What I did for my Aesthetic Experience:
So for my aesthetic experience, I went to an annual conference that I was apart of organizing. The conference itself was about gang violence, specifically how it impacts youth and our society as a whole. I didn’t conscientiously try to enjoy myself but I kind of knew I was going to. I was looking forward to the conference for about two months and I was pumped to see all the work pay of (hopefully).
My Initial Thoughts: Because of the fact that I had gone to the previous year’s conference and had enjoyed it very much, and because this time I was part of the organizing team and was looking forward to see how it would turn out, I was pretty excited and at the same time nervous. I knew I would enjoy the conference because of past experiences but the whole “Youth Leader” title also was a new thing for me. With all that said, I thought that I would enjoy myself.
Outcome: Well it was an awesome conference. About 40+ youth attended (which was less than we wanted it to be, but it was still good) and the conference itself went smoothly and calmly with no complications. I, as expected by myself, enjoyed it thoroughly and was a very happy lad. Getting to meet friends that I hadn’t seen for quite a while, meeting new people and gaining knew friendships, and just having a great time made that weekend—an incredible aesthetic experience.
My goal for this unit’s “Phil’s Day Off” was to be able to think of something that would help me with my question. I wanted to do better than what I did last time, which wasn’t going to be that difficult as in my last one wasn’t that productive. Then there was a problem. I couldn’t think of anything to do… Until Monday night, I had no idea what I was going to do. Then an idea came into my head. Since my question was, “Does knowledge need to be justified for it to be true?” or “Justified True Belief vs True Belief,” and since I know that justified true belief is not knowledge, I thought that I could find true beliefs that aren’t necessarily justified and just research about that. The only issue was that it was late and the next day would be a school day so I decided that my “Phil’s Day Off” would need to continue on, which is where I am now. The only real difference from my last “Phil’s Day Off” would be that this time, I have a clearer path now and I think it will be a beneficial to me later on.
The discussions we had in class for our epistemological questions and the rapid-fire questions were a nice time to wrap my head around my and other people’s questions. It helped me to understand my question more as I talked about it and got feedback. I really liked the rapid-fire questions because i think it helped some people with their questions and it was nice to think about some of the questions as well.
I don’t really remember much from the discussions as I wasn’t able to write down things fast enough but the few things I do remember are:
When I was talking to Jess, we talked about the concept of the limits of knowledge and if there was such a thing. Jess said that there is no limit to knowledge itself but we have limits to how much knowledge we can take in, which I agreed to.
Dom and I talked about multiple questions as we were always close to each other in the discussions but one thing that really stood out of all the questions was the information vs knowledge vs wisdom topic. Dom suggested that information is the objective thing that is out there and that has nothing to do with us and knowledge is the thing that we perceive the information using our sense and whatnot, and I agree with him. An example would be that we can see a box on a table (yes a REAL box, no gimmicks) and we all see it there so we all know there is a box there and it doesn’t even need us to perceive that it is there because it will be there with or without us. However, the colour of the box or the texture can be discussed and argued for ever as it is something that only we sense and discover. This video explains this phenomenon really well.
My initial epistemology question was “Does knowledge have to be accepted by people for it to exist?” As I researched the topic and tried to find evidences about it, I couldn’t really get to a conclusion. Whether it was my lack of epistemology vocabulary that hindered me to use the right words to search for my question or that there isn’t much about it, I still wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. However, as I was looking through Google and researching, I came upon this question, “Does knowledge have to be justified for it to be true?” My personal thought was that it didn’t need to be justified and then, I found Edmund Gettier. Edmund Gettier was an American philosopher in the 20th century and he basically destroyed the justified true belief argument. The video below does a great job explaining his case.
This blog gives another example of a Gettier Case:
“Suppose I see Caleb’s driver’s license and it says he is from Oklahoma City. I come to believe that
(1) Caleb is from Oklahoma City.
It seems to me that I am justified in believing that Caleb from Oklahoma City. For the sake of the example, let us suppose that I am. (If you don’t think I am, we could change the specifics of the example to ensure this, and Gettier’s argument would still go through.)
Suppose I infer from (1) that
(2) Someone in my class is from Oklahoma City.
Certainly, if I am justified in believing (1) and I deduce (2) from (1), then I am justified in believing (2).
Now, suppose that Caleb’s ID was a fake. He’s not really from Oklahoma City. Clearly, I don’t know (1), since it’s not even true (though I was still justified in believing it — justification does not require truth). So far so good for JTB, since JTB yields the correct result here — namely, that I don’t know (1).
It also seems that I don’t know (2), either, since I inferred it from (1).
But suppose finally that, unbeknownst to me, someone else in the class is, just by luck, really from Oklahoma City. That is, just by luck, (2) is true. Now, we agreed that I don’t in fact know (2). But the thing is, I have a justified true belief that (2). So here is a case in which I have justified true belief without knowledge. Since JTB says that anytime someone has a justified true belief that p, he thereby knows that p, JTB is proven to be false.”
So there it is. Even though justified true belief has been seen as the definition of knowledge by many people, these examples prove otherwise. Now the main question; if knowledge is NOT justified true belief, what is it? My initial thought was that true belief is enough for someone to have knowledge but I am still looking for blogs/articles surrounding that idea.
Some questions I am interested to look into later are:
My initial question (does knowledge have to be accepted by people for it to exist?)
Is true belief sufficient enough for it to be considered knowledge?
The discussions we had were pretty interesting. I was able to find out what some people’s metaphysics questions were and see what they had researched about. Some of the topics were close to what I was researching like Scott’s but I wasn’t really able to gain much from the discussions.
Discussion 1 (Scott, Jesse, Dom and Sam) We tried to relate our questions to each others. I realized that Scott and I had the same initial question (What is the purpose of life?). Sam’s question was also related to mine as it tackled with reality. Dom talked about how “bad” people can change through series of events or epiphanies into “good” people. It was good but I wasn’t able to add anything to my question.
Discussion 2 (Laike, Shem, Helena, Jess, Aaron, Colin)
The topic we mostly talked about was God. We jumped from topics about God such as “if he allows ‘bad’ things in our lives” or “does he exist”. They were very interesting and made me think deeply but it didn’t help me with my question.
I had a really hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my “Phil’s Day Off” assignment. My biggest challenge with this was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I knew that there are a lot of opinions/ideas out there about my question but it wasn’t going to help me with my question devolving, at least that’s how I thought about it.In the end, I decided to talk to someone from my church about my question and I basically got the same information that I had so far.
My BIG metaphysics question was “What is the purpose of life?” but I soon realized that I was going to get to nowhere with my question because it was so broad so I looked at it from a Christian perspective. I am interested in this question because it is something I have looked into before and it really helps me to understand more about my beliefs and values. I know many people who are knowledgeable about this question and I can go to them for help with my assignment. I also hope to be able to show why I believe what I believe and hopefully spark everyone’s curiosity who reads these blog posts.
The blog I am quoting from is written by Beth Davies-Stofka. The blog focuses on many aspects of my question, particularly our ability to reason and question things and how it is connected with our purpose. It also tells about God’s grace and how we cannot fulfill our purpose without it because of our lack of understanding.
“In this purposeful creation, everything and everyone is intrinsically valuable. God’s design or purpose for creation reflects God’s intention that all creatures enjoy perfect love and justice. God works in human history to fulfill that purpose. God created human beings in the divine image, enabling humans to have some understanding of God and of God’s vast and complex design. The purpose of life is to love and serve God to help bring about God’s glorious plan for creation. Reason is a unique gift bestowed by God on humans and enables them to reflect on their own nature and conscience, and from that derive knowledge of God’s will for creation. But a complete understanding is beyond human reach. To fulfill the goal of wholeness in an existence perfected by both justice and love, something more is needed. Humans are not expected to accomplish the divine plan alone. The fulfillment of God’s purpose depends on God’s grace. For Christians, grace is God’s freely-given favor and love.”
Reason is a gift from God to use for us to understand and comprehend our lives, to an extent, but not everyone will use their gift to their fullest potential.
“Reason is a good gift, sometimes misused for selfish, willful, or prideful purposes. The substitution of selfish ambition for God’s will is a condition that Christians call sin, meaning separation or alienation from God.”
Sin is the thing that caused Humanity to lose their connection with God all those years ago. However, grace was able to bring that connection back. Even though sin has degrees and difference consequences for in our human perspective (as in some sins are worse than other ones), God does not see any difference.
“Christianity teaches that everyone is equally prone to sin and so it focuses not only on human behavior, but also on human nature. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that “there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23). Even though there can be a considerable scale of wrongdoing in sinful human activity, a person’s sin does not make him or her less valued by God; everyone is equally a candidate for redemption.”
This video really does a good job of explaining induction and deduction, along with a bunch of other philosophical terms. It really helped me to understand the definitions. If you want to learn more about induction or deduction or you just don’t understand it that well, I highly recommend you watch this video.
I really enjoyed watching this video. I know that it doesn’t really go in-depth into anything really specific but I just wanted to introduce you guys to this YouTube series. I will definitely be watching the next episodes and I really encourage that you would follow along this series because I think it will touch upon a lot of topics and philosophical ideas that we will talk about and analyze in class.