Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Final Presentation What is Philosophy? – Scott.K

Final Presrntation What is Philosophy? June version.

When I did my first presentation on what is philosophy a few months ago I said philosophy was like trees. Reasons were because our philosophy branches out as we grow like trees do and since people develop different philosophy depending on their culture or their environment as different kind of trees grow only at a certain climate.

Metaphysics was an interesting unit although I had tough time trying to research database and Google to find an answer that can never be found. My metaphysics question was Are we born with purpose? which is a rather vague question that involves many different topics like destiny, presence of God, and others that are actually impossible for any person to answer. Through this unit I had a lot of challenges like utilizing the database and preparing for the presentation. However at the same time, I think this was the unit that helped me shape and think about my life.

Epistemology was the unit that I was really confused about. The whole belief, true belief, justified true belief thing made me completely lose it. But it was also a unit that I had the most intersting and engaged discussions about. Some of the major discussions were with Dom, Lake, Sam, Alejandro and Brian. For most of the topics we discussed about, we generally agreed to each other’s opinion but there were some that we had completely opposite thoughts which I thought was really intersting. For the epistemology active learning, I wanted to do something clever which did not go as well as I planned. Overall I think this was the hardest unit.

Aesthetics was the most enjoyable unit as it was about art and beauty. Even the active learning was to go out and experience something beautiful. It was a short unit compared to metaphysics and epistemology but I certainly had one of the best experience during the Phil’s day off thanks to active learning project.

What is philosophy to me now?

My view on philosophy is not so much different from months ago, but now I think philosophy is like a forest which includes hundreds and thousands of trees. I think philosophy is like millions of different trees gathered together with other trees to form a one big green forest. There may be trees that has red leaves, brown leaves or no leaves at all but when all gathered together, it still forms green forest ad majority of the trees are green just as each person has different philosophy but still agrees to general moral or philosophical codes

 

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Late Aesthetics Active Learning Post – Scott.K

Aesthetics

Aesthetics in philosophy is a reflection of art and beauty. The goal of the aesthetics active learning was to experience something beautiful and why it felt beautiful. Over the weekend, I could have done many other things that may have felt beautiful, but I chose to do something more intense than taking a weekend nap or watching the Matrix trilogy. After almost an hour of driving, I arrived at Abbotsford skydiving ready to feel the gravity from 12000 feet above. The experience was absolutely beautiful. 50 seconds of free fall and five minutes of controlling parachute was thrilling and The interesting part of skydiving is that not every people see it as an enjoyable leisure activity. To me it was an amazing experience, but to some others like my mom who fears height it would be a terrifying moment. Along with the thrill I felt that the saying “beauty is in the eye on a beholder” is true.

 

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Late Metaphysics Posts – Scott.K

Metaphysics

Initial question: Is there a purpose to life?

Reading Post

Four Pillars of Destiny by Shin

This is the reading that I found on the database although I found very little help from it. To briefly explain the reading, it is about the ancient Asian philosophy that still partially passes on to this day. According to the article, many old Chinese, Korean, Japanese belived that people were born with purpose or destined for certain purpose. However, this purpose is not given by god but is chosen by the date (year, month, day, and time).

Discussions Post

Liam: Liam and I talked about time and how the same amount of time can feel different depending on a situation we are in. For example, first block pre calculous class feels like forever while 4 hours at Safeco field goes by so fast.

Jess: Jess’s question was Are humans really free? Her point was that humans may not be completely free although we have our free will because there are numerous things that we cannot control for example death. Her topic relates to my topic in a way because my question also involves free will of people. If men are born with purpose, destined to fulfill a certain purpose, maybe we do not have free will but only act and think as we are planned to.

David: David was the one who had the closes metaphysicst question to mine. His was purpose of life? which sounds pretty much the same my own. However, as David was a Christian, he applied a lot of religious beliefs he had to his question. As a church going person he seemed believe that humans have purpose given by god from birth. Me on the other hand do not agree because I think there is no such thing as purpose of life or even if there were, it is given by ourselves not god or any other superior being.

Active Learning Post

During the phil’s day off I watched the Matrix trilogy. Matirx is considered one of the best movies made in the late 20th century not only because of its fancy action scenes or camera effects but because it has number of interesting philosophical/biblical references which make the viewers think twice as they watch the movie. As I watched them there were number of things that I thought was interesting or that related to my metaphysics questions. One of the things that really had me was the setting of the film. To briefly introduce, machines “harvest” humans after conquering the mankind in the near future. Humans are no longer top of the food chain but only used as batteries for the machines. This whole theme matches with my metaphysics question since humans are literally born with purpose of being utilized as batteries. This obviously is a fictional and extreme example, however it made me think how the upper being, whether it’d be god, aliens, or creatures of higher dimensions, could be “harvesting” or “farming” humans on Earth just to fulfill their needs. Another factor of the movie that interested me was the character agent Smith. Agent Smith is a computer program created by the machines to eliminate malfunctioning programs or viruses(actual people loging in from real world) within the Matrix. The reason why this agent interested me was because he keeps on mentioning purpose from the start of the movie till the very end of the last series of the trilogy. In fact, the word ‘purpose’ is one the most said word by agent Smith. In the movie, this computer program villain seeks purpose of his existance, but the agent destroys himself in the end as he kill Neo since his purpose was to eliminate Neo and were no longer had any purpose to exist after accomplishing it. This made me think that maybe people die when they have fulfilled their purpose possibly given by a superior being.

 

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Late Epistemology and Synthesis Posts -Scott.K

Epistemology

Reading Post

History of Knowledge (korean documentary)

Since the school database did not have the readings I was looking for, I Googled my question and found a documentary handling the history of knowledge. It was about the knowledge that mankind of many different cultures/nations have been developing which was interesting enough for a history nut like myself. According to the documentary, knowledge existed as very first mankind used tools. Each civilizations developed similar but different knowledge and unique cultures based on the knowledge that they have discovered. Many of the knowledge were developed as people tried to adapt to their unique environment (desert, cold, climate, wild lives etc) which is an example of knowledge that comes from outside. However knowledge doesn’t only come from outside ad it is proven by famous philosophers and scholars who develop completely new theories and discoveries which they could not have gained outside but from inside.

Discussion Blog Post

Dominic: My first epistemology discussion was with Dominic. I asked him whether he thinks the knowledge comes from inside or out he answered it comes from both sides 50 : 50. According to Dom all knowledge comes from outside but it depends on us to perceive them as knowledge or not. I agree with Dominic except that I think experience/outer effects take larger portion in making knowledge. Knowledge is not a knowledge until a person perceives it as knowledge.

Alejandro & Brian: With Alejandro and Brian we tried to draw borders to knowledge and find out to what point we can call it a knowledge. Alejandro and Brian both seemed like they agreed to the idea that it is not knowledge if the information not factual. Personally, I strongly disagree with them because I think false knowledge is still a knowledge. To me, every information that comes into ones mind whether it’s factual or a false belief is still knowledge even if that it may be wrong.

Active Learning Blog Post

During my phil’s day off, I tried to do two experiments that could help me answer my epistemology question ‘Does knowledge come from outside or inside?’ The purpose of the experiment was to find out where the knowledge comes from and to do that, I tried to block every information (sight, taste feeling sounds smell etc) and see if I still can receive/learn any sort of information soley by myself. In the second experiment I tried the opposite and tried not to think but only depend on my senses to perceive knowledge. The result, as one might have felt it already, it is almost impossible to shut down one side completely, but I am still almost certain that knowledge comes mostly from outside since I still received some sort of information from the second experiment while non from the first.

Epistemology Synthesis

Initial Question: Does knowledge come from outside or inside?

Reading: Not exactly a reading but watched a documentary “History of Knowledge”. It was a documentary about the first knowledge of mankind and it’s development through various civilization over thousands of years of history until today. It relates to my epistemology question in a way because civilizations have been developing knowledge and culyure due to their unique geography, location or climate. These are all examples of knowledge that comes from outside. It also mentioned many famous philosophers including Plato and Aristotle who developed philosophy by using inner creativity.

Discussions: I had discussions with Dominic, Alejandro, and Brian. With Dom, we discussed about my epistemology question does knowledge come from inside or outside? Dom said that it is exactly half-half since all information comes from outside but has to be perceived by someone in order to be knowledge. I agreed with Dom except that I think knowledge comes more from outside than inside as it is almost impossible to learn something without gaining experiences from outside. With Alejandro and Brian we talked whether knowledge is knowledge if it is false. Both Alejandro and Brian said that it is not knowledge if the information is not faxtual. I disagreed because I believe that false knowledge exists even if it is not factual and only a belief.

Active Learning: During the Phils day off weekend I tried two experiments in order to find out whether the knowledge comes from inside or outside. For the first experiment I tried to completely shut down every outer experiences/senses and see if I can still gain any sort of knowledge. For the second experiment, I tried the opposite trying to only receive outer effects and not perceive about them. It was simple but difficult experiment, but I came to a conclusion that it is impossible to gain knowledge without using both inner and outer side

 

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Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton on the Death Penalty

Summary: Clinton is pro death penalty, however, for only those who have commited absolutely heinous crimes like terrorism. Bernie is against it since there are a lot of innocent people including minority groups who have been executed .

 

Premises and Conclusion:

Too many innocent people have been killed when they are not guilty.

Government itself shouldn’t be part of killing when there are enough killing happening in the world already.

Death Penalty should not be allowed.

Truth, Validity, and Soundness: The first premise seem to be true as there have been the cases where an innocent person got executed, but the second premise is more like an opinion rather than a fact. Therefore the conclusion is somewhat sound.

 

 
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