Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Bertrand Russell's The Problem of Philosophy- Taylor Wood- Section 9- Installment 1
Philosophy: The Classic- Bertrand Russell The Problems of Philosophy
Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, writer, historian, mathematician, and political activist in the early 20th century. One of his many books, The Problems of Philosophy, was just a simple short read that he wrote in 1911. However, the book would later go on to be one of his most read and most famous books, still being published over 100 years after it was written. This is due to the way Russell delivers not only the different beliefs of past philosophers such as Descartes and Hume, but the way he expresses his own views on the values of philosophy.
A big part of Philosophy is questioning everything that happens in the world and trying to come up with an answer for these questions. In this book, Russell acknowledges the fact that hoping to answer all of these questions is hopeless. He does, however state that this does not mean Philosophy is a waste of time. He says that asking such deep questions makes life more interesting and ultimately gives us a much broader view of our lives. I definitely agree with this statement of his. I believe we shouldn’t stress out too much on having all of the answers to the questions we have in life, but we should still have an open mind about everything we encounter. We should keep these big questions in the back of our minds and explore different interpretations of possible answers we may come across. Russell says that the real value of philosophy lies in its uncertainty. By this he means that we should question our beliefs, even beliefs that seem uncontroversial and natural to us. He says that by doing this, we will free ourselves from the “tyranny of customs” and enhance our imaginative views of the world. Instead of fixing our thought on one thought or belief, we should take in many ideas and beliefs.
Bertrand Russell also states that philosophy to him is about investigating everything in our lives and deeply analyzing everything looking for inconsistencies. This is not to mean he believes we should destructively doubt everything in our lives, but that we should really analyze everything for ourselves and make sure we are truly understanding everything. We shouldn’t believe everything we see on the base level, but we should instead look at things more critically and with more reason so that we may better understand it for ourselves and become more knowledgeable. It may seem strange or crazy to look at something and wonder if it is real or not, but doing so could give you more information you would not have discovered otherwise. I think this is a great way to look at things in life. I agree that we should be a little skeptical toward everything in life and find out things for ourselves. It will not only help us to understand things better, but it will also give us assurance of what we truly see.