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Bertrand Russells Ethics Michael K. Potter

Bertrand Russells Ethics

Michael K. Potter

Published February 15th 2006
ISBN : 9781847144096
ebook
200 pages
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 About the Book 

Bertrand Russell was not only one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century- he was also a humanitarian and activist who fought for many moral, social, and political causes. During his lifetime, the general public knew him for hisMoreBertrand Russell was not only one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century- he was also a humanitarian and activist who fought for many moral, social, and political causes. During his lifetime, the general public knew him for his activism and popular works, in which he tackled such diverse topics as sexual ethics, religion, war, and nuclear disarmament. Besides the great achievements in mathematical logic on which his reputation rests, Russell was a pioneer in moral philosophy, and his work in this area informed and guided his activism. Russell created one of the first versions of a meta-ethical theory known as emotivism (sometimes also called the boo-hooray theory, later popularized by A.J. Ayer and C.L. Stevenson) which maintains that ethical statements cannot be true or false - they are simply expressions of emotional attitudes. That Russell could hold such a theory while being at the same time an ardent activist is one feat. That his version was superior to more popular versions of emotivism is another.Yet, despite the fact that Russell held on to some form of emotivism for most of his professional life, and despite the fact that the theory is present in some of his best-known books, it was virtually ignored until the late 1990s. Michael K. Potters book brings an important new dimension to our understanding of Russells life, his activism, and his contribution to moral philosophy.