The Value of Philosophy Essay

It is basic human nature to inquiry. There is a wonder inside all of us that leads us to inquire about everything. Curiosity leads to scrutiny. which leads to contemplation. Through this procedure the enigmas of life and the existence are easy discovered. But there are some inquiries that can ne’er be answered with certainty. These inquiries make up the survey of doctrine. and are considered utilizing ground and logic. Two of the chief statements in doctrine discuss its value and the significance of life.

Socrates. Bertrand Russell. Blaise Pascal and Thomas Nagel effort in their ain manner to ground through these inquiries and organize their ain alone replies. In Bertrand Russell’s “The Value of Philosophy” . he discusses what doctrine is and why it is of import. He concludes that the value of doctrine is rooted in its really uncertainness. He maintains that all those inquiries that can non be answered are a portion of philosophical treatment. and inquiries with definite replies are a merchandise of the physical scientific disciplines.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

When Russell is explicating in item the value of doctrine he says. “These inquiries enlarge our construct of what is possible. enrich our rational imaginativeness and decrease the dogmatic confidence which closes the head against speculation” ( Russell 12 ) . For Russell. doctrine opens the head and dispels ignorance and bigotry. leting us to believe more freely and see more possibilities. In Plato’s “Apology: Defense mechanism of Socrates. ” Socrates besides holds the position that doctrine is a necessary pattern for all individuals when he argues. “An unexamined life is no life for a human being to live” ( Plato 40 ) .

Socrates has merely been found guilty of perverting the young person and non admiting the Gods of the metropolis. Once the finding of fact is reached. he argues for executing instead than expatriate because he believes that his survey of doctrine is supreme in his life and it would be more honest to decease than to fly and analyze doctrine elsewhere. under subpar conditions than those in Athens. Philosophy is of import to him because it allows people to believe for themselves instead than travel along with what they are told to believe.

Russell and Socrates both uphold that the importance of doctrine semen from what is does for the head. Doctrine opens our heads. leting unawareness and lip service to disperse. By oppugning. we come to cognize more about the existence. and ourselves. However. Russell and Socrates do differ on the certainty of truth. Socrates believes that there is certain truth. and one can make it through ground and contemplation. Conversely. Russell maintains that everything is unsure. but doctrine is still valuable because thought of all possible accounts enlarges our heads.

Through doctrine we are released from given. oblivion. and dogmatism. Whether or non we can cognize the absolute truth. contemplation through ground still holds huge importance for human existences. I draw from Socrates every bit good as Russell when I consider the value of doctrine. Doctrine allows me to see the universe for what it is. alternatively of being bogged down by the sentiment of the multitudes. or the social norms. Through ground I can see the truth and it’s importance to me. Similar to Russell. I see that much of philosophy’s illustriousness lies in its uncertainness.

We can non cognize for certain what the replies are. but through observation and thought we can organize many possibilities. enlarging our heads to keep more than one solution to any given job. Consequently this allows us to hold a more unfastened head. and we can near life with a broadened sense of ego. Another inquiry philosophers ask is “What is the point of our lives? ” The reply varies greatly between each person. demonstrated by the separate ideas of Socrates. Pascal. and Nagel. Socrates argues that it is worse than decease to be unfair.

He gives some illustrations of what qualifies every bit unfair. Injustice includes: prevarication. wounding others. interrupting the jurisprudence of a merely province. and aching those who hurt you. Above all. Socrates argues that the point of our lives is to seek the truth. He condemns the Sophists because they have no respect for the truth ; they merely appreciate material things. The Sophists were a group of philosophers around the clip of Socrates who taught the young person of Athens how to win statements. whether what they were reasoning for was true or non. Socrates maintains that this is non the manner to populate.

Life is non about money or material things. instead. the point of life is to be merely. honest. and true to yourself every bit good as the Torahs of the province. He even argues that one ought instead decease than populate a bad life. “I suggest that it is non decease that is difficult to avoid. gentlemen. but evil is far harder. since it is fleeter of pes than death” ( Plato 41 ) . Socrates claims that it is much easier to populate in evil than dice. Therefore. unfairness and dishonour are two of the greatest immoralities and one should avoid them at all costs.

In “The Wager. ” Pascal nowadayss a position of life centered on belief in God. Similar to Socrates. he upholds that life is about prosecuting the truth every bit good as populating a good life. He argues for the being of absolute truth when he states. “Is there non one significant truth. seeing there are so many things which are non the truth itself” ( Pascal 83 ) . Pascal maintains that this “one significant truth” is God. and grounds for His being. He claims that in life. we have two picks: to believe in God. or to non believe in God.

We must accept the bet ; we have no pick. There are four possible outcomes from this bet. harmonizing to Pascal. If God does so be. and we so believe that he exists. we will derive infinite cloud nine ; if we do non believe that he exists. so we are damned for infinity. However. if God does non be and we believe the same. so we lose nil. but we besides gain nil. If we believe that He exists and He does non. so we besides lose nil. but have lived a good life with religion. humbleness. and compassion.

Above all. Pascal wants us to believe. His chief points are summarized when he writes. “If you gain. you gain all ; if you lose. you lose nothing” ( Pascal 83 ) . We must bet. and we must believe in God. for He is the ultimate truth. Thomas Nagel discusses absurdness. which is the disagreement between how earnestly worlds take their lives. and how unsure life really is. Everything is unfastened to doubt. and that causes us to experience that our lives are undistinguished. and hence. nil affairs.

He maintains that worlds deem life absurd through epistemic incredulity. or the position that nil can be known with certainty. He presents five options. which vary from wholly avoiding life’s absurdness to encompassing it to the full. His ideas on absurdness and his solution to it are best portrayed when he states. “If…there is no ground to believe that anything affairs. so that does non count either. and we can near our lives with irony alternatively of gallantry or despair” ( Nagel 27 ) .

By accepting the position that nil affairs. we accept the position that believing nil affairs besides does non count. liberating us from absurdness. Nagel urges us to non despair. but besides non take life excessively earnestly. Pascal. Nagel. and Socrates present different positions of how to do our lives worthwhile ; but all agree that our lives should be spent in hunt of the truth. which is reached through honest logical thinking and single contemplation. When faced with the absurdness and uncertainness of life. Pascal and Nagel agree that self-destruction is non a legitimate flight.

It is non necessary and ends up robbing us of the possibility of infinite felicity or a life free from absurdness. I agree with Socrates’ position. that dishonour and unfairness must be avoided in order to populate a good and honorable life. I accept Pascal’s bet. and am willing to put my stake on the being of God. trusting to derive all. I have besides experienced some of the absurdness Nagel discusses and have come to my ain decisions. I maintain that we should populate for today. By populating in the present we escape the fright of the hereafter.

We do non acquire hung up on the uncertainnesss. but still acknowledge their being. I besides agree with Nagel that life should be approached with sarcasm. and we should non take ourselves excessively earnestly. Russell. Socrates. Pascal and Nagel all present plausible replies to the inquiries “What is the value of doctrine. ” and “What is the intent of our lives” . They use ground and logic to make their decisions. Through doctrine. we can broaden our heads and free ourselves from the bigotry of society.

Once our heads are expanded. we are able to believe with ground and discover. for ourselves. the truth. Mentions Nagel. Thomas. “The Absurd. ” In John Perry. Michael Bratman and John Martin Fischer. editors. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Fourth Edition ( New York: Oxford University Press ) 2007. Pascal. Blaise. “The Wager. ” In John Perry. Michael Bratman and John Martin Fischer. editors. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Fourth Edition ( New York: Oxford University Press ) 2007.

Plato. “Apology: Defense mechanism of Socrates. ” In John Perry. Michael Bratman and John Martin Fischer. editors. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Fourth Edition ( New York: Oxford University Press ) 2007. Russell. Bertrand. “The Value of Philosophy. ” In John Perry. Michael Bratman and John Martin Fischer. editors. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Fourth Edition ( New York: Oxford University Press ) 2007.