Bertrand Russell’s Life and Legacy

Peter Stone (Ed.)

by Peter Stone (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), Nancy C. Doubleday (McMaster University), Tim Madigan (St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and Bertrand Russell Society), Nikolay Milkov (University of Paderborn, Germany), Alan Schwerin (Monmouth University), Ádám Tamás Tuboly (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Chad Trainer (Pennsylvania AFL-CIO), Eileen O’Mara Walsh , Raymond Aaron Younis (Australian Catholic University, Australia)

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Almost five decades after his death, there is still ample reason to pay attention to the life and legacy of Bertrand Russell. This is true not only because of his role as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, but also because of his important place in twentieth-century history as an educator, public intellectual, critic of organized religion, humanist, and peace activist. The papers in this anthology explore Russell’s life and legacy from a wide variety of perspectives. This is altogether fitting, given the many-sided nature of Russell, his life, and his work.

The first section of the book considers Russell the man, and draws lessons from Russell’s complicated personal life. The second examines Russell the philosopher, and the philosophical world within which his work was embedded. The third scrutinizes Russell the atheist and critic of organized religion, inquiring which parts of his critical stance are worth emulating today. The final section revisits Russell the political activist; it directs an eye both at Russell’s own long career of peace activism, but also at his place in a highly political family tradition of which he was justifiably proud.

This book thus constitutes an invitation, if one were needed, to the world of Bertrand Russell. Those new to Russell, but with an interest in biography, philosophy, religion, or politics, will hopefully find something to learn here. This may spark an interest in learning more about Russell. But this book is not just intended for the Russell neophyte. The book sheds fresh light on a number of topics central to Russell studies—his connections to other philosophers, for example. Scholars well-versed in Russell studies will enjoy grappling with the treatment given to these topics here.

Editor´s Introduction

I. Russell the Man 1

Chapter 1 An Affair Remembered: Bertrand Russell and Joan Follwell, 1927-1929
Eileen O’Mara Walsh

Chapter 2 Philosophical Biography Reconsidered
Peter Stone

II. Russell’s Philosophical World

Chapter 3 The Limits and Basis of Logical Tolerance: Carnap’s Combination of Russell and Wittgenstein
Ádám Tamás Tuboly

Chapter 4 Edmund Husserl and Bertrand Russell, 1905-1918: The Not-So-Odd Couple
Nikolay Milkov

Chapter 5 Is Russell's Conclusion about the Table Coherent?
Alan Schwerin

III. Russell, Religion, and Spirituality

Chapter 6 “Waking Up” to Bertrand Russell’s Anticipation of Sam Harris’ “Spirituality” without Religion
Chad Trainer

Chapter 7 Russell on Religion and Science
Raymond Aaron Younis

IV. Peace, Protest, and Politics
Chapter 8 Lord John Russell and Crimes against Humanity: The Great Famine Tribunal
Tim Madigan

Chapter 9 Engaged Learning: Paths to Peace Praxis through the Russell Archives
Nancy C. Doubleday

About the Contributors

Peter Stone received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 2000. He taught Political Science at Stanford University and held a Faculty Fellowship at Tulane University’s Center for Ethics and Public Affairs before joining the Political Science Department at Trinity College Dublin in 2011. He works in contemporary political theory, with particular interest in theories of justice, democratic theory, rational choice theory, and the philosophy of social science. He is the author of The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision Making (Oxford University Press, 2011) and the editor of Lotteries in Public Life: A Reader (Imprint Academic, 2011). His interdisciplinary approach to the study of human affairs is reflected in his publication record, which includes articles in such leading journals as Comparative Education Review, the Journal of Political Philosophy, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Theory, Rationality and Society, Social Science Information, Social Theory and Practice, and Theory and Decision. He currently serves Secretary of the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI) and as co-convenor of the PSAI’s Political Theory Specialist Group. He has been a member of the Bertrand Russell Society (BRS) for over 25 years and a member of its Board of Directors for over 15 years. He has held numerous Society offices, including Secretary and Vice President. He founded two of the Society’s local chapters, is a former editor of the Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly, and has held numerous other Society positions. With Tim Madigan, he is the co-editor of Bertrand Russell: Public Intellectual (Tiger Bark Press, 2016), which recently won the 2017 BRS Book Award.

Bertrand Russell, History of Philosophy, Analytic Philosophy, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical Biography, Joan Follwell, Rudolf Carnap, Edmund Husserl, Epistemology, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophy of Religion, Atheism, Spirituality, Sam Harris, Lord John Russell, War Crimes Tribunals, Ireland, the Great Hunger, Peace Studies, Peace Praxis

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Bertrand Russell’s Life and Legacy





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm

Publication date

June 2017