[lit-ideas] Re: Which thinker/writer had the greatest personalitydefects?

  • From: John Wager <johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 11:29:04 -0500

I know of nobody else in the 20th century who took philosophy as 
seriously: Love of wisdom. Regardless of where it came from, regardless 
of what it looked like, if it seemed "wise" then Russell at least 
considered it. That's enough. (One does not, much to my dismay, always, 
or even usually, possess what one loves....)

Paul Stone wrote:

>At 09:55 AM 5/6/2004, you wrote:
>  
>
>>Of course, as usual I suggest the greatest is Popper, though here
>>Wittgenstein arguably runs him a very close second.
>>
>>For example, Popper's long-time friend and writer of the best-selling
>>introduction to his ideas, Bryan Magee fondly recalls Popper in these=
>>    
>>
> terms:-
>  
>
>><Magee, who knew Popper and wrote a book about him in 1973, describes him=
>>    
>>
> as
>  
>
>>"a major philosopher but not really a very likeable man. I hugely valued my
>>relationship with him, but to be honest I never really liked him." Instead
>>Magee picks out Bertrand Russell as the most impressive individual he met,
>>"because of his extraordinary intelligence. Anything you say about it will
>>sound like a clich=E9, but it was extraordinary.">
>>    
>>
>
>I agree about Russell and I've read many of his books. He had a great gift=
>=20
>to make difficult things sound not so difficult. But as far as philosophy,=
>=20
>was he really a philosopher? Or a philosophologist? I mean, can you point=20
>to a "Russellian" Philosophy? What's his deal? He explained everyone else.=
>=20
>He was a great historian. He even had ideas that he wrote about. He was a=20
>great scientist. He proposed incredibly interesting ideas, but it all seems=
>=20
>to be in the wake of other people and always within the context of other=20
>philosophy.
>
>Maybe it's just that he lived to 98 and was such a prolific author of=20
>'other' stuff that I seem to have lost sight of his original purpose. Even=
>=20
>his central work "Principia Mathematica" was written 'WITH' someone else.=20
>Why isn't Whitehead a "great philsopher"? Well, because he didn't do all=20
>the other stuff.
>
>I'm not trying to be combative, but can someone simply put forth what=20
>Bertrand Russell's "philosophy" was? He was on the boat with logicism, but=
>=20
>he surely didn't invent it as much as develop it and apply it to new=20
>things. And this is more science than philosophy. Anyway, I just thing he's=
>=20
>listed in the wrong category as a great "philosopher"? He was definitely a=
>=20
>great thinker and great man sometimes.
>
>Paul
>
>##########
>Paul Stone
>pas@xxxxxxxx
>Kingsville, ON, Canada=20
>
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>  
>


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