They each made specific contributions to society during difficult social times. The subject of this paper will examine the specific problems or ideas both of these famous thinkers sought to solve, and the solutions they came up with for implementation. The ideas and solutions met with interference from people opposing the change, and many of the solutions were is a constant state of refinement, but their individual solutions all met the test of logic, enabling them to overcome the difficulties and opposition to resolutions.
The thinking of these two men went a long way in changing the way people thought, and shaped the outcome of their individual issues for the better. Russell for analytical philosophy based in realism, and King in defeating the injustice of segregation and inequality. Both men looked at the problem in different ways to find different perspectives that no one else had visited. They both were able to visualize that produced ideas and solutions to issues. They both had the patience to refine their ideas and solutions to overcome opposition.
Famous Thinker Essay Example
Bertrand Russell made many different contributions to society including establishing the basis of contemporary mathematical logic, the founder of analytical philosophy, and providing controversial views in political theory, religious studies and education, that produced the thought of never accepting inference over factual evidence (Irvine, 2010). Martin Luther King’s contribution to society included obtaining civil rights for African Americans, and changing the way America viewed issues of equality.
His vision of a color-blind society that valued every man or woman, regardless of race, challenged America to expand its values to embrace its diversity. The social and political environment during Bertrand Russell’s life influenced his philosophical views pertaining to politics and education, and he was an outspoken critic of nuclear proliferation. Set against the backdrop of World War I, he became socially active against war, and its aftermath. He used this platform to proclaim that education was the key to social progress (Irvine, 2010).
His social philosophy was based on not only understanding nature, but placed an equal importance on the need to understand one another. His anti-war protests led to convictions, imprisonment, and fines, and also contributed to him losing his teaching positions at different colleges. The social and political environment surrounding Dr. King was that of racial tension, oppression, and inequality, influencing his resolve to exact the changes necessary to right the wrongs of oppression. According to the King Institute, Martin experienced racism at a young age and knew of the dangers of continuing on this path (2010).
These factors forced Dr. King to become creative in how to obtain equality and civil rights. He used civil disobedience and a non-violence approach that were unheard of during this time in American History. One of the problems Bertrand Russell’s ideas attempted to solve was to use logical analysis when determining the truth about ordinary claims based on inference. This meant every claim or truth should be based on logical constructions that should be used instead of inferred entities. The problem Dr.
King’s ideas attempted to solve the moral issue of racism, and the injustice of inequality associated with it. This meant breaking down a political system by appealing to the principles of democracy. Bertrand Russell’s solution to his problem was introducing a distinction between two different types of knowledge of truth—truth that is direct, certain, intuitive, and infallible, and the truth that is indirect, uncertain, derivative, and open to error. He justified his position by proving that indirect knowledge must be able to stand up to more fundamental or direct knowledge.
In other words, inference alone does not prove truth. Provable facts or direct knowledge leads to real truth. Dr. King’s solution to his problem was promoting civil disobedience among African Americans to counteract the immoral acts of racism and segregation. His philosophy maintained that it is the responsibility of each individual to disobey unjust laws (Ware, 2009). He believed that integration was the key to gaining equality, and he promoted a non-violent policy to achieve his solution.
His non-violent policy was based on his belief that the battle against segregation should be fought in a courtroom instead of the street (Ware, 2009). The assumption that could have interfered with Bertrand Russell’s creative process was that of thinking everyone would be as enthusiastic and accepting of his theories relating to realism. Perception about truth based on accepted traditional beliefs was very real during the early 1900’s. He refined his solution by using analytical reasoning and logic to prove the direct link between direct knowledge and inferred knowledge.
His solutions met the tests of logic in that they were reasonable, and provable. He used the process of writing educational books, and teaching to implement his solutions, by recognizing the fallacies of accepting a claim without factual proof to back it up. The assumption that could have derailed Dr. King in his quest for equal rights was his belief that everyone would adhere to a nonviolent policy that promoted civil disobedience. Nonviolence in the face of extreme adversity and ridicule takes a certain amount of discipline and courage.
He refined his solution by continuously using peaceful demonstrations in different parts of the country that illuminated his cause as morally just. His solutions met the tests of logic because of the moral agenda behind his cause, and the reasonableness of his belief that this cause would improve mankind. Although his methods were unorthodox at the time, they were widely accepted and implemented by his followers. He overcame opposition to his solutions by staying true to himself and his beliefs. He stood on moral high ground, and believed in the rule of law and decency to win his fight.