Monday, September 10, 2007

One More Introductory Post [Updated]

Wind and tide have delayed but not engulfed the Reading Russell Project, which officially begins today. Just a note here to mention that while the posts are meant primarily to summarize Russell's writings, some level of interpretation cannot be avoided. So please don't rely upon these posts as accurate representations of Russell's ideas. [Russell would agree. The web tells me that Bertrand Russell once wrote: "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something that he can understand." Alas, I don't know where Russell wrote that. Update: Now I do know. It is in A History of Western Philosophy, in the third paragraph of Chapter XI, "Socrates." Ironically, the quote as lifted from the web was, uh, inaccurate; the correct version now appears.] When I am going well beyond Russell, however, and realize it, I will indicate my intervention by adding "-- RBR" (short for Reading Bertrand Russell) to show that it is me, and not Russell, who should be held accountable for the preceding point. [Update -- I haven't been all that assiduous about marking severe departures from Russell with "-- RBR" and I have redefined my method as providing summentary.]

Onwards, then, to Marriage and Morals.


I thought that it might make sense to list at the outset the titles of the 21 chapters of Marriage and Morals:

1. Why a sexual ethic is necessary
2. Where fatherhood is unknown
3. The dominion of the father
4. Phallic worship, asceticism and sin
5. Christian ethics
6. Romantic love
7. The liberation of women
8. The taboo on sex knowledge
9. The place of love in human life
10. Marriage
11. Prostitution
12. Trial marriage
13. The family at the present day
14. The family in individual psychology
15. The family and the state
16. Divorce
17. Population
18. Eugenics
19. Sex and individual well-being
20. The place of sex among human values
21. Conclusion

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