Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Mon Apr 3 23:01:17 MDT 1995

Ron Press says bad things about Russell's philosophy but in another
context asks about whether certain dialecticians are activists. (In the
case of Tony Smith, anyway, a comrade and friend, I can assure you that he
is!). I thought I'd mention two things about Russell--he won a deserved
Nobel Prize for _Literature_--one of two philosophers to do so (the other,
Sartre, who turned it down, was a distinguished novelist and playwright,
but his philosophical prose was hopeless). The other thing is that in
a very long life Russell packed more progressive activism in than almost
any ten people you can name. In his eighties he was doing civil
disboedience with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a group in Britain
which he helped to found. He was also a lifelong democratic socialist and
an early and perceptive critic of Bolshevism. All that said he hadn't a
clur about dialectics. Well, I'd trade his failings for his virtues!

--Justin Schwartz

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