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Bertrand Russell was born in 1872 and died in 1970 heir to the nineteenth-century liberal tradition his grandfather Lord John Russell had been Prime Minister and his godfather was John Stuart Mill In his long life spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries he became a renowned and controversial philosopher atheist publicist and political reformer He is perhaps the most famous and most passionate rationalist of the century he is a polymath whose gifts lay in clear and witty exposition and dramatic publicity for diverse causes conscientious objection education rational morality world peace as much as any single piece of original work Kuntz 32 At Cambridge Russells life was bright with friendship and intellectual stimulus Alfred North Whitehead who had recommended his scholarship was his teacher colleague and in due course a trusted associate Russells interest in the logical basis of mathematics led him to a fascination with philosophy After gaining his mathematics degree he decided to study Moral Sciences for a year He proceeded to the foundation of geometry for a fellowship thesis and the basis of ethics for a paper to be read to the Apostles Meanwhile at the age of twenty-one he had inherited sufficient means to ensure financial independence and persuaded Alys Pearsall Smith whom he had courted for three years to marry him The appeal of mathematics
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