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 rationalists and the arguments of empiricists, Russell in this compact work introduces the reader to the notions of the Universals vis-a-vis particulars, the pull and tug of truth and falsehood; and the dizzying notions of the descriptive and the sense datum. Hegelian Fragmentary theories of the Universe and Descartes’ musings on duality are dealt with in a manner that is simple to fathom and in a style boasting of no pompousness.
As Russell himself concedes in a stupendous epilogue, Philosophy does not profess to provide clinching evidence or lay claims to concrete proofs. It is the questions more than the conflicting set of answers that are most relevant if one has to enrich one’s understanding of the Universe and most importantly broaden the horizon of perception.
“The Problems of Philosophy” – to read, re-read and then read!