What is philosophy good for? People often read Wittgenstein as deconstructing the usefulness of philosophy; and I suppose that is sort of true. As any philosophy majoy will tell you, philosophy is not particularly useful. They will, however, tell you that it is incredibly valuable. Wittgenstein helps make this clear; and here’s a little section from Philosophical Investigations to that effect.
The results of philosophy are the uncovering of one or another piece of plain nonsense and bumps that the understanding has got by running its head up against the limits of language. These bumps make us see the value of the discovery. (PI, #119)
It bears mentioning here that the value of a thing is also a thing that is discovered by the philosophical act of “simply put(ting) everything before us, and neither explain(ing) nor deduc(ing) anything”. That is, to be precise, that value is something real that is seen, as opposed to something invented or made up. Philosophy is useful in that it helps us value things that should be valued, and enjoy things that should be enjoyed. In short, it helps us live well. But it will not help us with smaller projects. When it is commandeered for that purpose, it simply becomes something that gets in the way. That is why Wittgenstein says about a page later that “(i)f one tried to advance theses in philosophy, it would never be possible to debate them, because everyone would agree with them.” (PI, #128)