Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Epistemology Discussions — David Sadeghizadeh

The discussions we had in class for our epistemological questions and the rapid-fire questions were a nice time to wrap my head around my and other people’s questions. It helped me to understand my question more as I talked about it and got feedback. I really liked the rapid-fire questions because i think it helped some people with their questions and it was nice to think about some of the questions as well.

I don’t really remember much from the discussions as I wasn’t able to write down things fast enough but the few things I do remember are:

  1. When I was talking to Jess, we talked about the concept of the limits of knowledge and if there was such a thing. Jess said that there is no limit to knowledge itself but we have limits to how much knowledge we can take in, which I agreed to.
  2. Dom and I talked about multiple questions as we were always close to each other in the discussions but one thing that really stood out of all the questions was the information vs knowledge vs wisdom topic. Dom suggested that information is the objective thing that is out there and that has nothing to do with us and knowledge is the thing that we perceive the information using our sense and whatnot, and I agree with him. An example would be that we can see a box on a table (yes a REAL box, no gimmicks) and we all see it there so we all know there is a box there and it doesn’t even need us to perceive that it is there because it will be there with or without us. However, the colour of the box or the texture can be discussed and argued for ever as it is something that only we sense and discover. This video explains this phenomenon really well.

 

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Discussing the Discussion Pt. II: Epistemology – Sydney

My initial proposition that I walked into class with before our discussions yesterday was knowledge is individualized. No one knows the same things in the exact same way. I think that it is possible for a group of people to know the same the thing, but the way in which they know it and how they consider what they know can never be the same as another person.

During our discussions in class, I talked to Kiana, and Dom, Liam, Adam, and Sam. When I talked to Kiana, we were talking about her topic, which was along the lines of knowledge being true belief. We talked about how one person may believe something, and therefore to them it is knowledge. Kiana also said that this belief may be justified true belief, but it would be justified to that person and not necessarily to everyone else. As a result, one person’s knowledge may be false in another person’s eyes, but to that original person it is still defined as their knowledge. Kiana’s point supports the idea of knowledge being individualized, and added another layer to the idea.

When I talked to Dom, Liam, Adam, and Sam, we initially spoke of the difference between our perception of reality and what reality itself is actually like. Essentially, we discussed the idea that our perception of reality is reality until that perception changes. This can also relate to my topic because it deals with “our perception.” I think that this idea and statement also implies that everyone has different perceptions. Our perception is clouded by our previous experiences and previous knowledge, and is also ever-changing, and as a result no two people can have the exact same perceptions of reality – nor can they have the exact same knowledge.

To conclude, the discussions I had during our class were fruitful and provided evidence that I could use for my topic, and to hopefully consider while I pursue my active learning.

 

 

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Discussing the Discussion – Sydney

Previously, I posted a blog post about Saul A. Kripke’s Naming and Necessity. I explored my question, “How do we judge, assess, and label “things?”” and read about how words have different connotations and denotations, and what the actual definition of a “name” might be. Kripke’s work allowed me to rephrase my question and change it into, “How do names refer to things in the world? However, during the class discussions, I found interest in topics other than simply naming objects.

On the first day of discussion, I talked with Kiana about the afterlife. This was really interesting because she mentioned how something she read had stated that death is merely a concept. Kiana and I discussed how it might be possible that because we are raised knowing that we will eventually die, that is simply the reason that we allow, so to speak, ourselves to die. Of course, our bodies will eventually deteriorate, but if we were unaware of death, our soul could possibly continue living. This concept is sort of similar to the idea of people who look at lists of symptoms for certain diseases online, and become suddenly so aware of the possibility that they could have the disease and think that they do when they actually don’t. We also applied this concept to other situations, such as when Mr. Jackson mentioned in class one day that blue was one of the last colours to be named. We wondered if just because there was no name for the colour blue, did they not see it all, or would they have just classified it as another colour or shade? This example of the colour blue does relate to my initial question in the way that it involves naming objects, but it relates more to questioning an object’s existence if it does not have a name at all.

On the second day of discussion, I was in a group with Jessica, Helena, Laike, Kiana, David, and Shem. In this group, we discussed different points about God:

  • Is there God? Does he make our decisions, or do we?
    • If people believe there is God, He has a plan for us.
    • Religion can be abused – how do we know what is real?
    • Religion gives people purpose, may be an external motivator
      • Especially in hard times, can provide relatability and be hero-like
    • Religion will evolve and change through time
  • Is religion put in place for justice?
    • Morality vs. actual law
    • There are obviously rules in the Bible, but what effect do they have on the law?
    • Can scare or limit people, but it may not be as useful today.

As much as this discussion was useful and interesting, I don’t think that this particular topic relates as much to my previous discussion or questions. It could be related through the question as to whether God is a name or a description, or whether God exists because we are aware of the possibility of His existence.

However, through these discussions, and especially my discussion with Kiana, I think that my question may be evolving into: Does an object exist if it does not have a name? Does an object exist if we are unaware of it?

 

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Discussion Synthesis Soundbytes

Sea to Sky Outdoor School

Positive / Negative Freedom

For those following online, here are the pieces of conversation synthesized by different groups following last week’s reading on Positive / Negative Freedom. Topics covered included political correctness, religion, and the aforementioned freedom:

Note: Group six’s share will take place at the beginning of class on Tuesday and be posted shortly thereafter.  

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