But it cannot be maintained that philosophy has had any very great measure of success in its attempts to provide definite answers to its questions. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. For this reason greatness of soul is not fostered by those philosophies which assimilate the universe to Man. Philosophic contemplation does not, in its widest survey, divide the universe into two hostile camps—friends and foes, helpful and hostile, good and bad—it views the whole impartially. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. Russell’s argument is biased and partially true, reject unknown possibilities and seek only definite answers become obvious; as they rouse no, Although philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite conclusion but, o advance one’s conception of what is possible, further advance one’s imagination, and, diminish the opinionated assurance which prisons the free mind against speculation. Apart from its utility in showing unsuspected possibilities, philosophy has a value—perhaps its chief value— through the greatness of the objects which it contemplates, and the freedom from narrow and personal aims resulting from this contemplation. You can use them for inspiration, an insight into a particular topic, a handy source of reference, or even just as a template of a certain type of paper. The desire to prove this is a form of self-assertion, and like all self-assertion, it is an obstacle to the growth of Self which it desires, and of which the Self knows that it is capable. "The Value of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell." Thus, to sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy: Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good. Yet, however slight may be the hope of discovering an answer, it is part of the business of philosophy to continue the consideration of such questions, to make us aware of their importance, to examine all the approaches to them, and to keep alive that speculative interest in the universe which is apt to be killed by confining ourselves to definitely ascertainable knowledge. contents i appearance and reality ii the existence or matter iii the nature of matter iv idealism v knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description ... xv the value of philosophy bibliographical note index . Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-value-of-philosophy-by-bertrand-russell/. If you ask a mathematician, a mineralogist, a historian, or any other man of learning, what definite body of truths has been ascertained by his science, his answer will last as long as you are willing to listen. Is consciousness a permanent part of the universe, giving hope of indefinite growth in wisdom, or is it a transitory accident on a small planet on which life must ultimately become impossible? It is the more necessary to consider this question, in view Such philosophers postulate how possible it is for one to prove how some religious beliefs are true. (b) He taught at Trinity College, Cambridge and was dismissed because of his pacifist activities during World War I. Thus, to a great extent, the uncertainty of philosophy is more apparent than real: those questions which are already capable of definite answers are placed in the sciences, while those only to which, at present, no definite answer can be given, remain to form the residue which is called philosophy. Its object is to attempt and explain why such categorizations exist. But further, if we are not to fail in our endeavour to determine the value of philosophy, we must first free our minds from the prejudices of what are wrongly called “practical” men. The Originals: Classic Readings in Western Philosophy, Next: Rene Descartes – On Doubt and Certainty, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Russell’s. This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 2 pages. But if you put the same question to a philosopher, he will, if he is candid, have to confess that his study has not achieved positive results such as have been achieved by other sciences. Later in his career life, he emerged as a subtle logician, historian and social critic who stood for what he believed philosophy offered without prejudices subjected to sacrificing his logical decisions. The Value of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, Summary of the article Value of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell and Jerry Fodor's Philosophical Perspectives, Bertrand Russell's Biography: Life and Work, The Racial Discrimination among Employers, Analysis of the opening and closing pages of a novel, Oligopoly in Australia: Telecommunications Industry Case Study, Thomas Nagel' Philosophic Views on Love and Sex, The Concept of Self as Discussed by David Hume. Perhaps another critical value of philosophy is its inability no to subdivide the world into distinctive categories such “friends and foes” (Russell Para.10). Many philosophers, it is true, have held that philosophy could establish the truth of certain answers to such fundamental questions. One way of escape is by philosophic contemplation. (2019) 'The Value of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell'. September 19, 2016 Russell John Messerly. IvyPanda. As part of value of philosophy, consequently, people claim that philosophy has the capacity to proof the truthfulness of such knowledge (Russell Para. By thus making a barrier between subject and object, such personal and private things become a prison to the intellect. Russell challenges the opinion by some philosophers that “philosophy could establish the truth of certain answers to such fundamental questions” (Russell Para.6). December 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-value-of-philosophy-by-bertrand-russell/. He comments, “The mind which has become accustomed to the freedom and impartiality of philosophic contemplation will preserve something of the same freedom and impartiality in the world of action and emotion” (Russell Para.14). Every Cambridge student had to start up the first part of his or her degree with mathematics or classics. In this context, philosophic contemplation leads to (though held with uncertainties) freedom of mind and thought. . The knowledge it aims it is the kind of knowledge which gives unity and system to the body of the sciences, and the kind which results from a critical examination of the grounds of our convictions, prejudices, and beliefs. In his evaluation of the value of philosophy, he does not give definite values of philosophy. We cannot, therefore, include as part of the value of philosophy any definite set of answers to such questions. Hence, once more, the value of philosophy must not depend upon any supposed body of definitely ascertainable knowledge to be acquired by those who study it.