Bertrand Russell

When Brand Blanshard asked him why he didn’t write on aesthetics, he replied that he didn’t know anything about it, “but that is not a very good excuse, for my friends tell me it has not deterred me from writing on other subjects”.


  • 1910. Philosophical Essays. London: Longmans, Green.
  • 1912. The Problems of Philosophy
  • 1916. Principles of Social Reconstruction. London, George Allen and Unwin.
  • 1916. Why Men Fight. New York: The Century Co.
  • 1916. Justice in War-time. Chicago: Open Court.
  • 1917. Political Ideals. New York: The Century Co.
  • 1918. Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1918. Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism, and Syndicalism. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1919. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin. (ISBN 0-415-09604-9 for Routledge paperback) (Copy at
  • 1920. The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1921. The Analysis of Mind. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1922. The Problem of China. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1923. The Prospects of Industrial Civilization, in collaboration with Dora Russell. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1923. The ABC of Atoms, London: Kegan Paul. Trench, Trubner.
  • 1924. Icarus; or, The Future of Science. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  • 1925. The ABC of Relativity. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  • 1925. What I Believe. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  • 1926. On Education, Especially in Early Childhood. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1927. The Analysis of Matter. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  • 1927. An Outline of Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1927. Why I Am Not a Christian. London: Watts.
  • 1927. Selected Papers of Bertrand Russell. New York: Modern Library.
  • 1928. Sceptical Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1929. Marriage and Morals. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1930. The Conquest of Happiness. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1931. The Scientific Outlook. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1932. Education and the Social Order, London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1934. Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1935. In Praise of Idleness. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1935. Religion and Science. London: Thornton Butterworth.
  • 1936. Which Way to Peace?. London: Jonathan Cape.
  • 1937. The Amberley Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley, with Patricia Russell, 2 vols., London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press.
  • 1938. Power: A New Social Analysis. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1940. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
  • 1945. A History of Western Philosophy and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • 1948. Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1949. Authority and the Individual. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1950. Unpopular Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1951. New Hopes for a Changing World. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1952. The Impact of Science on Society. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1953. Satan in the Suburbs and Other Stories. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1954. Human Society in Ethics and Politics. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1954. Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1956. Portraits from Memory and Other Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1956. Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950, edited by Robert C. Marsh. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1957. Why I Am Not A Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, edited by Paul Edwards. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1958. Understanding History and Other Essays. New York: Philosophical Library.
  • 1959. Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1959. My Philosophical Development. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1959. Wisdom of the West, edited by Paul Foulkes. London: Macdonald.
  • 1960. Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind, Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company.
  • 1961. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, edited by R.E. Egner and L.E. Denonn. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1961. Fact and Fiction. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1961. Has Man a Future?, London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1963. Essays in Skepticism. New York: Philosophical Library.
  • 1963. Unarmed Victory. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1965. Legitimacy Versus Industrialism, 1814-1848. London: George Allen & Unwin (first published as Parts I and II of Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914, 1934).
  • 1965. On the Philosophy of Science, edited by Charles A. Fritz, Jr. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
  • 1966. The A B C of relativity. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1967. Russell’s Peace Appeals, edited by Tsutomu Makino and Kazuteru Hitaka. Japan: Eichosha’s New Current Books.
  • 1967. War Crimes in Vietnam. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • 1951–1969. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 vols.. London: George Allen & Unwin. Vol 2 1956
  • 1969. Dear Bertrand Russell… A Selection of his Correspondence with the General Public 1950–1968, edited by Barry Feinberg and Ronald Kasrils. London: George Allen and Unwin.

I think I’ve read the majority of these. My favourites are Unpopular Essays, Sceptical Essays, and the 19th C history of Freedom and Organization. The more personal pieces such as Portraits from Memory, Why I Am Not a Christian etc are always a joy to read. He was a remarkable essayist, one of the greatest of the 20th C in my view – funny, sharp, brilliantly articulate, with a love of short words and clear writing.
++++I’m not sure if History of Western Philosophy is worth reading, it being more concerned with anecdotes, jokes and jibes than being a history proper. Copleston’s history of philosophy is incomparably more comprehensive and fair, although free of jokes. Santayana’s writing on philosophical history (e.g. in Egotism in German Philosophy) is fairer and more nobly written than Russell’s, and funny also; a much more generous kind of humour.

Ray Monk’s 2 volume biography of Russell is very good, as is Russell’s own Autobiography. The Russell chapter in Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals is a useful dissenting counterbalance.
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth is an amazing comic book about logic and maths, with a lot of Bertrand Russell’s life story in it, up until the 1930s. Lightly fictionalized (e.g. he never met Frege or Cantor, and there weren’t so many famous mathematicians at that Paris conference) but mostly it’s true to life.


Bertie [Russell] in particular sustained simultaneously a pair of opinions ludicrously incompatible. He held that in fact human affairs were carried on after a most irrational fashion, but that the remedy was quite simple and easy, since all we had to do was to carry them on rationally. – JM Keynes, My Early Beliefs, Essays and Sketches in Biography p255

I have a great dislike for Russell; I cannot explain it completely, but I feel a detestation for the man. As far as any sympathy with me, or with anyone else, I believe, he is is an iceberg. His mind impresses one as a keen, cold narrow logical machine… – Norbert Wiener, letter to his parents, 1913

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