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Mysticism and Logic (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) Paperback – August 16, 2004


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About the Author

Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Western Philosophy
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486434400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434407
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,141,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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4.1 out of 5 stars

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
While the essays on physics are rather outdated, Russell's sarcastic comments on the philosophy of Bergson, education, ethics or vegetarianism are still well worth reading.

Bergson
Bergson's crucial idea of `durée' is an error: `Since the past has effects now, it must still exist in some sense. The mistake in this maxim consists in the supposition that causes `operate'. The belief that causes `operate', results from assimilating them to volitions.'

Ethics
For B. Russell, `ethics is essentially a product of the gregarious instinct, that is to say, of the instinct to co-operate with those who are to form our own group against those who belong to other groups. Those who belong to our own group are good; those who belong to hostile groups are wicked,'

Education
`The endeavor to teach virtue has led to the production of stunted and contorted hypocrites instead of full-grown human beings"

Vegetarians
`Even vegetarians do not hesitate to save the life of a man in a fever, although in doing so they destroy the lives of many millions of microbes.'

Philosophy and man's place in the universe
`No heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. All these things are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.'

These almost `lyrical' essays are a must read for all fans of the superb free mind of Bertrand Russell.
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42 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Will Durant, in his congenial The Story of Philosophy, describes Bertrand Russell as "...resolved to be hard-headed because he knows he can not be."-This is a bit unfair, as it doesn't really take into account Russell's philosophy, merely the man. But the two are so hard to separate!-Basically, Russell believes that mysticism "is the inspirer of what is best in man." But that it is absolutely muddle-headed and has lead mankind down numerous philosophic blind alleys in the past thousand or so years (I think anyone who has read Kant or Hegel can't help but come to this conclusion).-University professors (especially those of Philosophy) are excepted from the previous parenthetical remark! -But I don't guess Russell (a Nobel prize winner in literature, by the way) matters so much anymore: This book I'm reviewing is out of print, nobody else has reviewed it and I haven't heard his name mentioned in highbrow discussions for many a year. He was a mathematical genius, wrote prose that could cut like a razor blade concerning the most abstruse subjects in a manner understandable to most laymen, and was a profound skeptic in re matters religious. This latter got him into all kinds of trouble with women's societies and the like back in the earlier part of the century and actually got him fired from the City College of New York. So he packed his bags and went to teach at Harvard.-You see, he was a British aristocrat (an Earl) and all this rabble rousing by the hoi polloi was really a non-issue for him. In his autobiography, he recounts how his mother always told him, "Never follow a crowd to do Evil." Russell never followed a crowd to do anything!Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel H. Reigle on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not read all of the essays in this book yet, but the lead essay "Mysticism and Logic" has pages missing. There is a gap of probably two pages between the bottom of the first page in print, and the next page in print, which is numbered "4." Then pages 6 and 7 are missing. The rest of this essay appears to be present.

This book is printed from a scan of the copy in the Cornell University Library. I found an online copy of this book on Internet Archive, and it is missing the same pages in this essay. So the problem may be in the scan of the original in the Cornell library. Internet Archive has two other scans from different sources that appear to be complete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970) was an influential British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and political activist. In 1950, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, in recognition of his many books such as A History of Western Philosophy, The Problems of Philosophy, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, The Analysis of Mind, Our Knowledge of the External World, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to a 234-page hardcover edition from 1959.]

He wrote in the Preface, "The following essays have been written and published at various times... The essay on `Mysticism and Logic' appeared in ... 1914... In theoretical ethics, the position advocated in `The Free Man's Worship' is not quite identical with that which I hold now: I feel less convinced than I did then of the objectivity of good and evil. But the general attitude towards life which is suggested in that essay still seems to me, in the main, the one which must be adopted in times of stress and difficulty by those who have no dogmatic religious beliefs, if inward defeat is to be avoided.
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