24 Following


Currently reading

Philosophy: Basic Readings
Nigel Warburton
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge
Paul Karl Feyerabend
Arguably: Selected Essays
Christopher Hitchens
Philosophy of Science (Science & Mathematics) (Philosophy & Intellectual History)
Jeffrey L. Kasser
David Mitchell: Critical Essays
Sarah Dillon
The Impact of Science on Society - Bertrand Russell Here Bertrand Russell sets himself the task of analyzing the effects of science on society in addition to trying to extrapolate whatever trends he was seeing or thought was seeing into the future. The book is composed of many lectures that Russell delivered, almost all taking place after World War II.

I believe this it is a very intelligent and thoughtful book by a great mind, not to mention the first rate ironic musing of Russell that gave me many heartfelt laughs. Science, very obviously, is a tool that can be used for different purposes, good or bad in differing degrees. What Russell tries mostly is to give a value-free analysis of the impact of science on society coupled with his vision of a future in which humans would have grasped the effects of science more seriously and tried to harness them for the benefit of the whole world, or else perish. This lead Russell (like many other known scientists of his era) to the idea of world government that will have the power to enforce peace on all nations. For this reason, we have a very interesting discussion about the possible balance between liberties and the rule of law, which I believe adherents of Liberalism would very much enjoy. However, amusingly, enthusiasts of conspiracy theory actually believe that Russell was in on a conspiracy to establish a world oligarchy a la Orwell's "1984". I said amusingly because I can't help to think about the footwork you need to believe such a thing about the man.

Having said all this, I couldn't help to think of Russell as naive in some pages, especially when he tries to speculate about the future, though I am obviously affected by the hindsight bias. All in all, this was a very enjoyable read.