Poor Russell

I have long thought Russell underrated, for the following reason: his technical work in philosophy strikes people who do technical philosophy as less promising than later people. This illustrates nicely the lack of historical self-awareness in philosophers of an analytic persuasion, since he invented most of those problems he didn’t solve. When kings construct, carters find work.

But the most remarkable comment along these lines I’ve ever heard was Brian Weatherson’s “Principia Mathematica was a great project, but it does seem to have ended in failure.”

As opposed to all the other ones that ended in success?


One comment on “Poor Russell

  1. Pliny the Elder says:

    I think that he also may have a Roman Polanski problem, i.e., he was such a horrid person that people are not able to fairly evalute his work (which was substantial. I believe thta he is the true inventor of the “Gettier problem”.)

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