Recent Issues

February 2004 Contents

Cover / In This Issue

Society News

Russell on Nuclear Deterrence

Generality and Disimilarity

The Russell Cambridge Companion

Early News Reports on Russell

Traveler’s Diary

in this issue

In the last issue of the Quarterly, we provided some historical documentation about early analytic philosophy – letters, translated from the German by Richard Schmitt, in which Frege put hard questions to Wittgenstein about the Tractatus. Richard also provided a thorough report on the history of the letters themselves. In this issue, our feature article moves away from the historical to engage in philosophical inquiry itself, with a light and lucid exercise in linguistic philosophy by Rui Zhu, whose son, Bertrand, will be ten months old in March.

In the essay, Rui looks at a debate about language between Russell and Quine, and seeks a solution that lies somewhere in between them. Both accessible and original, the essay shows how one can use principles from transformational grammar to suggest new ways of solving philosophical problems concerning language.

In the second major piece in this issue, Kevin Klement appears again with a marathon review of every single essay in the new Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell. From this review, you can begin to get an idea of whether the Companion, long and impatiently awaited by the Russell world, has been worth the wait. Kevin provides a highly informative report on every aspect of Russell's work covered in the Companion, and the reader, specialist and non-specialist alike, is likely to learn more than a few things about Russell's thought in reading the review. Apart from one lively opinion on, this is the first review of the Companion we know of. We feel that Kevin has gotten its critical appraisal off to a sharp and perceptive start.

As usual, gossip, Russell news, and Society business are to be found in abundance in 'Society News'. This is followed by another in our series of Russell's letters to the editor, again selected and introduced by the series editor, Ray Perkins Jr. This issue's letter gives an especially comprehensive statement of Russell's views on the threat of nuclear weapons. And finally, we continue to provide historical documentation of Russell and those closely related to him in 'Russell in the News', which reproduces early news clippings about Russell and his first wife, Alys. Here, the emphasis is on Russell the public man and public intellectual. Future issues will take a further turn towards the public Russell, with articles on Russell and the Cold War, his continuing influence in China, more reviews and gossip, and even further stories on Russell's affairs of the heart.

Corrections and elaborations: In the last issue of the Quarterly (November 2003, no. 120), we erroneously stated the publication history of Russell's February 4, 1963 letter to the editor of the Tel Aviv New Outlook (item c63.10b in A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell, edited by Blackwell and Ruja). Kenneth Blackwell points out that that letter was previously published as 'A Message from Lord Russell' in the March-April issue (v.6, no.3, p.2) of New Outlook, and was reprinted in Hebrew in al-Hamishmar, Tel Aviv, circa March 8, 1963. The journal in which it was first published, New Outlook, was not the same journal which changed its name to The New Outlook in 1932, but rather one that began in July 1957 and was in its sixth volume in 1963. (Aubrey Hodes, an editor at New Outlook, had been in touch with Russell since 1959, and in that year, informed Russell that the journal was two years old.) In the last paragraph of his letter, Russell alludes to remarks of his that were published in "your recent Symposium". This is a reference to another writing by Russell (item c62.49a in Blackwell and Ruja) in the November-December issue of the same journal to which the 1963 letter was a follow-up. We thank Kenneth Blackwell for this information, and also thank the Bertrand Russell Archive for permission to publish the letter. Peter Stone points out that the item in the 'Russell in the News' section of the November Quarterly on Russell and the Cold War was based on an article in the July 4, 2003 London (not New York) Times Educational Supplement. We thank Peter for correcting this mistake.