Somewhere, Bertrand Russell wrote something like philosophy argues from premises so obvious no one could doubt them, to conclusions no one would believe if they had not seen the argument. Can anyone here help me find the quote?

@MauroALLEGRANZA  provides a link to a useful discussion by Ducasse of how Russell connected logic and philosophy in two of his books:   Mysticism and Logic and Our Knowledge of the External World. This got me thinking, and it seems to me likely that the quote I want was a later comment by Russell on his evolving neutral monism.  I.e. he regarded neutral monism as a surprising conclusion from indubitable premises.   But that, if it is true, only narrows the range of dates down to after 1919, and anyway it is not quoted by Ducasse.

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    See here for many quotes about Russell's views on philosophy. Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


[T]he point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.

This is from the second lecture of Russell's The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918). See numerous print editions, and on-line https://users.drew.edu/jlenz/br-logical-atomism2.html

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