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The Problems of Philosophy Paperback – March 26, 2009
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Just to give you a hint, this book mostly talks about what an object or a thing is, not quite precisely the problems of philosophy (maybe at that time?). As an example, Russell talks about the table in front of him. He interacts with it by sensing it (touching it, knocking on it, looking at it, describing its colors, etc). But can he really "know" that the table is "there"? Notice the quotes. This leads us to the question: What is knowledge itself? How do we "know" and what can we "know"? Can we really "know" what's "there" for certain? And so on. I'm not Bertrand Russell, so if you think this is boring, don't worry. The book is written in a much more interesting style (a meticulous and elegant style IMO). Though I noticed that Russell loves using little phrases in the middle of his thoughts/sentences that specify some meta-details (Example: "this work by Russell, which I secretly admire, has been, in many numerous occasions, considered to be, not directly so, by many philosophers of the highest caliber, many of which I had not the privilege of meeting, a milestone in metaphysics or whatever lol). It might be difficult to read for some people, but Russell's style is very clear most of the times.
If you're genuinely interested in philosophy and want something concrete (to me, at least) and not just a history lesson, then definitely read this book.
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.
Describes the heuristic from the point of view of the conscious mind as to how it experiences the certain belief in basic remembered facts, such as that that the text 'fact' is on a computer screen in front of my face right now being seen by my own eyes!
Also describes the similar certain belief we have in the logical and mathematical a priori. For example, Bertrand Russell would see the result from elementary number theory that 2 + 2 = 2 * 2 as an a priori theorem.
Best read it for yourself! Still in print (2012)!
Most recent customer reviews
Good tangential critique of other philosophies.Read more