Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Candle Light or The A Shadow Cast by Beauty

The definition of aesthetics to me is:

The study of beauty and art. There is a personal attachment to aesthetics depending on the experiences you hold with that specific piece, item, place, image, person, ext you find aesthetically pleasing or not.

For something to be aesthetically pleasing it is basically pleasurable or calming in the eye and emotion of the beholder. For something to aesthetically unpleasing it must be distasteful or distressing in the eye and emotion of the beholder.

Junichiro Tanizaki, a Japanese literary hero, states that:

“We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”

This makes a lot of sense when we try to consider the reasons we find candle light so captivating, relaxing, and beautiful. It goes all the way back to our ancient ancestors. They lived in dark caves and found beauty in shadows. When a fire was lit in a dark cave, it gave warmth and a source of food in ways and that meant survival. Survival translated into a form of beauty as the shadows it cast and this translates back to the candle. This also relates back to why humans and animals find shiny and glittery things so attractive. Plato’s Allegory of a Cave has even been based off a game of shadows. There must have been something captivating about the silhouettes cast on that cave wall, telling a story.

Inevitably, It comes down to the reactions that happen in our brain. When light enters our eyes and registers in our brain, our brain processes that as different properties such as motion, colour, shadow and luminance. When you apply this to art you can exaggerate specific properties to pull out different emotions and reaction. When referring to a candle, it has all four of these properties and, therefore, gives a great reaction and emotional connection when it is registered in our brains. You always wondered why people light candles at a romantic dinner? Well, the emotions these properties give are unknowingly the reason!




Everything Is The Big Unknown

Knowledge is an understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.

Knowledge is allegedly the undertsanding of something, such as a fact, information, discription or skill. Now that we know the definition of knowledge, we must find the definitions of the things that create it. They may all have a definiton but can you place the definition of a fact, for example on anything you know?

The definiton of a fact is:

a thing that is indisputably the case

Is anything 100% true to this definition? No. Are you 100% sure that what you know is a fact? No. There is always the chance that, that is just how you precieve it.
The definition of information is:
facts provided or learned about something or someone.
Since we found out above that we can’t even prove a fact, then there is no way to really have 100% true information. Like these two definitions the rest of them are similar, you can’t prove it.
Hypothetically speaking, even if we really did have “knowledge” of a couple things (which inevitably we could never actually 100% prove because even if you do any expiriment 99 times the 100th time might be different for example) we still would only know such a small fraction of all the things that can be known in this universe, it would probably be some ridiculously small precentage of knowledge.
So on to my propostition, it is: Knowledge is unknown.
Seems like a pretty simple proposition however, there are so many aspects to this and way to look at it, thta it really isn’t as simple as it seems.
My premises are:
1. Knowledge is an understanding of things such as facts, information, descriptions.
2. Facts information and despriptions can’t be fully understood because they can’t be proven.
Knowledge is unknown.
 All the facts above prove my conclusion. The universe is so big and there are so many endless possibilities that even if we did have some of the knowledge we think we have is would be so very minor compared to all we can know in this universe. If we consider the fact that we can’t even really prove the facts we think are facts in the big scheme of things then truly knowledge is unknown and so very big at the same time.


Love is the wild card of existence

What is love? Why do people crave love? How do we select the people we fall in love with? Is it based on biology: natural selection or is there a deeper philosophical meaning behind it all?

Love: a biological, physiological and philosophical study by Heather M. Chapman helped me understand a little bit of reasoning from each of those ways these answers can be question. So if you found this interesting and want to learn even more, go ahead and read that.

What is love?

Well first off, there is the dictionary definitions of love (7 of them actually):

1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection foranother person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deepaffection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.
4. a person toward whom love is felt; belovedperson; sweetheart.

5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment,affection, or the like):

Would you like to see a movie, love?
6. a love affairan intensely amorous incident;amour.
7. sexual intercourse; copulation.

There are seven definitions of love in the dictionary. That shows how hard it is to define. If you were to ask different people what they think the definition of love is, they would most likely define is somewhat differently from one another. To me, love is the moment you almost become so selfless that the well-being and happiness of the person you love is as important or even more important than your own well-being and happiness. That is my personal definition, whereas anyone who comments on this post could have a completely different meaning. (What is your definition of love? Comment Below)

This video is an example of all the different opinions of what love is. Some say, it’s an energy, kind of like an essence as Plato would explain. Some express love as god, a higher understanding of love. Some say, it’s comfort; this would go back to the physiological side of love. Some say, it’s the raise in your heart rate, making love a biological and chemical state. Some studies,  separate romantic love and normal love, saying that romantic love is a type of obsession and addiction while, other love is oneness.

Why do people crave love and how does it work? The biological and brain chemistry approach.

Breakups are hard to deal with because the body and mind go through withdrawal – Like drug addiction, we become addicted to love.

You may think this quote is metaphorical, however it is actually a literal fact. The chemicals released in our brain when we experience “love” or “love at first sight” have addicting  characteristics. The releasing of Dopamine is addictive because this neurotransmitter makes you feel good and when that is released you want more. Our pupils also start to dilate so our eyes can grasp more of the persons image. This is just one more standing fact that shows that the entire body reacts when faced with desire.

Another neurotransmitter that is released at the same time is called, oxytocin which is related to bonding. oxytocin is also released during sexual intercourse and is what causes the feeling of “closeness.” Sometimes people mistake this feeling with love. Hence, the stereo type that women sometime will experience the feeling of attachment with someone they have no proper future with after the release of oxytocin. Women release mores oxytocin because of their increased estrogen that makes the oxytocin receptors more sensitive, explaining why women feel this way more than men.

Another neurotransmitter and hormone is released when facing desire, mostly known as adrenaline but also called Epinephrine.

This reaction, the sweating, the dilated pupils, the increased heart rate, is exactly how people describe the feeling and energy of being “in love”. – Heather Chapman

Epinephrine is what causes that increased heart rate and fully describes that energy that is talked about by one of the participants in the video above.

endorphins are also another important chemical that is released in the brain giving the feel of both a sedative and an analgesic. This is also released when you perform exercise and other things that are good for you. The “runners high” can be compared to love. People who run often get addicted to the endorphins that are released and then have a great urge to excercise. The same thing goes for love. If you even get a glimpse of the feeling, you start to crave it because of the chemicals released in your brain, making it become a minor addiction.

People may stay with someone the logically know is a bad match because the multiple neurotransmitters in their brain are confusing them by releasing chemicals that make them feel good when they are with that person, feeding into their addiction and contributing to the fact that they are attached. So should this be called love or just pure attraction? Love is almost when it becomes an obsession whereas attraction is just the stepping stone to that.

The answer is no. You can go on and on about just the biological and chemical view of love as there has been mass amounts of research put in it, but that would take its own post. So, let’s move.

The Phycology of Love

Unfortunately I must start with the fact that %40-%50 of marriages end in divorce not including the couples who stay together because they need support financially or are just staying together for the sake of their children for example. Some psychologists claim that “every human craves love aside from people with personality disorders.” This being true or not, if you look at our society, this is true whether everybody likes to admit it or not. Therefore, love is one of the most craved things amongst humans, while loneliness is one of the most feared. The fear of loneliness and the fact of marriage being convenient will keep couples from divorcing. However, divorce has lost its bad connotation towards women and as the wage gap is lessening the idea of divorce is becoming more popular.

“love is the most powerful force in the entire world, but we have to start with ourselves.”

The Philosophy of Love

Starting off with a very influential philosopher, Plato came up with the idea that there is someone out there for everyone, AKA a soul mate. He talks about how the soul is separate from the body and that it doesn’t need the body to exists. It’s almost as if the body holds back the soul, since the soul can function in the nature of the forms better than in the body. Love is the closest form that our souls that are contained in our crippling body can feel. Plato’s idea that he put out there that there is someone out there for everyone keeps people searching for love for their entire lives. Philosopher, Robert Rowland Smith said that love and intercourse are entangled, however you can have one without the other.

Why did I choose these questions and this topic?

Love has been introduced to us at a very young age. Starting with Disney fairytale and children books about princes and princesses living happily ever after. As Heather Chapman said, the young royalty that is said to live happily ever after in all these stories, never seem to define what happily ever after means. Does it end in divorce? Do they have kids and truly stay in love forever? Do they just stay together because they are afraid of being alone? At the end of the day these are all harsh possibilities. We all experience love at some point in our lives, whether it be for your dog or cat, your parents, your siblings, or your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or just your love for food. Whichever it is, we have all been through it so I thought it would be an interesting topic.



Student Debt Will Slowly Kill You!!!!!!!!!

With university slowly approaching this is one topic we must all unfortunately start thinking about. The article: Tuition Hikes Lead to A Large Amount of Student Debt, basically describes how since 1978 the student tuition (at least in the US) has been raised by 1,120% causing students to be forced to take out student loans to pay for those raised prices. It continues to talk about how students aren’t able to take out other loans in the future such as mortgages and other important loans because they are still busy paying off the loans they took out, to get an education, to get their job they needed to support them and their families.

Premise 1: Students tuition is too high for an average student to afford.

Premise 2: Most of the average students have to take out a loan to afford student tuition.

Premise 3: Entry level jobs do not pay enough to pay off these student loans while budgeting for daily living.

Conclusion: Student loans leave you in debt for a long period of time and are hard to pay.

I believe premise 1 is very true because as you read above the prices have raised by 1,120%!!! Therefore, factually correct.

Premise 2 is also very true because as the article states, 60% of students are having to take out student loans. Therefore, factually correct.

Premise 3 is true as well because the article states 25% of people in the workforce still have student loans. Therefore, factually correct.

I believe this argument is valid and factually correct. Therefore, making it a sound argument.



A Messy Filing Cabinet

Hello world, internet, classmates and Mr. Jackson! I’m Kimya and to me philosophy is a mix of intresting question, thoughts and confusion… alot of confusion and clustered thoughts. When I think about questions, for example; Does color even exist? It’s as if a tiny person in my head if rummaging through millions of files trying to find those couple thoughts that tie into eachother to explain what could be the most appropiate answer to a question nearly impossible to solve. Making connections between those thoughts to create new ideas that question every solution you thought you just found. It’s like trying to fit peices from two different puzzles together, some pieces might fit by chance but for the most part you can’t complete the puzzle!

As John Campbell said:

“Philosophy is thinking in slow motion.”

Philosophy really is us slowing down and really taking our time to think about what is really going on instead of rushing through life not questioning a thing. In Does color even exist?, we took the time to question something that is the norm to us and my conclusion ended up being a little different than I started with once I decided to think about it in slow motion and see all the details. I believe color exists to an extent. We can all define a solid coloured object as the same colour name however, although we can all recognize a red rose as “red,” we might be seeing different shades of the colour through each persons set of eyes. I might define a different hue of red as “normal red” than the next person. Color exists in my head because say you look at a red rose in the day light and then the room turns pitch black and you can’t see anything, you may be able to explain how colour doesn’t exist because now the rose is supposedly black due to the lack of light. However, if you turn the light back on to the same brightness as before it is still red and the colour hasn’t changed. Therefore, i believe the object does posses that color,

Philosophy is also about perspective. Above I stated what my perspective was regarding the question: Does color exist? However, other people might have another way of approaching it. Philosophy requires you to be open to other opinions and be able to listen to other ideas with an open mind.in my opinion, if you aren’t open to other ideas, are you really open to the idea of philosophy in the first place? Just another opinion and another question.

On another note, I found a video while exploring YouTube about “Why We Need Philosophy?” and I thought I’d attach it. Tell me what you guys think & why you think we need philosophy!