Betrand Russell: The Problems Of Philosophy

The value of Philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its uncertainty.
The man who has no tincture of Philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the
prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or
his nation, and from the convictions which have grown up in his mind without the
co-operation of his deliberate reason. Bertrand Russell, The Problems of

Philosophy is commonly thought of as an activity reserved for Oxbridge high-
brows; or a sort of intellectual table-tennis indulged in by the Ancient Greeks
to while the time away before television came along. Russell suggests that it
may actually serve a purpose for everyone.

In the first ...

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and debate between the adherents of rival theories is, moreover,
essential to the health of philosophy. Just as many major advances of science
are catalysed by war, so the great intellectual insights are sparked by
discussion. If there were universal agreement on one philosophical theory, then
all further thought would be rendered useless. (See p.319, Small World by David
Lodge: "…what matters in the field of critical practice is not truth but
difference. If everybody were convinced by your arguments, they would have to do
the same as you and then there would be no satisfaction in doing it.")

Russell talks of three different factors involved in the formation of prejudice.
Each is considered in detail below.

The first type of prejudice is derived from common sense. This is interesting:
it appears that Russell is suggesting that common sense is to be avoided. The
Concise Oxford Dictionary defines common sense as "sound, practical sense,
especially in everyday matters". In ...

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Betrand Russell: The Problems Of Philosophy. (2008, November 5). Retrieved December 12, 2018, from
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"Betrand Russell: The Problems Of Philosophy." November 5, 2008. Accessed December 12, 2018.
"Betrand Russell: The Problems Of Philosophy." November 5, 2008. Accessed December 12, 2018.
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Added: 11/5/2008 11:59:01 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1143
Pages: 5

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