On Authority: Bertrand Russell's Fifth Commandment

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 6:50am
On Authority: Bertrand Russell's Fifth Commandment

The fifth of the great British philosopher's list of rules for living and learning. This time, on the authority of others.

Post by:
Trent Gilliss (@TrentGilliss),  Executive Editor / Chief Content Officer for On Being
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Credit: Peter Tandlund License: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

(5) Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.


~Bertrand Russell, from his "Ten Commandments" of the liberal outlook as it appears in his 1951 New York Times op-ed, "The Best Answer to Fanaticism—Liberalism."

See Russell's Fourth Commandment.

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Trent Gilliss is the driving editorial and creative force behind On Being. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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