free essays

The Value of Philosophy


TheValue of Philosophy

TheValue of Philosophy

Accordingto Bertrand Russell, philosophy is relevant and necessary forstudying in schools because it helps in liberating humankind throughequipping them with vast knowledge concerning a specific topic. Hesupports that philosophy does help in liberating humankind in asimilar way that the brain requires food that the body requires. Healso asserts that philosophy is necessary since it helps humans toexplore and question unknown concepts. Russell claims that philosophyonly encompasses research subjects that a man does not understandwell. Once a topic becomes clear to humans, it ceases beingphilosophy. For instance, the study of heavenly body became astronomyafter researchers gathered adequate information in the discipline tomake the niche a discipline (Russell, 2010).

Russell’sassertion is correct since philosophy creates hypothesis andguidelines for investigating a unique concept that humankind does notunderstand. Once the hypothesis is made, researchers from diversebackgrounds begin investigating the concepts independently and usingunique concepts. Eventually, the studies researchers conduct whentrying to collect empirical evidence on a topic contributes toexpanding humankind knowledge. He concludes that philosophy seemsunsuccessful in answering questions that investigators hypothesizebecause a topic stops being philosophy once researchers accumulatesadequate evidence to answer some questions (Russell, 2010). However,philosophy is valuable since it is the origin of most of the advancedtechnologies, concepts, and ongoing humankind subjects.

DoRussell`s views reflect the views of other philosophers in Plato`scave?

Russell’sview does reflect on the opinion of other philosophers in Plato’scave since it asserts that philosophy helps in liberating humankind.Philosophers originate with wisdom that develops to form fields ofstudies. Russell’s theory of ‘practical man’ is similar to thatof Plato’s cave prisoners because it also emphasizes on thesignificance of education. Russell asserts that practical men onlythink of food as vital for helping to keep the body functional, butthey do not understand that the brains also require the diets to keepthe body operational. This means that the practical man only thinksof the basic purpose of food as the only benefit diets render to thebody. On the same note, the prisoners in the cave think that theshadows of the moving objects cast on the wall before them are thereality (Russell, 2010). In both cases, the prisoners in the cave, aswell as the practical man hold shallow perspectives on theirrespective topics because they lack essential skills that come fromanalysis.

Howdo Russell`s ideas compare to Socrates` argument that the unexaminedlife is now worth living?

Russell’sideology complements Socrates’ assertion that “the unexaminedlife is now worth living” since both philosophers, emphasize on thesignificance of acquiring knowledge. Both thinkers should investigatevarious things in their lives to understanding the real values intheir lives. In addition, they emphasize on the significance ofself-achievement, accomplishing goals, and gaining happiness withoutcausing harm to others or themselves. Both philosophers argue thatindividuals should seek knowledge in order to acquire self-happiness,as well as gain value in life. Russell emphasizes that people shouldenrich their minds through searching for knowledge from varioussources. On the other hand, Socrates argues that people shouldclosely, and critically, examine their lives instead of unthinkinglycomplying with conventional practices and customs. He stresses on thesignificance of closely examining life ethics instead of justfollowing them as a tradition (Russell, 2010).

Arearguments similar to Russell and Socrates made by other philosophersin the lecture notes on the value of philosophy? Please use examplesto illustrate your points.

Inthe “Value of Philosophy,” Russell and Socrates assert thatwisdom is necessary to liberate people. They emphasize that thisfield of study helps to advance the mind of people. Similarly, otherphilosophers in the lecture notes such as Isaac Newton, an Englishphysicist and mathematician, also emphasize on examining life tounderstand principles that appear ordinary. For instance, hepublished &quotMathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” in1687, which defined the “Newton’s law of motion.” The lawsformed the base for classical mechanics, as well as initiatedrevolution in physics. Sir Newton invented various concepts, whichhave so far become popular fields of studies in the modern world,such as a circular motion, calculus, lights, and colors phenomena aswell as obtained equations that have later developed into “theuniversal gravitational law (Russell, 2010).”

Similarly,the lecture notes also explore Freud’s theory of psychology.Sigmund Freud was a medical doctor, lecturer and an Austrian bynationality. He pioneered in examining various life factors that ledto the invention of the concept of psychoanalysis. Presently, Freudis regarded as the “founding father” of psychoanalysistherapeutic method (Russell, 2010).

Finally,in the first unit of this course we defined philosophy as the loverof wisdom. Does philosophy, as studied in this class lead one to be alover of wisdom?

Atthe beginning of this course, philosophy is defined as the lover ofwisdom. The topic achieves this assertion since it emphasizes onvarious strategies and techniques that students can use to advancetheir knowledge in this field. It also challenges people to embracecriticizing ordinary life issues through asking unique questions thatother people have not explored. Russell challenges readers of hiswork to develop courage for closely examining man’s universe, andshould stop accepting what appears to be the truth as the actualtruth. He describes people who fail to examine universal matters froma deeper and critical perspective as, “Whatit calls knowledge is not a union with the not – Self, but a set ofprejudices, habits, and desires, making an impenetrable veil betweenus and the world beyond. The man who finds pleasure in such a theoryis like a man who never leaves the domestic circle for fear his wordmight not be law (Russell,2010).” This statement emphasizes on the lovers of philosophy toexplore and criticize universal concepts by asking critical questionsthat lead to exploration of facts from a deeper perspective.

Doesphilosophy have any practical value?

Philosophydoes have practical value since it creates the foundation forinvestigating valuable concepts. Philosophy is the origin of manyphysical concepts and technologies that are common in the modernworld. Russell uses an example of studies of heavenly bodies. Heargues that philosophy does give practical values since the studiesbecame astronomy after the original philosophy gained adequatepractical value to support the hypotheses of the first researchers.The main practical value philosophy delivers motivating humankind toliberate their souls from various natural assumptions such as thecauses of objects thrown upwards to fall back on the ground. This mayappear a natural phenomenon, but philosophers such as Isaac Newtonconducted investigation that helped to explain the underlying reasonsbehind this observation (Russell, 2010).


Russell,B. (2010). TheProblems of Philosophy.Indo-European Publishing.