Our Knowledge of the External World  book cover
1st Edition

Our Knowledge of the External World

ISBN 9780415473774
Published April 8, 2009 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Our Knowledge of the External World is a compilation of lectures Bertrand Russell delivered in the US in which he questions the very relevance and legitimacy of philosophy. In it he investigates the relationship between ‘individual’ and ‘scientific’ knowledge and questions the means in which we have come to understand our physical world. This is an explosive and controversial work that illustrates instances where the claims of philosophers have been excessive, and examines why their achievements have not been greater.

Table of Contents

Introduction Preface 1. Current Tendencies 2. Logic as the Essence of Philosophy 3. On Our Knowledge of the External World 3. The World of Physics and the World of Sense 4. The Theory of Continuity 5. The Problem of Infinity Considered Historically 6. The Positive Theory of Infinity 7. On the Notion of Cause, with Applications to the Free-Will Problem Index

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Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was one of the most formidable thinkers of the modern era. A philosopher, mathematician, educational innovator, champion of intellectual, social and sexual freedom, and a campaigner for peace and human rights, he was also a prolific writer of popular and influential books, essays and lectures on an extensive range of subjects.

Considered to be one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century, Bertrand Russell is widely renowned for his provocative writings. These definitive works offer profound insights and forward-thinking perspectives on a changing western society progressively shaped, most significantly, by two world wars, the decline of British imperialism and an evolving moral landscape.


‘It is in every sense an epoch-making book: one that has been needed and expected for years.’ - Cambridge Magazine

‘The author maintains a fresh and brilliant yet easy style which always makes his writings a pleasure to read.’ - Nature