"'These propositions 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 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?'"--Jacket.
What people are saying - Write a review
User Review - Flag as inappropriate
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
action admire adopted agnosticism America anarchic appeal argument become behaviourism belief Bergson Bertrand Russell Bolsheviks capitalist century China Chinese Christian civilisation Confucius course creed democracy desire doctrine doubt Dr Watson economic effect emotions England ethical evil exist expect fact favour feel freedom German idealism Government habit happiness harmful Hegel Hegelian holders of power ideal important increase industrial instinct intellectual kind knowledge Lao-Tze League of Nations less live logic machines matter means method modern moral opinion ordinary organisation oudook party passions philosophy physical point of view political politician population possible practical present probably propaganda Protestantism psychology Puritan Pyrrho question realise reason recognised regard religion result round square Russell Russia scepticism scientific social society taught teaching theory theory of relativity things thought tical tion tradition true truth wage-earners white nations wicked wish