Mar 14, 2021 • 8M

DP 013: Who was Bertrand Russell?

From unhappy boy to philosopher of happiness

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Dear friends of Daily Philosophy,

here comes, a little bit delayed :) the audio version of the post on Russell. I am churning away at these podcasts, slowly learning how to make them better (I hope), while also working on the new version of the main Daily Philosophy website, which takes up a lot of time. But perhaps it’s not so bad if the audio comes a few days (weeks) later than the original post — it gives us an opportunity to remember some of the things we talked about previously and perhaps to see them with new eyes (or ears, in this case).

And a bit of news that might interest some of you: There’s a talk via Zoom this coming Friday about the ethics of Covid surveillance. This is a thing taking place in Hong Kong, so the time might not be the most convenient if you’re in the US or Europe, but anyway, if you’re interested, here is the poster and all other information:

So here we go: The life of Bertrand Russell.

It is always amazing to see how the biographies of great men determine much of what would become their world-views and, in the case of philosophers, their life’s work. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) is no exception.

Russell was born into a family as aristocratic as they come. His godfather was one of the founders of utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill. The Russells have been involved in the highest ranks of British society for centuries before Bertrand was born. His grandfather had been a prime minister.