Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Philosophy = Couch

In the very complicated equation that is my title, it states that philosophy is a couch.
Now you may not think these two ideas relate, but they do, and here is how:

  1. “Live Life Comfortably” – Lazyboy
    When couch-shopping, people often think of comfort as the number one condition their couch will need to have. We affiliate this cushioned chair as a place of rest or to feel relaxed. This is much like how humans want to feel when socializing. Philosophy is based on the principles of conversation and sharing ideas. If we do not feel comfortable to vocalize our opinions, then philosophy loses its meaning and appreciation.
    Lazyboy sums up the goals of philosophy pretty well – we should go through life seeking comfort. That can mean broadening our comfort zones and exploring new places while being free from judgement or discrimination.
  2. Personality
    Most couches are situated in a living room. And each couch is chosen to enhance or bring something intriguing to the space, but every one of us has a different style. Some will prefer the leather look while others will appreciate a more retro sofa. Each Philosopher in us has our own taste of philosophy. We could be really interested in space exploration or imagining the unseen. A great thing about philosophy is that we all look at it differently, a great example is  this project. With our own style comes a unique perspective into the equation that can enrich conversations and ideas.
  3. Function
    The cool thing about couches is how functional they actually are. We spend copious amounts of time using them to rest, relax, or entertain guests. They fill up space in a room and (hopefully) look pretty. The cool thing about philosophy is we all use it for a different purpose. Whether you are dying to discover the meaning of life or just trying to open up your mind to potential, we call this way of thinking “philosophy”. Its important to recognize that while your life’s work could be asking questions, my dream may be to think of the next best seller.


Philosophy is a couch because we need it to have comfort ability, personality, and function. Purpose and meaning give worth to the things we want to understand. With the diversity of both couches and philosophy, we as people are able to appreciate the opportunity of imagination.

You can philosophize the world right from your couch.







Serendipitous Philosophy

So I’m talking to a friend about philosophy, just joking around when something crazy happens. It went like this:


Me: what really exists
Friend: who knows. I just wanna be able to walk through walls
Me: If you don’t think walls exist try running through it
Friend: there’s also doors
Friend: but do they exist?
Me: maybe we just perceive them to exist
Friend: and some people don’t perceive them
Me: which is why they feel claustrophobic
Friend: how?
Me: because they feel trapped
Friend: or they don’t have limits
Me: or the limits are too great to perceive
Friend: or too small

As we were messing around I realized we had somehow captured the essence of philosophy. We were asking questions, thinking outside of the box (or is it “box”), and piecing things together. But most importantly we were discussing perception about our world. Maybe doors are symbols for freedom or a way to escape and claustrophobic people have limits set different then the average people. Which reminds me of an article that really got me thinking.

Maybe colour blind people see the world how it truly is and the average person sees these things we call “colour”. Does color even exist?

I enjoyed how relatable and relevant colours are, but I was excited to discover that I can use philosophical thinking to have fun and joke around. I don’t have to solve great mysteries or live in solidarity for years to be philosophical. I just have to ask questions about life and the way things show up through my eyes.

And while philosophy is a deep topic, you don’t have to swim to the bottom of the ocean to find it.



Self-Styling AKA: How to Look Good (but like, in a philosophical way)

The first thing you need to know about self-styling is that, while it does not mean using hair gel to do your hair, it can incorporate it.



(click the photos to see the notes Cassidy and I took)

Self-styling is the act of making yourself into a better person, whether that is through deeds, make-up, or simply a self-confidence boost. Nietzche was the one who said that art gives us distance from our lives, which helps us see our own selves from a distance. To me, this simply means that art helps us see ourselves as others see us.

For example, take the word ‘us’. Us. us. US. us us us us us us us us.

Does ‘us’ look weird to you now?

It’s the same with ourselves. We look in the mirror (and shop windows and car doors…) so often, and know our own faces so clearly that we’re almost too familiar. We need to take a step back.

take a step back, Justin

But, continuing on: Nietzsche also discusses how art—or artistic distancealso helps us think beyond our own selves. Nietzsche calls our usual state ‘artistic foreground’, while art gives us the ability to see beyond, into the background.

Self-styling also ties in with self-reflection, as one must reflect upon who they are before they begin self-styling. While various philosophers claim that self-styling requires concealing the parts of yourself that are unattractive, I believe that self-styling is to fall in love with yourself, whether it is through make-up, wikihow, or otherwise.

“Glittery hair gel is the best way to self-style yourself.” – Nietzsche

The trouble, of course, comes when/if someone constructs their self “too greatly” which, if we translate that into layman’s terms, means to not get too big an ego. This leads into Criticism, which is the next part of the booklet.

ps: A lot of this info is taken from the booklet, so consider this my source.



Everybody should do drugs/drink

All humans have goals to be happy,
Drinking and drugs create artificial happiness,
Everyone should drink and/or do drugs.
X is YA is X, therefore, A is Y.
X (Humans), Y (Being happy), A (Drinking/drugs).
The reason that I picked drinking/drugs is because it’s usually an activity that some may go to for an artificial/temporary pleasure. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should go do drugs or go drink and turn into drug addicts/alcoholics when there are other solutions/ways to being happy. Resorting to hard drugs, and drinking out of habit can resort to hurting yourself and others around you and is not a way to be long-term happy.
Two of those premises are somewhat correct (People strive to be happy, and drugs and drinking create an artificial happiness) but the conclusion is not realistic or 100% true. I’m not very sure if this argument would be sound because both premises are correct, but what they conclude to isn’t necessarily true/should happen.



People In Jail Are All Bad

The reason I chose this for an example is because I’m basing it off of a TV show that I watch called “Orange Is the New Black”. The woman that goes to jail (Piper Chapman) is arrested for a misunderstanding involving a transportation of drug money by her ex-girlfriend.
Jail is for bad people,
Piper Chapman goes to jail,
Therefore, Piper Chapman is a bad person.
The form for this argument is valid due to it’s form,  and one of the two premises being correct: (Piper Chapman does go to jail, but is not considered a bad person because the reason she’s in jail is only a misunderstanding).
X is YA is X, therefore, A is Y.
(Jail), Y (Bad People), A (Piper Chapman).
If you think about jail, an instant conclusion is that the person is a criminal with a guilty past and has done something wrong (being a bad person). The only premise that’s actually correct though is that Piper is going to jail, because there is no concrete evidence that Piper is a bad person, but there also isn’t any evidence that she isn’t. This argument is not sound.



Teenagers are bad influences

All teenagers are bad influences,
I am a teenager,
Therefore, I am a bad influence.
X (Teenagers) Y (Bad Infleunces) A (Me)
X is YA is X, therefore, A is Y.
The form is valid because of the way that it is presented. A stereotype of “all teenagers being bad influences” is clearly not correct, but the statement that “I am a teenager” is correct. The reason I chose the stereotype “all teenagers are bad influences” is because if an elderly person looks down on a specific teenager and sees something among the lines of being a bad influences, the stereotype will commonly spread to the rest of teenagers, causing others to look down on you. Although this form is valid, the premises in it aren’t factually correct, because of what I said. Y (Bad Influences) is a stereotype and isn’t 100% correct, but A (Me) being X (A Teenager) is factually correct. This form isn’t sound because the premises I used are both not 100%, only one of them is. In order for a form to be sound, both premises must be completely correct and make up to a valid argument.