Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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If you practiced yodeling enough you could probably do it in your sleep-Benedict Mendes

So, for this midterm I had no idea what I wanted to do at first, but after the first free writing session I came up with a proposition.

Knowledge can be presented in practiced actions that do not require thought

I came up with this because when I thought of really knowing something, I thought of being familiar with an action or a subject. When one is extremely familiar with an action they can reproduce it at any time without effort or even thinking of it, save the momentary “I am going to do this action” thought. In a sense, to me knowledge it at it’s most valuable when it can be reproduced without thought, because of experience and familiarity with it. The premises preceding this proposition make things a little more clear.

If knowledge is defined by being familiar with a subject

and

If knowledge in the mind can be separate from knowledge in the body

then

Knowledge can be presented in practiced actions that do not require thought

 

The truth of the premises is debatable, as both premises are subjective to the reader or writer, but to me these premises are true and they are what I base my opinion of knowledge on.

 

For the first premise, the reason I define knowledge as being familiar with a subject is that the definition of experience is pretty much being really familiar with something. For example, an experienced chef will be able to tell you how to make dishes in certain ways and how to bring out certain flavours because they themselves have gone through these processes hundreds, even thousands of times. Because they have experience with it they are able to easily produce dishes with their gained knowledge.

 

The second premise basically is talking about the difference between conceptual knowledge and applied knowledge. Reading a manual on how to set up an IKEA chair is different than actually physically setting up the chair, that’s the idea that this premise draws from.

 

And of course, the conclusion. If my premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Basically, what I’m saying is that once you become familiar enough with something, especially an action, you can replicate it without thinking, and it is in that action that the most valuable knowledge lies. This means that something like muscle memory, when your body physically remembers certain actions, is more valuable than knowledge of how to do an action.  For example, I am a musician and I play piano. When I learn a song I learn it slowly, I have to think about each and every note I hit and constantly use the sheet music for reference. As I get more and more familiar with the song I can start to go faster, and when I’m going faster I can’t rely on the sheet music as much, I have to simply know where some notes are. Eventually I can memorize the song and play it anytime that I sit down at the piano, this is because I have ingrained every key hit, every note into my body and I can replicate it without hesitation. Even when I’m playing a song I have memorized completely, I can think about something else while my body continues the action. Even if I make a mistake, I know the song so well that I can register it and remember to correct it in the future. It is at this point that knowledge is at it’s best and most valuable. Being able to reproduce a song without thinking means I have to know every little detail, every rhythm, every note, every key, I have to have a lot of experience with the song. Because of this, I have more knowledge of the song than someone who does not have as much experience with it but is able to look at the sheet music. Of course, the mind is part of the process of learning the song and transferring what I see on the page to the actions in my hands, but once I know the notes and keys I no longer have to rely on the mind to monitor my actions as I perform them. When the body no longer has to rely on the mind to replicate an action is when you know you have basically the best knowledge possible of that thing or action.

 

This argument lines up a little bit with the thinking of Kant with his mindset of “All knowledge comes from experience” and the belief that the physical world is real. It opposes Descartes because if there is no physical world then the actions I perform would not matter, and therefore would have no place in knowledge. It’s based a lot more empirically than it is rationally, because really an action is about the feel of it. The experience of how your body moves and how it performs the action is more important than the concept of what the action does, it’s using your senses to judge how you’re performing the action rather than the mind and reason.

 

In conclusion the entire argument is a little bit like a more complicated version of “practice makes perfect”, it’s all about repeated exposure to an action or a subject. The longer you practice an action for the easier it will get until you can do it without needing to think, your mind can think about something else while your body does the thing. It is in this that the most valuable knowledge lies.

 

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life is wonders

coming into philosophy class i had no idea what the word philosophy meant or what it was. after learning it was the study of our Morales, truths and “the way life works”, it came to my surprise that i seem to naturally wonder about life’s complex ways and can not seem to shake the curiosity of trying to find some new perspective on life we can say is “right” and feel good about living it.

i find people worry and reflect about their lives being “right” or ” correct” and repeat habits that they value as right or ways of life they are living just to feel like they are successful and happy. I can tell it is a mistake people make and they live lives of being unsatisfied and unhappy. Then they will criticize or judge another persons values based on if it is right or wrong, when who says if it is? who says you are so great? who says you are so bad?  But i truly believe we all find our own truths and integrate it with our own lives and values although we naturally can not help ourselves from being outspoken and sharing our vision with the world by sometimes even enforcing it. so it truly does not matter what your own “truth” is, and you should accept that others believe in a different truth that they will fight to the death for, like you would.Revolution-Fist

through “the cave” class discussion, it came to my attention that the “men locked up” actually had an easier and less emotional attachment to life, when the one who was exposed to the world and new ideas was trying to bring emotion and happiness to the others yet was shamed and killed. makes me wonder. free thought? That is what makes philosophy a never ending discussion is because there are so many visions and truths that are so strongly believed by each individual we would all be fighting till there was only one truth anyway, and there begs the question, is it better to have free thought like a philosopher, or just simply to live to another truth and not question it? which may result in feeling more complete, more at rest,  and less wondrous. are we as humans naturally supposed to have free thought? or are we suppose to learn a way of life and live it like the men in the cave?

with so many questions in mind, it makes me wonder if any of it even matters, would me finding out the answers of life change who i am? is it something i want to find out? does ANYTHING really matter or are we just atoms reacting with one another?! without driving myself crazy, i would sum up philosophy as the seeking knowledge of others and a perspective of their truth, which u could integrate into yours or throw in the nether of your brain, and that it doesn’t matter, i just have to worry about my perspective and accept others. it is NOT about finding a truth we should all learn and live by, that is what i call government.trut1

-Thomas Caya

 

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What is Philosophy? -Aman

Note this might sound better read out loud. 

What is Philosophy?

Is it the question,

“What is life?”

What is life?

Is it the birds and the bees?

Maybe it’s the sun and the moon

The Earth and the stars

Maybe it’s the universe working as one

Unifying together to create

Something, something more

What is that something?

What is more?

Is more a God?

A deity?

A religion?

Or is more within us?

The other 90% of our function machine

Or is more beyond anything

Is more infinity and beyond?

Is something our ability to be?

Is something our feelings?

Our emotions?

Is it what lets us be intelligent creatures?

Is it what moves us away from primal instincts?

Is what lets us be heartbroken

When our relationship doesn’t turn out right?

Is it what lets us be happy

when finally everything works out?

Is this life?

Is this philosophy?

“Philosophy is the love of wisdom”

According to definition

What is love?

What is wisdom?

A feeling that fills your heart with light

A combination of knowledge and intelligence

The ability to feel,

The ability to know.

What is knowing?

Do we really know?

What happens to us when we die?

What clicks inside a parent when a child is born?

Why does innocence go?

Where does it go?

Why do wolves cry at the moon?

Where does loneliness come from

In a world filled with people?

Why does a child believe?

Why is an adult scared to believe?

Where is that line?

And no, I’m not talking about the equator.

I’m talking about the line that divides

Between reality and fantasy

The cause and the effect

The consequence and the action

Black and white

Ying and yang

“good” and “bad”

Is it a line though?

Or more like a stretch of area filled with grey

White a speck of white on one end

Black a speck of black on the other

And then the middle

Filled with shades of grey

Light, dark, medium

Is this where life lies?

Is this where philosophy lies?

Or is philosophy part of a path on Wikipedia

Starting off with oreos,

Birds of paradise

Patrick Swayze or even Honey Boo boo

Clicking on the first link

Not in brackets

In every article

Until finally, in 10, 20, 30 clicks

You reach philosophy.

The article lists the areas of study

Famous philosophers

The history of philosophy

Is this what It truly is?

Does everything lead to philosophy?

Is philosophy everything?

If philosophy is everything

That means philosophy is life

Life is philosophy

C’est la vie.

 

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Jennifer: Pretty People

Imagine a future world in which everyone undergoes an operation at 16 to become “pretty” and thereby be granted the “good life.” This disturbing society is detailed in the well-known series Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, which delves into the possible repercussions of an appearance-based outlook. To truly understand how the characters in the novel decided to place everyone under the knife, we can break down their thought process in the perspective of inductive reasoning.

Approximately three centuries before the story takes place, “Rusties” exploited the Earth and fought with one another on a global scale, ultimately leading to the destruction of their civilization when an “oil bug” broke loose. Still, some people survived the catastrophe, and struggled for life with the conviction of “never again.” In the regular pattern, these humans branched out of their secluded groups and formed an alliance dedicated to finding the best preventative measures. What they found was a previous study documenting the “halo effect.” Simply stated, “beautiful people were treated better than their peers, got into less trouble, and were more happy and successful” (Bogus to Bubbly, p. 34).

With this specific evidence came the general conclusion that all should be pretty. It would even the playing field, giving everyone an equal opportunity in life. The power of pretty, it was thought, was enough to stop hatred in its tracks. Work on a surgical procedure to put this conclusion into action was started immediately. Eventually, all people were “opened up, [their] bones ground down to the right shape, some of them stretched or padded, [their] nose cartilage and cheekbones stripped out and replaced with programmable plastic, skin sanded off and reseeded” (Uglies, p. 97)

But it still wasn’t enough. The reasoning of the “Pretty Committee” was unreliable because the evidence was so. On the surface, pretty people can more easily enter superficial high-paying jobs and even tip the balance in the general job market, presumably leading to happiness as a result of wealth and the possession of the upper-hand. Though I do not know the statistics on just how much appearance influences employment and median income, I do know that just because you project the described image does not mean you are free from abuse and satisfied with your life. How many stars have ended up in jail?

The Pretty Committee realized this too when “human beings still competed, still rebelled, and still sometimes hated one another” (Bogus to Bubbly, p. 35). The real secret to peace: bubblehead surgery. Frightening, but no less true, the Committee observed waring pretty people to discover that clueless individuals who must confront no challenges are the least likely to get into trouble, and the happiest, because they don’t know what else to think. This time, their conclusion is more probable, because it builds on previous experience and moves from the superficial to the neurological. When people’s brains are engineered to allow “no more controversies, no disagreements, no…demanding [of] change” (Uglies, p. 267), the result is vapid peace.

The Pretty Committee didn’t succeeded on its first try at induction, with an unreliable statement and consequently unreliable conclusion.

Pretty people are well-treated, less-troublesome, happy and successful.

If everyone was pretty, we would all be well-treated, less-troublesome, happy and successful.

On their second try, however, they hit the ball.

People have different thoughts, which leads to fighting.

If we all have the same thoughts, there will be no fights.

 
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