North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Philosophy: Who Needs It
Most men spend their days struggling to evade three questions, the answers to which underlie man's every thought, feeling and action, whether he is consciously aware of it or not: Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do?
By the time they are old enough to understand these questions, men believe that they know the answers. Where am I? Say, in New York City. How do I know it? It's self-evident. What should I do? Here, they are not too sure — but the usual answer is: whatever everybody does. The only trouble seems to be that they are not very active, not very confident, not very happy — and they experience, at times, a causeless fear and an undefined guilt, which they cannot explain or get rid of.
They have never discovered the fact that the trouble comes from the three unanswered questions — and that there is only one science that can answer them: philosophy.
Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence. As against the special sciences, which deal only with particular aspects, philosophy deals with those aspects of the universe which pertain to everything that exists. In the realm of cognition, the special sciences are the trees, but philosophy is the soil which makes the forest possible.
--Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It