–Albert Einstein in a letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the controversial appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position, dated March 19, 1940.
The Conquest of Happiness :- After several months of abstaining from Bertrand Russell, invariably scared by his verbal aptitude as also the complexity of the ideas presented, I chanced upon this book. It exposed a more humane front of Russell – one wherein he is relatively simple in his expression. As for the ideas he talks of in this book, well let me tell you, this isn’t a How-to-be-happy-in-24-hrs book in the layman sense of it. As with any great philosopher, he expects the reader to be mature enough to contemplate on his views, and not just accept them at the face value. In the end, one is convinced of his view of happiness and how one is to be happy amidst the rigmaroles of day-to-day lives.
Education and Social Order :- Education is one of Russell’s most passionate topics. His concern is clearly evident when he lucidly talks about topics that range from the method of teaching, to the subjects involved in educating the younger minds! He raises a very interesting question in this book. He wonders about how the younger generation must be educated? Must they be groomed to become ideal citizens? Or to become ideal Individuals? Want to have a take on this one?Mysticism and Logic :- The book starts with one of the celebrated essays of Bertrand Russell – “A Freeman’s Worship”. In this book he explores the various aspects of Religion, science, and metaphysics. He dwells at length on topics like mathematics, and its relation with the real world, philosophy and metaphysics. Here’s an insightful writing coming directly from his pen, “The habit of being unable to recognize merit until it is dead is too apt to be the result of a purely bookish life, and a culture based wholly on the past will seldom be able to pierce through everday surroundings to the essential splendour of contemporary things, or to the hope of still greater splendour in the future.” [Chapter 3: The Place of Science in Liberal Education, pp-51]An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth :- By far it is the most complicated book amongst all that I have read so far. His expositions on meaning begins right with the very base of words, language, and their use to express the ideas and feelings. Then comes the question of Truth! What is truth? What is the measure of truth? Here is where Russell lost me (or wherein I lost him)! The ethical view points on truth dives deep into the aspects of science, psychology and metaphysics! When I read this book, I was in my I PUC. Probably, I may change.
On the hindsight, the role of Russell’s writings in giving newer aspects to my thought, would perhaps be augmented, if I had the capability to understand his line of philosophy. In whatever small manner he has imprinted his ideas on me, has certainly changed my perspective on many things. Yet, to wholly understand Russell, would be a challenge worth taking, and would make me very proud if I would be able to do it sometime, before long! Welches Sagen Sie Sir?