Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Essays in Skepticism” as Want to Read:
Essays in Skepticism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Essays in Skepticism

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  778 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Russell, the sage non-conformist, is always meaningful, no matter what the topic or the issue. In this small book are presented some of his old but nonetheless remarkable observations, and some of his very new thoughts, as expressed on his 90th birthday. Here are titles, taken at random from the Table of Contents: Psychoanalysis Takes a Look; Envy and Belief; On Male Super ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published January 1st 1963 by Philosophical Library (first published 1928)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Essays in Skepticism, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Essays in Skepticism

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 28, 2016 marked it as standby  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ayesha by: MY SNOBBY GRANDFATHER ^___^
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has been sitting on my shelves of years, LITERALLY,

and I never even considered reading it until NOW-
The wonders of what goodreads can make you read.

What my grandfather said.
To my Nano. *___*
Preface to the Routledge Classics Edition

--Introduction: On the Value of Scepticism
--Dreams and Facts
--Is Science Superstitious?
--Can Men be Rational?
--Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
--Machines and the Emotions
--Behaviourism and Values
--Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness
--The Harm that Good Men Do
--The Recrudescence of Puritanism
--The Need for Political Scepticism
--Free Thought and Official Propaganda
--Freedom in Society
--Freedom Versus Authority in Education
--Psychology and Politics
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We should even be sceptical about our own sceptism." Ladies and gentlemen, here is one of the most skeptical people of all times: Mr. Russell. In this book, Russell nearly refers to every system in human life: economy, politics, education, parenthood, marriage, health, management.. and talks about shortages in these systems and relates them to unexamined beliefs and lack of rational thinking. Unlike Russell, my beliefs are fuels of my life but reading this man always give me a great joy. Althou ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bertrand-russell
A rationalist book for thinking and change
Being rational here means to rely on reason to form an idea, not on blind faith or prejudice.
Russell does state that the forces of irrationality are much more stronger especially in religion and politics. They are promoted by propaganda, corrupt education system and traditions etc. The good man conditioned by these systems causes more harm than good. Eg fanatic nationalism, acting as cover-up for government scams, helping tyrants take over power. While
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitap hakkında tek bir cümle söyleme hakkım olsaydı isminin hakkını veren bir kitap olduğunu söylemekle yetinebilirdim. Ama böyle bir sınırlandırma yokken birkaç cümle daha ekleyeyim.

Sceptical Essays ya da türkçesiyle Düşündüren Denemeler, Britanyalı filozof Bertrand Russell'ın gündelik olarak nitelendirebileceğimiz özgürlük, eğitim, politika, inançlar, duygular vb. konular hakkında yazmış olduğu denemelerden oluşuyor.

Kitabı oldukça başarılı bulduğumu söyleyebilirim çünkü ilk cümlemde de di
Tuncay Özdemir
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Russell'in dönemine göre oldukça çarpıcı düşüncelerini içeren bu kitap 1928 yılında yayınlanmış. Dönemine göre çarpıcı diyorum, çünkü o dönemlerde İngiltere dahil hemen hemen bütün dünya ülkeleri kendi ideolojileri ve ekonomik sistemlerinin propagandasını içeren eğitim öğretimleriyle halklarının beynini yıkamakta, diğer uluslara düşman bireyler yetiştirmekteymiş. Buna rağmen yine de sistemlerine muhalif vatandaşları olursa, (Rusya'da kapitalist, Amerika'da anarşist gibi) uydurma davalarla idam g ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dated. I have read a lot of Bertrand Russell, and other than some references to his contemporaries, his work, particularly the autobiography and history of Western Philosophy, stand the test of time. Skeptical Essays was written in 1928, and is very much of the period. Essays on the dangers of Puritanism refer mostly to the restriction of information on Birth Control. Russell is sympathetic throughout, and I left with the impression that, had I been living and reading in 1928, I would have ...more
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sıradan kişilerin kendi başlarına düşünmeleri istenmez; çünkü düşünen insanları yönetmek güçtür; yönetimde sorunlar çıkarırlar. Platon'un deyişiyle, yalnız yöneticiler düşünmeli, geri kalanlar sadece itaat etmeli, koyun sürüsü gibi liderlerini izlemelidirler." biçiminde tespitler içeren, okurken öğreten kitaplardan. Sevdim ben.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little dense, not for everyone, but great reading for anyone happy to question accepted beliefs and thinking.
Yalçın Topak
Bazı noktalarda anlatım ağırlaşıyor. Fakat genel hatlarıyla sevdim.
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Essays in Skepticism is a small compilation of his actual work both old and his new theories. The first major two-thirds of the book deals with different life philosophies while the last part dives into political philosophy. Russell talks about Man, Envy and Belief, Intellectual Rubbish, God and getting old.

The book starts off with a very interesting discussion that the humans blame the disasters not in their control to problems in the world today but according to Russell the principal cause is
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve added Russell’s ‘Sceptical Essays’ to the shortlist of books that I want my kids to read before they go to university (if they go to university). Largely a work of moral and political philosophy, the book has much to say about issues of social justice and is threaded throughout with a sense of tolerance, humour, compassion and humanity. However, the primary theme, as suggested in the title, is the importance of developing a sceptical attitude, of putting evidence above prejudice, of thinkin ...more
Yeliz Hıncal
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well said Bertrand:
"Rasyonel bir kuşkuculuğun yayılmasının etkileri ne olabilir? Insanoğlu ile ilgili olaylar güçlü
tutkulardan kaynaklanır; bu da onları destekleyen birtakım mitlerin doğmasına yol açar.
Psikanalizciler bu sürecin kişisel görünümünü, vesikalı ve vesikasız deliler üzerinde
Bazı aşağılamalara maruz kalmış bir kişi kendisinin Ingiltere Kralı olduğu yolunda bir
kuram benimser ve kendisine bu yüce konumunun gerektirdiği saygı ile davranılmamasını
mazur göstermek için de ze
Sep 05, 2006 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
''There is a stark joy in the unflinching perception of our true place in the world, and a more vivid drama than any that is possible to those who hide behind the enclosing walls of myth. There are 'perilous seas' in the world of thought, which can only be sailed by those that are willing to face their own physical powerlessness. And above all, there is liberation from the tyranny of Fear, which blots out the light of day and keeps men grovelling and cruel. No man is liberated from fear who dare ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first major philosophical work I've read of Bertrand Russell. His philosophy of skepticism really shapes my own personal philosophy in life and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what Russell had to say. The first half of the book deals more with philosophy whereas the second part of the book ventures into the political arena. With political aspects, there are always a lot of guesswork and assumptions made that do not necessarily translate into reality. Granted Russell's politica ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russell writes accessibly and often wittily. As philosophy goes, he is probably the most readable of all. This volume is a collection of fairly short essays covering limited remits and can easily be bitten off and digested by the lay reader. It includes some important insights, but is not as education-dense as his magisterial History of Western Philosophy. It is interesting to consider that he wrote at a time when the profession of atheism was still technically illegal under UK law.

Russell is no
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophical
I read the first ten essays of Peter Medawar's personal copy up as until that point the essays were not heavily involved with (slightly outdated) political philosophy. On losing my way in 'the need for political scepticism' I ended it here. That being said, highly readable and reasonable, I would recommend it to anyone interested in an easy introduction to a rational attempt at ethical philosophy, Russell always starts brilliantly as his words are clear and definitions logical, but it gets a bit ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bertrand was a logician, and a key component of logic is the questioning of credibility and plausibility: in other words, scepticism. Russell does not exclude science, and has nothing against questioning human happiness.

In the same vain as In Praise of Idleness, Russell tackles questions that most of wouldn't think of in the first place. His point is that the beauty of scepticism is that it digs out new and sometimes more interesting questions. If idleness brings us closer to understanding the i
Mike Jensen
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
You owe it to your brain to occasionally read a book that makes you think hard about ideas you do not usually think hard about. Lord Russell is my go-it writer for this. These essays argue for skepticism about many things, though, not surprisingly, religion is mentioned, but much of what is here considers political philosophy. Even if you basically agree with Russell, he will make you think about the reasons you hold similar conclusions, and your reasons for holding them will probably be better ...more
Karl Hallbjörnsson
Interesting enough - and yet, most of the essays were a little boring and anodyne. Still, I'm sure they were somewhat more radical and original in the 1920's, when they were originally written. Someone once said to me "Russell is a marvelously clear and easily understood philosopher, but if only he were as good a philosopher as he is a lucid one," - and I heartily agree. That being said! This is the first book I've read by Russell and I do believe I will encounter more gripping and challenging t ...more
This is a rather mixed collection of essays from Russell. There isn't one theme that warrants collecting these essays in to a book. This book contain essays where Russell argues for his idea of an international government. The first nine essays are highly recommended. The rest, while being interesting in itself, will appeal more to a political person. Overall, a nice book.
Nathan Ehret
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the later essays I found quite a bore, that is simply because I'm helplessly apathetic about political philosophy, around which much of this book revolves. Ne'ertheless, many of the earlier essays are quite enthralling, with very intriguing ideas (albeit the context of his examples can be quite dated, seeing as how much of the book was written between WWI and WWII).
Nick Lee
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the 1960 printing from my library. Russell has a great sense of humor, and his ideas will stretch your mind. I now see why he is one of Warren Buffett's favorite authors.

I will likely need to read this book again for deeper understanding.
Umama Nowrose Ittela
Philosophies that are frequently hidden but true for all nature. It feels quite clarifying lot of feelings within own understanding. If somebody can understand and relate to the gravity of his thoughts, he will be charmed.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Russell'ın en çok sevdiğim ve en okunası, eğlenceli kitabıdır. Felsefeyle ilgilenmenize gerek yok anlamak için, çok sade, anlaşılır bir dille anlatmış. Russell'la çelişirsiniz, katılmazsınız, yanlış bulursunuz ama kızamazsınız. Eğlenceli insan vesselam.
Rory Armstrong
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book where Bertrand Russells ideas on Man, knowledge, god, and growing old are written. A good (and very short) read if you're interested in his views on these subjects.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have not read any of Bertrand Russells' works, this is an excellent place to start. Illuminate your mind and become a skeptical citizen.
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Probably my favourite Russell book of all time. He talks about just about everything. Read it. Now.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most important book I ever read.
Rahell Bamo
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
you owe it to your brain to read this monumental work, as Russell himself said about the book 'These propositions may seem mild, yet, if accepted, they would absolutely revolutionize human life.'
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Importance of What We Care about: Philosophical Essays
  • J. S. Mill: 'On Liberty' and Other Writings
  • The Problem of Knowledge
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume Two: Hegel and Marx
  • Principia Ethica (Philosophical Classics)
  • The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment
  • Camus at Combat: Writing 1944-1947
  • The Sovereignty of Good (Routledge Classics)
  • Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper
  • Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • Paradoxes
  • Social Ecology and Communalism
  • Interpretation and Overinterpretation
  • Must We Mean What We Say?: A Book of Essays
  • Principles of Philosophy
  • Selected Essays
  • Operette Morali: Essays and Dialogues
  • Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life
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...

Share This Book

“[T]he infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.” 172 likes
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.” 138 likes
More quotes…