Bertrand Russell (Mathematician)

#1065 Bertrand Russell

My whole religion is this: do every duty, and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter. .

Bertrand Russell
#1066 Bertrand Russell

Cambridge is one of the few places where one can talk unlimitedand generalities without anyone pulling one up or confronting one with them when one says just the opposite the next day. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about wit
#1067 Bertrand Russell

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about true
#1068 Bertrand Russell

I do wish I believed in the life eternal, for it makes me quite miserable to think man is merely a kind of machine endowed, unhappily for himself, with consciousness. .

Bertrand Russell
#1069 Bertrand Russell

I should like to believe my people's religion, which was just what I could wish, but alas, it is impossible. I have really no religion, for my God, being a spirit shown merely by reason to exist, his properties utterly unknown, is no help to my life. I have nor the parson's comfortable doctrine that every good action has its reward, and every sin is forgiven. My whole religion is this: do every duty, and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter. .

Bertrand Russell
#1070 Bertrand Russell

I am looking forward very much to getting back to Cambridge, and being able to say what I think and not to mean what I say: two things which at home are impossible. Cambridge is one of the few places where one can talk unlimited nonsense and generalities without anyone pulling one up or confronting one with them when one says just the opposite the next day. .

Bertrand Russell
#1071 Bertrand Russell

Thee will find out in time that I have a great love of professing vile sentiments, I don’t know why, unless it springs from long efforts to avoid priggery. .

Bertrand Russell
#1072 Bertrand Russell

Thee might observe incidentally that if the state paid for child-bearing it might and ought to require a medical certificate that the parents were such as to give a reasonable result of a healthy child – this would afford a very good inducement to some sort of care for the race, and gradually as public opinion became educated by the law, it might react on the law and make that more stringent, until one got to some state of things in which there would be a little genuine care for the race, instead of the present haphazard higgledy-piggledy ways. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about men
#1073 Bertrand Russell

Pure mathematics consists entirely of assertions to the effect that, if such and such a proposition is true of anything, then such and such another proposition is true of that thing. It is essential not to discuss whether the first proposition is really true, and not to mention what the anything is, of which it is supposed to be true ... If our hypothesis is about anything, and not about some one or more particular things, then our deductions constitute mathematics. Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. People who have been puzzled by the beginnings of mathematics will, I hope, find comfort in this definition, and will probably agree that it is accurate. .

Bertrand Russell
#1075 Bertrand Russell

It seems to me now that mathematics is capable of an artistic excellence as great as that of any music, perhaps greater; not because the pleasure it gives (although very pure) is comparable, either in intensity or in the number of people who feel it, to that of music, but because it gives in absolute perfection that combination, characteristic of great art, of godlike freedom, with the sense of inevitable destiny; because, in fact, it constructs an ideal world where everything is perfect and yet true. .

Bertrand Russell
#1077 Bertrand Russell

What a monstrous thing that a University should teach journalism! I thought that was only done at Oxford. This respect for the filthy multitude is ruining civilisation. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about respect
#1078 Bertrand Russell

Only in thought is man a God; in action and desire we are the slaves of circumstance. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about desire
#1079 Bertrand Russell

Philosophy seems to me on the whole a rather hopeless business. .

Bertrand Russell
#1080 Bertrand Russell

Pure Mathematics is the class of all propositions of the form “p implies q,” where p and q are propositions containing one or more variables, the same in the two propositions, and neither p nor q contains any constants except logical constants. And logical constants are all notions definable in terms of the following: Implication, the relation of a term to a class of which it is a member, the notion of such that, the notion of relation, and such further notions as may be involved in the general notion of propositions of the above form. In addition to these, mathematics uses a notion which is not a constituent of the propositions which it considers, namely the notion of truth. .

Bertrand Russell
#1081 Bertrand Russell

The fact that all Mathematics is Symbolic Logic is one of the greatest discoveries of our age; and when this fact has been established, the remainder of the principles of mathematics consists in the analysis of Symbolic Logic itself. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about self
#1082 Bertrand Russell

I may as well say at once that I do not distinguish between inference and deduction. What is called induction appears to me to be either disguised deduction or a mere method of making plausible guesses. .

Bertrand Russell
#1083 Bertrand Russell

What does not exist must be something, or it would be meaningless to deny its existence; and hence we need the concept of being, as that which belongs even to the non-existent. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about meaning
#1084 Bertrand Russell

I have been merely oppressed by the weariness and tedium and vanity of things lately: nothing stirs me, nothing seems worth doing or worth having done: the only thing that I strongly feel worth while would be to murder as many people as possible so as to diminish the amount of consciousness in the world. These times have to be lived through: there is nothing to be done with them. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about time
#1086 Bertrand Russell

A logical theory may be tested by its capacity for dealing with puzzles, and it is a wholesome plan, in thinking about logic, to stock the mind with as many puzzles as possible, since these serve much the same purpose as is served by experiments in physical science. .

Bertrand Russell
#1087 Bertrand Russell

All's well that ends well; which is the epitaph I should put on my tombstone if I were the last man left alive. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about man
#1088 Bertrand Russell

Take the question whether other people exist. ...It is plain that it makes for happiness to believe that they exist – for even the greatest misanthropist would not wish to be deprived of the objects of his hate. Hence the belief that other people exist is, pragmatically, a true belief. But if I am troubled by solipsism, the discovery that a belief in the existence of others is 'true' in the pragmatist's sense is not enough to allay my sense of loneliness: the perception that I should profit by rejecting solipsism is not alone sufficient to make me reject it. For what I desire is not that the belief in solipsism should be false in the pragmatic sense, but that other people should in fact exist. And with the pragmatist's meaning of truth, these two do not necessarily go together. The belief in solipsism might be false even if I were the only person or thing in the universe. .

Bertrand Russell
#1089 Bertrand Russell

Ironclads and Maxim guns must be the ultimate arbiters of metaphysical truth. .

Bertrand Russell
#1090 Bertrand Russell

The number of syllables in the English names of finite integers tends to increase as the integers grow larger, and must gradually increase indefinitely, since only a finite number of names can be made with a given finite number of syllables. Hence the names of some integers must consist of at least nineteen syllables, and among these there must be a least. Hence "the least integer not nameable in fewer than nineteen syllables" must denote a definite integer; in fact, it denotes 111, 777. But "the least integer not nameable in fewer than nineteen syllables" is itself a name consisting of eighteen syllables; hence the least integer not nameable in fewer than nineteen syllables can be named in eighteen syllables, which is a contradiction. This contradiction was suggested to us by Mr. G. G. Berry of the Bodleian Library. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about self
#1091 Bertrand Russell

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe – because, like 's God, it won't love us in return. .

Bertrand Russell
#1092 Bertrand Russell

Life seems to me essentially passion, conflict, rage... It is only intellect that keeps me sane; perhaps this makes me overvalue intellect against feeling. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about passion
#1093 Bertrand Russell

The above proposition is occasionally useful. .

Bertrand Russell
#1094 Bertrand Russell

When people begin to philosophize they seem to think it necessary to make themselves artificially stupid. .

Bertrand Russell
#1095 Bertrand Russell

People are said to believe in God, or to disbelieve in Adam and Eve. But in such cases what is believed or disbelieved is that there is an entity answering a certain description. This, which can be believed or disbelieved is quite different from the actual entity (if any) which does answer the description. Thus the matter of belief is, in all cases, different in kind from the matter of sensation or presentation, and error is in no way analogous to hallucination. A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about belief
#1096 Bertrand Russell

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word “experience” have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word. It is to be feared, however, that if the word is avoided the confusions of thought with which it has been associated may persist. .

Bertrand Russell Quotes about fear
#1097 Bertrand Russell

Of all evils of war the greatest is the purely spiritual evil: the hatred, the injustice, the repudiation of truth, the artificial conflict. .

Bertrand Russell

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