Bertrand Russel on Philosophy

Some quotes from “History of Western Philosophy”

Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation.

Almost all the questions of most interest to speculative minds are such as science cannot answer, and the confident answers of theologians no longer seem so convincing as they did in former centuries… To such questions no answer can be found in laboratory. Theologies have professed to give answers, all too definite; but their very definiteness causes modern minds to view them with suspicion.

Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance.

To teach how to live with uncertainty, and yet without being paralysed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.

 

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

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