Practicality

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The ‘practical’ man, as this word is often used, is one who recognizes only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind. ~ Bertrand Russell

Practicality is the quality of thought and action based on experience with practice rather than theory.

Quotes[edit]

  • Practical life is not necessarily directed toward other people, as some think; and it is not the case that practical thoughts are only those which result from action for the sake of what ensues. On the contrary, much more practical are those mental activities and reflections which have their goal in themselves and take place for their own sake.
  • At present, when the prevailing forms of society have become hindrances to the free expression of human powers, it is precisely the abstract branches of science, mathematics and theoretical physics, which ... offer a less distorted form of knowledge than other branches of science which are interwoven with the pattern of daily life, and the practicality of which seemingly testifies to their realistic character.
    • Max Horkheimer, “The latest attack on metaphysics,” Critical Theory: Selected Essays (1982), p. 133
  • The ‘practical’ man, as this word is often used, is one who recognizes only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind.
    • Bertrand Russell, Problems of Philosophy, Chapter XV “The Value of Philosophy”

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