The Value of Philosophy Essay

833 Words 4 Pages
The Value of Philosophy

Consider a man that looks to material needs as the necessities of life. He moves through his world in a twenty-four hour cycle of the mundane, never reaching for a less ignorant existence. Bertrand Russell believes that these "practical men", as society deems them, are wrongly named. A meaningful life to this "practical man", certainly does not include the understanding of a need for knowledge. Russell states, "It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found; and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time" (page 9). The value of philosophy can be found when anyone chooses to step over the
…show more content…
Everyone, through examining and doubting their choices, can gain knowledge. And knowledge is the primary aim of philosophy, according to Russell and my own opinion. Socrates summarizes it best in Plato's, Apology: Defense of Socrates, when he stated, "...an unexamined life is no life for a human being to live..." (page 40). Humans were given the capacity to have thought processes and go beyond the routine existence of lower level life forms. To let this possession go unused would be neglecting the possibilities of the mind. However, the value of philosophy for society at large is limited by self-assertion. The masses will find themselves looking for knowledge but being blocked by the view that the world is of less worth than themselves, or the Self. This will be the downfall of the instinctive man;

he is contained in his private interests. It is almost like a trap, man fills his life with family and friends and believes that he has found his place in life. A true student of philosophy will have a want of knowledge that is free and pure. This want contains no concerns of Self, but rather of the not-Self. Knowledge arrives when man lets go of trying to fit the universe into his world and instead fits his world into the universe. In order to be a philosopher, one must overcome the narrow circle of the Self and of private interests. Therefore the largest value of philosophy is for the philosopher, for he is able to

Related Documents