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And when did you last see your beliefs?

By Tom Chatfield  

Bertrand Russell famously wrote, at the age of 15, that “the search for truth has shattered most of my old beliefs”—at least according to the diary extracts he reproduces in My Philosophical Development, which detail his departure from the comfortable, Christian teachings of his youth into the realm of rigorous enquiry. “My thinking,” he adds, “was, in a crude form, along lines very similar to that of Descartes.”

15 may seem a precocious age for the commencement of questing as a full-blown philosopher, but it’s beginning to look positively geriatric in comparison to the more recent British, intellectual and faithless…

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