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Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Aesthetic Experience – Colin Evans

What did I plan to do?

This past weekend I planned to set out on an adventure into the wilderness with a few of my friends at a cabin with no heat, running water, or even a front door… To put it lightly, I’d have to say this was the most run down cabin I’ve stayed in. We planned on hanging out, heading out to the river and lake to swim, and sleeping over in the rustic beds. Then we planned on waking up early to head home the next day for the long drive ahead of us.

What were my initial thoughts?

From what I had heard from some initially, they said the cabin would be “so lit”. Although the other 80% of people I talked to said it was going to be terrible… I was not excited AT ALL. I hate being cold, I enjoy having running water, and I enjoy a good nights sleep. Although from what id been collecting over the prior few days to the trip, it was going to be everything but that. Not to mention the 2 hour journey in the 97 wrangler with a top speed of 140km/hr; it wasn’t set out to be the most enjoyable ride.

What actually happened?

I packed up the Jeep and picked up my friend and we set out to start our journey to the ancient cabin in the middle of nowhere. I topped up the fuel and once we were on our way I realized after a while that we sucked up $30 in gas already… Not the greatest vehicle choice, and not the greatest thing to start off the weekend. Although as we arrived at the crappy cabin and pulled into the dirt driveway, we saw all our friends huddled inside having a good time. After a while of being there my opinion on the cabin had changed in a way. The fact that it was a crappy cabin had not changed, but because of that we made the best of the trip, and all the negative aspects of the cabin turned out to be the positives. From this aesthetic experience I learnt that even something that isn’t pleasing can still turn out to be something so much more pleasing than you can imagine if you just tweak your perception. Perception is everything and if you can have a positive attitude about something crappy, it will almost every time turn out to be a good experience.

 

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Epistemology – Phil’s Day off, Colin Evans

Phil’s Day off

For my Phil’s day off my brother challenged me to a “Knowledge Test”. He believed that just because I’ve had my N licence for a year, it doesn’t mean I’m more knowledgeable than him in driving. So the competitive side in me kicked in and we both downloaded the ICBC L test app and set out to start. He was so confident that just because he knows how much horse power a Lamborghini has, he must be knowledgeable about the rules of the road. So we started the test and he finished in around a minute or so, and had a big smirk on his face. I finished the test nice and calm at a time of 2:10 seconds. Then we both clicked to view our scores… My brother got 84%, only 4% over a passing grade and I got 100%.

From this it was evident that knowledge does indeed come from experience and just because you read the facts, doesn’t mean you are knowledgeable.

 

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Metaphysics – Phil’s Day off, Colin Evans

Phil’s Day off

For my Phils day off I struggled to think of an idea where I prove that you can’t make your own decisions so I just talked a variety of different people at home about the topic

Dad – My dad believed it was a useless debate because you learn nothing from it realistically. He strongly dislikes Philosophy so it was pretty subjective conversation.

Mom – She said she believes that we have little control when making decisions due to too many variables and things influencing it. This is exactly how I think of the topic which I don’t think is a coincidence considering she’s my mom.

Sister – My sister being the rebel child she Is, believes that we have the ability to have full control over our decisions. She says that if you try hard enough you can make decisions objectively.

From this Active Learning I got that this is a more complex question and that there isn’t one set answer to it. I was wring to believe that the majority believed the same as me.

 

 

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Metaphysics – Discussion, Colin Evans

Discussion

The overall topic of discussion revolved around Free Will vs Determinism.

Colin – My initial question was weather we are in control of our own decisions or not. Me and Aaron came to the conclusion that we have a very limited control over our decisions and that there are too many variables in the process of making decisions that its nearly impossible to do so with only your mind.

Jackson – Jackson brought up the concept of selective perception asking whether we screen out things we don’t agree with, in turn shaping our decisions. We both firmly agreed with this statement as it linked to Will’s idea of it being impossible for humans to be objective. When we have an initial opinion it is sometimes hard to change our minds because we are human, and we are 100% subjective in all of our decisions to a degree.

 Courtney – Courtney asked the question, do our surroundings control the decisions we make? and we both decided that yes, our surroundings greatly control all of our decisions. Whether its the atmosphere, environment/visuals, the people around us, they all have some kind of influence. In high school especially kids tend to make decisions based on what other people would view as cool or funny, even though they know its not the right thing to do. Or if you’re in a bad mood or atmosphere and you might say or do something you never would think to do. Emotions are the biggest and most influential variable of them all and they can easily be changed and controlled by almost anything.

Aaron – Does god control our decisions? Aaron introduced the religious debate about this topic that I had never thought of. Although as neither of us are religious there wasn’t much of a debate.

It was clear by the end of our discussion day that my opinion wasn’t swayed at all, and that I still believed that other variables had the majority of control over the decisions we make.

 

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Metaphysics – Reading, Colin Evans

Reading

Initially my metaphysical question revolved around the concept of free will vs determinism. The topic was so popular with so many opinions that I didn’t really find it too interesting to go in-depth in; so I tried to stay a bit away from the mainstream side of the question and branched off into something more specific. I was on TEDTalks on my TV and I came across an interesting presentation by Dan Ariely to do with Illusions and whether we control our own decisions or not.

For example he did an experiment with speed dating, proving that in a very short amount of time you’re able to establish whether you find someone physically attractive or not. What I got from this is that the media has shaped our view of so many different things, in a way controlling how we perceive things. This made my topic a lot more confusing, although needed, because I feel as if I was missing a big chunk of the topic.

Dan Ariely poses a very thought provoking question. Are we in control of our decisions? Dan goes though different tests, illusions , and studies to understand how people make decisions. He finds that many decisions are based on how a situation is presented or is viewed and less to do with the person. He questions whether people even have control over their decisions or if the outside circumstances determine what a person will do.  The examples seem to present a convincing argument, So do we really control our decisions? or are we in some way influenced to make certain decisions?

– Leadership Society of Arizona

From my reading I came to the conclusion that we have little control over our decisions in the grand scheme of things. There will always be someone, something or situation that will influence us in some way shape or from.

 

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Colin Evans – Epistemology (Discussion)

Discussion

My in class discussion started off by having a discussion with Courtney about her belief that “knowledge is endless“. Not only is it endless but it’s physically impossible to attain that much information in a single life time, let alone your brain having the capacity to store that much knowledge. The universe is forever expanding and an incredible rate and we still haven’t even grazed the surface of knowing about the planet we live on. We are always finding new species, coming up with new theories, and discovering past theories to be true. We both agreed that knowledge is endless in every way, shape and from.

Next In the class discussion I talked to Nick about his theory of “knowledge is power”.

“The more one knows, the more one will be able to control events. This sentence is found in the works of Francis Bacon.”

-dictionary.com

That pretty much sums up the core of nicks opinion. The more knowledge you obtain, the more control and power you can obtain, its as simple as that. We both agreed that in some ways, knowledge is power.

Aaron and I discussed the classic Tripartite Theory of Knowledge.

The tripartite theory of knowledge, analyses knowledge as justified true belief. The tripartite theory says that if you believe something, with justification, and it is true, then you know it; otherwise, you do not.

There are three “Conditions” that went along with the theory and they were Belief, Truth, and Justification. This theory was pretty confusing so our conversation didn’t go very far in depth but from what we could understand we generally agreed with theory as a whole.

 

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Colin Evans – Epistemology (Reading)

READINGconfucius-757900

 

While surfing the net for interesting readings on knowledge, i came across a quote from Confucius that completely summed up my belief.

Confucius said,

“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.”

To me this means that wisdom is revealed when you understand and are able to find practical applications for the knowledge that you have gained and also when you realize that even though you are well educated either formally or through experience that there’s still lots that you don’t know or understand.

“To know what you know” to me means that you need to be aware of the things you actually know for a fact, and not fool yourself or others into thinking you know something when you really don’t. “To know what you don’t know” By this I feel as if he means that you need to know when you’re stepping out of your range of knowledge, and to be aware and be able to accept that you cannot know everything.

While reading I came across topics like “Knowledge is knowing nothing” which right away without reading into the quote I was already confused as to how that was possible, so I didn’t go much deeper into that.  Also on the scientific side, knowledge is the thing you gain and store from experience and study which enables an Individual to be able to preform certain tasks and actions. And then Confucius’  belief “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” Between the three I 100% agree with scientific statement because its the most realistic, logic and I can actually wrap my head around it but I’m usually drawn to the scientific side of things. In this unit I tried to stray away from my mainstream train of thought, trying to go deeper and more philosophical with the process of forming my opinion. So overall I agree with science but when it comes to philosophy I agree with the weird facial hair man Confucius.

 

 

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Assisted Suicide Debate – Colin Evans

http://m.huffpost.com/ca/entry/6630220

In this article the doctors felt that Canadians finally being able to make the decision as to whether or not they want to fight the pain while in terminal condition was a good decision.

Premises

  1. Every human being has a right to life.   

    Perhaps the most basic and fundamental of all our rights. However, with every right comes a choice. The right to speech does not remove the option to remain silent; the right to vote brings with it the right to abstain. In the same way, the right to choose to die is implicit in the right to life. The degree to which physical pain and psychological distress can be tolerated is different in all humans. Quality of life judgements are private and personal, thus only the sufferer can make relevant decisions. – Derek Humphre

2.  Those who are in the late stages of a terminal disease have a horrific future ahead of them

  •  Like they said in the video, this ban infringed on the rights of Canadians to life, liberty, and security. Someone with little to no future ahead of them other than pain, should without a doubt have the option to die with dignity.

    At least five percent of terminal pain cannot be controlled, even with the best care. Faced with this, it is surely more humane that those people be allowed to choose the manner of their own end, and have the assistance of a doctor to die with dignity.  – Chris Docker

    In conclusion, people should have the right to assisted suicide.

  • In my opinion without a doubt this argument is valid. The points are simple, to the point, and factually correct. With that being said i believe this a sound argument.

 

 
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