Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Jess’ Phantasmagorical Philosophy Final

My prezi isn’t embedding again, so I shall instead link it here and the script/lyrics/words are below:

What is philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of ourselves 
So place our races on the shelves of humanity
It’s insanity to call ourselves equal
What is equality if not pulling the hijab from your head
Because not doing so means winding up red in the streets of Australia
It’s alien to me that in 2015 people still have to march to be free
What is equality but people telling me my father doesn’t look very Chinese,

Four months ago I sat there, asking you to compare faces
Because race is the deciding factor in all of our lives
But we can’t all be colour blind
Rank ourselves by the tone of our skin
Let’s begin.

I’m the Mixed Up Files of a childhood
Propelling me towards the idea that
Being a person means choosing one title or
The other.
What philosophy means is finding our label
It’s a fable that we construct who we are
We get farther if we’re the main character
But tear at the notion that those around us
Simply occupy space
Whatever happened to the Human Race?
Let’s face it.
We suck.

Pluck yourself from your body
Call shotty on the passenger seat of a day in the life of someone else
The hand you’re dealt is all you have
Navigate your way out of the boxes you were placed in
Ignore the din of people calling you anything but your name
Because philosophy is not about ourselves

Delve into the consciousness of those around you
The view is nice inside their head
Spread yourself out
Don’t doubt that everyone else is human too
It’s true our thirst for knowledge is what drives us
Poised on the cusp of what is to come
Don’t run out of questions for who you are
You won’t get far if you bleed dry
Have a backup supply of quandries and ponders
Wander away from the idea that humanity is a herd waiting for a master
Cast your follower ideas away
Because hey.
Have hope.
Tie a rope to the idea that
We are not all the same
But don’t forget your names
(Jess, biracial, girl, student)

It’s prudent
That we ask who we are
Carve the words ’til they scar
Because they do
It’s true we don’t choose our own fate
Brought anew with a silver spoon
or cast aside not worth our weight
In gold or in lead
You dread the day when someone says
“What are you?”
Because to ask yourself the same
Becomes a daily game
Of labeling the world which represents you best
Who Are We?

We are the titles we’ve been handed
Branded forever by society
Propriety tells me not to question the quo
So take pride in your rank
It’s the plank that you stand upon
As the ocean wind brushes by
Say your goodbye’s to the naysayers and threats
Deal out your debts
And take a step back,
Remove your rose-coloured glasses
The last thing on your mind
Should be an appeal to the masses
Ask yourself what to do as you start over again
Because What is Philosophy?
Just a means to an end.

Actually, something that I think shows my growth is this random parallel, which is comparing my first and last prezi. I didn’t realise they were the same template until I was halfway through but hey. If it works.

I think that, looking through my tag, some of my best examples of growth are the posts where I tried to tackle issues which I had never learned about before. My first post about nothing and my theory on Epistemology were especially difficult because I had never really thought on the issues that I tackled. Interestingly, I didn’t think that my post on Ethics was one of my better ones because although I tried to make it as non-argumentative as possible, I’ve always had some kind of a position on abortion, so I didn’t have to research it as much as I did for Epistemology or ‘Nothing’, so I don’t feel as though it showed as much growth as my other work.

I googled ‘Language’ and found this fun and informative image from zengardner.com

My favourite post that I made was my ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ post about the various protests and riots that were going on globally. I felt that, not only was it relevant to life, philosophy, and current events, but I had to do a ton of excess research to actually know what I was talking about, and I felt like I put some of my best effort into making that post a good one, if only because I thought (and still think) that it is relevant.


With certain posts I made (On feminism, protests, abortion, and my slam poem above) I tried to make them more relevant to real life, or rather: I tried to get people to connect philosophy to their everyday life, and I hope I was successful in this endeavour, because I know that I connected a lot of what we did in Philosophy to my everyday life (even if it is just contemplating aesthetics on my walk home). I think that these are the best ways of using philosophy in the future, because to take current events and view them through the lens of a philosopher is always important, especially in regards to Ethics, Logic, and Social & Political Philosophy. In this way, I hope to be able to use what I’ve learned, but I also think that just in general, Philosophy has already been able to permeate my everyday life because it helps me see things differently, and from angles that I’ve never thought of before.

If I were to do it over again, I would probably comment more on other people’s posts, because I know that I enjoyed getting comments on my posts, yet I didn’t comment as often as I would have liked. One of the comments which I was actually quite proud of was the one I posted in response to the question of systemic misogyny, because I thought that the discussion that blossomed from it on harassment and women feeling safe was one of the (if not the) best discussion we’ve had all year (save for Kelsey’s thought experiment). I enjoyed the chance to talk about my own experiences and hear others, because it also contributed to my knowledge, and I think that I’ll use what I learned in that discussion in future. ((Sidenote, I also enjoyed the discussion that Avery, Vincent and I had on my Theory of Epistemology post))

On the whole, I’ve really enjoyed this class, and to say that it was just good would be a gross understatement, so thank you to my classmates for being amazing and making me feel as though I can share my opinions on everything and thank you to Mr Jackson for a) scoring Mr. Findley’s classroom and b) being a fabulous teacher/teaching a fabulous course.



What is Philosophy? Final

Looking back at the “David” from five months ago I can easily say I was a much more ignorant individual than I am now. Like the majority of us, I also believed philosophy was the study of white guys with “white beards”, but from the start of the semester my assumptions were wrong. Instead of “talking about our feelings” we dealt deep into

Initially, my idea of philosophy had to do with questions. I believed philosophy was the series of questions humans use in order to answer the unanswerable; because you cannot have an answer without a question. Although this is true, I soon realized that much of philosophy wasn’t the answering of the question, but actually the process of answering the question. A process in which you would leave with more questions than you had before, and so on and so forth.  I was pretty satisfied with this answer I created for myself. As a result, I was very unsure of how my answer would differ compared to the one at the end of the semester, but it is quite astonishing that indeed it changed.

Although my views have not altered completely, and I do in fact still agree with the “david of the past” I think there is a deeper meaning to all of this. To me philosophy has shifted into a more complicated way of trying to understand the world around me. Similarly to solipsism, our views on the world are unique to every single one of us, and the journey we have as an individual in order to understand our own version of the universe through questions, experiences, and the people around us is what I think philosophy is. I also believe that every person’s subjective philosophy becomes a means to help every other individual achieve their philosophy. A process that takes a lifetime, and stays alive after we die. For example, the philosophies of well-known philosophers live on and help us become wiser individuals.

Overall this course has been extremely interesting and enjoyable. It was not what I was expecting, and it definitively surpassed my expectations, as it rose to being on of my favorite of my high school career. The unique way of teaching through discussions and blog posts has proved efficient while very fun. And I think Mr.Jackson did a wonderful job of organizing this entire course. Thank you everyone that made it an enjoyable part of my semester! 🙂




The More You Know

the more you know2

Coming in to philosophy class in September I had no idea what I thought philosophy was. All I knew that there was a whole lot of question and very few answers. After the first week of philosophy I was still really confused on what it was and these new, big words being thrown around didn’t really help. So back in September for our first presentation and blog post I had a very difficult time trying to answer the question “what is philosophy?”

Back when we first had to answer this question my answer was:

“Philosophy to me is the questioning of which we try discover and unfold the mysteries of the grey area, and to try and stop ourselves from cramming the world and all of it wondering into this hole that it refuses to fit into. To discover new ways of thinking and living outside of the ‘black and white’ and to venture into the possibilities of which thinking in the ‘grey’ has to offer.”

I still agree with my past self on what I thought philosophy was, but my thoughts have evolved from there. If you asked me now what I thought philosophy was I would say to you that it is discovery.

What I mean by discovery is that you could this big philosophical break through, or you could have these little moments of understanding. For example, during the ethics unit we discussed capital punishment; I have always known that I am against it, but I could never really explain why. Through having talked with the class and looking at capital punishment through different lenses (categorical imperative, utilitarianism, ect.) I became to understand the ‘Why’ behind my beliefs.

Another part about discovery is that it also the journey (cliché, I know).  there was one discussion in class, unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what it was about, and most of us felt like our heads were going to explode from trying to answer a question and all the theories that we were passing around. At one point I remember someone asked Mr. Jackson if he could tell us what the answer was. He essentially told us that if what we are discussing makes your head hurt because the concept you are attempting to wrap your head around is mind boggling and challenging then you are on the right track. Giving you the answer would be the easy way and that would take away from the experience of discovery. Obviously that’s not exactly what Mr. Jackson said but that was what I took away from it.

What I am trying to say is that philosophy class not only has taught me what was in the curriculum but also a lot of how I would like to live my life.  It has taught me that listening to others discoveries and being extremely open minded to ideas that you never could have imagined, can lead me to my own small or big Eureka’s. Also that the journey through life, just like the journey to discovery of the grey areas, will be challenging but that is okay because how it was meant to be. Philosophy has been an amazing class and I am so happy to have experienced, no matter how confusing and challenging it may have been.





What is Philosophy?

What is philosophy? At the beginning of the semester, this question hit me like a wrecking ball. It knocked me off my feet because earlier that week, I walked into class not having the first clue of what the class was even about. So, the question ‘what is philosophy’ left me pondering for a long time. But know that I have done the course, this question isn’t so difficult to answer anymore. All I really had to do was look back at what we have done for the past four months to see how much I have grown.

Previously, I used the metaphor that philosophy is like a tree. Where the tree trunk is our lives, the branches are all aspects of our lives, and the roots are philosophy- the base foundation of or lives. I still agree with this metaphor, but only to a certain extent. Because now, I find myself seeing us, humanity, as the roots and philosophy being the tree trunk. The way I see it now, humans create philosophy which then help us with all aspects of our lives. 

Throughout the course, philosophy has taught me how to look at things from different perspectives and what to think about each of those perspectives. It is the process of questioning and analyzing those questions; then, attempting to find our way to a conclusion. Philosophy is an extremely subjective topic, but it’s the subjectiveness of it that has help me grow in my thinking. Being able to see an topic from different standpoints has helped me learn to try to relate and understand other people’s ideas. I think that how I have learned in philosophy has shaped been shaped through my environment and the people I am around as this is one of those classes where the learning experience depends largely on the students on the class. If there were to be a few extra people in the class or a few students who were missing, my learning experience and the class discussions would have been completely different.

A tip that I found to be very the one that Mr. Jackson suggested where we just take some time to think while we are walking or sitting on the bus instead of listening to music or doing something else. This is something that I will definitely be using in my everyday life along with many of the other things that philosophy has taught me. I still have much to learn, but I can now better understand how and why I get to certain conclusions about things.

Some things that I would’ve liked to improve on were participating in class and commenting on blog posts. Sometimes it was just too difficult to put my ideas into words so I just didn’t. With commenting on posts, now that I look back was not a very difficult thing to do and I should’ve taken out some time occasionally to comment on other people’s posts. One of the things that I am most proud of is my Epistemology/ Midterm post because even though I was really struggling with it at the beginning, it eventually got easier and I became really interested in my topic and the writing just started to flow.

Overall, I think what philosophy is is essentially the path of self discovery and reflection. It is not just asking questions, but also the process of finding the answers to those questions and being able to find out new things about myself along the way. Philosophy is a life skill that I will be able to apply to my everyday life and use moving forward, and I have all you guys to thank for it.

Could this possibly be the path of self discovery to the philosophy tree?

Could this possibly be the path of self discovery to the philosophy tree?



Philosophy 12 Final : What is Philosophy?

My philosophy final talks about my journey through Philosophy 12 🙂