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The Problems of Philosophy - Bertrand Russell

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Paperback: 128 pages / Publisher: Cosimo Classics / Published: 30 Dec 2007 / Language: English

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      18.06.2013 18:28
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      Russ Assessment

      Author: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
      Fifteen Chapters
      Published in 1912
      - - -

      Bertrand Russell may not be a name you acknowledge at first 'hearing or reading' but a great number of you will recognize the name but wouldn't be able to place him in the great spectrum of data-sense. I say 'data-sense' because Russell employs the two words as a study as he examines: 'The Problems of Philosophy.' At the time of the early twentieth century you could argue there was a lack of 'Robert Winstons' in the non-existent media-eye delivering intellectual statements that'll make the eye-brow caterpillars twitch. Of course Russell was the original modern day God Father of Philosophy and unlike his intellectual thinking counterpart George Gilbert Murray whose Anglo-Australian's drooling verboseness amounted to sticking in his thumb and pulling out a crumb and made another pie out of it; required a translator for Murray's translating - perhaps an occupational hazard of dramatizing Greek tragedies not that it is tragic to cajole philosophy and drama - albeit, I cannot see the term 'data-sense' in 'The Five Stages of Greek Religion.' - Not exactly a plausible term to deliberate in 'five stages' or 'religion.' Although, I make assumptions Murray was unable to section his scholarly discourse, to departmentalize his thought processes - drama and philosophy maybe the perfect combination - who can judge? What I do know, Russell's lack of drama is clear - therefore, not an enthralling read narrative wise; as the content is as digestible as leather mutton - an ordeal for the saliva glands and stomach alike; something that Bertrand rustled up.

      Reassuringly, in the chapter 'Appearance and Reality' it breaks you in gently, not dissimilar to breaking in a pair of Merrill walking shoes prior to a twelve mile ramble. In 'Reality' and 'Appearance' - see what I did there, I swapped the words. Surely reality has to be first for you to equate the entities appearance, but in the scholarliness of Russell the opposite delivers its observation. The individual is aware that something is there before you denote it is really in front of you. 'Seeing is believing,' according to John Berger's book, 'Ways of Seeing;' from a creative perspective. Call me an appearance cynic, but denoting the object is really in front of you aids its appearance. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Both difficult to digest 'whole' - then again, Russell's free ranging thinking would first denote: are they real? And through a clever process of elimination he'd semi-conclude their 'appearance' and then 'reality.'Please note semi-conclude allows for extra research to make the research viable, in the mindset of a philosopher. In this chapter it is a 'table.' By stating this fact, I'm concluding it isn't a spoiler; on the premise there is no narrative; just semi-concluding thought processes. When I state thought-processes Russell is rustling up 'theories of physical objects.' - aren't all objects physical?' Rhetorical question, I know, then again I'm querying Russell's 'data-sense.' If the data misses the part it makes sense, I might as well conclude and state now, this is just Russell rambling, - concisely; if that is possible. Therefore no need to read-on; each chapter is a master stroke of semi-conclusions. Again, this isn't a spoiler, I'm just saving you time; relieving your sense-data (sense as in brain activity; data as in mentally documenting it) Although Bertrand Russell allows the courtesy of not delving into 'sense-data' until halfway through the 250 page lecture. Nothing like having the amalgamation of two words linked with a hyphen that can flip both ways evident in the same chapters. I'm still hand-cup-hugging my right temple over the chicken and the egg; egg and chicken concept.

      Sadly, you cannot hop on a theoretical time machine and descend on Descartes (1596-1650) to stop his thread of thought while inventing systematic doubt. Who can prove its existence pre sixteenth century? I doubt you can, I analytically doubt it needed to be invented, but the ramification of such an invention gave Descartes a firm footing of what semi-concludes as being a foundation to 'modern philosophy.' Now, without being too pedantic, my comprehension of foundering modern thinking can't of derived some-time during Descartes life-time, 400 years ago - the concept time-wise matches up with a true philosopher's trail of thought, granted - as it is remarkably measured. Though, I found it tough to ingest the leather mutton I have on my plate before me - I'm therefore 'concluding' the philosopher's phantasmagoria matters little to others - the only conviction of certainty they're sure of is their own existence. Evidently there is no hypothesis if there is no phenomenon - to engage their audience Russell dreams up 'sense-data' and 'data-sense' and sensationalising is a placebo factor mimicking narrative - the scientist's weapon of choice, and this equates to unrealities. 'Object' is not too far away from 'Faith,' (there is a fascinating diagram which panders to mathematical persuasions concerning what goes before-between-and-after object' and 'faith') In turn, behind the two word meaning a conveyor-belt is motored by the power of the human synapse; tradition, doctrines and nostalgia ignites a 'sense-datum' experience: Russell explains - "When human beings speak--that is, when we hear certain noises which we associate with ideas, and simultaneously see certain motions of lips and expressions of face....this is the result of productive thought." Hence, this is how God became an object; made apparent in a perpetual force; a personal divinity, that is soulfully ours - told by our forefathers; Russell doesn't go as far as 'brain-washing.' Nevertheless, this conjures up the idea of believability: it gathers pace when daily rituals enter the fore-front of our existence - as described in the chapter: 'Idealism.'

      Bertrand Russell's discourse averages out at 16.6666667 pages per chapter; (the seven aides the pain of hitting the six indefinitely; saves time and sanity) The Problems of Philosophy leans towards - 'parvum opus' - conciseness exemplified, considering the subject matter. I'm not going to inform readers of Bertrand Russell's semi-conclusion which reads worryingly like a conclusion - a contradiction in terms that semi-conclusions offers research pathways for future analysis. Modern philosophy 101 years ago and Bertrand Russell is still a 'force de philosophical discourse;' a subject area that barely moves with the times due to the heavy-weight and thought-pattern variables; I admit much of Russell's miss my radar - I found myself regurgitating the leather mutton - I, wouldn't complain to the hierarchies of philosophical thought on the chance of disturbing their thought-process - but worse still, getting a garbled response would be unbearable. So, I remain perplexed - no change there.

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