Bertrand Russell Essay

908 words - 4 pages

Bertrand Arthur William Russell lived from 1872 – 1970. He lived in the United Kingdom for all of his life. He is famous for his work in mathematical logic, and analytic philosophy. He became famous for co-authoring the book Principia Mathematica with Alfred Whitehead (SE of P).
Russell was born on May 18th, 1872, Ravenscroft, Trellech, Monmouth shire. He had two siblings, Frank and Rachel. Before the year of 1880, Russell’s grandfather, mother, and sister had died. His grandmother, Countess Russell, had taken him in and was a prominent figure in his early life (Wikipedia). In 1890, he begins to study at Trinity College, Cambridge (during his first year of college, he meets Alfred Whitehead), and in 1893, he completes college with a B.A. in mathematics. One year later, he marries Alys Persall Smith. After graduating college, he would become a lecturer at numerous colleges (SEofP).
In 1896, he was appointed lecturer at the London School of Economics. He spent four years at the school, but in 1899 he would become a lecturer at Trinity College. He would stay at Trinity College for a short time, but then would be appointed a lecturer again in 1901. During his second time as lecturer at Trinity College, he would publish Russell’s Paradox (SEofP).
Russell’s Paradox had been “discovered” a year before him, but he was the first to publish it. The Paradox states:
“Let R be the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. If R is not a member of itself, then its definition dictates that it must contain itself, and if it contains itself, then it contradicts its own definition as the set of all sets that are not members of themselves” (Wikipedia).
The paradox, symbolically, is:

Many mathematicians tried to find a logical set to prove this statement true. The paradox was ruled to be inconsistent and contradictive. However, this is what Russell was trying to achieve. Russell would go on to state that there “such a set does not exist” (Wikipedia). This paradox would be the beginning of Russell’s fame in the field of mathematics and logic.
Principia Mathematica was co-written by Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead. This should not be confused for the book The Principals of Mathematics, which was published in 1903 by Russell (wiki principia Mathematica). The initial thought of the two was that the book would take a year to complete; however, it took almost a decade. There were three editions of the (first) book, which were published in 1910, 1912, and 1913. The book is divided into three volumes, and the three volumes are divided into six parts. A Second book was published in 1927. A fourth volume was planned on the foundations of...

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