Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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There’s only one problem with going to a musical about an East German drag queen and that’s when your dad and brother think its about Harry Potter.

My aesthetic perspective is more or less that people find things beautiful if they can relate to them and they elicit an emotional reaction. This is sort of similar to Descartes in that he said “beauty pleases” meaning things that please are beautiful. I kind of disagree with him in that I think things can be pleasing without being beautiful. I also agree a bit with Baumgarten and his statement that called aesthetics the science of sensitive knowing, basically meaning that beauty is found at an intersection of knowledge and emotion. That viewpoint came up a lot over my winter break and with the main three aesthetic experiences I had.

The first aesthetic experience was brought to me by my brother, fresh back from university, and a documentary on netflix called Valley Uprising. Valley Uprising details the history of rock climbing in the Yosemite valley (and outside of it once populatiry grew) from the 50s to the present and if you havent seen it I highly reccomend it. But of course, you may not enjoy it as much as I did. I’ve been rock climbing for about a year now and I spend a lot of time at the gym, discussing technique for different routes, and setting goals for my personal fitness in relation to rock climbing, so when I watched Valley Uprising I was enthralled with the tales from climbers through the ages from the first ascent of half dome to the modern climbers free soloing, base jumping, and slacklining in and around the valley. Even details of living conditions for the dedicated climbers (things like sleeping in caves to avoid rangers and eating cat food because thats what they could afford) which should have been disgusting were understandable to me because these were real stories from real people doing what they love. Anyone not dedicated to rock climbing would not have found some of these things beautiful but thats where my aesthetic perspective came in. I found this documentary and the stories inside it beautiful bcause I know rock climbing and I’ve formed an emotional appreciation of the hard work it takes to be good at it.

A few days later me and my family drove down to Seattle for the weekend and while we did many things (watched Rogue one, shopped for climbing gear, went to the zoo, and the flight museum) the most prominent aesthetic experience was when we went to a showing of Hedwig and the Angry InchHedwig is a rock musical set as a concert being performed by the band Hedwig and the Angry Inch, throughout the “concert” Hedwig (lead singer) provides stories from her life, starting in Communist East Germany, her marriage, move to America, and subsequent divorce from an American GI, and the sex change that allowed her marriage to be considered legal (to be clear, Hedwig was born male, had a botched sex change, lives as female but doesn’t really identify as either). Now, there was a lot of things loved about this show, the theatre we watched it in, the plot, the singing, costumes, music, lighting, and set design (to name a few). But while I had an intense emotional reaction to the show, the rest of my family walked out of the theatre with the only review being “it was okay”. A very “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” type gig. I suspect that while I, a trans kid who is very into musical theatre, found Hedwig, a musical about a trans person, to be just groundbreaking, my family, cis people who kinda like theatre (I wasn’t kidding, my dad and brother walked into the theatre thinking this was a Harry Potter show), did not because our knowledge and emotion appreciations are different due to our life experiences that make up who we are at our cores. Sidenote: while I’m not going to tell you to illegally watch a show that is no longer running performances if you happen to stumble across a good bootleg or some tickets then go for it because DAMN it was such a good show.

The final aesthetic experience I’m gonna talk about from break was more of an “active” experience where I was creating art as opposed to watching art. So I’ve played ukulele for almost a year now and my brother picked up mine over the summer which made it hard for me to practice so I bought him a ukulele for Christmas and he solidly didn’t put it down for three days. SO after Christmas dinner me and my brother were playing around on our ukuleles and the family was all kinda sitting around listening and eventually they started putting in requests for songs they wanted to hear (Mostly Johnny Cash). And it was a very pure aesthetic experience in that I was conscious of the past and future but the most important part was the present and not messing up my chords. I think in this case it would be harder to find people who wouldn’t appreciate the moment but I know that if I had less knowledge of ukulele playing, or I didn’t like Johnny Cash songs, the pleasure I derived from the event would have been lowered.

So basically, I think that we find things beautiful if we understand them and have emotions in relation to them. And I found beauty in a documentary, a staged rock concert, and a two man ukulele jam.

 

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Katie Crompton – Basically Just a Shameless Family Promotion

For my Phil’s Day Off assignment, I decided I would explore how we express emotions by visiting my aunt and uncle’s art studio at The Arts Factory for Vancouver’s East Side Culture Crawl. Before I got there, I had no idea what this event was other than the fact that my aunt and uncle were participating. What I found out was that the East Side Culture Crawl is an event where a bunch of artists who have studios on the East Side of Vancouver open their studios to the public and show their pieces for a weekend. When I got to my out and uncle’s studio, I was happy to find that my aunt and uncle share a space with a ton of other artists from the area.

[Left] An example of my uncle’s photography [Middle] My uncle (David Crompton) and my aunt (Tristesse Seeliger) in front of their work [Right] One of my aunt’s collages using maps

As I walked around the space admiring everyone’s work and feeling intimidated by the stereotypically pretentious art people, I began to realize that not only does art show the artists emotions, but it also evokes emotions from the viewer. A lot of the time, it is left up to the viewer to interpret the meaning and emotions behind a piece. One technique that artists use to hint at specific emotions in their work is colour association. They will use certain colours in their work that are commonly associated with certain emotions. Different shades or variations on the same colour have different colour associations as well. For example, pink is associated with romance, love, and friendship while a darker red is associated with leadership, vigour, and anger. This is shown in the picture below. The piece on the left seems much calmer and happier than the piece on the right. We use colour association extensively in our daily lives. Without even noticing it, we automatically judge and react to things based on its colour.

[Left] a painting by Marion Landry [Right] piece using mixed media on board by Catherine Tableau

Another thing I discovered from this trip was that is is easy for people to interpret emotions differently. There were a lot of sculptures and portraits in the studio and I found that different people could easily get different emotions out of the same piece.

Sculpture by Ati Ahkami

Let’s look at the picture to the left. At first glance, you may see a calm and content person, but others may see sadness or longing. Unless we talk to the artist, we won’t know for sure what the intended emotion is for this piece, but that adds to the intrigue. We can connect this to our interactions with people as well. Human’s ability to hide emotions and the fact that everyone expresses their emotions differently makes it difficult at times to pin down how other people are feeling. This is one of the reason’s why art is so great at capturing life and the human experience.

 

The main thing I got through this experience is that artists are very in tune with their emotions. I believe that when you are in tune with your emotions, you are living authentically. Being authentic and having complete awareness of everything that is you, including your emotions, is what Being is all about. I have reached the conclusion that though emotions may not be the soul of Being, they are a part of you that makes you more than just a collection of cells. Emotions are a vital aspect of your Being.

TIME FOR THE SHAMELESS FAMILY PROMOTION! If you are interested in my aunt and/or uncle’s work, You can check out their websites www.tristesseseeliger.com and www.davidcrompton.net. OR you can follow them on Instagram: @missytrissy and @crompsy.

 

 

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If your friend jumped off a bridge would you jump too? Apparently.

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So my metaphysics topic was originally fight, flight, freeze reflexes in general but after the first blog post and the discussions based on those I kind of narrowed it down to if we are able to control those panic responses (determinism and free will with a good helping of biology). For my Phils Day Off, Matt and I went bungee jumping in Whistler. Thanks to Mr Jackson we were able to get a sweet deal and overall the day was pretty unforgettable.

Going into Phil’s’ Day Off my question was mainly ‘Can you use willpower to control a panic response?’ and I was going to test this by literally just jumping off a bridge. I wanted to see if the effects of a panic response could be lessened by using relaxation strategies recommended by psychiatrists such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation (Tensing and relaxing muscle groups one at a time). The day went pretty much according to plan (if you could really say there was a plan) Matt and I did the jump, tried to use various strategies to control panic, and also had just a lot of fun.

From conducting this experiment I found a number of things which included, but are not limited to:

  • The most effective way to overcome the panic response was to just jump as the panic didn’t really subside until the bottom of the jump. I was shaking pretty intensely while standing on the bridge and the progressive muscle relaxation didn’t really do anything to change that.
  • Although I had very high levels of anxiety regarding the jump, the reality of doing the jump didn’t really sink in until standing on the bridge, hooked into the harness and rope, being told what to do at the end of the jump, until then it seemed as though I could still back out if I really wanted to but after getting into the harness it felt as though I had given up the freedom to back out.
  • The worst section of the panic (for me at least) wasn’t right before the jump but rather during the first free fall and that was a very intense panic with a very real fight, flight, freeze reaction (I froze, also screamed)
  • Higher levels of adrenaline may factor into this but after the worst of the jump I was like, ridiculously happy and amped up and I felt very alive.
  • Essentially, I could control the circumstances that lead to the panic response (Not jumped, jumped forward not backward, closed my eyes, etc…) but the actual panic response was an uncontrollable thing where my higher functioning and “reasonable” brain shut down and my base survival instincts were left.
    • Due to this I don’t have a very clear memory of the jump but I do remember some things and I have pictures and video of the event.

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I was also pretty interested in how personal history factors into panic responses, I go rock climbing fairly often so heights aren’t really a problem for me but in rock climbing the descent is always a very controlled thing and I’ve never been in the position of having to fall long distances. On the other hand, Matt has taken plenty of falls so while we both had plenty of anxiety about the jump we approached the same jump with different viewpoints. We did end up jumping differently, Matt faced off the bridge when he jumped and I faced the bridge when I jumped. Kind of going hand in hand with this, both of us screamed/swore during the fall but I started screaming as soon as my feet left the platform and Matt only swore once he was falling faster than he had ever fallen before. Matt also seemed more eager to do the jump but possibly not less anxious than I was. I could probably put this down to his prior experience with thrill seeking and how the highest thing I’ve ever jumped off of is like, the top of the bouldering wall at my gym (a solid less-than-one-eighth of the height of the bridge). So I would say yes, personal history factors into how panic responses affect you. If you consider a panic response (or at least the lead up to one) as your subconscious detecting a danger to your life and telling your body to freak out then people who can suppress a panic response are either REALLY bad at detecting dangers to life or have a very strong rational brain that can tell the subconscious to chill.

So basically bungee jumping was a really fun and terrifying way to experiment with willpower and panic responses and here’s a link to the pictures that got taken of Matt and my jumps.

 

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

My question going into the Phil’s Day Off project was “what are memories and how do they relate to the self?” In order to tackle my inquiry I used The Bundle Theory of the self and I first had to address how a memory is created. My plan was to research experiences, memories and the self on Saturday in order to have enough information to hold an interesting conversation with my family members on Sunday. I wanted to collect a bunch of different opinions and information and synthesize them in order to form my own philosophy about memories and the self. In addition to this I also did a lot of self-reflection on my own experiences and memories and how they have contributed to who I am today.

On Saturday I researched how memories are created and what is necessary to turn an experience into a strong memory. I found some really interesting articles, from a variety of sources, including one about why you should stop trying so hard to make memories in the social media age. It introduces the term “futurepast” and poses the question “when did we go from living our lives to striving for memories?” I also found an article about the intergenerational trauma in First Nations communities as a result of Residential Schools. The article explains that self-destructive behaviour develops as a result of unresolved trauma and that these behaviours can then be normalized within a family or community and passed down to subsequent generations. This article highlights just how significant an affect experiences and memories can have on the self and the fact that future generations can be impacted by second-hand trauma. I found another article explaining the science behind creating memories which listed criteria for an experience to be memorable. These criteria include the novelty of the experience, the amount of attention a person is paying, and the strength of the emotions evoked. As a result of my research I created a mind map to lay out my ideas for discussion.

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On Sunday I conducted a conversation with my parents over dinner in attempt to develop a more personal understanding of the topic. We ordered sushi and talked about the following topics, which I took notes on. Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • Memories attached to specific items or places
    • Do the material objects hold a piece of the self?
    • Wedding rings, first car, childhood home, bagpipes, etc.
    • A symbol of important experiences
  • Incorrect memories
    • Why do we remember somethings incorrectly?
    • We remember what other people told us about one of our experiences instead of our own memory
    • Some incorrect memories are a mix of multiple experiences, this results in a memory that never actually happened
  • The self as you age
    • becomes more concentrated as you get older, only really important memories remain
    • when you are young you have fewer experiences and can remember a greater portion of your self
    • more experiences are novel and “life-changing” when you are a child
  • Dementia and the self
    • When you lose your memories you lose chunks of your self
    • You revert back through important past memories and eventually childhood memories
      • This implies that the self is constantly shaped by experiences and memories throughout our lives, starting in childhood.
  • Can other people’s memories affect your self?
    • Yes, my parents have bad memories of skiing and I’ve never skied in my life
    • My Opa loved soccer and played it all his life, my Dad also loves soccer and I played soccer throughout my childhood. My Opa’s positive memories of soccer affected my dad and my dad’s memories of soccer affected me.
    • Family values and culture are created by the experiences and memories of parents and have a significant impact on who the kids become.
  • Kids growing up in the social media age
    • They will have access to thousands of pictures and videos of themselves from the moment they were born
    • Will this affect the self?
    • Will this affect the role of memories in their lives
  • Earliest or significant childhood memories
    • We mostly remember experiences from when we were about 5 years old.
    • Do you not have a complete self until you are around 5 years old?
    • We don’t have a specific first memory of parents because they were always there
  • Shared experiences
    • Everyone remembers things slightly differently, different things are important to different people so they focus on different parts of an experience
    • Are shared experiences better?

While completing my Phil’s Day Off project I was able to gain knowledge and develop conclusions that have contributed to my own personal philosophy about the self. The first of which is that the non-physical components of the self or memories are more important than the physical components of the self or the chemical reactions and atoms. When it comes to making you who you are, experiences and memories are far more influential than the body they are contained in. If anything the body, like social media, is just a platform through which we can interact with others, experience, share and express ourselves. This idea can be supported by looking at dementia, when someone has dementia their physical self is still present and functional, they look the same. However, they are slowly losing their memories and their ability to interact with the world around them, they are losing their self and their ability to continue to build up their self. Without their memories chunks of their self are missing and they aren’t the same person.

Another thing I realized is that no two selves are the same, although people may have many shared experiences they can’t have the exact same memories of said experiences and therefore can’t have identical selves. Even if two people experienced the exact same situation they would remember things slightly differently based on what is important to them, what they were focusing on, and the emotions they felt. This can be illustrated by interviewing people after a crime has taken place, people that all witnessed a shooting may remember numbers of shots fired, the appearance of the suspect or the getaway car differently. Although they all saw the crime take place they focused on different parts of it and none of them have the whole story. Therefore, the self is completely unique and also a very subjective record of experiences.

My final conclusion is that the self is dynamic and always changing because we are constantly having new experiences and creating new memories. People can change drastically throughout the course of their lives and part of growing up is having new experiences and finding yourself.  An example of this is the change in self that occurs when people move away to attend post-secondary school. For many it is the first time they have lived on their own, they are being exposed to vast amounts of new information, and they have the freedom to meet new people and try new things. The strong emotions and novel experiences presented by this situation are perfect conditions for strong memories to be made and collected by the self.

While conducting this project I also looked for real-world applications of the knowledge I had gained about the self. The strongest message I took away from this project was that memories are more important than material objects. With Christmas only a month away it is easy to get caught up in holiday consumerism and focus on the giving and receiving of presents when we should really be thinking about making memories and spending quality time with family and friends. One way to do this is to give people you care about experiences instead of presents, you can take them to a play or concert, try a new restaurant, or even plan a road trip. If you are looking for ideas or interested in learning more, check out the Create Memories, Not Garbage website.

In a very meta and unplanned way I actually had the chance to put my philosophy to work in real life and reflect on it. As a volunteer leader at a science club for elementary school girls I play a role in creating “self building” memories in the girl’s lives. This past weekend our theme was Genetics and we led the girls in chemically isolating their own DNA, an extremely cool lab that most people wouldn’t encounter until Biology 12 or university. For many of them Genetics was an entirely new concept and they were extremely excited and proud of their little vials of DNA. I believe that for many of them, this experience will become a strong memory and contribute to their future selves. The goal of the club is to help young girls develop the confidence and passion necessary to be a woman in STEM, it provides them with female role models and opportunities to explore different areas of science.

I know that this club has a significant impact on the girls who attend it because I was a member. I have a wide range of vivid memories from the club, including dissecting a tilapia, developing homemade pinhole camera pictures, and doing the UBC Botanical Gardens canopy walk. Part of my “self” was built as a member of the club, I developed a love for science and as a result I am pursuing a future in medicine and medical research. Some people may say that my future in science was determined before I was even born or that the physical components of my “self” make me interested in the sciences; however, I strongly believe that the experiences I had and the memories I collected as a young girl in the club are truly responsible.

 

 

 

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Stealing your man on the astral plane- Benedict Mendes

So, over the weekend for my “Phil’s Day Off”, I attempted to astral project and, boy, was it a strange experience.

 

Before I go into the details of what happened, let’s start with question I had going in to the attempted astral projection.

1.) Would I even manage to do it?

2.) If I did manage to achieve astral projection, what would I do once in that state?

3.) What would it feel like? What sensations would be involved leading up to and during?

We’ll come back to those later.

My initial plan was to meditate on both Saturday and Sunday for 90 minutes. I would set an alarm for 90 minutes (a relatively quiet one so that I would not be “shocked” out my “astral state”) and lay down on my back on my bed and proceed to try and concentrate enough to achieve astral projection. Sounds wild, right? Well that’s not quite exactly how it went down.

What happened was that I was only able to meditate on Sunday, as I was unexpectedly busy on Saturday. I started by setting an alarm for 90 minutes, then I lay down and proceeded to meditate on my bed, with my eyes closed. Now, I hear some of you typing “So you literally just napped for your Phil’s Day Off” and while it may seem similar, what I did was not napping my good fellows. The goal was to keep the mind alert whilst the body “slept”, inducing the separation of soul from body. I repeated a kind of mantra to myself, it’s a recommended thing to do, to keep myself focused. The “mantra” in question was “I will have a lucid out of body experience”, it’s important to be entirely focused on the goal of the meditation/exercise. Now, I’m going to say right now that I did not manage to actually astral project, but the experience was still odd and unlike anything I’ve experienced before and some interesting things happened.

For starters, for the entire 90 minutes I laid still, my arms were at my side for that whole time. However, for most of the activity, after I got further into the meditation, it felt like my hands were clasped on my chest, one on top the other, it was an odd dissociation of reality and mind, that may potentially not mean much but it’s worth mentioning. Next, when getting close to a state of astral projection, one is supposed to experience “vibrations”. These “vibrations” were mentioned in almost everything I read about astral projection, but were never really explained in detail, it just said that if you were experiencing them it meant that you were getting close. The reason I mention this is because, when I got deep into a meditative state, I began to feel as if something was separating from me. It’s a very difficult thing to describe, which is probably why it’s only vaguely talked about in most articles. The closest thing I can think of to compare it to are sculptures that are optical illusions. The kind of sculptures that initially just look like a bunch of random, unplanned pieces stuck together, but when you look at them from just the correct angle it reveals a cohesive thing or picture. It felt like I was rapidly shifting between the “random pieces” state and the “cohesive thing” state, if that makes any sense at all. I can see why it’s described as vibrations, it’s rapid back and forth and in-between and it’s a very strange feeling. Whenever this started to happen I was acutely aware of it, but soon after it started every time panic would well up in my stomach causing the feeling to dissipate. You’re supposed to be in a completely relaxed state when astral projection, so maybe I wasn’t the best person to attempt it. But nonetheless I carried on and this happened several times. Accompanying these “vibrations” were sounds, a vague low buzzing in my ears, what that has to do with astral projection I don’t know, but it happened.

For the entire exercise my eyes were completely closed, but there were several times when I could physically feel my eyes were closed, but it seemed like they were opening and I began to see the room in detail. Once again, whenever this happened there was a spike of panic and it went away, leaving me to see black once again, but it certainly happened, unless my senses have tricked me, but that’s another metaphysical topic that I won’t delve into. In terms of how long it felt I was meditating for, it felt like I had only meditated for about 30 minutes before the alarm went off. It was strange, I felt like I had so much more time to go yet upon looking at the clock it was obvious that the full amount of time had passed. As a whole, it was a really interesting and enticing experience.

 

Now, my findings were, well, few and far between. If we go back to the initial questions I had, we can answer some of them.

1.) Would I even manage to do it?

As far as I could tell, I did not manage to astral project.

2.) If I did manage to achieve astral projection, what would I do once in that state?

This question is irrelevant as I did not astral project.

3.) What would it feel like? What sensations would be involved leading up to and during?

Leading up to what may have been the state of astral projection, there were “vibrations”, odd experiences with sight and body, and a low buzzing noise.

But that seems like not enough information, and after the exercise I have even more questions.

4.) How does astral projection or the lead up to it affect time, or one’s perception of it?

If we go off what I felt it was whilst meditating, we could say that time goes faster, but it can’t be proven since I didn’t achieve the end goal of astral projecting. For now it’s just a vague theory.

5.) Are there sub-categories within the self? For example, can the mind have different components to it?

This question is because of the “vibrations” I experienced and the assumption that astral projection is based off of, which is that the soul can operate outside the body. Are there different, small components of each part of the self, “mini selves” if you will, that play a large part in a process like this? Like, if there is a soul what are the components of it?

I am still enamored with the concept of astral projection, although I didn’t manage to make it happen in this case. I want to look into it further, and it will be something I’ll probably do on my own time. Maybe I’ll get some answers to these questions.

For my artifact I chose an amethyst crystal that I’ve had for a long time. In some of the more spiritual and one could say “hippie” articles I read, quartz crystals can help speed up the vibrations leading to astral projection and protect your vulnerable body while you are in that state. Amethyst is a kind of quartz, and I chose this because it is an artifact that relates closely to the subject of astral projection, and by mere coincidence it was on my bedside table, right next to me as I was meditating. Whether or not that helped me experience the “vibrations” that I did is not strictly provable, but it represents my attempt to astral project and the experiences I had whilst doing so.

That’s pretty much it for my thoughts and research on astral projection, remember guys, stay safe and always use a quartz crystal! (Also if you come across Dormammu I wouldn’t recommend striking up a conversation, fair warning)

Sources: http://uk.iacworld.org/how-to-astral-project-for-beginners/

10 effective techniques for experiencing an OBE

 

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Beings with Non-Physical Selfs vs Selfs of Non-Physical Beings

During the discussions on Thursday my groups talked about a broad range of topics including astral projection, freewill, the dream-verse, Being, and non-physical existence. Although the topics were very diverse they all connected to the idea of the self and the possibility of non-physical components of the self. Whether it be the ability to disconnect from the physical body and enter the dream-verse/astral plane or trying to determine if there is a predetermined destiny and plan for our lives, it all comes back to the self.  What is the self? What is it made of? Is it static or is it built up throughout the course of our lives?

After taking part in the discussions I was left with more questions and felt slightly overwhelmed by metaphysics. I was having trouble comprehending my own topic let alone other people’s questions and opinions. I had more conversations with my family and friends about my topic of non-physical existence and if it is possible to have a whole self without a substance/physical component. Then I realized that I was actually interested in the non-physical components of the self as opposed to how much of a self a non-physical “Being” can have. In order to begin to comprehend and address big metaphysical questions I believe that I must first develop a strong philosophy and understanding of the self.

Moving forward I want to continue to explore the Bundle Theory, in addition to the idea that the self is a collection and projection of experiences as well as the process through which experiences become memories. Sticking with my original focus on social media I am interested in exploring how social media facilitates the collection and sharing of experiences, the preservation of memories, and the development of the self. I am also interested in the idea of vicarious experiences and how much of an impact other people’s experiences can have on your own self. Additionally, I want to explore the idea of shared experiences. Does sharing an experience with others create identical pieces of the self among a group of people, is this the reason they feel a deeper connection to one another? Can shared experiences be interpreted differently among different people based on their past experiences?

I have a lot of questions and a slightly more focused inquiry topic now and I am excited to explore them further during my Phil’s Day Off project.

 

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My (David’s) Aesthetic Experience over the Weekend

What I did for my Aesthetic Experience:
So for my aesthetic experience, I went to an annual conference that I was apart of organizing. The conference itself was about gang violence, specifically how it impacts youth and our society as a whole.  I didn’t conscientiously try to enjoy myself but I kind of knew I was going to. I was looking forward to the conference for about two months and I was pumped to see all the work pay of (hopefully).

My Initial Thoughts:
Because of the fact that I had gone to the previous year’s conference and had enjoyed it very much, and because this time I was part of the organizing team and was looking forward to see how it would turn out, I was pretty excited and at the same time nervous. I knew I would enjoy the conference because of past experiences but the whole “Youth Leader” title also was a new thing for me. With all that said, I thought that I would enjoy myself.

Outcome:
Well it was an awesome conference. About 40+ youth attended (which was less than we wanted it to be, but it was still good) and the conference itself went smoothly and calmly with no complications. I, as expected by myself, enjoyed it thoroughly and was a very happy lad. Getting to meet friends that I hadn’t seen for quite a while, meeting new people and gaining knew friendships, and just having a great time made that weekend—an incredible aesthetic experience.

 

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Metaphysics Phil’s Day Off

My question for this unit is “what are words?” and I was struggling to figure out what to do for my Phil’s Day Off! This is a difficult topic to do out of class learning but I was planning on going downtown anyways, so I decided to go to the Vancouver Art Gallery with Erin. My objective was to try to see how or if the things people said about the artwork, changed my opinion of the art. I was very lucky because the theme of one of the displays happening that I went to was “Modern Art.” There were a ton of “simple” and very abstract pieces that people seemed to have a lot of their own opinions on.

Listening to some conversations, I could tell that they were like me, they didn’t know much about art because they either weren’t saying much, or nothing at all. I was dissatisfied how not many people were talking about any of the art so I walked onto the part of the exhibit that was more “abstract” so more people would have different opinions on the art and I could see if my theory was going to work. As I kept walking further into the exhibit, more people started speaking their opinions on the work. I was looking at a piece I really liked and it was a very unusual sculpture because it was very simple and plain-looking. One lady who to me, sounded like she knew quite a bit about art started pointing out some of the flaws she noticed like the color, how boring it was, how it didn’t really convey a message about anything and much more that I couldn’t even comprehend. She seemed almost discussed how this was even considered good enough art to be in a gallery. Afterwards I found that when I looked at the art again, I focused more on the many imperfections that if had. I couldn’t really look at this art that I once really liked, and see it the same way that I had before because I was more aware of the fact that someone who seemingly knew a lot about art, didn’t like this piece which of course, made me not enjoy its beauty anymore.

This showed me how greatly our use of words affect objects around us and how we perceive them. The way we string together our words and voice our opinion on something can completely alter my opinion and change the way I see it. It was a very important aspect of me research because It helped me see how much words really do affect us and items in our lives. I think that it really depends on how people are altering their use of words makes me assume they are more knowledgable on the subject and I will ultimately value their opinion much more!

I think my phil’s day off was very successful because I really learned how my opinion on things around me can be altered by the way people manipulate their words to seem more knowledgeable on a subject. If you are constantly using words that are completely unrelated to the topic, nobody will think you know what you are talking about and they wont really take your words into consideration.

Questions I had after I completed my phil’s day off were: How do our words convey how much we know on a topic?, What about grammar and its relationship to our knowledge? How do my words affect the people around me? Do you have to be knowledgeable to be considered smart on a topic?

 

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Epistemology “Phil’s Day Off” — David Sadeghizadeh

My goal for this unit’s “Phil’s Day Off” was to be able to think of something that would help me with my question. I wanted to do better than what I did last time, which wasn’t going to be that difficult as in my last one wasn’t that productive. Then there was a problem. I couldn’t think of anything to do… Until Monday night, I had no idea what I was going to do. Then an idea came into my head. Since my question was, “Does knowledge need to be justified for it to be true?” or “Justified True Belief vs True Belief,” and since I know that justified true belief is not knowledge, I thought that I could find true beliefs that aren’t necessarily justified and just research about that. The only issue was that it was late and the next day would be a school day so I decided that my “Phil’s Day Off” would need to continue on, which is where I am now. The only real difference from my last “Phil’s Day Off” would be that this time, I have a clearer path now and I think it will be a beneficial to me later on.

 

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Phil’s Epistemological Day Off – Sydney

My goal was to demonstrate the difference between my sister and I’s experiences even though we were put in the same situation, which would provide an example that shows how knowledge is individual. My Phil’s Day Off experience cemented my idea that knowledge is individualized because it showed me that knowledge really is different from person to person and is based on perception. Because I can’t film exactly what my sister experiences, only she can really do that, it’s sort of like a metaphor for how I could never get in another person’s head and know their experience and therefore never know their knowledge in the way they do.

However, I still do have some questions regarding my topic. Why is it that we can’t exactly know another person’s knowledge? Why is individual perception a thing? Why is there such a thing as experiencing different things? Why can’t we know the exact same thing as another person? I don’t mean these questions as in the answer being “oh, because no one can experience the same thing as another.” I mean it in the way, why is this a thing? Why can’t we experience the exact same thing as another person? Another question I have is, is it possible for collective knowledge to exist without individual knowledge (as in an individual initiating that knowledge)?

This Phil’s Day Off was quite different from my last. On this Phil’s Day Off, I went out with more intention and purpose. I was actively aware of everything that I was doing that day that affected my experience, in comparison to last time where I went about my day blindly and then reflected on which parts could be applicable to philosophy. As well, this time I also have more physical evidence of what I did (an actual video) instead of just word of mouth.

 
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