Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Phil’s Day Off 2: Epistemological Boogaloo

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My goal for Philosophy’s Day Off was to test my belief that all negative knowledge and experiences are positive in some way. While not my original plan, I ended up making this test during my Sunday shift washing dishes at the Westwood Country Club restaurant.

I came in expecting an average shift. While there was a wedding on, there were two other washers with me and we were only scheduled until 11:30. I came in feeling optimistic and relaxed. However, at the last quarter of our shift, we found ourselves trapped behind carts of dirty dishes like prison cage bars. Such a quantity of dirty dishes is unsightly to a dishwasher, but the three of us kept at it at the bars eventually disappeared. Then one of the waiters came and ruined our recently uplifted moods; we would be resetting tonight. Resetting means that all the dishes must be washes before we left, so that they could all be returned to their proper place as if the restaurant were opening for the first time.

Yeah, that sucked.

We stayed an hour longer than we were originally scheduled, which never feels good. As I drove home, realizing that I would wake up “later today” instead of “tomorrow”, I considered all the consequences of my extended shift. Sure, I felt exhausted, cheated, and generally annoyed at the whole experience, but then I thought about the realm outside of my immediate reaction. More work means more money, and since I’ve recently become more devoted to the collection of comics, books, films, and such, more money is always helpful. I considered the people responsible for resetting, and how their job had been made easier because of my extra efforts. I know that, were I in their shoes, I’d want the dishwashers to have everything ready for a reset.

I went to sleep feeling not completely irritated, having proven my belief that my negative experience had a positive outcome.

In my Metaphysics study, I studied the idea of people who are incapable of redemption. I have a similar remaining question with my current study; is there any kind of negative experience or knowledge that has no positive undertones whatsoever? The bloody murder of one’s entire family comes to mind, but is there something perhaps a little more subtle?

Compared to my last Phil’s Day Off, where I observed parents’ behavior around their children in public, this one was very different. Most of the consideration was done after the activity, as opposed to during it. I also felt that I had more conclusive results than my last one, which mainly furthered my understanding of the concept.


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