What do you think Russell means when he says, all acquisitions of knowledge is an enlargement of the self and do you think he is right

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The statement attempts to configure philosophy in a light where the questions end up driving consciousness, not necessarily the answers.  Russell's essay strikes at how one should view philosophy not as a branch that has definite and preconceived answers.  Russell argues that philosophy is different from other sciences precisely because it is not meant to give any distinct answers, but actually raise more questions.  It is within this concept where the self is seen.  Russell argues that when we seek to try to reduce the complexities of the human mind to only specific answers and deny the essence of the unknown, the self's growth is stunted and development arrested.  It is only through the understanding of self as the understanding of philosophy's limitless supply of questions that one's self can be fully enhanced.  It is also incumbent that both the self and the quest through philosophy be animated by more questions, where seemingly intellectual insecurity and a healthy dose of doubt are more prevalent that any notions of absolute answers being present.  I suppose that I like this idea of being able to live with a sense of doubt and uncertainty about questions.  There might be a harmonious schizophrenia within the student of philosophy that has no problem answering questions, only to find more to be present.  This paradox of answering questions to obtain more of them is something that I am actually ok with.  I think that it's a bit different of a read of philosophy, which is part of the reason why I think it might be on to something.