Whenever I thought of you I couldn’t help thinking of a particular incident which seemed to me very important. You and I were walking along the river towards the railway bridge and we had a heated discussion in which you made a remark about ‘national character’ that shocked me by its primitiveness. I then thought: what is the use of studying philosophy if all that it does for you is to enable you to talk with some plausibility about some abstruse questions of logic, etc., and if it does not improve your thinking about the important questions of everyday life, if it does not make you more conscientious than any . . . journalist in the use of the dangerous phrases such people use for their own ends.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, letter to Norman Malcolm (Malcolm 1958: 39)