Saturday, October 1, 2016
Philosophy is the only discipline which, by its own definition, embodies the quest for knowledge and understanding of the nature and meaning of the universe as well as of human life.
But after long search of more than 5000 years, to which the greatest minds of human history have been bent, it has failed to provide any definite answer to such questions.
Bertrand Russell was a great thinker of the present world, whose life spanned almost a century. He spent almost his entire life in reading and writing on philosophical subjects. But he failed to evolve any credible ideology. Because of this failure, one of his commentators remarks that “he was a philosopher of no philosophy.” This is true not only of Bertrand Russell, but also of all other philosophers. Individually or jointly, they have failed to produce any philosophical system which might have provided a sound answer to the human dilemma.
The main concern of philosophy was to make a unified picture of the world, including human life. But the long history of philosophy shows that this still remains an unfulfilled dream. The Encyclopaedia Britannica in its 27-page article on philosophy and its history, admits that there seems to be no possibility of philosophical unification.
The article concludes with this remark:
In the contemporary philosophical universe,
Why this failure? This failure is not of a chance or intermittent nature, but seems to be a permanent feature of the philosophical approach to reality. The Qur’an has drawn our attention to this fact, saying:
They put questions to you about the Spirit. Say:
“The Spirit is at the command of my Lord and of
Knowledge you have been given only a little.” (17:85)
This means that the problem stems from man’s own shortcomings. The philosophical explanation of the world requires unbounded knowledge, whereas man has had only limited knowledge bestowed upon him. Due to these intellectual constraints man cannot uncover the secrets of the world on his own. So it is not the lack of research, but the blinkered state of the human mind , that stands as a permanent obstacle in the philosopher’s path to reality.
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