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The Problems of Philosophy Paperback – January 12, 2015
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"Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never traveled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect."
This book definitely has sparked in me an interest in philosophy. If you are even remotely interested in the subject, I recommend you buying it too.
This book may be of interest to historians, but for the rest of us who are interested in what really is philosophy about, we should look elsewhere.
I found myself loving and hating his final chapter as he berates men who think "food for the body" is more important than "food for the mind". He clearly states that men need both, and that philosophy is the tool through which the mind is fed, something that I agree with as well(I would add theology, and inquiry in general to food for the mind). He concludes that even if all the technological problems were solved, there would still be more that is needed to allow a society to function properly (again something i also agree with). However he goes at great length to discuss how philosophy once it discovers something it is no longer a philosophical point, and therefore philosophy is relegated to the study of uncertainty. This I feel is incorrect. He is stating, with certainty, that philosophy is certainly dedicated to the study of....uncertainty. This is a self contradiction. Finally, he concludes that philosophy, in its ability to only study that which is uncertain, should pursue certain good, which is another self-contradiction. This appears to be obviously contradictory and requires a more complete description of philosophy's application. Primarily, a definition of what Russell views as "the good" and how philosophy, and/or not science has the answer to be able to attain it.
*NOTE: I have respect for Russell and his ability to write so clearly. More what I am trying to say is that I disagree with his conclusions. My hope is that this would be viewed as a fair review from a disagreeing side.
thank you for reading my review.
That should be a lesson for all of us who would try to predict the future with the tools of the present.