Friday, 7 September 2012
Bertrand Russell- Politics and Celestial Teapots
He remains synonymous with the spirit of modern thought. An archetypal thinker, who perforated virtually every node of philosophical inquiry, deployed a seminal ground for intellectual endeavour and defined the rudiments of logic and reason. His permeation of not solely the philosophical but rather the political and the mathematical further paints the portrait of an eloquent twentieth century guru, directed by the pithiness of pure logic. Bertrand Russell remains to western analytic philosophy what Chaucer remains to the English language, a passionate and time-honoured sage, perpetuated by the rigor and vigor that equates his legacy. For when we examine Russell, we neither work up from the canons of metaphysics nor work down from the echoes of empiricism to distill his wisdom; rather we seek the intermediary scientific channel, the preponderance of its method and practice. Russell's admiration for the sciences alongside his odyssey in reducing mathematics to logical grounds, is foreseeable in its attempt to produce a coherent system of the world. But it was far more than the principles of logicism that drove him, it was the purity of proof and reason encapsulated throughout mathematics. Russell's substitution theory alongside his repertoire of set theory and axioms captured such a reverence of mathematics in his magnum opus Principia Mathematica. In addition, the sheer critique of the Kantian methodology, the opposition to Godel's theorems of incompleteness further vested the abstractions of such a iconoclastic yet mindful mind. Russell's aptitude on the frontier of metaphysics presents a skeptic stance, the absolute antithesis of faith as divested in his famed teapot analogy, proposing that the presence of a celestial or cosmic teapot is just as lacking as the evidence for it. Such is the course of Russell's kaleidoscopic worldview.