Russell: Love of System, Love of Torture

  • Bertrand Russell  Our Knowledge of External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, George Allen & Unwin, 1922. First published in 1914 by The Open Court Pub.

のpp. 237-8ページにある印象深い文を引いてみる。そしてそれを少し開いて訳した文を付しておく。

In order to become a scientific philosopher, a certain peculiar mental discipline is required. There must be present, first of all, the desire to know philosophical truth, and this desire must be sufficiently strong to survive through years when there seems no hope of its finding any satisfaction. The desire to know philosophical truth is very rare −in its purity, it is not often found even among philosophers.


Again the desire for unadulterated truth is often obscured, in professional philosophers, by love of system: the one little fact which will not come inside the philosopher's edifice has to be pushed and tortured until it seems to consent. Yet the one little fact is more likely to be important for the future than the system with which it is inconsistent.


Love of system, therefore, and the system-maker's vanity which becomes associated with it, are among the snares that the student of philosophy must guard against.






ここでRussellは‘the one little fact (一つのちっぽけな事実)’の例として、Pythagorasによる宗教的信念の伽藍に対する、無理量√2の存在という事実を上げている。