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The Problems of Philosophy

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,147 Ratings  ·  309 Reviews
One of his great works, and a must-read for any student of philosophy, The Problems of Philosophy was written in 1912 as an introduction to Russell's thought. As an empiricist, Russell starts at the beginning with this question: Is there any knowledge in the world that is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it? This, according to Russell, is where the work of phi ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1912)
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Waking this one up too in support of Paul...

Plato, in the Symposium, was perhaps the first person to consider the question of the "unliked review". If a review never receives any votes, can it truly be said to exist? This problem has tormented many of the world's greatest philosophers. Bishop Berkeley's famous answer is that God reads and likes every review, hence they all exist. Even at the time, this was not universally considered satisfactory; Rousseau's r
Dec 18, 2015 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jean by: Chris
The Problems of Philosophy was written in 1912 as an early attempt by its author to create a brief and accessible guide to the problems of philosophy. Bertrand Russell is considered to be one of the founders of analytic philosophy, and is also widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. He is generally thought to be one of the most important philosophers of the past two hundred years. Extremely prolific and influential, he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1950. No ...more
Stephen M
Oct 14, 2013 Stephen M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy

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Modern times are rough
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
به مانند دیگر آثار این فیلسوف گرانقدر، این کتاب هم تا صفحه آخر کاری میکنه که از خواندن مسائل فلسفی فقط و فقط لذت ببرید، خبری از واژه ها و حتی جملات قلمبه سلمبه ای که در کتب فلاسفه دیگر ( به غیر از آرتور شوپنهاور بزرگ ) میخواندید، نیست
مهمتر از همه اینکه در این کتاب، راسل بیشتر تلاش کرده تا موضوعاتی که به ماده و حقیقت و معرفت، مربوط هستش رو برای شما دوستان اهل مطالعه، شفاف سازی کنه و به بهترین نحو ممکن شرح بده و در مورد چرت و پرت هایی مثل، مسائل ما بعد الطبیعه و خیلی از موضوعات غیر عقلی و دینی که
Jun 04, 2016 hayatem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أخرى
مشكلات الفلسفة من جهة ( الأصول، الكليات والأسس) التي يقوم أو يبنى عليها موضوع ما، كان حديث رسل في هذا الكتاب وفق تصوراته الخاصة والعامة والناطقة بعقله التحليلي .

استند رسل في رؤياه وتساؤلاته المعرفية على النقد الفاحص والفلسفي والتمحيص الدقيق متبعاً "الشك المنهجي " + كل مايعتمل في العقل من تناقض.

ناقش رسل مشكلات الفلسفة وفق المبادئ العامة للنظرية و المتعلقة بالنظم الفلسفية غالباً ودون تعمق أو حسم كامل.

أهم النقاط المطروحة في صدر الكتاب :
-مبادئ المعرفة /ك" الشكل المعرفي والبنية المنطقية."
-إشكال الح
Sep 09, 2007 Amelia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out that philosophy has many problems
Jul 09, 2015 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars. How non-committal.

This little book solved one issue for me. It answered the question ‘what is wrong with philosophy’.

Unfortunately Mr Russell, and I mean this with the greatest respect to a man who is a giant among men, a real diamond geezer; the answer is this book (and many like it). It took me back to a time when a friend and I would sit and have conversations which began: “Well, how do you know it’s a table? How do you know it exists? What is existence? Buy me another pint.” We th
Nelson Zagalo
Jul 29, 2015 Nelson Zagalo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Um livro de introdução à filosofia moderna, simplesmente brilhante. Não é por acaso que Bernard Russell recebeu o Nobel em 1950, a sua capacidade expositiva e empática, para dar conta de problemáticas complexas - como a realidade, verdade, conhecimento, método científico, entre outros - é impressionante. Ao longo de pouco mais de 100 páginas, Russell apresenta, num modo de grande simplicidade, alguns dos temas mais relevantes, de sempre, da filosofia, convidando-nos para o debate.

É verdade que n
Trevor Price
This book is intended to be an epistemology primer, but I think it fails pretty hard at that. It reminds me of a Big Bang episode when Sheldon attempts to teach Penny physics:

"Now, Introduction to physics. What is physics? Physics comes from the ancient Greek word physika. Physika means the science of natural things. And it is a warm summer evening in ancient Greece that our story begins..."

In writing this book, Russell seemed very conscientious of an audience unseasoned in philosophy, so he oft
Feb 09, 2014 Pink rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The synopsis for this book says -

This accessibly clear little book is a stimulating guide to those problems of philosophy which often mistakenly make the subject seem too lofty & abstruse for laypersons.

So it includes passages like -

When a case of acquaintance is one with which I can be acquainted (as I am acquainted with my acquaintance with the sense-datum representing the sun), it is plain that the person acquainted is myself. Thus, when I am acquainted with my seeing the sun, the whole
A mis titled book - rather, Some Problems of Philosophy of the late 19th and early 20th century, Many of Which Have Been Addressed.

Discusses epistemology, absolutes, a priori and a posteriori knowledge, truth and falsehood. It does these very well. A quite reasonable introduction on basic problems.

But it's still very interesting, and Russell is one of the most readable of the philosophers. Dare I say it, his style actually flows well.
Jul 31, 2012 Brandon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the first classic works of philosophy I read as a whole, as opposed to merely excerpts in my first-year textbook. It is very dated now, being 100 years old, but it is interesting both as a historical document and as an introduction to some of the concerns of twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy, and in some cases, philosophy throughout history.

Russell's prose is simple and easy to understand, but quite often the conclusions he reaches which he believes to be obvious or intuitive ha
J'avais reçu ce livre à 18 ans, sans jamais avoir eu le courage de le lire, et il a fallu attendre des lustres avant que je sois en état de m'y intéresser. Dans cet ouvrage, Bertrand Russel, un philosophe anglais écrit à la veille du premier conflit mondial au sujet de connaissance, reprenant un thème ouvert depuis le Théétète de Platon. Comme presque tous les philosophe anglais, il met un point d'honneur à exposer ses idées avec clarté, afin de les mettre à la portée du plus grand nombre, sans ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title’s a misnomer – the book is almost exclusively about epistemology, or theory of knowledge. This reflects the narrowing of philosophy’s scope in the English-speaking world 100 years ago, eventually making itself more or less a subdiscipline of linguistics (a self-imposed constriction which has only fairly recently been loosened). But Russell treats his subject with characteristic lucidity; the clarity and precision of his logic and phrasing have a certain austere beauty, if that’s the ri ...more
Jun 02, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bertrand Russell is such a gentleman. He writes in lucid, clear prose filled with insight and occasional brilliance. He manages to compress enormous, complex debates into just a few paragraphs, and belies an encyclopedic knowledge of Western philosophy. The book is a gem, and sparkles with subtlety and charm.

But gentlemen can be dry. His prose marches forward but never leaps and dances, his mind is a logical machine impervious to emotion, his philosophy is not a philosophy of life and art, but o
May 24, 2012 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly good book for somebody just getting started to learn about epistemology. I don't think Russell delves too much into anything else like metaphysics, certainly not logic, art, or ethics. His focus is on epistemology. If knowledge is possible, if a priori knowledge is possible, comparing the rationalist and empiricists, etc.

What I love most about this book is that it reaches a conclusion. Many philosophers prefer to just show the examples of other philosophers ideas but Russel
Huda AbuKhoti
Oct 05, 2012 Huda AbuKhoti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This book gives no answers... It asks and intrigues a multiple of questions and doesn't expect you to have answers for them, either.

Beautifully written and easy to read. It mainly discusses the differences between appearance or perspective and reality, and how truth to us humans is either collected by description or acquaintance.

This question I had no answer to after I finished reading the book: If I become acquainted with something over time, and I started giving descriptions and characteristi
Feb 07, 2014 Charbel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, philosophy
The concepts in this book are not unfamiliar to me. I have come across them before, yet I am nowhere near fully understanding them.

I wished Russel would have used more fascinating examples, but unfortunately he was very uniform (it got a bit boring) in his explanations.

I also have to admit that there were parts where I couldn't follow what he was trying to convey.

To philosophy enthusiasts this would probably be a good book, but to me it's just another read.
Mohammad Zakerzadeh
کتابی نیست که بتونم در موردش نظر تخصصی بدم اما به نظرم شاید شروع مناسبی برای خوندن فلسفه نباشه. جدا از اینکه بعضی اوقات بحثها کامل باز نمیشه ترجمه قدیمی و ثقیلش هم باعث میشه فهمیدن کتاب سختتر بشه.
من با اینکه اکثر فصلها رو دوبار و چندبار خوندم ولی خوب متوجه منظور نویسنده نشدم.

بهش ستاره میدم چون در حد ستاره ازش خوشم اومده ولی واقعا نمیتونم در مورد کیفیت مطالبش نظری بدم.
May 10, 2015 Venky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
Commencing with the 'seemingly' simply illustration of a chair, and posing a question as to the very existence of that object, Bertrand Russell opens to the reader the amazing, complex and contradicting world of Philosophy. Weaving an intricate pattern of thoughts, highlighting paradoxical postulates and rudimentary concepts, this prolific, erudite and intellectual genius, strives to make the subject of Philosophy not only attractive but also indispensable.

Laying out the assertions of rationalis
Dec 09, 2015 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is, in my view, a perfect introduction to metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of perception. While the book was written almost 100 years ago, its tone, literary style and arguments make it a very contemporary read, full of surprising insights and new original ideas of its own.

Russell argues for a theory of indirect realism according to which there are some intermediate objects between the mind and the external world called sense-data. Sense-data are the immediate objects of percep
Feb 16, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foundational and essential. I am re-reading this to reacquaint myself with Russell's refutation of Berkekely's idealism, his restating of the most foundational epistemological doubt of external phenomena (via Descartes), and his distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description. A short book, necessitating very, very slow going, and for me, highlighting and the realization that I will be reading this again.
The final two chapters ('The Limits of Philosophical Knowledge'
Matt Evans
Mar 13, 2010 Matt Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this twice, almost three times. I came to this by way of an article I'd read somewhere in the last three months, which article made a distinction between 'knowledge by acquaintance' and 'knowledge by description.' Russell addresses this matter in Chapter V. So, that's what I'd read first, online (you can find the whole book online, albeit riddled with typos, which make for rather slow going at times). Once I'd read that chapter, I had to read the book.

According to many Goodreads
Aug 15, 2013 Moad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy

"The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation of consent of his deliberate reason."

Yet most people consider philosophy as meaningless without taking the effort to study it. Russell is sure an excellent writer, he does entertain you through with thought-provoking questions regarding our knowledge, a
Mar 22, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Russell reviewing his philosophical foundations. The Problems of Philosophy is a good, short overview of basic philosophical questions. For example, the relationship between reality and appearance. Russell introduces the reader to metaphysics, epistemology, and logic.

For readers who have no experience reading philosophy, this is a good introduction to basic philosophical scepticism.
The book is short, this edition is pg. 161, and so any difficulty in reading it can be endured. For begin
An attempt to introduce philosophical principles in less than 120 pages. The result felt like islands of thought stranded in a vast (unmappable) sea.

"Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions ... but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because,
Ahmad Sharabiani
در این مختصر بحث خود را منحصر به آن قسمت از مسائل فلسفه ساخته ام که درباره آنها میتوان اظهار نظر مثبت کرد زیرا در یک چنین کتابی جای بحث و انتقاد منفی نیست. از این جهت بحث معرفت از بحث وجود و مابعدالطبیعه به معنی اخص بیشتر آمده است و بعضی مطالب که فیلسوفان دیگر به تفصیل از آن سخن گفته اند به اختصار برگزار شده و حتی حذف گردیده است. در نوشتن کتاب از آثار منتشر نشده «جرج ادوارد مور» و «جان مینارد کینز» استفاده کرده ام از اولی درباره رابطه میان داده های حس و اعیان واقعیه و از دومی در باب احتمال و است ...more
Amir Atef
May 27, 2016 Amir Atef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
إن النقد الذي تبغيه الفلسفة، بمختصر القول، ليس هو ما يصر على الرفض والإنكاردون سببٍ واضح... بل هو الذي يتناول بالبحث كل جزء من المعرفة حسب قدرته وأهميته، ويحتفظ كل ما يصمد لهذا البحث ويخلص من الامتحان باعتباره معرفة صحيحة، أما التعرض للهفوات فهو أمر لا ننكره، ذلك لأن الإنسان ليس معصومًا من الخطأ...
رحلة رائعة في سبر أغوار الفلسفة، ومعرفة ماهيتها وكينونتها، عن طريق تحليل برتراند راسل الرائع، وتفنيد الأبستمولوجيا وفلسفة المعرفة ... والذي قسًّم مشكلات وقضايا وأقسام الفلسفة إلى أثنى عشر جزءًا، أستطاع
Jacob Aitken
How do we know what is real? There is a disjunct between appearance and reality. In other words, the “real” is not always the obvious. Russell’s main sparring partner is Bishop Berkeley, and so Russell treats us to a fine display of Idealism (with following refutations). Berkeley says that if things exist independently of us, they cannot be the immediate objects of sensation. Idealists, therefore, place the existence of objects within the mind (or rather, say such existence is mental). What is k ...more
Jan 26, 2008 Zac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone above high school reading level
Recommended to Zac by: Brian Magee (a philosopher whom I don't know, but I read one of
What an exciting book. Russell is not only a great philosopher, but also a great writer, and this short book is a perfect example. I recommend this book to all, especially those with any interest what so ever in the limits of our knowledge and the nature of reality. If one doesn't think they have any interest in philosophy, after reading this book, I'm sure they will.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page count - 019511552X 2 14 Sep 06, 2015 01:25PM  
All About Books: Group Read (February/March) - The Problems of Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell 92 67 Apr 06, 2014 03:48AM  
Quote 2 26 Dec 02, 2013 02:37PM  
  • Naming and Necessity
  • Language, Truth, and Logic
  • On Certainty
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Principles of Human Knowledge & Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays
  • Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
  • Critique of Practical Reason (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy
  • The Logic of Scientific Discovery
  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings
  • The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
  • Sense and Sensibilia: Reconstructed from the Manuscript Notes by C.J. Warnock
  • Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, was a Welsh philosopher, historian, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, pacifist, and prominent rationalist. Although he was usually regarded as English, as he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 "in recognition of his var
More about Bertrand Russell...

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“Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as the real table, and does not seem to have that absolute, convincing certainty that belongs to particular experiences.” 76 likes
“Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?” 56 likes
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