Talk:Bertrand Russell

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Importance of An inquiry into meaning and truth,chapter 20 entitled The law of excluded middle.[edit]

( (talk) 17:51, 13 December 2013 (UTC)) If the symbol (l) represents a priori necessity, (l) p w ~p means that the fact p and the fact not-p are a priori necessarily contradictory. On the one hand, they are necessarily in-compatible in reality, on the other hand they cannot be both excluded from reality.

Hence the fact p ≡ ~~p. That means that the fact p is the fact excluding the fact not-p as the fact not-p is the fact excluding p. The author of this remark refers the potential reader to An inquiry into meaning and truth, chapter 20 by Bertrand Russell and to what is devoted to the said chapter entitled The law of excluded middle in the following papers: KNOLmnc 1 To defend his views about modal logic and strict implication, Jean-François Monteil utilizes the chapter of Bertrand Russell’s An inquiry into meaning and truth entitled The law of excluded middle.

KNOLmnc 1 Modal logic. The three ingredients of strict implication. Calcutta. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

To my mind, the twentieth chapter entitled The law of excluded middle, constitutes a sort of climax in the celebrated An inquiry into meaning and truth. In light of Tarski and thanks to the use of the logical hexagon of the Frenchman Robert Blanché in modal logic, a lot of problems raised by Russell in his book and particularly in the twentieh chapter can be solved. Tarski said: the proposition “Snow is white” is true, if and only if snow is white. One may conclude that instead of saying the proposition p is true, one must say that the fact p is certain and symbolize the certainty of the fact p by Lp. If we are in a position to assert: ‘It snowed on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini’, the fact p in question must be symbolized by Lp, to be read It is a certain fact that it snowed on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini. If we are in a position to assert: ‘It did not snow on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini’, the fact not-p in question must be symbolized by L~p, to be read : It is a certain fact that it did not snow on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini. If we are in a state of ignorance concerning the two contradictory facts p and not-p, in other words, if we are unable to assert ‘It snowed on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini’ as well as ‘It did not snow on Manhattan Island on the first of January in the year 1 Anno Domini’, we experience a fact, the fact that neither p nor not-p is certain. This third fact can be symbolized by ~L~p & ~Lp, both the certainty of the fact not-p and the certainty of the fact p are excluded. I emphasize here that the third fact I mention must be given as much importance as the facts Lp and L~p we are led to consider when we are in a state of knowledge. The third fact is the fact we have to envisage when we are in a state of ignorance. It corresponds to what is called the bilateral possible. ~L~p, the non-certainty of the fact not-p is equivalent to the possibility of the fact p to be symbolized by Mp, ~Lp, the non-certainty of the fact p is equivalent to the possibibity of the fact not-p to be symbolized by M~p. There exist three situations corresponding to the case envisaged by Bertrand Russell in the chapter 20 of his An inquiry into meaning and truth and entitled The law of excluded middle. One of three things, either Lp the certainty of the fact p or L~p the certainty of the fact not-p or Mp & M~p the possibility of both p and not-p to the extent that both are non-certain. In any of the three situations, the law of excluded middle is preserved. This law can be represented thus: (l) p w not-p. The facts p and not-p are necessarily, by definition ( this is the meaning of the symbol (l) here used) contradictory. They are incompatible and they cannot be both excluded of reality.

The author of these lines thinks that the solution of the Russellian problem renders possible a consistent formula of strict implication — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussions begun in 2014[edit]

Semi-protected edit request on 7 March 2014[edit]

Introduction: Why is Russell described as being first a "nobleman"? Was he not a philosopher, logician, mathematician, etc. first and a nobleman second—or probably last? Ironically enough, that very first sentence concludes by also calling him a social critic. Besides, the use of "nobleman" as a description of a person seems quite peculiar, and in Russell's case (he was so much else!) it could, probably, be profitably omitted altogether. (talk) 10:30, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Surely British nobilty is a matter of birth, not one of choice or training. So I assume that the term "nobleman" is simply a qualification of his nationality. Indeed, even nationality itself may be changed later in life, whereas ancestry may not? Martinevans123 (talk) 11:02, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
It is bizarre, though, to have "nobleman" listed first. That is not the primary reason for his notability. It was added without any explanation here. I'll remove it. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:46, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I guess that such a deletion aligns more closely with his own socialist sympathies. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:28, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

It aligns with his own practice of referring to himself throughout his life as plain (Mr) Bertrand Russell, not Lord Russell. He himself would want it omitted from that sentence. ('Socialist sympathies' is nothing to do with it.) Yesenadam (talk) 07:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposed change (with citation) of sentence about interaction with John F. Kennedy during Cuban Missle Crisis.[edit]

Sentence now reads

Russell also wrote to John F. Kennedy, who returned his telegram unopened.[citation needed]

It was quite easy to find a citation that shows JFK did read and reply to the telegram.

I propose the sentence be changed to

Russell also wrote to John F. Kennedy, U Thant, Harold Macmillan, and others. [1]

Tod222 (talk) 22:41, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The following footnote was misplaced (in an unneeded separate section) near the bottom of the page, probably for years, probably bcz of failure to use {{reflist-talk}})
--Jerzyt 03:19, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Seckel, Al. "Russell and the Cuban Missile Crisis". Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies. 4 (2): 253–261. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jerzy (talkcontribs) 00:45, 8 July 2014 (listing template only)

V.K Krishna Menon[edit]

The article says V.K Krishna Menon was Secretary of the All-India Muslim League. This is incorrect, he was secretary of the India League, a different organisation. The Wikipedia article agrees with my correction. Since the page is locked, I couldn't correct this error myself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)


I propose inserting 'essayist' between 'mathematician' and 'historian' at the top of his page. (intending to include his journalism under this heading too) He produced many books of essays on many subjects, and was a great master of prose, one of the greatest of the 20th century - arguably among the greatest of essayists, full stop. And there needs to be a section about this - it wasn't (outside the philosophical world - or even inside it, after WW2) primarily his 'views' that mattered, or for which he won the Nobel prize, but the qualities of his prose, and the values that shone from it - clarity, precision, love of short words, hatred of obfuscation and humbug, biting yet (usually) restrained wit, humour and playfulness, intelligence, use of reason etc. His prose is simply inspiring, and a joy to read. (I'm not sure if 'historian' comparatively is even worth mentioning, though by ordinary mortal standards, writing a few excellent works of history would qualify one for that moniker. I don't include History of Western Philosophy, it's - to be brief - not good.) Yesenadam (talk) 07:10, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Making Wikipedia Remain a Joke[edit]

"Russell described himself as an agnostic, "speaking to a purely philosophical audience", but as an atheist "speaking popularly", on the basis that he could not disprove the Christian God similar to the way that he could not disprove the Olympic Gods either." This line is ridiculous and nonsensical. This is the reason everyone knows not to trust Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

So... change it. And, in future, please add new comments to the bottom of the page, not the top. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:54, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Not my problem, but....[edit]

   While i did archive my own talk page, manually, for a few years, i'm ignorant of the skills that would make it tolerable to implement a more typical approach to this talk page. (I might not have commented, but for the fact that there are two archives, i assume for about our first half decade.) What i am doing is:

  1. conforming the currently unarchived portion to the by-years scheme that's been applied at least sporadically since 2007
  2. adjusting (at least) one instance (which i've already noticed) of construing a discussion that runs into the next calendar year as belonging to the new year: unless you automate it, or manually move discussions between sections bcz (perhaps years later -- i think i responded to a 2007 talk contrib in the past week) it's pretty hard to drive a stake thru the heart of a WP discussion
  3. correcting the stereotyped wording of the master sections to include the words "begun in"

--Jerzyt 23:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

"Between the wars ..." section[edit]

   I've retitled the Between the wars and second marriage section to Between the wars: the syntax was ambiguous; also "and second marriage" singles out one salacious aspect as if it were comparable in his bio to a 20-year period of world history. (I'd not object to "between the world wars", but it should be clear without that, to anyone who knows some history, and bothered to look at his decades of birth and death in the lead.)
   My deeper concern relates to the use of sources in the following 'graph (the 2nd of the "Between the wars..." section). (The ref numbers and -- immediately below the 'graph -- the list of refs both appear here differently numbered than on the article's page, and with only the footnotes that are linked from this 'graph displayed; in particular, one ref (The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, p. 38) is first cited within a previous graph, and i "pre-cite" it right here[1] rather than butcher the 'graph's original markup to otherwise work without the rest of the article being present:

Russell subsequently lectured in Beijing on philosophy for one year, accompanied by Dora. He went there with optimism and hope, as China was then on a new path. Other scholars present in China at the time included Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel laureate poet.[1] While in China, Russell became gravely ill with pneumonia, and incorrect reports of his death were published in the Japanese press.[2] When the couple visited Japan on their return journey, Dora notified the world that "Mr. Bertrand Russell, having died according to the Japanese press, is unable to give interviews to Japanese journalists". The press, not appreciating the sarcasm, were not amused.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b The Nobel Foundation (1950). Bertrand Russell: The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950. Retrieved on 11 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Bertrand Russell Reported Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 April 1921. Retrieved 11 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Russell, Bertrand (2000). Richard A. Rempel, ed. Uncertain Paths to Freedom: Russia and China, 1919–22. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. 15. Routledge. lxviii. ISBN 0-415-09411-9. 
  4. ^ "It provided me with the pleasure of reading my obituary notices, which I had always desired without expecting my wishes to be fulfilled... As the Japanese papers had refused to contradict the news of my death, Dora gave each of them a type-written slip saying that as I was dead I could not be interviewed". — The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Ch. 10: China, pp. 365–366.

   The relevant actual text of the autobio passage cited is available on-line at G-Books, and the relevant context begins at the middle of p. 363, with the start of the 'graph that continues onto the next page.
   "[S]ubsequently" is a confusing substitute for keeping the temporal context usefully clear: the word also subliminally suggests (however illogically) that it entails more causal relationship than "later" does,

  • perhaps bcz the word "consequently" differs only in the first 3 letters and phonemes, and occurs (IM-unfounded-O) substantially more frequently,
  • and/or bcz there must be some better reason than mock-erudition to use a four-syllable synonym for "later".

Fortunately, we know when they went.
   He was accompanied by her to and (even while absent from each other's sight) in Peking, but it is unreasonable to assume that she accompanied him in lecturing, as the wording clumsily asserts.
   I'm moving "as China was then on a new path" outside the scope of the reference that i found following it, as it appears in the volume cited, but in its introduction, which is attributed to someone else. (The effective license Google got in the big settlement is too restrictive for me be sure who that was, without probably more travel than i care to undertake for this.) Provenance aside, our colleague accepts (barely implicitly) something that the Russell circle asserts as fact, tho it is too subjective to be verifiable -- that China was "on a new path". Professional historians, and armchair or off-duty intellectuals are appropriate in expressing what they judge true in language this vague (even in writing in the first case, and anywhere in the other), but we are not the first, nor can anyone fit the second role when "on duty" contributing to WP.
   The text does get around to clarifying reasonably well that "[Dora] notified the world" means something like "... risked having some reporter who should never have been on an English-needed beat make a second blunder that could conceivably also have been picked up by the Western press", but unless we have a colleague whose best skill is irony, why equivocate?
   In the same 'graph, "The press, not appreciating the sarcasm, were not amused." is ironic; i analyze that conviction of mine as reflecting:

  1. its use, twice, of litotes ("not appreciating" for "resenting, and "not amused" for "annoyed")
  2. the conventional but contradictory juxtapostion of "appreciate" (which is -- at least literally -- about valuing, not about comprehending) and "sarcasm" (the root, meaning to bite IIRC, contradicts the mock expectation of gratitude),
  3. my own reading, perhaps poorly informed, that
    1. the government in Tokyo were hostile to socialists like Russell, and to the Chinese for being more numerous, nearby, and not Japanese, and
    2. even if the gov. did not directly instigate the false report (e.g., to harm progressives' morale), the press may have been encouraged to be hostile to them on their arrival (bcz of his views, or bcz of his finding their "mere"-Chinese neighbors worthy of his attention, or bcz of construing the apparent request for retraction and the now sneering tone as serious insults). Russell, and/or his later editorial colleague (who was presumably far from the scene), even if not intending to offend (in print) via the later irony, has/have made an ambiguous remark (tho they could not plausibly know whether whether any reasonable ways of construing it were true), and unless they have explained elsewhere how they could know an actual fact, that they intended to express, we should not say more about it than to name the individual (and IMO unambiguously indicate that the only fact we know is the utterance and the verifiable utterer(s)).

   In the next 'graph, i was tempted to wonder whether the speculation about Russell and Eliot's first wife involved the woman who would later become Eliot's first, was then his first, or had previously been his first wife. Others among our articles clarify: after the marriage and before the separation (and there was no divorce). If we are going to mention this bit of speculation, we certainly should clarify the hypothetical circumstances, and i hope i have succeeded in starting that process.
--Jerzyt 08:03, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

The speculation about Russell and Eliot's wife is chronologically out of place, and the cited source (Monk in the Oxford DNB) does not suggest that the affair took place in the early years of Russell's marriage to Dora. -- Milt (talk) 01:46, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Bertrand Russell and logic[edit]

(While i haven't yet confirmed it in the history, the immediately plausible explanation for it is that the second contributor to the section was not satisfied with the first editor's title, perhaps bcz the second saw the first's contrib as being suitable (perhaps "also suitable", or with a little louder hint of philosophical bullying, "more suitable") as a contribution to a wider discussion.
--Jerzyt 00:19, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Discussions begun in 2015[edit]

Parents' first names[edit]

Surely his parents' first names (John and Katharine) should be included in the article. (I won't add them myself, as whenever I try to edit Wikipedia I get jumped upon.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geoffw1948 (talkJonpatterns (talk) 13:57, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it seems he had rotten teeth. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:07, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Bertrand Russell is categorised under English republicans but no sources proving this are given throughout the article. Dr Harare (talk) 08:44, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I have just been making these notes - as far as I am concerned he advocated facts and arguments against populism = a Republican stance. Bertrand Russell’s Ten Commandments for Living in a Healthy Democracy

1: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2: Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3: Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

4: When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5: Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6: Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7: Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8: Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9: Be scrupulously truthful, even when truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness. Problems of the British Revolution - Appendix 2 : Bertrand Russell - Trotsky on Our Sins

" Trotsky’s new book is one of the most interesting that I have read for a long time ... What is more important is his complaint that the Labour Party lacks a coherent theoretical outlook. Take, for example, the question of Republicanism. ... To proclaim a socialist programme, and at the same time declare that the royal authority “does not hinder” and works out cheaper, is absolutely the same as, for example, acknowledging materialistic science and making use of the incantation of a sorcerer for toothache, on the ground that the sorcerer is cheaper. ... To hope to achieve Socialism without Republicanism is the sort of thing that could only occur among English-speaking people; it would hardly be possible for men with any profound knowledge of history, or any understanding of the economic and psychological links between different institutions. ... " DaiSaw (talk) 23:26, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Welsh or English?[edit]

Was Bertrand Russell Welsh, or English?Varnebank (talk) 20:19, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Welsh - born in Wales. Does the article claim he was English? I see him referred to as British, which is correct - Wales being part of Britain. Ianbrettcooper (talk) 16:03, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
You are so right. Best to describe him as British. This is by far the best default description for an encyclopedia for anyone born in the United Kingdom and a British citizen. Once we get into all this stuff about 'English' and 'Scottish' and now 'Cornish' that way lies madness (and endless know-it-all non-British claiming it depends on 'self identification'. Or people with some other axe to grind. I mean, Alex Salmond IS British, whether he thinks he is or not. At least for now! (talk) 18:50, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
He was born in Monmouthshire. At the time of his birth, the area was regarded by some as part of England and by others as part of Wales. (It's clearly in Wales now, but that's not relevant here.) In any case, there is no dispute that he was British. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:52, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Bertrand Russell was born in Wales and died in Wales and he clearly identified with Wales but probably viewed himself as himself ... in all probability he may have wrestled with this in " Russell's Paradox " - ? ...

... Incidentally Monmouthshire was always in the Principality of Wales : the idea that somehow it was at some time part of England arose after the Principality finally ceased to be a separate realm in 1624. The confusion arose out of the mess created by The Annexation of Wales in the aftermath of The Reformation during which Henry VIII created thirteen shires and new boroughs in Wales in order to pack Parliament with MPs who dared not disobey him because he still kept Wales as a separate realm which he could plunder with arbitrary taxes. In wealthier and bigger England he had to submit his taxes to the MPs in Parliament which is why he packed it with Welsh MPs to either ensure that his demands were met in England or otherwise they would have to face being plundered. James I plundered Wales so thoroughly that the Welsh MPs finally rebelled and made a deal with the English MPs to vote against his demands in exchange for also relieving them of The Penal Laws in Wales - these disadvantaged the Welsh before The English Law which had been imposed by The Annexation of Wales in order to encompass The Reformation in Wales which was a Catholic country with deep harbours sympathetic to and ready to receive a French or Spanish or even Irish invasion force. In order to be able to repeal The Penal Laws in Wales they coerced the bankrupt James I to surrender his control over The Principality of Wales to Parliament by repealing the " Henry VIII clause " and thus Wales entered into full political union with England on condition that the English MPs voted to repeal The Penal Laws in Wales and then once James I consented to this the Welsh MPs voted for his new taxation. These arguments over Parliament refusing to grant further taxation to James I were the precursors to the arguments which led into The English Civil War which then spilled over into Wales because they had become one realm - and that is why Monmouthshire came to seem not to be in Wales any more : Henry VIII created thirteen counties and the Quarter Session judges visited one county each month - which left one Welsh county as the odd one left over ... Monmouthshire was the thirteenth county and more English'd than the rest and so it became one of the counties in a Quarter Session where the other three counties were in England - because Wales and England had become a single legal jurisdiction ( even though Parliament occasionally still made laws which applied only in Wales - hence despite The Principality of Wales having ceased to be a separate realm " Wales " continued to exist in English Law which is very odd ... I really ought to now copy this over to here - DaiSaw (talk) 21:35, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

I agree, you should copy it over as it's not that relevant to what happened on 18 May 1872. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:53, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I copied it over because that page ought to be corrected - but it was an answer to the idea that Monmouthshire has ever been in England - it was not because it was created out of several Marcher Lordships ... I decided to see if anybody authoratative identifies Russell as " Welsh " : The Telegraph is of the opinion that he was - ... The real question is not whether anybody claims him as a Cymro but what he classified himself as - hence my joke about Russell's Paradox above - and I have found no information as to that besides the fact that he chose to visit and live in various places in Wales and that I know that in one of his Reith Lectures he made a point of fondly mentioning Welsh bards : on the one hand he had a good sense of humour on the other insisted upon dry facts so he would probably have defined himself either by a wry joke or very precisely.

These webpages are about one of his homes in North Wales - in Ffestiniog, the old school house of Penyralltgoch - DaiSaw (talk) 01:07, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, it looks like the Old School House at Penralltgoch was listed mainly because Russell lived there. There is also a listing here. There are two pictures here (numbers 25 and 26) as well as some of Ravenscroft, by David Lewis Hodgson. Unsurprisingly Penralltgoch is still a redlink, but I see that Russell was probably in tune with Tanymarian who attended school there. Surprising that there is no mention of Penralltgoch in the article here. He was certainly living there in March 1948 when he wrote to Lucy Donnelly. See also the note in Vol 2 of the Selected Letters here. As regards his nationality, I think it's much more satisfactory to stick with "British" rather than English or Welsh. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:59, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Dear Martin Evans - I think that your point of view is extremely tenable - I do not know if your surname indicates that you are a Cymro - but in modern times I would argue that how we decide our identities can be extremely complex and should basically be a matter of personal declaration - if Bertrand Russell made any such declaration we should abide by that if we can find him recorded as doing so ... for my own part I am like many others in that I make sense of my life in terms of what has happened to me and I object to Nationalism because of its crude stereotyping. I believe that being born in Wales, living in Wales and dying in Wales is of no consequence to a person whose sense of identity is derived from something else which they think more important : hence I doubt that Bertrand Russell would be pleased to be claimed as " Welsh " when he clearly would not see this as very important to his sense of identity ... but ... :-) ... nevertheless I note that he was fond of North Wales if not South Wales and chose to make a series of homes there ... I do not have the time to research this but I note that one of his homes seems to have been rented from Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis and so unmentioned in this article may be something more important to Bertrand Russell's sense of identity if his attraction to North Wales was a certain intellectual circle ? DaiSaw (talk) 03:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, there may be more to said of Russell's connection to North Wales. But I'm 100% certain he did not see himself as "Welsh". It's too bad you don't have time to research a bit as you obviously have a strong interest in this topic. Dymuniadau gorau a phob lwc i chi. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:35, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Moral justification for the use of nuclear weapons[edit]

The article states that Russell argued that: " was morally justified and better to go to war against the USSR using atomic bombs while the USA possessed them and before the USSR did. After the USSR exploded the atomic bomb, Russell changed his position and advocated the total abolishment of atomic weapons." This is not a change of Russell's position. It is the exact same position, maintained under different circumstances. Ianbrettcooper (talk) 15:58, 22 April 2015 (UTC)


There seems to be something wrong with this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

One thing that is wrong is that Lady John Russell's mother (#11) is given the male name of John Stanley. ==>Milt, 2016.1.24.

After Physical Death[edit]

Russell is one of the figures that Charles Hapgood documented in his books as coming through the "trance" of Elwood Babbitt. With regards to his religious beliefs, Russell said through Babbitt "I was an atheist. I found my God, but my God was myself." [1]. This is one of the best quotes of all time from Bertrand Russell, but ironically, because of the religious beliefs of wikipedia Admins/editors, this section is always removed as it doesn't agree with their beliefs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Berwin (talkcontribs) 07:15, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

How ironic. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:34, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Read and undersand WP:Fringe before attempting to add in that section.--☾Loriendrew☽ (ring-ring) 12:00, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
We don't tend to include quotes that people are alleged to have made after they have died. Even if they're really good ones. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:20, 6 July 2015 (UTC)


remote Visiting scholar for McMaster University (possible emphasis Bertrand Russell)[edit]

External links modified[edit]

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Identity and naming of nationality and national territory[edit]

With reference to User:Martinevans123's edit regarding Russell's ancestral history, UK is British... but I accept your point about the era and the various names of national territories during the rise of the British nation state known today (in short form) as the UK. I hope my latest edit will be an acceptable alternative to either of our previous edits. Here is a explanation:

The paragraph includes dates (and inferences of time periods) which cover "several centuries", by which we might assume 1539 might be the latest date during which we can assume (the year of creation of the first Earl of Bedford). At that time, while the island was known as Great Britain (a part of the larger geographic and historical entity known as the British Isles), there was no all-island jurisdiction. The jurisdiction to which Russell's specific ancestors lived and served (Henry VIII) was England and Wales, though the monarch was head of England (and Wales) and Ireland. So it would be inaccurate to suggest 'Britain' for a time when it did not yet exist. When the Whig Party formed, it was still the case whereby the country had not yet solidified into the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The paragraph also mentioned 1536, which is only three years prior to the installment of Russell as the Earl of Bedford.

After 1707, the country was referred to (though certainly not always and not exclusively) as the United Kingdom in parliament and by the monarch. The paragraph mentions the dates 1688-9 and 1832, by which time the Whigs were campaigning and being elected in both Scotland and Ireland, as well as England & Wales. The country by 1801 was now the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Ireland), and the Whigs therefore had influence throughout the whole of the UK.

So, it's complex enough, given the changes to jurisdiction and naming conventions throughout that long period of time! One suggestion would be that we stick with 'English', though that would deny the apparent Welsh connection of the Russell ancestry. So we would be left with actually using the term 'British' itself. -- (talk) 00:00, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

In the context of that sentence, I'd certainly agree that "British" is a better approximation to "England and Wales" than is "UK". I'm still left a little surprised that no-one has challenged, or even reverted, the previous global change of "Britain" to "United Kingdom" as I think, in Russell's era, the name "Great Britain " was the far more widely-used term. Martinevans123 (talk) 00:08, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I think perhaps because Russell was born at a time when "United Kingdom" became more popular, and certainly lived until well after the current borders of that country had been set. United Kingdom is a much more unambiguous term than "Britain" or "Great Britain", and certainly Russell lived all of his life in the country that was known officially as the United Kingdom.-- (talk) 04:23, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Wallenchinsky et al.[edit]

Note 87 cites Wallenchinsky et al. (1981), "Famous Marriages Bertrand...Part 1". This publication is non-scholarly and derivative. It isn't good enough to serve as evidence of the facts it is used to support. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Milt (talkcontribs) 15:02, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Bertrand Russel's birthplace in the article is named as " Ravenscroft " but is now called " Cleddon Hall "[edit]

" ... The 140-year-old birthplace of Russell, Cleddon Hall, nestling in the countryside near Trellech, Monmouthshire, has been put up for sale by its owners after two years of being renovated to replicate the style of the philosopher’s childhood home. ... The current owner of Cleddon Hall – previously called Ravenscroft – said the illustrious philosopher was born and grew up there because his parents, Viscount and Lady Amberley, were “driven out” of London because she was an early Suffragette. ... "

" ... Russell was born in Cleddon Hall, Trellech, Monmouthshire ... "DaiSaw (talk) 20:19, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

When he was born it was called "Ravenscroft". But I guess a footnote could be added, if it's really that important. Certainly not important to Russell's life. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:26, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Chronology of the Lede[edit]

As a reader, I found it odd that the 3rd paragraph of the lede describes (first) Russell's opinions on nuclear warfare, then his World War 1 activism, then his opinions on WW2, then the Vietnam War, then nuclear disarmament. Is there something amiss here? Seems to me the nuclear stuff should be post-WW1. <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 08:00, 16 November 2016 (UTC)