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CHINESE AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION CONTRASTED 罗素

CHINESE AND WESTERN CIVILIZA TION CONTRASTED

Bertrand Russell

Russell, Bertrand Arthur William (1872-1970)

CHINESE AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION CONTRASTED 罗素

Bertrand Russell was born at Trelleck on

May 18, 1872, the second son of Viscount

Amberley. His grandfather was Lord John

Russell, Liberal Prime Minister and a follower

of John Stuart Mill. Left an orphan at the age

of three, he was brought up by his

grandmother. Taught by governesses and

tutors, he acquired a perfect knowledge of

French and German,and laid the foundation

for a lucid prose style. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he obtained a First Class in Mathematics and Moral Sciences. At the Mathematical Congress in Paris in 1900 Russell became interested in the Italian mathematician Peano, and after a study of his works wrote The Principles of Mathematics. With Dr. A. N. Whitehead, he developed the mathematical logic of Peano and Frere, and jointly they wrote Principia Mathematica. In 1910 he was appointed lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge. He made frequent trips to the Continent and occasionally abandoned philosophy for politics. When World War I broke out he took an active part in the No Conscription Fellowship and was fined one hundred pounds for issuing a pamphlet on conscientious objection. His library was seized in payment of the fine. Trinity College cancelled his lectureship. In 1918 he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for his pacifist views expressed in the Tribunal. He wrote his Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy in prison. In 1920 he came to China to lecture on philosophy at Peking University. In 1927 Russell and his second wife, Dora Winifred Black, started a famous nursery school, which was closed in 1931 for financial difficulties. He led a busy and adventurous life. His A History of Western Philosophy was published in 1945

There is at present in China, as we have seen in previous chapters, a close contact between our civilization and that which is native to the Celestial Empire. It is still a doubtful question whether this contact will breed a new civilization better than either of its parents, or whether it will merely destroy the native culture and replace it by that of America. Contacts between different civilizations have often in the past proved to be landmarks in human progress. Greece learnt from Egypt, Rome from Greece, the Arabs from the Roman Empire, medi?val Europe from the Arabs, and Renaissance Europe from the Byzantines. In many of these cases, ..////the pupils proved better than their masters. In the case of China, if we regard the Chinese as the pupils, this may be the case again. In fact, we have quite as much to learn from them as they from us, but