Wednesday, 26 October 2016

SHORT ANSWERS - UNPOPULAR ESSAYS BY BERTRAND RUSSELL

UNPOPULAR ESSAYS BY RUSSELL

Answer the following questions.
(i) Write the names of contents of 'Unpopular Essays' by Russell.
Ans. There are 12 contents of "Unpopular Essays" which are; Philosophy and Politics, Philosophy of Laymen, The Future of Mankind, Philosophy's Ulterior Motives, The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed, On Being Modern Minded, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, The Functions of a Teacher, Ideas that have Helped Mankind, Ideas that have Harmed Mankind, Eminent Men I have Known, and Obituary. 
(ii) Is Russell's 'Unpopular Essays' about unpopularity?
Ans.  The book called 'Unpopular Essays' is not about unpopularity. It is a collection of very popular essays on various subjects. There are several sentences in this book, says Russell, which some unsually stupid children of the age of ten may find difficult to understand. That being so, he could not claim the essays would be popular, and so, if not popular, then, unpopular. 
(iii) Why are Russell's essays so difficult?
Ans. The subject matter of Russell's essays is difficult for average readers. Russell's style appeals mainly to intellects and very little to feelings or emotions. He uses words simply as tools, to convey his meaning plain and effective and not to produce any special effects. Moreover, there is no passion in his style; it is somewhat cold. That's why Russell's essays are so difficult. 
(iv) Why is Russell so complicated?
Ans. Difficult subject matter, style devoid of feelings, effectless words and unknown logicism make Russell very complicated for average readers. 
(v) How is Russell a pacifist?
Ans. A pacifist is a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable. Russell condemned both sides in World War I (1914-1918), and for his uncompromising stand he was fined, imprisoned, and deprived of his teaching post at Cambridge. In World War II (1939-1945), he was an ardent opponent of nuclear weapons. 
(vi) Why is Russell apposed to irrationality in human life?
Ans. According to Russell the whole conception of sin is merely a manifestation of the superstitious bent of mind. He says when man abandons his own reason and is content to rely upon authority, there is no end to his troubles. It is the irrational belief that human nature cannot be changed, and that, for this reason, there will always be wars. That is why Russell is opposed to irrationality in human life.
(vii) 'Man' is the basic concern of Russell. Why?
Ans. Man is the basic concern of Russell because he is not only a philosopher but also a humanist. His pacifism, championship of democracy and moral fervour prove that he has the good of mankind at heart. 
(viii) What is the main focus of Russell's 'Philosophy and Politics'?
Ans.  The main focus of Russell's "Philosophy and Politics" is the disastrous political consequences of Hegel's philosophy and the merits of Lock's philosophy of empiricism. Russell says that empiricist liberalism is the only philosophy that can serve mankind's purposes in our times. 
(ix) Why does Russell favour the idea of world government?
Ans. Russell is a great believer in a single government for the whole world. In his essays "The Future of Mankind" and "Ideas That Have Helped Mankind", he insists that the world can be saved from wars and total extinction of the human race through the establishment of a world-government. 
(x) What is the difference between Hegel and Locke's philosophy?
Ans. Hegel philosophy is that true liberty consists in obedience to an arbitrary authority, free speech is an evil, absolute monarchy is good, war is desirable, and an international organization for the peaceful settlement of disputes would be a misfortune. Whereas Locke's philosophy offers a theoretical justification of democracy. It preaches religious toleration, representative institutions, and the limitations of governmental power by the system of checks and balances. 
(xi) What does Russell suggest for the Middle East?
Ans. Russell expresses his opposition to what he views as European imperialism in the Middle East. In the Middle East, Russell suggests that the West should avoid opposing Arab nationalism, and proposes the creation of a United Nations as peacekeeping force to guard Israel's frontiers to ensure that Israel is protected from aggression and prevented from committing it. 
(xii) How would you define 'empiricism'?
Ans. Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. John Locke is a leading philosopher of British empiricism. 
(xiii) Interpret 'Change is one thing, progress is another'.
Ans. This line is from Russell's essay "Philosophy and Politics". In this line he says that 'change' and 'progress' are two different things. 'Change is scientific and 'progress' is ethical; 'change' is indubitable whereas 'progress' is a matter of controversy. 
(xiv) What are the three possible scenarios for the future of mankind?
Ans. Russell begins his essay, "The Future of Mankind", with three possible scenarios for the future of mankind. The first scenario is the extinction of the human race with the third world war. The second scenario is that the world would revert to a state of barbarism. And the third scenario is the unification of the world under one united power. 
(xv) Why does Russell want a safe and prosperous future of mankind?
Ans. Russell wants a safe and prosperous future of mankind because he is a humanist. His pacifism, championship of democracy and moral fervour prove that he has the good of mankind at heart.

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