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Those who would assign philosophy the role of a leisurely pastime for a few people who have nothing better to do, are greatly mistaken. Philosophy, correctly understood, involves living as well as being. Its value is not merely intellectual, not merely to stimulate thought, but also to guide action. Its ideas and ideals are not left suspended in mid-air, as it were, unable to come down to earth in practical and practicable forms. It can be put to the test in daily living. It can be applied to all personal and social problems without exception. It shows us how to achieve a balanced existence in an unbalanced society. It is truth made workable. The study of and practice of philosophy are particularly valuable to men and women who follow certain professions, such as physicians, lawyers, and teachers, or who hold a certain social status, such as business executives, political administrators, and leaders of organizations. Those who have been placed by character or destiny or by both where their authority touches the lives of numerous others, or where their influence affects the minds of many more, who occupy positions of responsibility or superior status, will find in its principles that which will enable them to direct others wisely and in a manner conducive to the ultimate happiness of all. In the end it can only justify its name if it dynamically inspires its votaries to a wise altruistic and untiring activity, both in self-development and in social development.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 177

-- Perspectives > Chapter 20: What Is Philosophy? > # 16






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