More from and about
Bertrand Russell
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist,
since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

   

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with
happiness in all kinds of ways.
  
  
People fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. . . Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of humans.
   
  
It has been said that the human being is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.

      
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
  
If throughout your life you abstain from murder, theft, fornication, perjury, blasphemy, and disrespect toward your parents, church, and your king, you are conventionally held to deserve moral admiration even if you have never done a single kind, generous or useful action. This very inadequate notion of virtue is an outcome of taboo morality, and has done untold harm.
   

When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning.  That’s if you want to teach them to think.

     

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.

   

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One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.

   

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with
some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people
dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.

   

It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything
else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

   
    
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (b.1872 - d.1970) was a British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy.  His most influential contributions include his defense of logicism (the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic), and his theories of definite descriptions and logical atomism.  Along with G.E. Moore, Russell is generally recognized as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.  Along with Kurt Gödel, he is also regularly credited with being one of the two most important logicians of the twentieth century.

Over the course of his long career, Russell made significant contributions, not just to logic and philosophy, but to a broad range of other subjects including education, history, political theory and religious studies.  In addition, many of his writings on a wide variety of topics in both the sciences and the humanities have influenced generations of general readers.  After a life marked by controversy (including dismissals from both Trinity College, Cambridge, and City College, New York), Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.  Also noted for his many spirited anti-war and anti-nuclear protests, Russell remained a prominent public figure until his death at the age of 97.

  

  

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