The Value of Philosophy.

Essay by bradydoggCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2003

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"The Value of Philosophy?"

Question 5: Some students feel that philosophy is worthless because it does not yield definite results. How would Russell respond? Russell says the value of philosophy is in its uncertainty. What does he mean? Do you agree?

Often times before I had attended college, I felt that philosophy was a useless study. I did not see the point of asking sometimes ridicules questions and arguing over them. You know the questions I am talking about if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? Or why do we park on driveway and drive on the parkway? It is because of these kinds of questions that I was turned off by philosophy. I think that when you are 18 years old the last thing that you want to talk about is trees fallen in the woods.

I wish that I had read Bertrand Russell back then.

Russell responds to the value of philosophy by stating that "In order to determine the value the value of philosophy, we must first free our minds from the prejudices of what are wrongly called "practical" men." He goes on to say that the "practical man is one who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind." Providing food for the body is essential to live, but providing food for the mind (knowledge) is essential for a valuable society. For it is among the foods of the mind that, the value of philosophy can be found.

Russell says that the value of philosophy is in its uncertainty. He writes, "Those questions which are already capable of definite answers are placed in the sciences, while those only to...