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Bertrand Russell

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950

Born: 18/05/1872 in Trellech, a village in South-East Wales

Died: of influenza on 02/02/1970 in Penrhyndeudraeth, also a village in Welsh County,Wales.

Language: English

Nationality: British

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, in short Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, thinker, logician who tried recast philosophy in the mould of mathematics and logic. He was born to a prominent aristocratic family of Britain. Tragedy struck the family after his birth. His mother died two years after his birth in 1874 of diptheria followed by father in 1876 from  bronchitis.

   Russel's adolescence was very lonely and he often contemplated suicide. The only thing that kept him alive was his immense love of mathematics and study of religion.At the age of 11, he studied Euclid at the behest of his brother Frank and at the age of 15, he chewing and digesting Shelley. At that time, he deeply contemplated about human will and came to the conclusion that there was no free will and that no life existed after death. After reading John Stuart Mill, he became an atheist.

      Russell studied in Trinity College, Cambridge for Mathematical Tripos and in 1903 published Principia Mathematica along with A N White head where he discussed Russell Paradox and also concluded that mathematics could be deducted from a small number of principles.

     Russell described that at the age of 29, in February 1901, he had suddenly undergone a mystic illumination for 5 minutes after witnessing Whitehead's wife writhing in acute angina pain. At the end of 5 minutes, he was a completely different person.

  Russell was an anti-imperialist and gave a public lecture in 1918 against Britain inviting US to join Second World War. This resulted in 6 months' imprisonment. While in prison , he penned Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy .

During the later years he wrote A History of Western Philosophy which became a best seller and was a constant source of income till his last days.

Major Influence: John Stuart Mill, Leibniz, Hume, Locke, Spinoza, Whitehead

Major Works:Principia Mathematica(1901), The Problems of Philosophy(1912), Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy(1919), In Praise of Idleness(1935), A History of Western Philosophy(1946), Why I am not a Christian(1957), Unpopular Essays, My Philosophical Development, THe Scientific Outlook, Skeptical Essays, Authority and The Individual,

Bertrand Russel

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