my knowledge, one of the best books ever written.

Russell's English has a wonderful, graceful clarity. But this is not an easy book to read. What does it mean to "know"? what do we know? how far can we be sure that we do in fact know? These are fundamental questions about human thought, and this book is an essential item in the library of anyone who is concerned with such questions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Davis on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Russell's "Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits" has had more influence on my own thinking than any other work of technical philosophy I have read. Russell is always a spectacularly readable and clear writer, full of vivid, well chosen examples, and with very little abstract argument or technical jargon. He is also, at least in this work, particularly sensible, realistic, and grounded in reality. I don't always find the answers he proposes adequate; but I do always feel that his questions and concerns are the right ones.
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