to answer the OP question, it's not either or. it's both. and this is not apply just to aikido, but to all other martial endeavors be it learning how to shoot a gun, a tank, to aikido, to judo, kungfu, ....etc.
practical demonstrates the ability to carry out the action to it successful completion. philosophical gives the moral restraint to the practical actions. practical without moral restraint gives us the killer, murderer, rapist, etc and etc. philosophical without practical gives us the victims of the above folks of "practical without moral restraint".
i don't know about you folks, but i don't care to be a victim nor do i care to be a murderer and rapist. although, a bunch chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, fishes, shrimp, and other edible species have been posting my picture on their "Wanted: dead or alive" bulletin board. so far, i have been quite successful in reducing their number; however, they are slowly reducing the blood flow to my arteries. it's a struggle of life and dead. sometimes, i am quite philosophical about it, while practically chowing down a big steak, whether i should use A-1 or Hein 57 sauce.