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The real function of Philosophy In The value of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell Russell explains the value of philosophy and why it should be studied The general stereotypical view of philosophical thinkers is that one wastes time asking all these unanswerable questions This rings true especially to practical men Russell writes They doubt philosophy is anything better than innocent but useless discussions on matters concerning questions that cannot be answered Practical men are described as ones who recognize only material needs who realize that men must have food for the body but are oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind People do require food for the body but what is food for the mind Philosophy is food for the mind and according to Russell that is the only reason to study it However only people who recognize that their minds need nourishing in the first place can be persuaded that philosophy is not a waste of time It is a way to open new doors within ones mind with as much grace as a SWAT team battering a door down in a drug raid Practical men who dont ask any questions and who do not ponder daily routines go through life locked down and barricaded inside a besieged fortress knowing the end will come yet always combating against it Practical man goes through life never questioning anything yet believing in whatever the nation tells them Russell further describes the practical man as definite obvious common objects rouse no questions and any unfamiliar possibilities are rejected Russell compares this lack of questioning to being imprisoned In such a life there is no peace but a constant strife between the insistence of desire and the powerlessness of will In one way or another if our life is to be great and free we must escape this prison and this strife But yet if a practical man rejects any unfamiliar possibilities how can he
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