Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

By

Hapa Haole

THIS IS SO LATE.

Oh well, here’s my prezi (it wasn’t embedding) and script!

I think that philosophy is the study of humanity. From what I know so far, it centers around humans quite a bit. Humans think about it, humans debate topics on it, and there’s even a section on what, ethically, humans can do. So … philosophy is us. Or, rather, all about us. This, frankly, seems a bit egotistical, but, to be fair, it is a human invention, and we don’t exactly have a method for bringing dolphins and mice into our discussions on why we’re all here, so maybe it isn’t so much ego as it is… a language barrier.

 

So happy together....

So happy together….

Which brings me to 2. Since philosophy really is all about us, it can almost be molded so that it’s exactly what we need at any given time. Take Wittgenstein. He went about philosophizing for a year, all solitarily, and then he finally decides to branch out and talk at someone about these fantastic ideas that he’s come up with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they are fantastic ideas, but he went from living alone in a hut to talking to one guy to an entire classroom of students who were all watching him stare at his hand. His method of philosophizing changed drastically, and it fit perfectly with how he wanted to live his life.

Because of that, I think that philosophy is a broad enough subject that you could pick and choose what you wanted to focus on depending on how you felt on any given day. If I were to wake up and look out the window and see bright sunshine filtering over the leaves (and if I were to think philosophically about this), I’d probably wonder what or why something so beautiful would happen and how I was able to comprehend its beauty and what exactly beauty is, anyway.

On the other hand, if I were to wake up, look outside, and see thunder and lightning mixed with snow, mixed with hail, I’d probably be thinking something along the lines of: How far would I go to get rid of this awful weather? What comes after death? Are any of us really here? Sad and complicated things like that. There is no precise starting point where philosophy begins, and there’s certainly no place where it ends, so who’s to say whether the happy philosophizing is right and the sad one is wrong? They’re both considered philosophy, so where does that leave us?

Because philosophy is inherently about humans and it can be whatever we want it to be at any given time, in the end, it’s really just a big study about ourselves. I’ve recently been thinking more about this question, what (or, I guess, who) am I, because I went to this art exhibit called Hapa, which is a Hawaiian word meaning half. Hapa is also a term for someone who is of mixed ethnic heritage, and I am half Chinese and half Scottish. So, this art exhibit was done by a man named Kip Fulbeck, who is also Hapa, and wanted to take portraits of other Hapa people. Fulbeck is a photographer, a filmmaker, a writer, and an artist, and going to this exhibit was, I won’t lie, kind of a big deal for me. Each portrait that he took was accompanied by a little half-page that each person had to fill out with their answer to the question: What are you?

The "other" box is basically my Mt. Everest

The “other” box is basically my Mt. Everest

Reading each of these answers was fascinating for me, because they ranged from this [1], to this [2], to this [3], which is probably the most creative and philosophical answer that I saw out of all of them.

So, in conclusion, philosophy is the study of ourselves because we, as a species, and me, as a person, are still figuring ourselves out. The sciences—and I mean Chemistry, Biology, those things—will give you equations and percentages, but I think that only philosophy will give us a true concept of ourselves, because it’s a subject that was created by humans about humans, meant for humans to discuss.

 

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