I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this.
When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only “what are the facts?” and “what is the truth that the facts bear out?”
Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts.
That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say. The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple.
I should say love is wise, hatred is foolish.
In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way. And if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.
Bertrand Russell’s response when asked what lessons from his life may be worth imparting to future generations. Russell was 86 years old when the interview aired.
Separate but related: “A Little History of Philosophy” by Nigel Warburton. Very digestible and enjoyable. Must be noted that the author omits a few big names and focuses entirely on Western philosophy. Fair enough, would probably be 300% longer otherwise.