Russell. N.s. Vol. 36, no. 1. Summer 2016

Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies is published by The Bertrand Russell Research Centre, McMaster University. For ordering information, including prices, see the back issues table.

Editor’s Notes
Kevin C. Klement“Three Unpublished Manuscripts from 1903”
ABSTRACT: I present and discuss three previously unpublished manuscripts written by Bertrand Russell in 1903, not included with similar manuscripts in Volume 4 of his Collected Papers. One is a one-page list of basic principles for his “functional theory” of May 1903, in which Russell partly anticipated the later Lambda Calculus. The next, catalogued under the title “Proof That No Function Takes All Values”, largely explores the status of Cantor’s proof that there is no greatest cardinal number in the variation of the functional theory holding that only some but not all complexes can be analyzed into function and argument. The final manuscript, “Meaning and Denotation”, examines how his pre-1905 distinction between meaning and denotation is to be understood with respect to functions and their arguments. In them, Russell seems to endorse an extensional view of functions not endorsed in other works prior to the 1920s. All three manuscripts illustrate the close connection between his work on the logical paradoxes and his work on the theory of meaning.
Michael D. Stevenson“ ‘My Personal Ruin Passes Unnoticed’ Russell, Harvard, and the 1940 William James Lectureship”
ABSTRACT: This article analyzes the contentious debate among senior administrators of Harvard University regarding the choice of Russell as the 1940 William James Lecturer. In the aftermath of the City College of New York controversy, influential Harvard bureaucrats, alumni, and members of the general public pressured Harvard President James B. Conant to rescind Russell’s appointment. Utilizing the Russell Archives, Conant’s private papers and Corporation records held at the Harvard Archives, and Grenville Clark’s papers at Dartmouth College, the nature of the complex deliberations surrounding Russell’s appointment and his status as a controversial public figure can be ascertained. Ultimately, Harvard stood by Russell, who delivered the James Lectures in the autumn 1940 term without incident, an engagement that ended Russell’s formal involvement with Harvard extending back to the pre-World War I period.
Jo-Anne Grant“Russell the Rainmaker: Touring in Early Cold War Australia”
ABSTRACT: During his 1950 lecture tour of Australia, Bertrand Russell was given the nickname “Russell the Rainmaker” due to unseasonably wet weather in the eastern states that appeared to accompany his travels. This humorous name represents a central idea that shaped his tour. Russell was convinced that the technical ability to make rain could transform Australia’s largely dry landscape and boost the nation’s farming potential, which could, in turn, support a new age of happiness and prosperity. Russell used this vision of the future to imagine a safe refuge for Western civilization in case Europe was destroyed in a possible nuclear Third World War. This paper will discuss how his Australian tour was an important moment of both hope and anxiety in his life. Russell’s idea of a pastoral utopia in Australia that relied on optimism about the capability of science to transform the landscape can be understood as a key way in which he responded intellectually to the events of the early Cold War.
Kenneth Blackwell“Wittgenstein: Two Public Statements”
Peter StoneReview of Nicholas Griffin, ed. A Pacifist at War: Letters and Writings of Bertrand Russell, 1914–1918
Review of Bertrand Russell. Le pacifisme et la révolution: écrits politiques (1914–1918)

* Bertrand Russell Research Centre * Faculty of Humanities * Bertrand Russell Archives * McMaster University

The text for this page was prepared at McMaster University and maintained by Arlene Duncan. Last updated 4 April 2016.