The Value Of Philosophy : Bertrand Russell Essays

The Value Of Philosophy : Bertrand Russell Essays

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Bertrand Russell is a very influential writer within the realm of philosophy. His specific work titled, The Problems of Philosophy discusses the many things that he believes is wrong with the way people think, act towards, treat, and study philosophy as a whole. The one specific essay focused on was titled The Value of Philosophy in chapter xv. This essay focused on why he believes that philosophy was worth studying and why he believes that those who don’t see his vision are wrong and at a disadvantage. More specifically he addresses the “practical man”, which he defines specifically as “one who recognizes only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind” (Russell 154). In other words, the practical man is one who accepts other beliefs and lives within the means of those instead of coming to his own conclusions, thinking deeply about the unknown, and becoming someone who thinks outside society’s norms. Russell explains throughout his work that philosophy is useful to study because it forces one to stray away from society’s norms, accept nontraditional ideals, and come to one’s own conclusions based on their own findings.
Russell explains throughout his essay that philosophy requires one to have an open mind rather than thinking like the “practical man”. In the beginning parts of the essay, Russell focuses on the people that might reject the idea of studying philosophy which, in his opinion, is to their own dismay. The reason he feels that those people are missing out is, their minds have already been planted with the ideas of others or generally accepted theories. In this case, it would be a fall back as he or she may not have the ability or w...


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...es on in his essay.

Although Russell’s ideals may be disputed and up to each person’s interpretations, there is no denying that some of his reasoning’s can benefit the mind outside the realm of philosophy. Russell provides a few good arguments that would make people consider looking into philosophy, who would otherwise not think about it. He explains that thinking like the “practical man” could lead to one becoming dogmatic rather than thinking deeply and coming to one’s own conclusions. He also addresses the importance of studying philosophy as one would study natural sciences. Russell’s reasons for studying philosophy involve the importance of philosophy itself, as well as reasons for studying which will benefit one much deeper than just philosophy. His evidence is too compelling to argue in my eyes, which is why I agree with his reasons for studying philosophy.

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