Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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The voices in your head are telling you to read this

Proposition: 

Without language, knowledge only exists in the consciousness of individuals.

Many of the worlds most incredible accomplishments technologically, scientifically and even environmentally are due to the binding of ideas and application of individuals useful skills. Without communicating, without language, we would not have a way to express our thoughts and aptitudes, or even be able to comprehend them in our own minds. If we did not know the language we know, what would the voice in our head sound like?

Premise 1: Defining language

Before I get too deep into this philosophical proposition, I need to define a few things.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that language is “the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other.” Language, though used mostly to explain the different words people across the world use to speak, refers to any form of communication or expression. Without this form of contact, we would not be able to know what anyone was thinking clearly; only through facial expressions or primal grunts.

Premise 2: Defining knowledge

Knowledge refers to the  “information, understanding, or skill that you get from experience or education.” according to Merriam-Webster. When we incorporate this along side language, it allows us to convey this to those around us. Knowledge and ideas are formed by multiple different concepts being bonded into new concepts. How would we be able to have knowledge, outside of our own minds, without language? and that question brings me to my next definition.

Premise 3: Individual consciousness

The consciousness of an individual does not necessarily have or need a dictionary definition. To me, it means the voices and ideas you come up with in your own mind, and that is how you shall see it while reading this post.

Premise 4: WHY knowledge cannot exist without language / communication

How do we explain the voices in our heads if we have no way to speak? We gesture. How do we understand what someone means when they gesture without the externally spread knowledge of what they mean? How are we supposed to know that other people mean one thing when they make a certain face, when to us it means something entirely different? What the heck does the voice in our head sound like if there was no language? All of these questions are virtually unanswerable. If I didn’t speak english and you didn’t know words were even a thing, I couldn’t even convey this information to you. It wouldn’t even be a problem because language would be irrelevant and non existent.

This is such a struggle to understand, I know, and you may point out how there are people who can in fact communicate without their voices, but that language was created by people who have language. They were able to work together and say, ‘hey, these people should be able to tell us what they need too.” because of their ability to voice their opinions through language. It has always been a part of us, but what if it was never there? How different would the world be!? I wouldn’t be Claire and you wouldn’t speak English because you wouldn’t speak at all. You’re reading these words on this page like its so normal but imagine if I couldn’t explain this to you and I couldn’t tell you why the sky is blue or what I think of Philosophy or how cool Jackson’s beard is? We would not evolve as a society, technologically, mentally, environmentally – all intelligence would be lost until somebody created language.

 

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Freedom – is it a thing?

Our whole lives we’re brought up with numerous levels of rules that our parents, households, cities, provinces and countries have set for us to live by. They construct our morals and our lifestyles are built around them so that we never break or disrespect them.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of freedom is:


 

freedom
Line breaks: free|dom

Pronunciation: /ˈfriːdəm/ 

noun
[MASS NOUN]
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants


but aren’t we constantly being controlled by some external source like the government or even our parents? In this case, is freedom a true aspect of our society or is it merely something with believe to have, but really don’t?

 

 

 

 

If I were a murderer, and was in the mood to kill someone, am I free to do so? No. Because there are laws to protect people from what some (though hopefully few) people see as their personal freedom. I can only speak my mind as long as it doesn’t discriminate against any individual. We have some ‘freedoms’, but most can’t even be considered ‘freedoms’ because they are still confined by certain rules and restrictions.

According to Mr. Milliard, if we had no restrictions and were given absolute freedom, society would not be society. The world would be entirely uncivil and basically chaos. In most cases, the rules that apply to our every day life give us the illusion of safety; even though there are many that disobey and create an “unsafe” environment.

Though everyones interpretation of unsafe is different, I think we can all agree we’d feel pretty unsafe if there was an endless amount of murderers walking past us on the street with no possibility of conviction due to lack of law/restriction, which is why we have laws and our governments. Though I can understand this restriction, what I don’t exactly comprehend is how people can believe we, as a being, are free, when we cannot even speak out minds without harsh consequences.

 

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Ah! Female Anatomy!

Premise one: Men and women have chests
Premise two: The chest is not a sexual organ
Premise three: Men are allowed to be shirtless
Conclusion: Therefore, women should be allowed to be shirtless 

In an over sexualized North American society, the idea of females going out in public without a top is inappropriate and ‘wrong.’

A mans chest is merely undeveloped breasts, and have a similar but “unfinished” anatomy as the female chest. Breasts are there for the purpose of providing and feeding an infant, and are not considered a sexual organ – so why must they always be covered? In many places around the world, especially in South America and Africa, women are free to walk around shirtless and they are not treated differently than a shirtless man.

While researching for this paragraph, I began investigating different websites describing the rules and laws on toplessness. A majority of these websites are banned by the district under the category ‘sex.’ What kind of society are we living in, when we can’t even use the internet in our schools to understand why we are being restricted? In the example photo below, I was trying to access a pro-topless website describing our laws around the subject, www.gotopless.org

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.31.50 PM“In Canada, the law on public decency is found in Sections 173 and 174 of the Criminal Code. However, what constitutes an indecent act is not defined, and is open to interpretation by the courts. Topfreedom is allowed in Ontario, Sasketchawen and British Columbia following specific court cases on the matter but the case for topless equality has not been heard by the Canadian Supreme Court yet” (blurb found here but you won’t be able to look at it on SD43 internet)

 

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the door handle is the handshake of the building

Philosophy is like a door knob.

Each belongs to a different door, looks different, and leads to a different place, but they all do the same basic thing – they open a door. In my metaphor, the handle of the door is each individual question and each individuals opinion on a matter. What one see’s beyond the door is the answer, or philosophical gatherings of the person. What each person sees beyond the door depends on many different factors, like perception and place in life – it also is majorly what they want to see.

Doorknobs allow us to both open and close doors – revealing or ending a thought process or idea. No matter what someone sees, opening a door relates to philosophy in the way that everyone may have a different opinion of view but its all based on a similar open and philosophical mindset. Those who do not think openly prefer to stay behind the door, and not discover what lies beyond it.

 

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Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?

Hello I’m Claire. I also respond to Cluur, C-laire or Carlsen. I’m 17 years old and relatively uninteresting. I have a job and a total of like 4 friends, but that’s all I really need. I am a simple being. Simple, the polar opposite of this subject.
Philosophy is so much cooler than I am.
To be honest, I don’t understand most things because I’m Claire but that’s okay. Is that philosophical? Probably? Isn’t everything? (It’s too early for this I know I’m sorry.)
The subject, to me personally, reflects the knowledge of truth, perception and it allows us to understand and learn more about true simplicity. I’m eager to converse and debate with fellow students about subjects that potentially could go on forever, and to learn the opinions of others on matters that I may not have an opinion on, as well as ones that I feel very strongly towards. I believe philosophy is found everywhere, in absolutely everything we do, there is potential to think beyond the limits and grasp a deeper understanding. In philosophy, you don’t need to understand all the time; just having the “what if?” state of thought allows you to philosophize.

In this article, author Rebecca Newberger Goldstein states that human beings “[are] not a thing in the world the way there are other things in the world, [they’re] the thing experiencing other things.” This statement makes me wonder if Socrates was right- is the unexamined life worth living? Would life truly be worse than dying if we did not have the ability to examine other parts of life? The issue, which I find unbelievably frustrating, is that we may never know. Whether the technology is developed or not, it most likely won’t even be in my lifetime. Maybe they can bring me back to life one day so my questions could be answered.
Probably not. I’m not that important. I can dream, though.

In class we read the article “Love, wisdom and wonder; three reasons to celebrate philosophy” by Matthew Beard. Though I do agree, love, wisdom and wonder are definitely good reasons to explore the unreasonable depth of what lies beyond reality (whoa), I think that, like morals and values, reasons for adventuring to the philosophical part of your brain changes from person to person. Some people think its just plain silly to imagine what we can’t understand. I, personally, enjoy blowing my own mind.

I’m so all over the place in this how did I manage to pass English 12 I have no sense of organization so sry pls 4give <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, Philosophy may be important but I realized this year I’m completely and utterly smitten with Catherine Sutherland. Without a doubt she’s amazing with perfect sense of humor and Dana totally agrees in my realization in life. Philosophy isn’t just questioning what could be, but to realize true love. (okay Cat whatever you say)

 
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