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The Value Of Philosophical Thinking Essay

1353 words - 5 pages

The study of Philosophy is often under serious suspicions from society of being somewhat useless. It provides no immediate answers or results, leaves one with uncertainty and unanswerable questions, and also a complicated view of the life in this world. This is to say the value of philosophizing is not obvious and not easily attained. As it has been pointed out, the pursuit of philosophical knowledge does not often bring wealth or concrete results of any kind. In fact the pursuit brings more questions and leads to further curiosity, awe, and bewilderment. Philosophy does not give you ultimate answers or wisdom but it is the search for these things that brings enlightenment and understanding. Just dealing with these difficult pieces of the bigger picture puts into perspective the value of questioning through reason. The questions raised that are unanswerable in principle are still meaningful and important. I am aware that the just of this has been said many times and was certainly better articulated than my words. I just find this passage from Bertrand Russell "The Problems of Philosophy" to be very thoughtful and almost haunting. The possibilities of human thought and reasoning seem endless. The search for truth, answers to the ultimate questions, or for the ultimate questions themselves is what Russell seems to portray as an infinite journey that sets the mind free. Reality is potentially a person makes of it, so it may not be what I perceive it to be and I like the possibilities of this.Socrates said "an unexamined life is not worth living." Philosophical questions are not being asked by many people these days, especially in my generation of the technologically spoiled. I guess I just find it impressive if anyone can truly devote their life to the pursuit of knowledge and truth and it is amazing that once questions are raised about reality or human nature or any subject of philosophical study, so many more arise. It could feel hopeless but instead the natural curiosity in mankind can make it a lasting commitment. Socrates devoted his life to the pursuit of truth. He lived to learn and there just something beautiful about that kind of dedication. He was a man living for every principle goal of philosophizing and would agree with Russell statements on the value there is in it. Socrates also believed his only declaration of his personal wisdom was his recognition that he was unwise which shows his humility but also his serious devotion to learning. I think Socrates might find quality in the terminology Russell uses to describe where the mind is taken through philosophy when he calls it a region of liberating doubt. I like this because doubt sounds sort of negative usually and so to think of it as liberating puts a new light on its meaning. Socrates and Russell saw the value of throwing out the certainty one has about what things are. In dismissing these ideas and convictions that come from custom, habit, or training, there can be movement towards...

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