What is Philosophy Anyway?
I have taken Sociology, Ethics, and Psychology. I assumed this course would be similar. After the first week of class, I knew philosophy was nothing like the others. I make assumptions and rarely question anything. Selecting a question in the module, explaining how it illustrates Russell’s view about the value of philosophy was not easy. Focusing on the question and not potential answers did not make this essay simpler for me. I realized I knew absolutely nothing about philosophy! After reluctantly accepting my ignorance, I chose the question, “What is philosophy Anyway?” The question offered a good place to begin. It also reinforces this week’s material. It is a win-win situation for me. The question illustrates Russell’s view about the direct value of philosophy in three different ways.
The first way is that food is bestowed for the mind. Russell elucidates that goods for the mind are equitable to goods for the body. Philosophy’s value is entirely found among the goods of the mind. Critical examination unifies the foundations of our ideologies and dogmas. Direct societal values are used to make people’s lives better.
The second illustration of Russell’s view of direct value explains why we would want to know what philosophy is. Philosophy teaches cognitive humility and provides a reverence of wonder. It compels us to ask questions without solutions. The possibility perception expands and intellectual imagination becomes refined.
The third illustration offers freedom from the autocracy of customs. Questions are valuable. Philosophy targets knowledge that lies within complex questioning. The analysis of knowledge is powerful and can be interpreted in different ways.
Philosophy is studied and has direct value to only those who study it. Speculation is kept alive by showing familiar things in unfamiliar ways. It is studied for the question itself and not the answer. These are three ways it fosters deliberate reason and illustrates Russell’s views about the value of philosophy.