Bertrand Russell Biography || Bertrand Russell Quotes and Sayings

Bertrand Russell Biography
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) Mathematician, pacifist and political activist.

Short Biography Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell was born 18 May 1872 in Trellech Monmouthshire, Wales. His family were part of the British aristocracy, with a reputation for a liberal outlook.

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Following his father’s death, he was looked after by his grandparents. He particular, the Countess Russell was a dominant figure in Russell’s early life. She was a strict Presbyterian Christian, but also influenced Russell, with her belief in social justice.

Russell’s adolescence years were lonely and depressing. He said he felt suicidal during this time, but his fascination with mathematics encouraged him to persevere. In 1890, he won a scholarship to study Maths at Trinity College Cambridge. He quickly distinguished himself as an outstanding mathematician and became a fellow of Trinity College after graduating. Despite having a keen scientific mind, he also developed a love of literature, in particular, the poetry of Percy B. Shelley, who he adored. He also gained a lifelong interest in politics, primarily from a liberal, socialist perspective.

In 1894, he married a Quaker Alys Smith. However, the marriage wasn’t a success and after a long period of separation, they divorced in 1921. He went on to marry four times, and became an advocate of ‘free love’.

In 1903, he published his most important work ‘Principia Mathematica‘. This made him world famous in the field of maths and he became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908.

As a lecturer at Cambridge University, he became acquainted with the genius student, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Russell spent much time dealing with the questions and emotional instability of Wittgenstein. Though this was draining for Russell, he was fascinated by Wittgenstein, who he considered a genius.

During the First World War, Russell was one of the few intellectuals who engaged in pacifist activities. He formed the ‘No Conscription Fellowship’ which anticipated and campaigned against the conscription law of 1916. In 1917, he helped Siegfried Sassoon, the celebrated war poet, draft a statement against the war. He was dismissed from Trinity college in 1916 for a conviction under the Defence of the Realm Act. He also spent six months in Brixton prison for speaking against inviting the US into the war.

After the war, he visited Russia in 1920. Initially, he had been enthusiastic about the Russian revolution, hoping it would provide an opportunity to offer freedom and equality. However, he was not impressed by his visit and felt disappointed by Lenin. He wrote a book “The Practise and Theory of Bolshevism” which was highly critical of Communism.

During the Second World War, by 1940, Russell changed his pacifist stance, feeling that the menace of Hitler meant the lesser of evils was fighting to rid Europe of Hitler.

After the Second World War, he published A History of Western Philosophy (1945) which became a best seller and provided him with a secure income throughout his life.

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“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

– Bertrand Russell

He became a noted intellectual celebrity, often appearing on BBC programmes. In the 1960s, he became active in opposing the Vietnam war and was highly critical of American involvement in South Vietnam. He was also a well-known advocate of unilateral disarmament. One of his final statement’s was criticising Israel’s aggression in the Middle East, calling for Isreali withdrawal from the occupied territories of Palestine. He died of influenza in February 1970, at his home in Wales. There was no religious ceremony and his ashes scattered over Welsh mountains.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Bertrand Russell”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, Published 1st Feb 2009. Last updated 30th January 2017.
Bertrand Russell Quotes About Society That Will Make You Think
In the world of philosophy, Bertrand Russell’s name is well-known. These Bertrand Russell quotes will show you why he is often considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, social critic, essayist, and logician. Over the course of his career, Russell heavily influenced great thinkers in the study of logic, as well as those who studied ethics, politics, and religion.
Russell was considered a controversial figure in philosophy. He was an evangelical atheist, he openly campaigned against the Vietnam War, and he was against using nuclear weapons.

Because of his controversial opinions and actions, Russell was dismissed from both Trinity College in Cambridge and City College in New York. However, he was later awarded an Order of Merit in 1949 as well as a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.

Below is a list of Bertrand Russell quotes to get your brain cogs turning!

Don’t forget to also check out these Edmund Burke quotes on liberty, power, and virtue.

Bertrand Russell quotes that comment on people and society
1. “Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.” — Bertrand Russell

2. “A man without a bias cannot write interesting history.” — Bertrand Russell

3. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” — Bertrand Russell

4. “We love those who hate our enemies, and if we had no enemies there would be very few people whom we should love.” — Bertrand Russell

5. “The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.” — Bertrand Russell

6. “Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country.” — Bertrand Russel

7. “Acquisitiveness — the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods — is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries.” — Bertrand Russell
8. “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them.” — Bertrand Russell

9. “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” — Bertrand Russell

10. “Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by insuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.” — Bertrand Russell

11. “I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: “The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.” In these words, he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell

12. “Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals.” — Bertrand Russell

13. “Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.” — Bertrand Russell

14. “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” — Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell quotes about love, hate, and relationships
15. “Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so—and—so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.” — Bertrand Russell

8. “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them.” — Bertrand Russell

9. “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” — Bertrand Russell

10. “Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by insuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.” — Bertrand Russell

11. “I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: “The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.” In these words, he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell

12. “Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals.” — Bertrand Russell

13. “Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.” — Bertrand Russell

14. “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” — Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell quotes about love, hate, and relationships
15. “Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so—and—so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.” — Bertrand Russell

24. “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something that he can understand.” — Bertrand Russell

25. “Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” — Bertrand Russell

26. “Whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.” — Bertrand Russell

27. “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” — Bertrand Russell

28. “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” — Bertrand Russell

29. “Now and then, hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” — Bertrand Russell

30. “Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce.” — Bertrand Russell

31. “To endure uncertainty is difficult, but so are most of the other virtues.” — Bertrand Russell
32. “Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power.” — Bertrand Russell

33. “Most people would die sooner than think — in fact, they do so.” — Bertrand Russell

34. “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” — Bertrand Russell

35. “Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility.” — Bertrand Russell

36. “Beware the man of a single book.” — Bertrand Russell

37. “Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.” — Bertrand Russel

38. “Whatever we know without inference is mental.” — Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell quotes about finding happiness
39. “What is more enviable than happiness?” — Bertrand Russell

40. “Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.” — Bertrand Russell

41. “Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.” — Bertrand Russell

42. “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” — Bertrand Russell

43. “It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” — Bertrand Russell

44. “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

More Bertrand Russell quotes
45. “Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin – more even than death.” — Bertrand Russell

46. “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” — Bertrand Russell

47. “No man is liberated from fear who dare not see his place in the world as it is; no man can achieve the greatness of which he is capable until he has allowed himself to see his own littleness.” — Bertrand Russell

48. “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” — Bertrand Russell

49. “War doesn’t decide who is right, war decides who is left.” — Bertrand Russell

50. “No nation was ever so virtuous as each believes itself, and none was ever so wicked as each believes the other.” — Bertrand Russell

Which of these Bertrand Russell quotes was your favorite?
Like many free-thinkers, Bertrand Russell was considered controversial in his time. He was an outspoken man who’s beliefs often went against what was accepted by the general public.

However, it was his ability to think outside of the societal norm that led him to be one of the founding figures in modern analytical philosophy.

Russell’s contribution to the theoretics of mathematics, ethics, epistemology, and logic solidified Russell as one of the principal philosophers of the 20th century.

Russell openly campaigned for his beliefs. His writings on social commentary, politics, war, and other moral subjects won him as much admiration as they did distaste from the public around the world. Nevertheless, Russell held steadfast to his philosophy, despite what the people had to say about him.

Hopefully, these Bertrand Russell quotes will inspire you live life according to your personal beliefs, despite what those around you may think.

Did you enjoy these Bertrand Russell quotes and sayings? Let us know in the comments below.

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Bertrand Russell বিখ্যাত বাণী ও উক্তি সমূহ লেখাটি ভালো লেগে থাকলে বন্ধুদের সাথে শেয়ার করো। এই ধরনের লেখার নিয়মিত আপডেট পেতে আমাদের ফেসবুক পেইজটি ফলো ।

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