Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

By

Final Post – Links – Tali Berlin

Why Our Education System is Flawed

How do the structures of the universe affect us as humans?

Metaphysics discussion post

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Reading

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Discussion

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Phil’s Day Off

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Final Epistemology Post

 

By

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Final Epistemology Post, Tali Berlin

Initial Question: Is it possible to have True, absolute, certain knowledge?


Reading:

Since people view things and gather information through their senses, or through recording what other people have found through their senses, I was curious to know if it is actually possible to gather objective knowledge.

The reading I found is called “Is Knowledge Impossible?” by JW Gray, who argues that

It might be possible to have knowledge in the sense of having some degree of certainty or deep understanding, but it might be impossible to have absolute certainty or absolutely deep understanding. Those extreme kinds of knowledge could be impossible.

Gray concludes that there is no way to have absolute knowledge, but it isn’t necessary to have it in life as long as we can live with the knowledge we do have, whether it’s True or not.

A modest definition for ‘knowledge’ is all that seems needed in most everyday contexts. It tells me if I can wake up in the morning, if I can type out an essay, and if I can think anything worth putting on paper. This modest definition is compatible with our quest for truth, certainty, and deep understanding; but not all of our knowledge is absolutely certain to be true nor is all of our knowledge a deep understanding.


Discussion:

My most relevant and interesting discussion was with Helena, Alejandro and Alicia. We talked about whether it’s possible to have one True answer to a question, or whether all questions can have multiple answers, all true by the perception of different people. Different people perceive the same situations in different ways, but to all, their own beliefs on the situation is true. So does that mean that a question that theoretically should have one simple answer, could have multiple answers and all of them true? An example we used to debate this was The Simpson’s episode where Bart reaches for the lollipop on the babysitter’s pants, but she thinks he’s reaching for her butt. If you ask both of them what happened, both will tell you different answers, but to each, both are true. They perceived the situation differently, and while there may be one correct answer about Bart’s intentions, which would come from Bart as only he knows the nature of his intentions, the situation played out a certain way that both Bart and the babysitter have different views on it. Even though his intentions didn’t portray in his actions, according to the babysitter, Bart could very well have been reaching for her butt. The question here isn’t about Bart’s intentions, but what happened in this situation. And the answer to this has two different, but true to each person, answers.


Phil’s Day Off:

This weekend, I got my wisdom teeth removed, which caused my weekend to be full of gross blended food and Harry Potter.

While I was on pain killers, I experienced the world a bit different than my mother, who was not on pain killers and was serving me gross blended meals and criticizing my movie choices. But who’s to say that her version of this weekend had anymore truth to it than mine, just because I was on pain killers? Some might argue that my version of this weekend is not true, as it was altered and distorted by the drugs I was on. However, I argue (I’m still groggy don’t judge me too much), that perhaps my view of this weekend had more truth to it than my mother’s view. Although she was not on any pain medication, all the past experiences in her life, just like in any person’s life, have altered the way she perceives certain things to be different than mine. So if both my mother and I get asked about this weekend, we both would have different stories and versions to say, but both true to each of us. Therefore, answering my discussion sub question (can one question have multiple, and true, answers, or is there only always one answer to each question?). People perceive different things in different ways, altering the way we experience things. This helps answer my initial question.


 

Final Thoughts:

I don’t think it’s possible to have one absolute, certain True knowledge, as people perceive things through senses, which act differently in each person. There is no way of knowing for certain the absolute Truth about anything, but in our everyday world, having an understanding of how to go about life with the knowledge, True or not, of how to do so, is enough.

 

By

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Phil’s Day Off, Tali Berlin

Initial question: Is it possible to have absolute knowledge at all?

Last weekend I didn’t really have a chance to explore my question, so I’m choosing to write my Phil’s Day Off post about this weekend, in which I got my wisdom teeth out.

What I ended up doing all weekend is eating baby food and watching Harry Potter… all of them.

While I was on pain killers, I experienced the world a bit different than my mother, who was not on pain killers and was serving me gross blended meals and criticizing my movie choices. But who’s to say that her version of this weekend had anymore truth to it than mine, just because I was on pain killers? Some might argue that my version of this weekend is not true, as it was altered and distorted by the drugs I was on. However, I argue (I’m still groggy don’t judge me too much), that perhaps my view of this weekend had more truth to it than my mother’s view. Although she was not on any pain medication, all the past experiences in her life, just like in any person’s life, have altered the way she perceives certain things to be different than mine. So if both my mother and I get asked about this weekend, we both would have different stories and versions to say, but both true to each of us. Therefore, answering my discussion sub question (can one question have multiple, and true, answers, or is there only always one answer to each question?). People perceive different things in different ways, altering the way we experience things. This helps answer my initial question. I don’t think it’s possible to have one absolute, certain True knowledge, as people perceive things through senses, which act differently in each person.

 

By

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Discussion, Tali Berlin

My initial question: Is it possible to have absolute knowledge at all?

My most relevant and interesting discussion was with Helena, Alejandro and Alicia. We talked about whether it’s possible to have one True answer to a question, or whether all questions can have multiple answers, all true by the perception of different people. Different people perceive the same situations in different ways, but to all, their own beliefs on the situation is true. So does that mean that a question that theoretically should have one simple answer, could have multiple answers and all of them true? We didn’t end up coming to a total conclusion to this discussion yet.

 

By

Is Knowledge Impossible? – Reading Tali Berlin

My initial question was: is it possible to have actual knowledge at all?

Since people view things and gather information through their senses, or through recording what other people have found through their senses, I was curious to know if it is actually possible to gather objective knowledge.

The reading I found is called “Is Knowledge Impossible?” by JW Gray, who argues that

It might be possible to have knowledge in the sense of having some degree of certainty or deep understanding, but it might be impossible to have absolute certainty or absolutely deep understanding. Those extreme kinds of knowledge could be impossible.

Gray concludes that there is no way of knowing for certain the absolute Truth about anything, but in our everyday world, having an understanding of how to go about life with the knowledge, True or not, of how to do so, is enough.

 

By

Discussion Post- Tali Berlin

My initial question was: how does the universe and its structures affect humans and our world? And I used this reading to help me start answering this question.

During my first discussion, I got off topic from my own question, as my group (Helena: body related to self/mind, Alicia: lucid dreaming, Will and Brian: objectivity of art) got really into discussing Will and Brian’s question, which was: could art be objectively good or bad? We talked about how each person’s definition of good and bad is subjective, and I brought up the fact that people prioritize different aspects of art before others (one person might say the special effects of a movie are the most important, when another person might argue that the acting is the most important, etc.). We concluded the discussion by coming to a consensus with saying that art can’t be “objectively” good or bad, however, it can be “formulaically” good or bad, with the formula for “good” or “bad” art coming from the opinions of the majority both from past generations, and present.

During my second discussion, I stayed on topic and realized how my topic related to so many others in my group (Mikayla: age vs. maturity, Natalie: meaning of life, Liam and Kyle: time without change). The more we discussed each other’s questions, the more I realized mine had in common with the others. I didn’t see that much in common with Mikayla’s question, however, I did with the other two.

Natalie’s question asking regarding the meaning of life connects to mine, as the meaning of life to some may be God, while others don’t believe in God. The universe affects us in this way, as people believe in religions based on a Divine power, outside of our world, aka, in the universe! People search through space trying to find answers, whether they are ones of science, religion, or simply the self and one’s meaning.

I see a big connection with my question about the universe and Liam & Kyle’s question regarding if time could exist without change, and if change was the only thing that made time go by. There are lots of waves in our world, ones we can see (colour), and ones we can’t see (sound), much like there are waves outside of Earth, out in the universe. We can’t see, touch, smell, taste, or hear time occurring, all we sense is the change in our and others’ movements and surroundings. How do we know that there aren’t certain waves or some other form of scientific actions that are occurring in the universe which cause time, or rather humans’ definition of time as a construct, to occur here on Earth? There very much could be, and that’s how these questions relate to one another.

Most of the questions I have aren’t new, but still interest me:

  • how much of our world is affected by the universe?
  • is there an end to the universe, or is it infinite?
  • is the universe which we know of the biggest it gets, and how is scale (size) play into the information we know and/or are yet to discover?

Also, a new one!

  • how exactly does time get affected by the universe?
 

By

How do the structures of the universe affect us as humans? (Reading blog post) – Tali Berlin

My initial question was: how does the universe and the way it’s structured affect people on Earth?

I’ve chosen this topic because space and “the great unknown” has always interested me. I find it fascinating how something so huge and real exists, with us literally in it, yet we are missing a ton of information about it. So I’ve decided to narrow it down to how the universe affects us, since that’s the most relatable I could get with this subject.

This link I found is called Structures of the Universe: Spirituality & Meaning (Part II). In this reading, Paul D. Biscop explains how:

“the universe is structured throughout on the basis of six principles.

These principles are, as I understand them: (1) Pattern; (2) Variations

(with differences); (3) Repetition; (4) Scale; (5) Part-for-the-Whole

Relationships; (6) Randomness or Chance. What these are saying,

again as I understand them, is that the universe is everywhere at all

levels of scale structured according to basic patterns which occur in

many variations with differences (iterations) that include part-for the-

whole relationships in which the whole is reflected or repeated in

the parts but with differences such as in scale; and finally randomness

or chance exists to give vitality, good or bad, to the entire situation.”

This reading basically states the six principles in Fractal Geometry, a natural phenomenon that occurs with repeating patterns occurring at different scales, and explains how the patterns of the universe are the same as both physical and mental patterns of humans.

First, the reading talks about how the human body interacts, as in the human brain, has similar patterns that follow those in the universe:

“Human brains themselves operate in basically similar patterns and ways, which include differences in scale as well as in patterns of brainwaves which can be graphed and displayed explicitly”

Then Biscop gets into the non-physical side of things and states that:

“human thought or ideas can also be seen to work in certain kinds of patterns. Some of these patterns are possibly related to wave length patterns, but they are also related to culture and society, and they are particularly apparent in religious or metaphysical areas, such as shamanism, found in various forms all over the world”

In the topic of a divine power, according to Biscop, humans ourselves, as we are reflections of the universal patterns, which some might call “Divine” since the universe (or something/one? in it created humans and our world), therefore we are reflections of Divinity, and are Divine ourselves.

“if one is to accept the idea of some kind of Supreme Creator, no matter how that is conceived, then it stands to reason that we are reflections of Divinity in a different scale. By virtue of our bodies and our social patterns we are reflections of universal patterns and therefore reflections of the Creative source, but by virtue of our consciousness we must in some small way be a reflection of Cosmic or Divine Consciousness (The Whole)”

Even though this reading talks about a divine power and the like, it does so by covering more of the scientific connections between humans and the universe: same patterns. So in conclusion, my question is not fully answered, as I’m sure there are lots more ways in which the universe affects us.

Some other questions that are brought on by this reading are:

  • how much of our world is affected by the universe?
  • is there an end to the universe, or is it infinite?
  • is the universe which we know of the biggest it gets, and how is scale (size) play into the information we know and/or are yet to discover?

 

 

By

Why Our Education System is Flawed – Tali Berlin

1:50 – 3:35 tells the main point Ken Robinson is trying to make. He makes the argument that the current education system in place is full of flaws and needs to be changed as it is old, models industrialism like factories putting kids in batches to study separate subjects and learn to come up with only one answer to each question, therefore killing their ability to think divergently and making kids who think differently feel stupid and useless. Continue watching for the explanation.

Premises:

  • Penalizing kids for getting distracted in the most stimulating and technologically advanced day in age
  • Amount of kids with ADHD has risen with the growth of standardize testing
  • To make kids with ADHD calm down, they are given pills to deaden their senses in order to be able to focus on “boring stuff” and not get distracted by the fun and enticing stuff around them (media, advertising, cell phones, etc.)
  • Instead of “deadening their senses… we should be waking them up”
  • Some kids are much better than different kids in the same age and different disciplines, or different times of the day… or in large groups or small groups or on their own

  • Education system about conformity and standardization, we should go “in the exact opposite direction”
  • In a study done to test divergent thinking (ability to come up with a lot of answers to one question, in ex: how many uses can you come up for a paper clip – can you come up with 10 or 200 answers?), 98% of a group of kids in kindergarten reached genius level;  they kept testing the same kids every few years, and as they became more and more “educated” in schools with age, less and less of them reached genius level.
  • Kids damage their ability to think divergently as school says their is only one answer to each question, and you either get it right or wrong.

Conclusion: Our current education system needs to change as it singles out kids who think differently, tells them that they are stupid, and kills their ability to think divergently.

Truth, Validity, and Soundness: All the premises seem factually correct and make sense to be true, however to know for sure, more research has to be done on the experiments and facts stated in this video. The argument is valid as the premises do lead to the conclusion. This makes this argument sound, unless further research into the factual correctness proves otherwise.

 

 
css.php