Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Brain workouts!

During my Phil’s day off experiment, I went to the movie theatres to see if i could find results to my questions. How realistic can people make fake reality? I watched The Edge of 17 because “hey, i’m 17, maybe I can relate to the movie!”. Turns out I can’t exactly do that since all of the events in the movie are vamped up to a level of extreme that I personally can’t relate to. I will admit though it was very interesting to see how the movie played out. I laughed, I cried, my emotions varied throughout the film.


I thought it was refreshing to see a film about a teenager dealing with personal issues because I feel like society tries to cover up the fact that teenagers deal with issues too, not just adults. From what i’ve picked up throughout my years, is that some adults think all teenage issues are “nothing” or unimportant. Which sometimes, yes, problems get blown out of proportion, but sometimes we actually do mean it when we say we are dealing with stuff.


When I sat down at the theatre and I looked around and surprisingly I noticed a lot of people ages 30+. I walked in thinking it would be packed with high schoolers, such as myself. I am not sure if the day had any factor in this, but I thought it was pretty neat.  


On my journey I learned that fake reality is as real as your imagination takes you. If you walk in completely blocked off to your creativity, and stay within the walls, then you will probably start dissecting every factor of the film and find each flaw- or at least that’s what happens to me. If you sit down, dismantle all the boundaries in your brain then you will probably enjoy it way more because you’re allowing your brain wander. It’s amazing how an activity that is so relaxing, such as watching a movie, can give your brain a workout.



You can’t hide from everything!

I believe beauty is all around us. Everything in our world, and even beyond, has a sense of beauty. Beauty is such a personal thing that some people find in much different places than others. Something that I may find beautiful, the person beside me may disagree, and that’s okay! Although we are all very different, finding beauty in something is sometimes more common than others. For example, it’s very common to have a common interest in things like a vibrant sunset, twinkling lights, etc. But not every beauty can be shared. Sometimes you have to be selfish and keep that something to yourself.



In the spring of last year I took a trip to Orlando, Florida. I am not a person that travels often, leaving me beyond excited for my adventure. As soon as I got off the plane I looked at everything so differently. It was like I was an alien on a new planet. I wanted to save each moment- even if it wasn’t exciting to anybody around me. I had a thousand photos when I got home. Some were useless, some were pleasing to my eyes, but I still loved them all because they reminded me of moments that i’ve attached to that photo.




Descartes says that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I couldn’t agree more, Descartes. Everybody has a different view on beauty, which makes it unique, and a wonderful thing.



Over the winter break, I had many esthetic experiences, but one that sticks out in particular is a photo that I took of my father and his friends on Christmas Eve. This is a beautiful picture in my mind because their smiles are larger than possible, while wearing goofy hats. This picture makes me happy and has a sense of beauty that connects with me on a certain level that you may not see- but it is beautiful to me.  




I think of aesthetics as something that you can either embrace, or ignore. I’m not the type of person to walk through life without thinking of all the beautiful moments and opportunities around you, so i’m unclear as to what that’s like. Take a moment to realize the hidden values around you- it could change your view on the world.



Knowledge is like a pomegranate – Marina

Our minds are like an endless river, with a continuous flow of water. After time, the river bed shows signs of erosion, much like our brains that are continuously learning and expanding. There is so much knowledge in this world, along with millions of people, yet nobody knows it all. We live in beds of knowledge. It surrounds us and fills the air we breathe. Our brains are like pomegranates, you’re constantly finding new pockets of delicious red seeds, that you didn’t know were there. 


P1- Humans are born with a sense of knowledge.


P2- We develop our knowledge overtime through learning experiences.


Conclusion- All humans are born with common human knowledge and our bodies and our minds grow through good and bad, and right and wrong experiences.



P1- When we are born, we are guided through the basics of knowledge from our parents. They teach us how to grow up so we can eventually leave the nest as a grown, mature, adult. They hold our hands, pick us up, wipe our tears, and tell us it will be okay. Although, they want to do everything in their power to make us the best we can possibly be, they have to let us fall sometimes to help us learn. As we grow, our parents grip on us loosens as they trust grows stronger.


P2-  Our brains when we are little are like sponges. They absorb everything. Memories- good and bad-stick with us and they help us make choices in our future so we don’t go down the wrong path.


Conclusion – Although you may not think everything in our lives are beneficial in the long run, in reality it does. As humans we are constantly learning. Nobody in the word knows everything. Knowledge seeps everywhere like water flows in a river bed. Knowledge is unstoppable, it will push you forward in life, and it starts new streams all the time.




I agree with the Philosopher Immanuel Kant because Kant stated that our experiences are structured by features of our minds. Among other things, Kant believed that the concepts of space and time are integral to all human experience, as are our concepts of cause and effect. 


I am grateful for everything that has happened in my life to make me the person I am today. I wouldn’t be the same person without each thing that has occurred in my life. Each experience, each different than the last, taught me in so many different way that I didn’t know were possible.



Help! Cows are hurting the planet!

Methane gas is a greenhouse gas much like carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 enters our atmosphere by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane gas has a 23 times higher negative effect on the environment, than the effect of CO2. The release of 100kg of Methane gas per cow each year, is equivalent to approximately 2300kg of CO2 each year.

There are approximately 971.4826 million cows on our planet.

Premise 1: Cows produce high levels of methane gas.

Premise 2: Methane gas emissions is a cause of global warming.

Conclusion: Cows cause global warming.

Image provided by Joe Gough


“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”  – Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch

Truth- Yes, this argument is factually correct.

Validity- Yes, this argument is valid.

Soundness- Yes, this argument is sound because it is both factually correct and valid.

When you look at global warming, it is a topic that is very controversial. Some people believe in it, meanwhile others think it is a pile of manure. If global warming is real, then yes, cows and other livestock have a part in this; but so does the human race.







(Marina) Caught in a bubble

We have so much of the world to discover, but yet most of us stay where we are comfortable because it’s easy and we know what to do. Our lives are so simple, with everything we desire at our fingertips. We have everything we need in a walking, or short ride distance. Every place in the world live life with their own twist. The population of a small town called, Gold River, located on Vancouver Island, is smaller than the population of Gleneagle Secondary School. In 2013, Gold River had a graduating class of 11 students. The people of Gold River don’t have the same luxuries as us, but they have their own. In order for them to get their weekly groceries, they have to dedicate a whole day to drive to the next town over (2 hour drive away!). A regular day for these people are so different than ours.

When I was little I was told about old, deserted, towns like Gold River, but growing up in the city it’s hard to imagine. I had always visualized what I thought the town would look like. I remember I would visualize old towns from the Scooby-Doo books in my head.  It wasn’t until I saw the town with my own eyes that I had a clear vision. It was nothing like I had imagined.

Courtesy of Google Images

Green grass, small houses, empty sidewalks and roads. Generations, and generations, have grown up there. Family names are practically carved in the sidewalks. This lifestyle attracts certain people, but it can also repel others. The people that are happy with their lives in Gold River, generally don’t feel the need to explore the world. A lot of them don’t know what life is like off Vancouver Island. How would Gold River change if people had adventures outside of Vancouver Island under their belts? Would it change the overall environment? We can wonder all we want, but we will never know.



Marina’s Attempt To Turn Thoughts Into Words

These past two weeks in philosophy really allowed my thinking to expand to a new level than a normal high school class. On that note; I don’t think I’ve ever gone through this much confusion in the first two weeks of classes.

It sure is an eye opener.

When I started in this course, the whole world of philosophy was grey. What is it? What makes it different compared to an average high school course? These questions posed in my mind. I asked myself these questions everyday as I walked in, and out, of the class. As my time continued, this foreign concept of philosophy slowly started to make more sense. The grey area is slowly clearing, like the clouds after a storm.

Courtesy of Google Images


In elementary school, we are taught the difference between yes and no, and right and wrong. In high school we are asked to challenge that idea that we’ve had implanted in our brains since we were little. It’s like being told something since you were little, and growing up to believe it, then finding out that you’ve been wrong your whole life.  It’s hard to change the way you think about things. I’ve definitely been experiencing this discomfort for the past two weeks.


In this course, I’m looking forward to digging deeper and expand my thinking, on the ‘no endpoint’ way of learning. I find it extremely fascinating having growing up and going to school in a “question-answer’ environment, then being placed in a world that’s filled with loose ends. You realize the difference between what they teach you in school and there is a whole world yet to be discovered. The world is posed with questions either that you’ve thought of or what you are soon to find out, compared to what you have learned so far.


Since I was little, I’ve never been the kid whose hand shoots in the air when it comes to speaking in class. By the end of this course, I’d like to be able to participate in class discussions and to not be afraid to say what’s on my mind. I like to challenge myself with goals and obstacles to keep me on my toes, and I feel like philosophy could help me achieve that.  Since philosophy relates to the unknown, this makes the exploration especially scary, but I’m willing to try.

Philosophy is an inherently social activity that thrives on the collision of viewpoints and rarely emerges from unchallenged interior monologue” -Nigel Warburton