Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bertrand Russell

A very short but interesting biography of philosopher Bertrand Russell.
As an undergraduate Russell had become increasingly disenchanted with the way in which his lecturers and tutors had presented mathematics. Their lack of logical rigour seemed to reduce it to no more than a bag of tricks designed for the puzzle-solving requirements of the Mathematical Tripos [exams]. His interests shifted to the need to put mathematics on a secure logical basis, and so from maths to philosophy. But the need for a foundation for mathematics was more than a philosophical challenge. Russell craved an absolute certainty which he felt he could only find in this way. For over a decade he laboured mightily with Whitehead on the monumental undertaking to provide mathematics with a secure logical basis. Their work transformed mathematical logic, but it foundered on what has become known as ‘Russell’s Set Paradox’.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) | Philosophy Now:

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