Mysticism and Logic (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/8/16
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Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was born in England and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. His long career established him as one of the most influential philosophers, mathematicians, and social reformers of the twentieth century. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
This is related to another persistent feature of his writing. When he is laying forth a theory or an argument, I often feel that Russell is trying just as hard to convince himself as his audience. He was a man skeptical to the core, and I get the feeling that he was only capable of wholeheartedly of believing in things—even logical theories—in short, passionate bursts; and that, after reflection, he would find flaws in every one of his former opinions. The vacillation of his ideas throughout his career shows this in full evidence.
This vacillation is apparent in the first essay, “Mysticism and Logic.” Russell starts off in praising philosophers who have successfully combined the two notions, and expresses his wish that the mystical impulse be given its due respect. And then he proceeds to demolish every doctrine or idea posited by mystical thinkers. By the end of the essay, the reader is more averse to mysticism than before he started. (For a more productive attempt to combine the two, see Wittgenstein’s Tractatus .)
Then there’s his masterpiece of prose, “A Free Man’s Worship.” That is a piece of writing more passionate that I could have ever thought possible from polite, civilized Bertrand. And yet, in the back of the reader’s mind is Russell’s cordial warning in the preface that he later came to find the sentiments expressed somewhat naïve. As I said, an incorrigible skeptic.
It is getting to be something of a cliché to say this, but I find it valuable to read through this philosophy even if you don’t believe it. Even the late Bertrand Russell himself didn’t believe it. But his mind was cast in a unique mold. Russell was capable—or at least as nearly capable as can be achieved—of contemplation without sentimentality or dogmatism. He questioned everything: an exercise incomparably valuable, if not ultimately productive.
What’s more, Russell’s ability to get to the very heart of a question, to probe it with his logical pincers until every strand of the thing is clearly laid out on the dissection table, is always astounding. Merely following the train of his thought is worthwhile, even if the train leads until blind alleys. Plus, what’s so bad about blind alleys?
“The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish form our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in times of despair.”