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Three Passions of Bertrand Russell

The Bertrand Russell Society got this reply from Noam Chomsky in 1996:

I was, needless to say, very pleased and honored to receive the offer of an honorary membership in the BRS, and am delighted to accept.

By I suppose no accident, the second quote from Russell on the back of the [BRS] brochure graces my office, with a marvelous picture, so I've been looking at it almost every day for many years.

The Russell quotation referred to is:

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

For a recent brief, yet substantial, article on Dr. Chomsky's thought, see "Chomsky, Noam" in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Ted Honderich, editor (1995), pp.132-133. Among Dr. Chomsky's many writings are Syntactic Structures (1957), Language and Mind (1968), Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin and Use (1986), and Deterring Democracy (1992). Of special interest to students of Russell is Dr. Chomsky's Problems of Knowledge and Freedom (1971) being a slightly revised version of his two Russell Lectures, given in 1971 at Trinity College, Cambridge, titled "On Interpreting the World" and "On Changing the World."

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