The Life and Contributions of Bertrand Russell

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Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher known for his work in mathematical logic. He had a life that was highly controversial to the British government he lived with, and faced many hardships brought on by his beliefs. Russell spent the 97 years of his life using mathematics to prove philosophical ideas.

Russell was born in Trelleck, Monmouthshire, UK, on May 18, 1872, to Viscount Amberley and Katherine Russell. He lost most of his immediate family by the age of six, and was made a ward of Court and brought up by his grandmother. In 1890, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a first-class B.A. in Mathematics there and met Dr. Whitehead. In 1900, Russell attended the First International Congress of Philosophy in Paris, where he met Peano. He was influenced heavily by the work and mathematical skill of Peano, and instantly began to study his works. In 1908, he was appointed to the Royal Society. Towards the beginning of the 1910s, He is reappointed as a lecturer at Trinity College, selected to be the president of the Aristotelian Society, and spends some time lecturing at Harvard.

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Around the beginning of World War II, things start to go downhill for Russell. He is fined for Anti-War writings, dismissed from his position as lecturer, and ultimately imprisoned for his opposition to the war. He runs for parliament twice in the years of 1922 and 1923 and wasdefeated both times. His life begins to turn around, however, after this low point just shortly later. Russell becomes the third Earl Russell in 1931 upon the death of his brother. A few years later, he is appointed as the visiting Professor of Philosophy at Chicago, and then as the Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Later in life, Russell accomplished some of his more notable feats. In 1950 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1955, he releases a book written in correspondence with Albert Einstein, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. This book highlighted the dangers of nuclear war and encouraged the government and leaders of world powers to stear clear of nuclear weapons. He spent much of the remainder of his life working against nuclear weapons. He was the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958. He worked to dissuade world powers from Nuclear war, and was ultimately imprisoned for one week for his work. Shortly before he died, he also founded the Bertrand Russell Peace foundation and launched the War Crimes International Tribunal. On February 2, 1970, Bertrand Russell died in Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales.

Bertrand Russell accomplished many things in his life. He was a mathematician and a philosopher. His work and views earned him at times praise and others scorn. He worked alone as well as with other famous mathematicians and philosophers, such as Albert Einstein. Russell used the principles of mathematics to prove philosophical and social ideas. Russell’s work has been impactful on philosophy and society and is still referenced today.

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