What is Philosophy?

The Department at Victoria University at Wellington has compiled an interesting set of reflections by contemporary and 20th-century figures in answer to the Question: What is Philosophy?

My favorite:

Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect. [Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy]

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2 thoughts on “What is Philosophy?

  1. Thank you for sharing. I was a double major in English & Philosophy in college so the quote hit home.

    While on the subway this afternoon, I saw an ad from a place called, Philosophy Works.

    Never heard of the organization but it made me wonder what exactly do they teach in their Philosophy Courses:

  2. Jennifer,

    Thanks for your comment and the link.

    The study of philosophy forces us to consider the rational justification of logical inferences. In that regard, it also helps a person to think more critically, a skill that is also useful in any career or endeavor.

    Have a great day!

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