Bertrand Russell's The Philosophy of Logical Atomism: A Centenary Celebration

Monday, June 12, 2017 (All day) to Friday, June 16, 2017 (All day)

Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872–1970) deeply influenced Anglo-American philosophy in the twentieth century. His influence is still felt across the English-speaking world, and his works have been translated into a variety of other languages. Russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, and his works are studied in some fashion in most philosophy departments. Besides Russell’s extensive academic influence, his writings featured significantly in public discourse as well: his lifelong political activism and writings on education, social organization, political economy, and international institutions ranged from advocacy of nuclear disarmament to extended defenses of free speech. His excellent writing, tireless advocacy of a variety of social causes, and his popularization of philosophy earned him the 1950 Nobel Prize in Literature.

In the early months of 1918, Russell gave a series of eight lectures each Tuesday evening from January 22–March 12. The lectures, titled The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, were published in pairs in four issues of The Monist from 1918-1919. The lectures record the culmination of Russell’s thinking in response to discussions with Wittgenstein on the nature of judgment, philosophical analysis, and philosophy of logic, interaction with Moore and other philosophical realists about atomism, and Whitehead and Russell’s novel extension of revolutionary work in mathematics and logic in the late nineteenth-century.

This Obermann summer seminar—June 12 to 16, 2017—will bring together many of the leading experts on Russell’s philosophy, including his historical and intellectual context and influence, to critically assess the nature and impact of Russell’s logical atomism.


Headshot of Gregory Landini
Co-director , The University of Iowa , Philosophy
Dr. Landini is a UI professor of philosophy and the author of four books: Frege's Notations; what they are and how they mean (Palgrave/MacMillan 2012), Russell (Routledge 2010), Wittgenstein’s Apprentice with Russell (Cambridge, 2007) and Russell's Hidden Substitutional Theory (Oxford, 1998). He has published many articles in the philosophy of logic and metaphysics. His teaching and research interests include modal logic, the foundations of mathematics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and the history of analytic philosophy. 
Headshot of Landon Elkind
Co-director , The University of Iowa , Philosophy
Landon D.C. Elkind is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy. His research concentrates on early analytic philosophy and ancient Greek philosophy. Read more here: