Full Text

61. Russell


Subject Philosophy

People Russell, Bertrand

Key-Topics science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00064.x


The eminent British philosopher Bertrand Arthur William Russell (born 18 May 1872, died 2 February 1970) studied philosophy and mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and subsequently held posts at Cambridge and various other major universities, interspersed with periods devoted to political, educational, and literary pursuits. He was author of numerous influential books and papers on philosophy, politics, and education. Few philosophers of science have had as strong a scientific background as Russell. His mathematical training at Cambridge was almost entirely in applied mathematics which was largely physics. A main thrust of Russell's work was the development of a method of philosophizing, which he consistently applied throughout his career, and which led him to a distinctive philosophy of science. However, because the method has not been well understood, his philosophy of science has not attracted wide notice. Accordingly. I will here first outline major characteristics of Russell's method of philosophical analysis and, second, show how this method underpins a distinctive philosophy of science. Russell developed a method of philosophical analysis, the beginnings of which are clear in the work of his idealist phase. This method was central to his revolt against idealism and was employed throughout his subsequent career. Its main distinctive feature is that it has two parts, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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