Bertrand Russell's Thoughts on the Value of Philosophy

At the beginning of class, the instructor asked what our thoughts were on philosophy; I said that philosophy is the discovery of life’s meaning, and why things are there for a reason. Our very first reading was on the great philosopher; Bertrand Russell who addresses that “the value of philosophy” is equivalent to everyone “finding a way of escape” (p.xvi) Russell roughly gives his example by talking about the “Practical” men, he applies the “practical” men and comparing it to what he means by escape.

In my essay, I will explain what Russell means by “escape” and apply it to the many things that are the essence of escape such as; religion, tradition, and idea’s from other philosophers to find the true value of philosophy.

Russell says that philosophy is one’s speculation about knowledge that questions all facts, he points out that men liveliveife traptrappedide a prison cell, because they put themselves in a clock-in, clock-out job, imprisoning their potential to truly live life for its sits value.

Russell gives an example of escape; the practical “man who is “shut up within the circle of his interest” (Russell xvi). The “practical” man is too caught up in creating their ideal image of how they want for others, to perceive them that they forget who they truly are. As they rely on their ideal image, it starts to get more comfortable and harder to leave. Russell thinks that if the “practical” man can see, enriching himself with the great knowledge of philosophy he will then live life freely.

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By escape, Russell believes that if a person never takes a vocavacationer repetition of work, his brain could somehow; possibly be able to not function well and hurt himself not just physically but mentally also. Russell says that the “practical” man needs to learn how to hit the pause button on life, and feed not just the body with food, but also feed the mind as well.

(Russell, p. xiv) what he meant by food is letting philosophy; something different to feed the mind. Russell views philosophy as something you can seek inside yourself, his work leans towards more imagination, and poetic rather than being logical in literature. The philosopher uses the self as an attempt to answer his nation, what is “utility,” a valuable item that uses imagination and knowledge to solve a math problem like philosophy. Russell wanted to know what our utility is; by nkaskingbout this, it can help liberate us to find our way back when lost about where we are in life. My Fromperspectivee, I think that society has influenced us so much with theitsage of us, we that can’t tell whether it is the life we want for ourselves or the life society wants for us. The value of philosophy is simply the discovery of one’s self, Russell says, “The value of philosophy must not depend upon any supposed body of definitely ascertainable knowledge to be acquired by those who study it.

The value of philosophy is to be so, taught largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual belief of his age or his nation, and convinces which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason.” (pg. XV)

Even though knowledge helped people get around the world with the life that they’re living in, it is what creates a prison for that person at the same time. Russell believes that Society is created from knowledge, Russell mentioned, that philosophy is not to be determined by knowledge so therefore, philosophy cannot be what society says it is. Philosophy can only be found with a clear-cut mind. “It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found, and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time.” (pg. xiv) Philosophy is not something you can learn using evidence like science is used to determine a theory. It is in you to determine what philosophy is, your positive and free mind will open the door to many opportunities for the man. Russell says, “It is true that this is partly accounted for  by the fact that, as soon as definite knowledge concerning any subject becomes possible, this subject ceases to be called philosophy, and becomes a separate science.” (Russell, p. xv)When we let our mind expands instead of staying in one we will stop focusing on the practical life and start living freely.

Many religious people use their beliefs to escape from their interests, society,y, and knowledge. It is only once a week, Sunday morning that a person can think outside the circle of their interest and focus on God; someone who holds the truth to living a good life. Going to a different place other than the workplace, and socializing with open-minded people will help the mind to escape from practical life. Reading the holy bible and hearing the reverend preach, sets the religious person to have a diverse mind. When they can relax their mind, and hear the wise words frGodgod through the preacher, it helps all to discover that there is more than just the objects in front of us, life is more than what we think, and life is unthinkable, like Russell said, “knowledge is a form of self and not-self.” (Russell, p. xvi) Having too much of one thing can harm the body, but not having it also harms the body too.

In conclusion, the meaning of escape has been said, and how the “practical” man can escape from his interest and take that to an extent. I think that this goes to many of us women even though Russell focuses on just the “Practical” man. I can honestly say people who are like me and my family woworrybout earning money; an object that we as a family value a lot because everything that has to do with living involves money. We believe that those things can make us happy, and feeds our mind but be aware that this is what creates a prison cell around us. When we find something else that is outside of our belief and comfort zone it is then that we can finally be able to live the true value of life.

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Bertrand Russell's Thoughts on the Value of Philosophy. (2022, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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