Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Kant and Mill’s Love Child

There are varying viewpoints and ways to approach the topics of ethics and morals. This is due to everyone’s individualized  perceptions as to what as viewed as “right” and “wrong” and/or “good” and “bad”. Typically, each persons values and morals can fit under the umbrella of utilitarianism or categorical imperative or a little bit of both. To further my personal thoughts and views on morals and ethics, I will first try and define what I comprehended from the reading given in class.

Utilitarianism: Basically what I got from this concept of morals is that something is right and/or good if one gains the most amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain. However, as we discussed in class, if this were the sole principal of utilitarianism, our society wouldn’t be productive and it would eventually turn into anarchy. This principal alone is very vague and broad. Mill shares how his definition of utilitarianism isn’t  to just take levels and quantities of happiness into consideration, but the quality of the pleasure as well. He states that even if something may cause pain, the end result can produce a much higher quality of pleasure will supersede the pain felt leading up to the end.Utilitarian ethics are essentially based on what classifies actions as right or wrong, good or bad based upon the outcome or end. I don’t really agree with the idea that it doesn’t matter how someone gains their pleasure/happiness as long as the end is happiness. This principal works in terms but really can’t be like a rule for every situation. Mill continues to narrow his definition by including answers to questions such as: Who’s happiness? To which his response is, the majority’s. This is where the appeal of utilitarianism sort of falls apart for me. Yes, the majority’s happiness, but what about the minority’s? Because current-day western society is heavily based on democracy, the majority’s happiness is the most practical thing to pursue. That being said, this leads to many of our current societal conflicts. For example, just because there are statistically more straight cis people in Canada doesn’t mean that the LGBTQ communities shouldn’t get their say and/or potential happinesses.

Categorical Imperative: This ethical standpoint  brought up by Immanuel Kant is what I perceive to be a widely accepted concept by the majority of people. Kant’s very optimistic views about doing the right thing solely because it’s the right thing to do, whether it benefits your own self-interests or not just doesn’t seem feasible. I say this mainly because society functions a lot based off of the self-interests of a select-few people. I do however agree with his theory of do as you wish others to also do. I also like the general concept behind Kant’s reasoning behind what makes an action moral(good) or not. Basically anything that one does out of duty, whether pleasurable or not is seen as moral. Anything else has some sort of deep-rooted selfish pursuit.

Okay, so now that I have expressed some of my opinions about the main two ethical standpoints we discussed, I would say I agree mostly with Kant’s views and some of Mill’s ideas. Hypothetically, utilitarianism sounds like a great time. You know, unless you’re stuck in the minority group, in which case, good luck. But I do like the hypothetical idea that happiness and pleasure should be an end. However, to contradict myself, I also believe strongly that one should do the right thing because it’s the right thing, whether or not they like to do it. However where I feel these two ideas could be synthesized, is where the accomplishment of a ‘moral’ obligation/duty allows one to access a different altruistic kind of pleasure/happiness; the trust and respect of others. A sense of control and dependability tends to lead others to positively receive one who upholds moral values as understood by the majority. Leading to the idea of honour and nobility being assigned to such an individual, and as much as many will argue otherwise, humans are social beings, and social status/apperception matters greatly in how we perceive/love ourselves. Hence Kant’s and Mill’s theories can work together to create a foundation to strive for utopic interventions.

A current day issue in which my moral standpoint could be possibly be beneficial is the many cases of racism. Now I believe that everyone holds an equal value and should share the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else (Hey Rawls, didn’t see you there). I feel that if everyone had a sense of duty to be moral, whilst wanting others to follow in their actions, racism, along with a plethora of other conflicts within society would disappear. Plus, I believe that by solving said conflicts, most people would be subsequently happy, and appreciative of those who attempt to transcend arbitrary barriers to expose the misguided fear that cloaks as racism and to abolish it with this moral knowledge.

Gif from:

http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tim-and-eric-mind-blown.gif

 

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The Aesthetic Experience That’s Brighter than My Future

What is my aesthetic perspective? Well, to even attempt to fully answer that question, I have to answer three other questions first. Hypothetically, the culmination of my answers for the other three questions should address my answer the main topic: What is my aesthetic perspective? So without further ado the three sub-questions that will lead to my answer are: What is Art? What is beauty? And, what is an aesthetic experience?

To me, art is the product of creative expression through words, paint, clay or other such methods. It is something that holds value, whether that be physical or emotional, and is seen as beautiful by the person subjected to it. As individuals, art is labeled differently from one another, and doesn’t have a wrong attachment to the name. Anything can be classified as art, as long as it meets that individuals criteria as to what substitutes as art.

Beauty is the idea and/or thing that invokes intrigue and pleasure within the one looking or experiencing the thing. In terms of an aesthetics standpoint, the beauty factor is heavily based off of sight and what is/has been seen. So something that is aesthetically pleasing to someone would be beautiful in their eyes. Much like art though, my definition of beauty is very perspective and opinion-based.

An aesthetic experience is an experience that one is completely immersed in. It requires all of one’s focus/concentration and to be intensely vivid. I believe most aesthetic experiences are first aesthetically pleasing, and then the concentration just becomes sort of natural. I also think one can’t classify an aesthetic experience as it’s happening, because that would kind of cut into the criteria of being fully immersed and concentrated on experiencing it. However, looking back if one can vividly remember very subtle details and basically re-experience it through recollection, then it would be classified as an aesthetic experience. This is because one’s memory of the experience would be heightened due to the amount of concentration on the experience while it was happening.

How does this relate to anything we talked about?

Well, my views on art and beauty relate well to Descartes theories on beauty in the “something that pleases” and “beauty is within the eye of the beholder” sense. My overarching theme between beauty, art and aesthetic experiences is that is is all based on perspective. More specifically my required criteria for an aesthetic experience came basically straight out of the aesthetics booklet we got. In other words, to have a quality aesthetic experience is to be fully concentrated on it while it’s occurring. I also agree with some aspects of what Kant said when referring to finding things beautiful and/or aesthetically pleasing unintentionally(or at least that’s how I interpreted it). He said something beautiful can cause delight no matter if there was an original interest or not. Not being interested in something doesn’t necessarily cause that thing to be unpleasing. However, in terms of having an aesthetic experience, it is said an interest is necessary, no matter how unconscious or conscious it is.

How does my aesthetic experience fits with everything I just said?

For one of my aesthetic experiences I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge during the break so all the lights were up and everything is super pretty. I hadn’t ever been during Christmas time before mainly because December is a crazy hectic month in my household. But anyways, we made it out this year and it was absolutely beautiful. Now I’m not particularly crazy about all things Christmas, but I will admit to becoming a mesmerized two-year old when I see pretty lights. So Capilano was amazing! I can picture everything so vividly in my head, and this proves that my mind was solely focused of my experience at the time. I have been there before, but when recalling my memories again I was able to recall so many more aspects of the park that have always been there but I’ve just never taken to time to notice before. Some part of me thinks that it was only because everything was covered in lights and I am very intrigued by lights so that’s why I noticed. But even so this would subscribe to my aesthetic perspective because my interest in what I was doing (aka the lights) was required for me to have this aesthetic experience.

My questions:

The one question that I think I may have answered is does an aesthetic experience have to be organic? To which I would answer yes. This is because throughout winter break, looming in the back of my mind was “got to have those aesthetic experiences and how” and when I tried to plan stuff like going to the Vancouver Art Gallery, I found myself enjoying the experience but thinking about what I would say about it and how I could justify it being an aesthetic experience. Capilano Suspension Bridge was by far my favourite aesthetic experience because it was a spur of the moment kind of decision. I wasn’t thinking about my philosophy “homework” and was just enjoying myself and being in the moment. In the wise words of Drake “YOLO”.

The question that I really want to investigate further is, is there a standard for art/beauty that can change or slightly alter one’s perception of an aesthetic experience? Based off of everything I’ve said up to now the clear answer is no because everyone’s different and sees the world through a different lens. However, I do believe societal norms and pressures can have a serious affect on what one can perceive as aesthetically pleasing. For example, in my case, Christmas lights are generally seen as a very aesthetically pleasing thing, so did that influence my experience at Capilano because I’ve been raised to find Christmas lights aesthetically pleasing? Or if the general consensus on Christmas lights was bad, would my aesthetic experience not be so aesthetic anymore? Just a thought.

Photos from internet cause my phone is being stupid:

https://cherylyoung.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/cap11.jpg

http://northshoremama.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IMG_8008-616×462.jpg

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/canyon2-550×367.jpg

 

 

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Mangled Midterms: I’m Shook

Proposition: Knowledge exists when one’s true justified beliefs correspond with one’s perceived reality.

Knowledge defined as justified true belief is relatively broad but holds a current day truth of one of the many definitions of knowledge. This is because of one of the arguments brought up by British philosopher Bertrand Russell about true belief being the definition for knowledge. Russell argued that true belief could not be a possible definition for knowledge because it would be possible that “knowledge” could be based off false belief. An example of this is would be if your friend thought your dog’s name started with the letter “S”, which they believe to be true, since your dog’s name is Spot. However, if your friend believes your dog’s name is Sparky, your friend will still believe your dog’s name starts with the letter “S”, which is true and a belief your friend still has. But, this technically true belief is not knowledge, and was deduced from a false belief. Though, justified true belief adds a third and fourth criteria for something to constitute as knowledge: you are justified in believing said belief. This is where things may get a little messy because this is when the perception aspect of my proposition comes in. One’s perception of reality can differ greatly from one another. The only way I can really try and explain this one is using Descartes theory- you can’t really know what everyone else is perceiving and/or what actually exists. There is no way for me to know I perceive the colour blue the same way as anyone else. For all I know, someone may perceive what I perceive as the colour orange as the colour blue. I know it is a very confusing concept that I probably could have worded better but it’s the best I got.

photo creds: http://www.123opticalillusions.com/pages/opticalillusions36.gif

Premise 1: People may have different perceived realities

In Descartes first meditation of philosophy, he basically discredits the existence of everything except for the “thing that thinks”. Descartes stripped down his thinking to all true beliefs ultimately deducing that our senses are unreliable, we do not know whether or not we’re dreaming and there may be a deceitful all-powerful god or demon. The only known thing that Descartes is left with after his first meditation is that he does exist. He seemed to come to the conclusion that nothing is certain, and nothing we know is certain. This is due to the various ways in which everyone’s perception of the world is limited to their own, therefore leading to multitudes of varying perceptions of reality.

“Your reality is as you perceive it to be. So, it is true, by altering this perception we can alter our reality.”

-William Constantine

Premise 2: Knowledge can be defined as justified true beliefs

Plato is most often the philosopher praised for evolving the definition of knowledge from true belief to justified true belief. In this definition of knowledge three principles must be met: it must be a belief, it must be true, and it must be a justified belief. However this model of justified true belief lasted until American philosopher Edmund Gettier challenged Plato’s definition arguing that a justified tru belief can be false. When something supposedly constructs knowledge, it can still be true, it can still be believed as true and it can still be justified in believing it as true. But, in some cases, the justification for making a knowledge claim is false, and therefore can not be considered knowledge. So, as an additional aspect of justified true beliefs came the justification does not depend on a false statement. Though epistemologists are still trying to determine the means of justification, this definition of knowledge is one that many philosophers have accepted.

Conclusion: Knowledge exists when one’s true justified beliefs correspond with one’s perceived reality

My thinking behind my conclusion of what I know about knowledge is derived from the simple idea that nothing is certain. I probably perceive the world completely differently than most of my peers, and even if I didn’t, there would be no way to be sure. The only thing that I am aware of is the way I perceive reality. Justified true beliefs equate to knowledge, however these justified true beliefs can only become knowledge when they correlate to the perceived world or reality they exist in. So if in my perceived world I have the true belief that the world is flat which was hypothetically true and I was justified in believing that and my justification was based on a true statement, the Earth being flat would constistute as knowledge for me. It seems relatively impossible to justify something if in your perceived reality if and/or when said justification does not exist because it could not become knowledge. Therefore knowledge can only exist when true justified beliefs conform to the parameters of the perceived reality.

Side Note: Here is a really helpful crash course on epistemology, more specifically defining knowledge

 

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How Phil’s Day Off was an Elaborate Scheme to Go To Science World

For my Phil’s day off, I really wasn’t sure how to quite approach my topic. How does one go about proving whether or not original ideas or things even exist? It really is an impossible task. However, I had to do something, so I opted for a sort of experience. The plan was to go to Science World with Jasmin then hit up an art gallery and see if anything was out of the ordinary in an “I’ve never seen something like that before” kind of of way. Ironically enough, I had just so happened to stubble upon an installment gallery with juxtapoz art style. This art style in particular usually recreates or uses many pop culture references. For example, this is one of the pieces of art on display:

It is very obviously Big Bird from sesame street alongside various other cartoon characters holding a rather satirical sign which took me ages to successfully blur out. From this, I wasn’t really able to gather the information I needed answer my question with “facts”. Though it was a little frustrating that my Phil’s day off didn’t really shed light on the topic that I discussed, It did help define my personal opinions and define my answer to the question: Do original ideas exist? My answer to that question is no. I have concluded this through my Phil’s day off. The art gallery I went to had art that had all been inspired by pop culture and found objects. That means all the art pieces had be derived from something that had previously existed. Basically, everything is derived from everything. Though that might be a confusing thought, allow me to confuse you more by attempting to explain my logic. Basically, all your ideas have borrowed aspects or ideas of something else. Even by using language to describe your idea, language is a thing that existed, therefore your idea is derived from something else. Or if you create something to prototype your idea or actualize it, using materials that exist mean you are deriving or portraying your idea through the use of other already existing things, ultimately making it unoriginal.

However, looking back to my original post on metaphysics, and what it all means, my sub-questions are where some hypothetical holes are poked in my conclusion. The question where my thinking gets real messy is one that refers to Descartes theory of “I am a thing that thinks”. In his theory, the only thing known to be true is “I am a thing that thinks”. Basically with this logic, one can disprove or deny the existence of everything other than the thing that thinks. Meaning, any thought or idea one has would hypothetically be original to oneself. However, if  your ideas are derived from the perceived world around you, would you not still be deriving your ideas from something? Even if your ideas are derived from your own past thoughts and ideas, would they not still be derived from something, making it unoriginal? I know it’s a contradictory idea, but this is sort of where I ended up with after my readings, discussions and Phil’s day off. I was able to conclude that original ideas do not exist in the world that I perceive. However, I can discredit their existence in any other perceived world, including ones such as Descartes.

Knowing my conclusion may be false in the eyes of someone else or someone else’s perceived world is a much broader topic of perception/appearance and existence. Through my topic I was ultimately lead to the understanding that most things in metaphysics can relate, and that through the exploration of such topics, pursuit for a “right” answer is lost, while new questions and personal answers can be developed. The metaphor that I think best explains metaphysics is a treadmill; just when you think you’re progressing, you realize you haven’t really moved.

 

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Discussions That Invoked More Questions Than They Answered

Before my Phil’s day off, I had the opportunity in class to discuss my topic and questions with a few of my peers, Kamakshi, Camille and Hana. At first, it was reletively hard to find any comparisons at all. We sort of grouped all of our topics under the very large umbrella of metaphysics. However, upon further inspection we were able to find some similarities within our topics: originality, taoism, reality and abstract objects.

All these things didn’t seem to relate at all to my topic of originality until I took a deeper look into my sub-questions. My first one having been relating to Descartes theory: I am a thing that thinks. This related to Kamakshi’s topic of taoism mainly because both taoism and Descartes theory are all about perception, and what is believed to be true. Taoism is a “truth” that exists seen by it’s followers much like the only truth known to exist is “the thing that thinks” by people who prescribe to Descartes theory. These two concepts can relate to reality and what is seen as reality or one’s perception of reality. These perceptions of reality can also be linked to Hana’s topic of abstract objects. Though Hana went more into depth about how abstract objects exist and how there is a “perfect” or “ideal” form of an abstract object was, this discussion could be linked to many abstract concepts like beliefs, being and self. Originality has fore the most part been seen as a concrete idea, however my questions continued to pick at if it can really hold much meaning within current day society. For example, if someone had the idea to create a pen, even if that were a hypothetically “original” idea, by even thinking of constructing the pen from materials found on Earth would technically  be deriving your idea from something else. Therefore, in the words of Aiden Darby, “You would have to create the universe for your pen to be original.” These discussions honestly left me more confused then ever because I kept circling back to the very confusing idea of if Descartes theory is seen as true, you can’t prove anything else exists or existed, therefore your ideas could not have been derived from something else making all of your ideas original?

When talking about further discussions or questions I have, there is no shortage. I hope to gain a clearer picture of the relationship between Descartes theory and originality. I also hope to find a at least partial conclusion to if original ideas exist. I believe I could also benefit from some more readings to try to fully understand my topic to the best of my capabilities because currently I am a giant tornado of confusion and questioning.

Photo: http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/993/875/084.png

 

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Isabella’s Not So Original Thoughts on Originality

What makes an idea original?

  1. If Descartes theory of “I am a thing that thinks” is seen as true, then wouldn’t all ideas be seen as original to every individual that thinks?
  2. Are there original ideas?
  3. What does it mean if no ideas are original?

 

The reading I chose was a book published by various philosophers, sharing their views and opinions on creativity and originality whilst including the thoughts of many psychologists and scientists. It sternly expressed how originality and creativity is a topic of high interest in both the scientific and philosophical disciplines.

This interdisciplinary approach is embraced by a new school of creativity researchers who are part of much broader trend toward dialogue and collaboration between scientifically-minded philosophers and philosophically-minded scientists.”(pg.6)

This article also discusses the general consensus that defines something as creative when it is something new and it holds some sort of value or use. This gives some insight on my first sub-question: every thought sought technically be new to each thinking individual, however, it would be impossible to tell if said thoughts/ideas hold any value or are useful in any way. This then also takes a stab at the overlaying question: What makes an idea original? According to one section of the reading a creative idea is a new one, and has value or use. Creativity however isn’t quite a synonym for originality. Though creativity and originality are closely linked in the eyes of many meaning the an original idea could have the same criteria, however it is not explicitly clear in the reading.

“Being original is usually contrasted with being derivative. An idea, for example, is original if it is not derived from someone else’s idea.”(pg.19)

So if we look at my first sub-question again, Descartes theory only describes the existence of himself, meaning anyone who is a thing that thinks cannot prove the existence of anyone-anything else. This potentially means that if no one else’s existence can be proven, there is no way to derive any idea from someone else’s. This points to the conclusion that if Descartes theory of “I am a thing that thinks” is seen as true, any and all ideas would be original to each individual “thing that thinks”. This quote also gives a possible answer to my main question of what makes an idea original? According to the quote, an idea is original if it is not derived from someone else’s idea(s) or any other pre-existing ideas. Altogether, an idea is original when it has not been derived from another’s idea and therefore is seen as “new”. However, there is nothing in the reading that goes in depth about what the possibilities of no original ideas. This does flaw my logic behind all of my previously answered questions because it does’t account for all possibilities. Therefore this reading also does;t answer my last sub-question: What does it mean if no ideas are original.

Why this topic?

I find the whole concept of originality intriguing because it is relatively unknown. Especially in the 21st century, I wonder how many ideas are actually original, if any at all. We may see things as very original ideas now because we have advanced technology and other aspects of modern day life, but is unknown if one of our predecessors had thought of the idea before hand and did not have the required skills and/or materials to portray it. Because there is so many unknown factors when answering these questions, metaphysics is what I believe to be a solid platform to discuss these questions due to the varying perspectives you can get to gravitate to your own opinion.

Where to next?

After some extensive reading on the definitions of originality, I am still very curious to look at the alternative side of whether or not originality exists and what it would mean if it doesn’t? The opposing view to what I have read basically. I plan on deconstructing my views on originality and also discuss with various others to try and grasp what originality is and it’s proof of existence.

Reading:

https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=k2-VAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=philosophy+of+creativity+kaufman&ots=w2E5EkLeJq&sig=KosTIlvKcEuoZhyGOYtrOiM0ytk#v=snippet&q=original&f=false

Image:

http://www.quotehd.com/imagequotes/authors74/tmb/dean-inge-author-quote-what-is-originality-undetected.jpg

 

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Isabella’s Trudeau? More like Trudaddy

Throughout the past few years, more and more talk of legalizing recreational marijuana has surfaced in Canada due to the relatively recent change in the federal government. Our current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has stated on various occasions his support for legalization, and with the Liberal majority backing him, it appears legalization is going to become a reality for Canada sooner than later.

“I’m actually not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis, I’m in favour of legalizing it. The current war on drugs, the current model, is not working.” – Justin Trudeau



Premise 1: Marijuana is less addictive and/or harmful than other legal “drugs” such as tobacco and alcohol.

Premise 2: Legalization would lessen Canada’s financial burden and boost the economy.

Premise 3: Legalizing marijuana would help combat the organized crime that has developed with the current day war against drugs.

Conclusion: It would be beneficial for Canada to legalize marijuana.

Truth:

Premise 1: Is as far as we know, factual true. Through the use of statistics research has shown that 33% tobacco users become addicted, 15% of alcohol users, while a mere 9% of cannabis users become addicted and that number halves itself if marijuana is first tried after age 18.

Premise 2: This premise could be proven and easily seen as true. Most estimates say that the cannabis industry in BC alone would generate anywhere upwards of $24 billion dollars a year. Looking at examples of places where marijuana is legal, Colorado has generated so much tax revenue off of marijuana, they have exceeded their legal tax revenue allowance and have to start giving back some of the tax money they have originally collected. If legalized in Canada the overall Canada also has around 600,000 citizens that have been prosecuted for personal marijuana use, plus an estimated 30,000 arrests made every year. The Auditor General’s report states that costs $500 million a year for drug enforcement laws and roughly another $500 million a year for legal fees. Not to mention the $50,000 dollars per year for every imprisoned convict. So that’s is about $1.5 billion dollars a year just to prosecute and enforce modern day drug laws.

This could be us Canada.

Premise 3: Easy to believe as true. If legalized, marijuana would become harder for criminals to get their hands on plus create regulations that help precent the lacing of other drugs in marijuana. The current day methods of buying/selling drugs (like marijuana), is unsafe and unregulated. Due to the recent spike in fentanyl overdoses across Canada, it is inferred that more and more street drugs such as cannabis are being laced with more addictive and harmful drugs like fentanyl. The legalization of marijuana would basically regulate marijuana and make sure the cannabis being sold is up to the standard and quality that would be legally required.

The high demand for marijuana in Canada has resulted in the expansion of the black market and puts the power in the hands of illegal drug dealers to be the sole providers of the product with no accountability.

Validity:

This argument is valid due to the fact that all three premises are true and they lead to the true conclusion.

Soundness:

This argument is both true and valid meaning it is a sound argument.

Origin:

This argument has been around for a few years in the political scene with Washington and Colorado legalizing the use of recreational marijuana back in November 2012., but things really took off for this debate in Canada surrounding the previous federal elections. The argument for or against decriminalizing and/or legalizing marijuana was used in various campaign platforms. The Conservative party stated they wanted to become harsher with the drug enforcement laws(Catering to the Turpin’s and Milliard’s), whilst the NDP party stated they promised to decriminalize cannabis, and the Liberal party declared they would legalize marijuana if elected. This more directly pinned the Liberals against the Conservatives in this aspect of debate and caused quite a few factual spats during federal election debates with their very opposing views on legalization. These debates caused a spark in communal discussions either for or against the legalization of cannabis, with both sides of the debate questioning the social implications legalization would have or not have. Most of the points for legalizing marijuana include the above arguments, whilst the opposed talked about possible health issues and the use of marijuana by minors. Throughout Canada discussions about legalization have sparked some controversy within the country, but an estimated majority of about 70% of Canadians support the legalization of cannabis and/or the idea of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isabella’s Confusing Last Minute Nonesense

What is philosophy? To me, philosophy is like an indigenous plant. For all you kids that didn’t pay attention in science 10, an indigenous plant is a naturally occurring or native plant. Essentially, where it grows can determine what type of plant it can be. However, just like plants, we will all flourish differently and take away our own thoughts and opinions on philosophy.

To start literally from the ground up, every plant starts with a seed. I think the seed is basically where we start on our philosophical journey. The seed, being each individual person, is like everyone’s personal views on philosophy. So what your own personal philosophies are is like the starting point. Much like philosophy, roots are derived from the seed meaning your own personal philosophies come from past experiences and quite literal “roots” from your past. Only after our “roots” are planted can we begin flourishing with our knowledge and perspectives.

I think that the indigenous or native side to my analogy was to mean indigenous to each person; native to yourself so to speak. And just like plants, we differ from each other in a variety of ways.

Moving on to one of the growing agents of indigenous plants: soil. The soil is represented by different influences such as friends, parents and teachers. They can help you grow by the additions of knowledge and perspective into your life. They can enrich your learning and provide necessities such as different materials and feedback.  The sun can represent the overlying concepts of philosophy in a relatively broad sense. And just like how plants power their growth via the sun and photosynthesis, we can use the big ideas in philosophy to kick start our own growing process in philosophy.

From there, the environment in which the plant rises can also affect how it grows much as the environment we learn philosophy in influences our learning and our capability to grow. This can relate back to Plato’s allegory of the cave because we can so easily be manipulated into thinking that certain practices or the ‘norm’,. The people in the cave had been conditioned to think in such a limited way, therefore couldn’t grasp the concept of an outside world.  Basically, your personal philosophies can sort of be pre-determined by the environment just like plants. Indigenous plants also have various things relying on them similarly to how many things rely on philosophy as a base such as morals and ethics. Just like indigenous trees are a burrowing place for insects and small mammals, philosophy is like a burrowing place for multiple ideas.

 

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Isabella’s Cash Flo Money Dilemma

I believe that everyone has their own version of Plato’s Cave. What I took away from Plato’s cave was everyone feels as though they have been kept in the shadows until this big epiphany moment when everything starts to make sense. The ultimate story of enlightenment. I can’t say I have much of an equivalent, but I do believe getting my first job shared various aspects of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

It was a thing that had been much anticipated of me by my parents, siblings and an extent of myself. The day when I would step out of the cave and enter the world of a minimum wage job with horrendous and demanding bosses. So the “real world” of pain, despair and genuine hard work. Well let me tell you did the sun outside my friendly childhood shadow burned harshly bright. My first thought was “…and I had to be interviewed because multiple people wanted this job?!” It was an immediate shock that I had despised within the first few days.

gif from http://comicvine.gamespot.com/forums/battles-7/wonder-woman-dceu-vs-thor-mcu-1777455/

Me after orientation

The initial shock of being liable to someone other then a family member or myself had shook me. Me, having responsibilities? What!? I could barely make toast without burning it, yet here I was getting paid to work in a bakery department of a grocery store. Nonetheless, I had been dragged out of my own cave full of naiveness and bliss, and now how to take in the outside world full of work and obligations. The work seemed to increase in difficulty even though it was very repetitive. There was always an unwritten rule of keep impressing or else. Though the tasks were not particularly easy, I found a way to get used to it with the help of the highly awaited bi-weekly pay cheque. That seemed motivation enough; I was finally making my own money. However, that wasn’t it in terms of Isabella vs. the adult world. My parents had taken it upon themselves to help me learn to budget. Monthly phone bills, savings funds, clothing, extracurriculars, personal and miscellaneous bills started to roll in and that lovely five-hundred dollars a month started to disappear rapidly. By the end of most months, I had about fifty dollars that I could do whatever I pleased with. You really learn to appreciate a dollar once you get your first job. Instead of looking at reasonably priced things and thinking, “wow, that’s a good price” all I could think was “you mean to tell me that winter jacket will cost me four hours of work?” I started realizing how clueless I had been as a child, quite literally thinking money grew on trees. That first job had broadened my perspective on various topics.

One of the most influential things this job had done to me was open my mind to the power of education. My parents have and always will push me to keep learning and get multiple degrees but I hadn’t ever considered what would happen if I hadn’t. For one, I would not be qualified to do much more then an entry level job, being paid minimum wage. Even working full time (40 hours/week) it would be very hard to get ahead in life. That opened up a whole new version of a cave and the broader outside world that lies post high school. I feel like Plato’s Allegory of the cave hold some truth in terms of enlightenment and such, however I feel put into a modern day perspective, there are always new things to learn and take away from the world. The best we as people can do is pass on our experiences in hopes to lessen the number of caves the next person has to go through.

CAVECEPTION

 

 

By

Isabella’s Big Questions for Little Minds

What is philosophy to me? Well, when I had walked in to the first Philosophy 12 class of the year, it was exactly what I had anticipated: debates about ideas that to some may seem like pointless discussion, but to those in class, the discussions were as intense and passionate as the current political conversations happening in America. I decided on this class because I enjoy challenging myself. As a teenager, i believe philosophy is one of the best and worst courses you could take. Worst because you are transitioning from trying to find your own place in the world, trying to answer questions like how you’re going to contribute to society and what career path you are going to take, and then to have this class make you think about such a broader range of things that make you question your own existence and morals. But the best course to take because you get to widen your span of thinking by discussing such ideas like what is and how do you prove it, or is there an absolute? This course really offers the so many thought-provoking concepts that it’s enough to make your head hurt. That’s basically what’s happened to me in the past two weeks because I have felt relatively lost on most matters discussed. However, over the past two weeks some of the discussions we had became very intriguing to me. My personal big epiphany moment happened while reading the “Talk with me” essay.

“A page of writing might seem intelligent, but whatever question you ask of it, it responds in precisely the same way each time you read it.”(Talk with Me, para.7)

I had never thought about a concept like that before, and that is what really interested me. We had a discussion about the pros and cons of written vs. speech too, but just the idea that no matter how many times you read a form of text, the answer will be forever unchanged (unless its a google doc).

 

I am a very visual learner so the for most of each philosophy class I am pretty lost and confused. Really the only thing I understood was the “Talk with Me” essay because I could read it multiple times until I understood it. However, with most of the learning being done through discussion using the biggest words one could possibly find in a thesaurus, I find it difficult to follow along and understand. I generally am just really lost and wondering what is happening.

 

In terms of another discussion that I was able to sort of understand, the “Curriculum and Philosophy” discussion revealed the I was in between progressivism and reconstructionism leaning slightly more towards progressivism. While discussing the topic I was fairly certain in where I stood on the subject. I believed the teacher should be a guide for problem solving and scientific inquiry instead of an authoritative figure who determines everything in the classroom. I also thought that the learning and curriculum should be personalized to each student and not standard because as I’ve come to quickly learn, not everyone learns the same and retains information in the same way. But, when it came to this very homework assignment I am finding it very hard to write because I was not given a direct order by an authoritative teacher figure stating exactly what is required of me. I don’t have a direct “Do’s and Don’t’s” list which stresses me out. This really got me thinking about if I just like the idea of progressivism  or if I would actually like the application of it. I do however enjoy the limited criteria and freedom that I was given to really express myself.

My goals for philosophy include being able to follow along with discussions and who knows, maybe get involved in a few and contribute some of my thoughts and ideas? I also would like to explore different perspectives and views on the various topics still to be learned. Hopefully this course will also help me determine some of my own views on some topics like whether I’m really a progressivist or not. Improving my synthesis and summarizing skills will also be something I am looking to get out of this course. I also hope to be more comfortable with communicating my various ideas through a variety of different outlets.

🙂

 
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