"These propostions may seem mild, yet, if accepted, they would absolutely revolutionise human life." With these words Bertrand Russell introduces what is indeed a revolutionary book. Taking as his starting point the irrationality of the world, he offers by contrast something "wildly paradoxical and subversive" - a belief that reason should determine human actions. Unwittingly foreseeing the horrors that resulted in the ensuing years from the irrational passions of religious and political beliefs, it is no wonder that Sceptical Essays has never been out of print since its first publication in 1928. Today, besieged as we are by the numbing onslaught of twenty-first-century capitalism, Russell's defence of scepticism and independence of mind is as timely as ever. In clear, engaging prose, he guides us through the key philosophical issues that affect our daily life - freedom, happiness, emotions, ethics and beliefs - and offers no-nonsense advice. "What would be the effect", he asks his readers with playful irony, "of a spread of rational scepticism ? "
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A must read for all. Highly recommended.
Introduction On the Value of Scepticism
Dreams and Facts
Is Science Superstitious?
Can Men be Rational?
Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
Machines and the Emotions
Behaviourism and Values
Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness
The Need for a Political Scepticism
Free Thought and Official Propaganda
Freedom in Society
Freedom Versus Authority in Education
Psychology and Politics
The Danger of Creed Wars
Some Prospects Cheerful and Otherwise
The Harm that Good Men Do
The Recrudescence of Puritanism
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