Authority and the Individual (Routledge Classics) by Bertrand Russell

By Bertrand Russell

From historical Greek philosophy to the French Revolution to the fashionable welfare country, in Authority and the Individual Bertrand Russell tackles the perennial questions about the stability among authority and human freedom. With attribute readability and deep knowing, he explores the formation and goal of society, schooling, ethical evolution and social, low in cost and highbrow development. First of the famous BBC Reith lectures, this excellent assortment promises Russell at his highbrow best.

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Sample text

The ontology of mathematics has all the problems of the ontology of essences. Just as our common sense perception leads us to see color as being in the external, mind-free world, so our common sense leads us to understand mathematics as being a part of the external mind-free world. The usual reasoning is right out of the Folk Theory of Kinds and the Metaphors of Essence: If mathematics "works"-if it correctly characterizes the behavior of some aspect of the real world, and if only an essence can allow us to correctly predict behavior, then the mathematics must be real, and it must be constitutive of that essence.

The usual reasoning is, of course false. Essences no more exist objectively in the world than colors do. Our perceptual systems naturally lead us to conceptualize color as being part of the objective world, when it isn't. Similarly, our conceptual systems naturally lead us to conceptualize the world as if essences too were in the world. Again, they aren't. In the case of color, we have no choice but to perceive and to think in a way that, upon reflection, we know is scientifically incorrect. The same 2.

Moreover, the concept of anti-matter may be harder to teach than the concept of negative number by other means. The easiest natural extension of one of the grounding metaphors to negative numbers is the Motion Metaphor. If numbers are locations reached by moving in uniform steps in a given (positive) direction from a source, and if zero is the origin, then negative numbers are also locations, but locations reached by moving in the opposite direction. Thus, if positive numbers are to the right of the origin, negative numbers are locations to the left of the origin.

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