Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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(Final) What is philosophy?

I walked into this class with little knowledge regarding philosophy and the many philosophers studied within the course. I had a semester filled with the stress of three other academic courses but it was a nice escape to have an hour to listen to different theories and ideologies. I have always had many questions about the world. Even though this class many not have answered every question and I may have had different views on certain topics, I was still happy with the amount of new information I had received. My thoughts on philosophy remain basically the same, mentioned in my original post.

Philosophy isn’t necessary for survival, but it remains beautiful like art and things that make us feel content. Curiosity gives us reason to continue living and discovering. This curiosity is existent about visiting new places, meeting new people and/or learning about new ideas. They all add meaning to our life whether you believe our world is a reality or an illusion, it makes us feel different emotions, that’s what is important (in my personal opinion lol)

 

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Knowledge

“Knowledge is power” – Francis Bacon 


  1. If power is the ability to influence people and events
  2. And if knowledge allows us greater influence on people and events
  3. Then, knowledge is power.

Power gives us the ability….

  • To defend ourselves from inequality
  • To manipulate/influence others
  • To climb up in the social scale (education, money…etc.)
  • To have our own beliefs and ideas about truth

Every single individual has a certain amount of power due to their existence, influence on their environment and being different from every other human being. The fact that there is no other human designed the exact same way as us, (even identical twins have distinguishable fingerprints,) makes us exceptional and matchless. Our uniqueness can either make us feel confident or insecure. Power is usually used in a negative connotation because it can be extremely corrupt. Often, when people experience emotions of greatness, they lose focus of reality.  We have the ability of shifting our power to a ephemeral height and authority or to a state of humbling self control. When you are aware of things that other people aren’t, you feel more confident which results to you feeling more powerful in the situation compared to someone who is oblivious. You can use that against people in multiple ways. Whether by being condescending or using it as a skill to get more opportunities, you have a higher potential of succeeding. This could also be sustained by education or a certain training. Individuals can abuse their knowledge of others and situations to get what they will benefit from; sacrificing others along the way. The return of their actions might seem so wonderful and pleasing that they conceal the flaw and inhumane effect it has on others. This is a way of manipulation and influence on others. Power is overwhelming however, when managed well, a Utopian outcome can be a result of knowledge.

Finally, If you have knowledge, you are aware of your rights so you can defend yourself which prevents you from being taken advantage of. It is important to not abuse knowledge, rather grow from it. Knowledgeable people have their own perspective and ideas; they are usually leaders. However, It is important to listen to others and learn before we speak.

Progress is created by being open to new ideas and I believe a large portion of knowledge is being able to learn from other people who have different views and difficult experiences.

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” -Albert Einstein

 

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Nature VS. Nurture


Are we programmed to act a certain way determined by our genes or are we a product of our environment and the experiences and challenges we face? The debate of nature versus nurture has been a present discussion for years regarding twins, adoption and other biological matters. Why are some infant’s calm and others uneasy and disturbed? The aim is to raise questions about nature verses nurture.

The nurture theory includes ideas of how the environment factors are the real origins of our behaviour. John Watson, a well-known psychologist, guarantees that he can train a randomly selected infant to act and be how/who he wants. On the other hand, it has been proven that fraternal twins raised apart have remarkable similarities but the environment have caused several differences in the way they behave. The coding of our genes in each cell determines physical traits such as eye colour, hair colour and etc. However, it is currently unclear whether abstract attributes such as personality, intelligence and sexual orientation are gene-coded in our DNA too. The nature theory entails that sexuality is set when you’re born. Also that criminal acts, high probability of divorce, and aggressive behaviour can be justified by the “behavioural genes” once researchers actually prove their existence.

Philosophers such as John Locke and Aristotle thought we had no initial ideas and that our minds are blank slates, upon which experience writes. On the other hand, Plato believed that all the knowledge is present at birth. Even though he theorized that environment played an important role; he didn’t think it taught anything new but reminded people of the information they already knew. In my opinion, I believe both nature and nurture are both key factors of how an infant forms to be an adult. With the theories, research and evidence provided, it is difficult to announce that only one of the dynamics affect a human beings development. This may remain a complex question to prove scientifically, however, it is important to consider both.

 

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Increase in price tag = High Quality?


 

Premise 1: Many high-end items are of high quality.

Premise 2: Many low-end products have poor quality.

Conclusion: Society believes the more expensive a product is then the quality is unquestionably superior.


 

In today’s competitive market, consumers have many options available to them to choose and purchase from. When making a decision as to which item to purchase considering finance and preference, does society solely consider quality and value or do we really buy ideas that are triggered by psychological influence?

First of all, in some cases quality may vary dependent on the price such as factors like better fit or material. However, the high price tag often attracts people due to the item’s exclusivity. Some wealthy people find it appealing when majority of individuals cannot afford the pieces in their lavish wardrobe. These companies usually create a state of scarcity in the market by only producing a limited amount of a particular design to increase interest. Furthermore, some people avoid low-end items due to the fact that they feel it is immoral to purchase inauthentic items not made by their original designer. Also, our society often prefers not supporting companies that sustain underpaid workers. On the other hand, similar products from different manufacturers may have remarkably distinct price tags. Many high-end companies are using the same Asian manufacturers as smaller companies rather than the advertised Italian or North American.

Premise 1 & 2 both include the word ‘many’, which entails that there is no absolute answer of low or high quality since there are more factors that statement is dependent on. These points may be valid but they are certainly not factual or sound.

Many people are not aware of these deceiving marketing strategies. If we are more aware of these situations by conveying research, the information will usually properly influence our concluding decision concerning a product. It is justifiable to occasionally splurge on items that will be long lasting and useful as long as we are mindful about our choices.

Finally, we should always choose what we wish to buy based on our personal preference rather than pressure by peers and acquaintances. Every person’s choices will be different based on their style, needs and financial state so it is important to respect each other’s selections. Personally, I love shopping but there must always be a balance :)

 

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Collision without Curiosity

Where to start from?

Hello.

My name is Elmira, some call me Ellie for short.

The discussion of philosophy is very common in the Middle East, and being Persian, I grew up listening to many deep conversations about life. Some famous Persian philosophers were brilliant poets. (e.g. Rumi), whom phrased their theories so beautifully. I always enjoyed hearing and reading about other opinions because I felt they expanded my thoughts. Sometimes, philosophy confused me more than it answered my questions but I realized that maybe we chase these subjects because curiosity adds more flavour to the world we live in.

The mind, this globe of awareness, is a starry universe that when you push off with your foot, a thousand new roads become clear, as you yourself do at dawn, sailing through the light. ~Rumi

One of my favourite quotes regarding philosophy was mentioned during the reading of Love, wisdom and wonder: three reasons to celebrate philosophy:

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” -C.S. Lewis

-Ellie

 
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