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Topics - Landon Elkind

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Howdy folks,

I am curious about Russell's 1950 Nobel Prize in Literature. I have two questions:
(1) Did the award committee find any work(s) of Russell's particularly meritorious, that is, did any particular works cause the committee to make the award?
(2) If not, let's have a thought experiment. Suppose you were sitting on the 1950 Nobel Prize award committee. What work(s) of Russell's do you think were sufficiently meritorious so as to make Russell deserving of the award?
I have my own thoughts on (2), but I want to see your answer! The prize motivation is rather vague: "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought" (https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1950/russell-facts.html).

This question arose from Iowa Chapter's discussion of Russell's 1929 Marriage and Morals last week. Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

General Discussion / Online piece about Russell and Ambedkar
« on: August 02, 2017, 02:00:07 PM »
Howdy folks,

You might enjoy this piece on Ambedkar and Russell. It grew in part from my visit to the Russell Archives this past May. Scott R. Stroud and I co-authored it. Here's the link: https://www.forwardpress.in/2017/08/exploring-the-influence-of-russell-on-ambedkar/.

​One significant finding is that, despite some persistent rumors that Ambedkar and Russell met in London in 1920, we found no evidence to show that they did meet.

That doesn't mean that they didn't, of course--there may be a new letter that surfaces at some point.

Yours Truly,
Landon D. C. Elkind

Howdy folks,

Below is SSHAP's (http://sshap.org/) call for symposia proposals for the upcoming meetings of the Central APA (March 2-5, 2016 - Chicago) and Pacific APA (March 30-April 3, 2016 - San Francisco). I am interested in organizing a symposium, especially on Russell's political and ethical thought, for the Central APA. I also encourage others to organize a session on Russell at the Pacific APA!

To participate, you would only need to do two things:
(1) Indicate your interest (including topics you are interested in presenting on) by e-mailing landon-elkind@uiowa.edu.
(2) Send a title and a 200-word abstract by July 20th if I e-mail you requesting one (this will only be done if there are at least three interested individuals).

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

The Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy (SSHAP) is currently considering proposals for symposia to be held at the next Central APA (March 2-5 2016, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL) and Pacific APA (March 30- April 3, 2016, San Francisco, CA).

We encourage anyone who is interested to submit a proposal on any topic in the history of analytical philosophy to contact us to indicate their interest.

The Society for Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy is an international organization aimed at promoting discussion in all areas of scholarship concerning the development of philosophical logic, philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, the philosophy of science and epistemology. It welcomes scholars interested in the many ways in which the disciplines were influenced by thinkers such as Bolzano, Brentano and his school, Husserl, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle, American Pragmatism, Carnap, Quine, Tarski and the Polish school, for instance, but also seeks to promote work engaging with lesser known figures and trends.

Do not hesitate to contact us, also, if you have any questions: sshap@mcmaster.ca. The SSHAP group sessions at the Central and Pacific APAs are meant to allow historians of analytical philosophy to exchange ideas in a friendly and stimulating setting. Although the number of sessions is not unlimited, we intend to organise more than one.

How to submit a proposal:

Time allowed for symposia is 3 hours (including discussion). Symposia should include a minimum of three and a maximum of four contributions. Submissions should be clearly identified as “Symposium proposal” and include:

1)    The title of the symposium

2)    A clear indication of the APA meeting at which the symposium is to be held

3)    A brief description of the topic and its relevance (200 words)

4)    The name, email, affiliation and academic status (student, lecturer, assistant professor, etc.) of each participant

5)    The title of each contribution as well as a 200 word abstract.

6)    The name, email, affiliation and academic status of the person who will be chairing the symposium


Symposium proposals should be sent electronically to:



DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS 25 July 2015. Authors will be notified shortly thereafter.

Very best wishes.


Sandra Lapointe

Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy

Research Affiliate
Bertrand Russell Research Centre

Editor in Chief
Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy


Dr. Sandra Lapointe
Department of Philosophy
McMaster University
University Hall 310A
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1
Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 24312


Howdy folks,

The Philosophy of Logical Atomism is now a public domain audiobook. You may download the audiobook at the following link: https://librivox.org/the-philosophy-of-logical-atomism-by-bertrand-russell/.

Copyright laws sadly prevent recording most works published after 1927, but there are a number of writings of Russell's that fall outside this category. Notable among these, which also have no such audiobook recorded as of yet as far as I know, are The Principles of Mathematics, Our Knowledge of the External World, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, Bolshevism: Practice and Theory, An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, Icarus, and Mysticism and Logic. Journal articles published prior to 1927 can also be recorded. The present versions of The Analysis of Mind, The Problems of Philosophy, and Proposed Roads to Freedom could likely be improved upon as well.

I plan to record at least Our Knowledge of the External World, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, and A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. Perhaps The Principles of Mathematics deserves to be a group undertaking of the Society. At any rate, I highly encourage others to record some of Russell's writings as Librivox audiobooks. If you wish for any assistance in lending your own voice to Russell's writings, then I shall be happy to help acquaint you with the Librivox system.

Yours Truly,
Landon Elkind

Books and Quotes by Bertrand Russell / Quote Source?
« on: September 29, 2014, 07:59:22 PM »
Howdy folks,

Could someone please provide the source for the following quote (attributed to BR):

"Nothing you write is ever as bad as you fear or as good as you hope."

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

Howdy folks,

Gilbert Ryle, in a posthumously published paper (G. Ryle, "Logical Atomism in Plato's Theaetetus", Phronesis, Volume 35: Number 1. 1990: pp. 21-46), remarks (p. 31):

"The contrast between names and sentences is shown up by Plato against the model of letters and syllables. (Russell, I think independently, uses the same model in chapter *** of Inquiry into Meaning and Truth.)"

The editor of Ryle's paper includes a footnote (p. 31), which reads: "No Chapter number given by Ryle. "CAT" is an example Russell uses in Chap. 24 (pp. 335-6; p. 317 in the Penguin edition)."

Do any members know whether the model of letters and syllables appears in Inquiry? And if Russell does use this model, then where does it appear?

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

Howdy folks,

I wanted to ask about this Twitter account: https://twitter.com/RussellBertrand. The last post appeared on November 26, 2009.

More broadly, would the BRS benefit (by increasing membership, say) from engaging in more social media activity? I'm not aware that we have any social media aside from the Society websites.

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

Howdy BRS members,

As the editor of the "From the Student Desk" column in the BRS Bulletin, I invite all student BRS members to send me (no more than 1000-word) articles (or just the idea for an article). I'll happily receive them and work with you to develop them for publication in the BRS Bulletin.

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,

Howdy folks,

Does the Bertrand Russell Society have posters that members can place, e.g. outside their office? It seems like an easy way to recruit new members, even if it wouldn't likely create a drastic increase in membership. I'd very much like to place one outside my office door.

Thanks kindly!

Yours Truly,
Landon Elkind

I will refrain from placing all my favorite quotes from this work here, but I must mention two in addition to those below: the discussion both of Dedekind cuts (68-69) and of the possibility of other orders of N (29-30).

“The method of ‘postulating’ what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil. Let us leave them to others and proceed with our honest toil.” (71)

“Pure logic, and pure mathematics (which is the same thing), aims at being true, in Leibnizian phraseology, in all possible worlds, not only in this higgedly-piggledy job-lot of a world in which chance has imprisoned us. There is a certain lordliness which the logician should preserve: he must not condescend to derive arguments from the things he sees about him.” (192)

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