Unpopular Essays

Unpopular Essays

Unpopular Essays

Unpopular Essays

Excerpt

Most of the following essays, which were written at various times during the last fifteen years, are concerned to combat, in one way or another, the growth of dogmatism, whether of the Right or of the Left, which has hitherto characterized our tragic century. This serious purpose inspires them even if, at times, they seem flippant, for those who are solemn and pontifical are not to be successfully fought by being even more solemn and even more pontifical.

A word as to the title. In the Preface to my Human Knowledge I said that I was writing not only for professional philosophers, and that "philosophy proper deals with matters of interest to the general educated public." Reviewers took me to task, saying they found parts of the book difficult, and implying that my words were such as to mislead purchasers. I do not wish to expose myself again to this charge; I will therefore confess that there are several sentences in the present volume which some unusually stupid children of ten might find a little puzzling. On this ground I do not claim that the essays are popular; and if not popular, then "unpopular."

BERTRAND RUSSELL

April, 1950 . . .

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