'These propositions may seem mild, yet, if accepted, they would absolutely revolutionize human life.'
With these words Bertrand Russell introduces what is indeed a revolutionary book. Taking as his starting-point the irrationality of the world, he offers by contrast something 'wildly paradoxical and subversive' - a belief that reason should determine human actions. Today, besieged as we are by the numbing onslaught of twenty-first-century capitalism, Russell's defence of scepticism and independence of mind is as timely as ever. In clear, engaging prose, he guides us through the key philosophical issues that affect our daily lives - freedom, happiness, emotions, ethics and beliefs - and offers no-nonsense advice.
1. Introduction: On the Value of Scepticism 2. Dreams and Facts 3. Is Science Superstitious? 4. Can Men Be Rational? 5. Philosophy in the Twentieth Century 6. Machines and the Emotions 7. Behavourism and Values 8. Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness 9. The Harm that Good Men Do 10. The Recrudescence of Puritanism 11. The Need for Political Scepticism 12. Free Thought and Official Propaganda 13. Freedom in Society 14. Freedom Versus Authority in Education 15. Psychology and Politics 16. The Danger of Creed Wars 17. Some Prospects: Cheerful and Otherwise