Jonathan Rée, 21 November 2019
Wittgenstein’s scepticism about logical ‘objects’ was an affront to all that Bertrand Russell held dear, and he resisted it fiercely. But then he was mollified by a gift of ‘lovely roses’: Wittgenstein was ‘<em>the</em> young man one hopes for’, he now wrote to Ottoline Morrell, and ‘I like him very much.’ After undergoing further bouts of ruthless criticism, he confessed to being ‘strangely excited’ by Wittgenstein: ‘I love him,’ he said, and he hoped to appoint him as his successor and watch him ‘solve the problems I am too old to solve’. Wittgenstein wasn’t particularly impressed by Russell’s adoration. If his philosophical capacities were as exceptional as Russell seemed to think, then this was a curious fact – like having beautiful ears or excellent eyesight – but not an occasion for pride, still less for boasting.