Friday, November 25, 2011

Plenty, I'd say ...

Bryan Appleyard - What’s Wrong with Bertrand Russell? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I think D. H. Lawrence had Russell's number. Here's snippet from a letter he wrote Russell:

Your will is false and cruel. You are too full of devilish repressions to be anything but lustful and cruel. ... The enemy of mankind, you are, full of the lust of enmity. It is not the hatred of falsehood which inspires you. It is the hatred of people, of flesh and blood. It is a perverted mental blood-lust. Why don't you own it.
Let us become strangers again, I think it is better.
I was never too impressed by his philosophizing. I remember reading Why I Am Not a Christian when I was 16 and closing the book after reading his proffered rebuttal to Aquinas's assertion that there can't be an infinite series of causes. Russell simply said that he could easily imagine an infinite series of causes. But I immediately thought to myself that the question had nothing to do with what one could imagine. I could easily have imagined that Russell was too shrewd to have written something so dumb. Moreover, while one could posit an infinite series of causes, actually imagining one is something altogether different.

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