In the triumphalist final chapter of his History of Western Philosophy (1946), he even avers that the benefits of the impersonal ‘scientific’ philosophical method extend “to the whole sphere of human activity, producing… a lessening of fanaticism with an increasing capacity of sympathy and mutual understanding.” He concludes, “philosophy does not cease to suggest and inspire a way of life” thus readmitting a traditional aim of philosophy as the consequence of his method. to examine all the approaches to them, and to keep alive that speculative interest in the universe which is apt to be killed by previous discussions were correct, is untrue; but in addition to being untrue, it has the effect of robbing philosophic unfamiliar aspect. It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found; If you ask a mathematician, a mineralogist, a historian, or any other only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for The man Russell remains famous as a logician, a metaphysician, and as a philosopher of mathematics, but in his own day he was also notorious for his social and political opinions. Philosophers today debate the origins of analytic philosophy, partly to ground their own view of the field. its attempts to provide definite answers to its questions. To The Skeptic's Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll. X. Course Hero is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university. 156. His break with Hegelian philosophy is not unrelated to his British-socialist approach to matters of social progress in his first book, German Social Democracy (1896). Human life had a way of intruding, not only into his eventful biography, but into his philosophy. We cannot, therefore, include as part of the value of philosophy any definite set of answers to such questions. Many philosophers, it is true, have held that philosophy could establish the truth of certain answers to such fundamental 160. Peace of mind comes after an escape from the prison of desire, ego, passion. It is Russell mocked unimaginative materialism: he said that most human activity consists of “altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface” (‘In Praise of Idleness’, 1932). Such questions are asked by philosophy, and variously The 'practical' man, as this word is often used, is one who recognizes He argues in his 2010 book The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy that British (and thence American) analytic philosophy purported to ignore politics, but in fact took for granted British liberalism (and imperialism). indefinite growth in wisdom, or is it a transitory accident on a small planet on which life must ultimately become impossible? John R. Lenz is a former President of the Bertrand Russell Society and teaches Classics at Drew University. Philosophers today debate the origins of analytic philosophy, partly to ground their own view of the field. concerning which knowledge is impossible. Russell put what was most important to him into his ‘popular’ books. the Self sets bounds to the greatness of its goods. © Philosophy Now 2020. to listen. Russell the secularist does not stop at quietism. previous chapters have not led us astray, we shall be compelled to renounce the hope of finding philosophical proofs of contemplation. He argues in his 2010 book The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy that British (and thence American) analytic philosophy purported to ignore politics, but in fact took for granted British liberalism (and imperialism). He thought that a philosophy, or a philosophy of science, or an educational theory, which only advocates practical success or utility, arises from the “power impulse” and purveys merely “a governmental view of truth.” Therefore education should train not good citizens of the state, but “citizens of the world.” “Considered sub specie aeternitatis [under the aspect of eternity], the education of the individual is to my mind a finer thing than the education of the citizen…” Such individuals bring a cosmic perspective to the improvement of society. (1961), for example, ends with provisional predictions of “the transition period… to the new world that would be in process of being created.” Yet behind such seeming fantasies, including elaborate schemes for world government, lie Russell’s unwavering advocacy of reason, his theory of human nature, and his related theories of education and the proper pursuit of science. private world of instinctive interests is a small one, set in the midst of a great and powerful world which must, sooner or later, Later Russell toned down his rather Platonic language of the contemplation of eternal universal truth. Philosophy, like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge. By thus making a barrier between subject and object, such personal and private things become a prison to the it is part of the business of philosophy to continue the consideration of such questions, to make us aware of their importance, Are good and evil of importance to the universe or only to man? unity and system to the body of the sciences, and the kind which results from a critical examination of the grounds of our whose sense-organs distort as much as they reveal. Tom Akehurst offers a fresh insight. Philosophic contemplation does not, in its widest survey, divide the universe into two hostile camps -- friends and foes, helpful and hostile, good and bad -- it views the whole impartially. indirectly, through its effects upon the lives of those who study it. In the conclusion of his book on the future of science he regrets that the triumph of practical science apparently entails a loss of the sense of wonder, of love of the universe, of those human values that metaphysics previously provided. Russell never deviated from this view, although he would later tone down the metaphysical imagery. But it cannot be maintained that philosophy has had any very great measure of success in But it would seem that, whether answers be otherwise discoverable or not, the answers that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find, as we saw in our opening chapters, questions. greatness the boundaries of Self are enlarged; through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some In such a On such a subject it would be unwise to pronounce dogmatically; but if the investigations of our from Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy. But these are usually left for his biography as opposed to his supposed ‘real’ academically-valid, philosophical work. Philosophic contemplation, when it is unalloyed, does not aim at proving that the rest of the universe is akin to man. Philosophic contemplation does not, in its widest survey, divide the quality of mind which, in action, is justice, and in emotion is that universal love which can be given to all, and not only to those The concluding chapter of The Problems of Philosophy, especially its last six paragraphs, still embarrasses Russell’s more strictly academic admirers by its gushy praise of philosophy’s spiritual value. them those that are of the profoundest interest to our spiritual life -- which, so far as we can see, must remain insoluble to the Russell explicitly addresses the "practical man" who only recognizes philosophy as a pursuit of "hair-splitting distinctions" and irrelevant trifling. be true. Phillips believes that he always learns more from moderating a philosophical, 159. Has the universe any unity of plan According to Russell, philosophical contemplation ____. themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which speculation as elsewhere, views the world as a means to its own ends; thus it makes the world of less account than Self, and