Understanding History and Other Essays

Bertrand Russell
ISBN 9781566490573 (paperback)
Published in January 2014
MSRP $12.95
These vigorous essays from one of the most distinguished minds of our time reveal several facets of the English philosopher's thought.

The title piece expresses the deadliness of the academic approach to the past, and shows how the reading of history can be a vivid intellectual pleasure.

In "The Value of Free Thought," Russell once again proves himself a ruthless for of stifling orthodoxy and a fearless champion of free thought, free action, and free speech.

Then in a series of articles on a subject near and dear to his heart, he explores the effect of atomic physics on such philosophic concepts as materialism, idealism, determination, and faith.

In short, here is a complete banquet of provocative ideas--wise and witty;skeptical and profound--to whet the appetite of every discriminating reader.

Essays included are:

How to Read and Understand History
The Value of Free Thought
Mentalism vs. Materialism including:
The Meaning of Matter
The Nature of "Mass"
Ups and Downs of the Atomic Theory
Quantum Theory
The Behavior of Matter in Bulk
Physics is Still Determinative
Psychology Also Has Changed
Life As It Appears in Biology
What We Mean by Habit
Habit Primarily Physical
The Physical and Mental Overlap
Definition of "Physical"
The Relations Between Mental and Physical Events
The Question of "Materialism"