In Praise of Idleness
And Other Essays, 2nd Edition
Introduction by Anthony Gottlieb
Routledge – 2004 – 200 pages
Series: Routledge Classics
Intolerance and bigotry lie at the heart of all human suffering. So claims Bertrand Russell at the outset of In Praise of Idleness, a collection of essays in which he espouses the virtues of cool reflection and free enquiry; a voice of calm in a world of maddening unreason. From a devastating critique of the ancestry of fascism to a vehement defence of 'useless' knowledge, with consideration given to everything from insect pests to the human soul, this is a tour de force that only Bertrand Russell could perform.
'A book full of rich, stimulative thought, with plenty of scope for disagreement.' - The Guardian
'Invariably intelligent, stimulating and lucid.' - The Listener
'There is not … a page which does not provoke argument or thought.' - The Sunday Times
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). The leading British philosopher of the twentieth century, who made major contributions in the areas of logic and epistemology. Politically active and habitually outspoken, his ethical principles twice led to imprisonment.