Russell's Ethical Journey' by Robin Strachan
This lecture, given on-line to Barnes Philosophy Club (sponsored by the Royal Society of Philosophy), in London, April 2020 is the first of 2 Parts. This talk, simply put, has been constructed to promote a 'System' by the author which brings together Psychology (Attitude Analysis, Numbers and Psycho-metrics) with Philosophy (Words, Linguistic Analysis and Meta-Ethics). Previously the author has talked on the subject of Russell's major contribution to Analytic Philosophy and his association with Psychology when the 'System' was first presented to an audience in London in May 2017 .
This second lecture uses Bertrand Russell as an example of how and why a Philosopher can and does change his or her Ethical Position over time, seemingly as a result of a combination of effects relating to life events and the influence of other Philosophers. By using a combination of Philosophical and Psychological ideas it seems possible to create a Psychometric-Philosophical Paradigm (PPP System) which enables 2-dimensional (X - Levels of Aggression , Y - Levels of Self-Esteem) mapping of different Ethical positions, with Russell being seen to move around such a mathematical 'Grid' ( sc. Moodgrid /moodgrid.com as inspired by Eyesenck's Personality Diagram ) to significant degrees). 5 such Main Ethical Positions are so described and analysed. Such mapping appears to be a potentially useful method to improve comparability and commensurability of Ethical Norms. Also, the 'Grid' facilitates identification and analysis of a number of logically created Dimensions running across the Grid, which hopefully assists in the understanding of the multitudes of Dichotomies and Dialectics within the realms of Philosophy, to be discussed in more detail in Part 2.
Part 2 deals with how such differing Ethical positions might drive Higher Order thought and significantly affect Philosophical, Social and Political Positions. The third dimension (Insight-Ignorance (Z)) of the PPP is described which facilitates construction of cubic space within which to locate and quantify more complex sets of ideas and permit analysis and grouping of individual Philosopher's Positions at any given 'time'. The 4th Dimension, as with any Cartesian System. being time.
As such, the whole 'PPP System' is an attempt, as also inspired by Russell and Wittgenstein, to uncloak any disguise in the language of higher level argument, Such language is usually designed to effect social control and promote sometimes highly suspect and distorted political agendas, not necessarily therefore truthfully represented in that language. Finally, some quotes from Russell himself, extracted from context within the talk ..... “Emotions drive the Attitudes which distort our Ethical Norms “ “In all Ethical Questions are Feelings” “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so ‘certain’ of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts…” "Not to be absolutely certain … is one of the essential things in exhibiting rationality or reason" "Ethical metaphysics is fundamentally an attempt, however disguised to give legislative force to our own wishes…." Robin K Strachan London, U.K. April 2020