Russell and religion and science

Book chapter

Younis, Raymond Aaron. (2017). Russell and religion and science. In In Stone, Peter (Ed.). Bertrand Russell’s life and legacy pp. 143-156 Vernon Press.
AuthorsYounis, Raymond Aaron
EditorsStone, Peter

[Extract] Russell’s position is often described as an oppositional one when it comes to the question of the relationship between religion and science. That is to say, he is regarded as someone who holds that religion and science are generally or perpetually in a relationship of conflict. Michael Ruse has argued similarly in his introduction to the most recent edition of Religion and Science, that “Russell is an ardent proponent of the conflict thesis” (Russell 1997, p. x). This means, presumably, that Russell holds that there is generally, characteristically, and/or permanently a conflict between religion and science, in the sense that each makes claims—for example, concerning the “centre” of the solar system—which are in some sense opposites, conflicting, incompatible or incommensurable. This chapter will show that though there is an element of truth in this claim, it does not go far enough in terms of characterising Russell’s more complex understanding of the relationship between religion and science. The focus will be on Religion and Science, which contains Russell’s most detailed analysis of the relationship. Though Russell wrote elsewhere on this and similar topics—for example, on science and values (Oliphant 1970; Russell 1921, 1931); on scientific method (Russell 1914a,b, 1952); on the scientific outlook (Russell 1931); on exactness in science (Russell 1955); on science and our future (Oliphant 1970; Russell 1924, 1931); and on mysticism and science (Russell 2004)—these other writings are beyond the scope of this chapter.

Page range143-156
Book titleBertrand Russell’s life and legacy
PublisherVernon Press
Place of publicationWilmington, Delaware
SeriesVernon series in philosophy
Web address (URL)
Publisher's version
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Sep 2021
Permalink -

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 60
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as