am 30. September 1998
An excellent and lucid exposition of what we really mean when we talk about 2 houses, or 1/2 an hour, or square root of 2 meters, or that the counting numbers are infinite. It does not require any prior mathematical knowledge beyond the basics, although it probably will be of interest only to those that care about math at its most abstract. It is fascinating to realize how much we take for granted when we do math and how much ingenuity it takes to pin down the concept of number. Highly recommended.
am 12. Juli 1999
This book is important for revealing Russell's views, at a certain point in his career, on the philosphies of mathematics and logic. But it says little on other philosophical viewpoints (even if only to criticise them). It might be better titled now 'Introduction to a Mathematical Philosophy (Called Logicism)'. We can hardly blame Russell for not knowing about the later developments of the subject (especially Godel), but it is worth bearing in mind that the book was written before some very important discoveries.
Like anything Russell wrote, it is a pleasure to read - his writing style is wonderful, and quite extraordinary when one realises how quickly he wrote this book (in prison, too!), but I suspect that for many readers the mathematical content will prove a little tricky to grasp.
As a historical document, it is fascinating; as an introduction to mathematical philosophy it is too narrow-minded for 1999.