This led him to imagine that all knowledge might be provided with such secure foundations, a hope that lay at the very heart of his motivations as a philosopher.
In 1890 Russell’s isolation came to an end when he entered Trinity College, University of Cambridge, to study mathematics.
There he made lifelong friends through his membership in the famously secretive student society the Apostles, whose members included some of the most influential philosophers of the day.
In arguing for this view with passion and acuity, Russell exerted a profound influence on the entire tradition of English-speaking analytic philosophy, bequeathing to it its characteristic style, method, and tone.
Inspired by the work of the mathematicians whom he so greatly admired, Russell conceived the idea of demonstrating that mathematics not only had logically rigorous foundations but also that it was in its entirety nothing but logic.
Shortly after finishing his book on geometry, he abandoned the metaphysical idealism that was to have provided the framework for this grand synthesis. A much greater influence on his thought at this time, however, was a group of German mathematicians that included Karl Weierstrass, Georg Cantor, and Richard Dedekind, whose work was aimed at providing mathematics with a set of logically rigorous foundations.
Russell’s abandonment of idealism is customarily attributed to the influence of his friend and fellow Apostle G. For Russell, their success in this endeavour was of enormous philosophical as well as mathematical significance; indeed, he described it as “the greatest triumph of which our age has to boast.” After becoming acquainted with this body of work, Russell abandoned all vestiges of his earlier idealism and adopted the view, which he was to hold for the rest of his life, that analysis rather than synthesis was the surest method of philosophy and that therefore all the grand system building of previous philosophers was misconceived.This is rather like defining the village barber as “the man who shaves all those who do not shave themselves” and then asking whether the barber shaves himself or not.At first this paradox seemed trivial, but the more Russell reflected upon it, the deeper the problem seemed, and eventually he was persuaded that there was something fundamentally wrong with the notion of class as he had understood it in Frege saw the depth of the problem immediately.Russell’s early life was marred by tragedy and bereavement.By the time he was age six, his sister, Rachel, his parents, and his grandfather had all died, and he and Frank were left in the care of their grandmother, Countess Russell.In 1861, after a long and distinguished political career in which he served twice as prime minister, Lord Russell was ennobled by Queen Victoria, becoming the 1st Earl Russell.Bertrand Russell became the 3rd Earl Russell in 1931, after his elder brother, Frank, died childless.Russell’s article on the philosophical consequences of relativity appeared in the 13th edition of the Russell was born in Ravenscroft, the country home of his parents, Lord and Lady Amberley.His grandfather, Lord John Russell, was the youngest son of the 6th Duke of Bedford.The tragedy of Russell’s intellectual life is that the deeper he thought about logic, the more his exalted conception of its significance came under threat.He himself described his philosophical development after Russell’s Paradox—at the very heart of the system of logic upon which he had hoped to build the whole of mathematics.