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The following paper is a response to questions regarding the painting, "Aristotle with a Bust of Homer." The painting was painted by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1653. It is oil on canvas and access to the painting is gained by the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, physically located in New York City.
The paper will first contextualize the painting, trying to situated in history and establish a historical perspective by which further interpretation of the painting. Rembrandt completed this painting at the approximate midpoint of the 17th century. As in many centuries in history, the 17th century was a century full of achievement, development, and conflict. Rembrandt is a European artist, so the paper will summarize some of the developments in Europe during this period. Culturally, Europe entered the Early Modern period as well as the Baroque period. There was a huge surge in culture…… [Read More]
Philosophy Matrix II
Ancient Quest for Truth
Philosophy Matrix II: Ancient Quest for Truth
Use the matrix to analyze Plato and Aristotle's theory of knowledge and apply both to current day practices.
In the first column, using the readings about Plato's search for truth and his theories of knowledge, discuss how contemporary people may be living in a cave and which steps, based on Plato's model of the Divided Line, will be necessary for their enlightenment.
In the next column, based on Aristotle's science of the first philosophy, analyze how Aristotle's metaphysics may guide contemporary people to knowledge about the world.
In the final fields, evaluate how you use either or both of the methods in your own life and explain how Plato and Aristotle used pre-Socratic philosophy.
Cite your sources consistent with APA guidelines.
In 250 to 500 words, using the readings about Plato's search for truth,…… [Read More]
Berkley stated that because the senses were potentially faulty, everyone's sense perceptions and thus everyone's 'truth' was unique and variable. However, most empiricists like Locke believed that some (few) things could be known with certainty, like shape and color, even if other properties of things could not be known. The empiricists come from the Aristotelian rather than the Platonic tradition of philosophy, and had rigorous standards of truth based upon sensory experience rather than reason alone. Another way of phrasing the debate between empiricism and rationalism is that it is an essential conflict between the superiority of a posteriori reasoning vs. A priori reasoning.
A posteriori reasoning depends upon what we know about past events and information to make inferences, in short, observations and experience. A priori reasoning suggests just the opposite, suggesting that everything is there, if only we can learn to think correctly in a deductive manner. Thus…… [Read More]
However, when looking more closely at the specific philosophy suggested by Socrates, a more specific view appears to suggest itself. Socrates appears to favor the view that true knowledge is only possible once the soul separates itself from the body.
For Socrates, the sense, i.e. touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell only distract what he refers to as the "soul" from truly experiencing the nature of the external world. According to this philosophy, in other words, an external world does exist, but the individual can only truly access it at the end of life, when there are no longer senses to distort the impression of the external world.
According to this philosophy, therefore, there does exist an external world that can be perceived. This perception, however, is only possible once the human "filters" provided by the senses are allowed to die. The senses only die at death, which means that…… [Read More]
On the other hand, Schopenchauer argues that because happiness is fundamentally unobtainable, humans are faced with a life of disappointment, which thus leads to the disconnect that causes suicide.
However, if both of these philosophers' theories on the cause of suicide were taken at face value, it would be surmised that every human would commit suicide and thus the extinction of the human race would be inevitable. Yet, this is obviously not the case, and both philosopher's explain why. According to both Camus and Schopenchauer, this absurdity and disconnect that we face is exactly what gives our lives meaning. In other words, the human existence means a commitment to a struggle in the face of the absurd in order to survive. The majority of humans are able to embrace this meaning, some are incapable of coping. As Schopenchauer points out, it is more often the intellectual beings that are the…… [Read More]
The final chapter of Soccio's Archetypes of Wisdom brings philosophy into the present day, by discussing several current practioners of philosophy and hinting at applications that can be made of their ideas. I would like to discuss three problem areas in human life -- poverty, gender difference, and sexual ethics -- to look at how contemporary philosophy seems to be approaching the subject.
The issue of poverty is raised interestingly in Soccio's account by Princeton ethics professor Peter Singer. Soccio describes Singer as "controversial" and marks his philosophical affiliation as the "relentless application of utilitarian principles" (Soccio 532). Yet the example that Soccio gives of Singer's argument for eliminating world poverty just shows to me the limitations of a certain form of utilitarian philosophy. Singer shows that it would be an ethical necessity for Bob, conveniently located next to a lever that will change the track of a…… [Read More]
It has been know that coalitions, task force or work groups are a part of public health practice in order to help stop violence and drug abuse. I feel they are an important part of the community because they can help to change the environment to better by fighting for our rights to be safe. "Consistency can be particularly important in addressing a community issue, especially if there are already a number of organizations or individuals working on it. If their approaches all differ significantly, and they're not cooperating or collaborating, it can lead to a chaotic situation where very little is accomplished. If, on the other hand, they can work together and agree on a common way to deal with the issue and on common goals, they're much more likely to make headway" (Coalition uilding I: Starting a Coalition, 22012).
These groups help us to build a stronger…… [Read More]
Don't Dream it, Be it:
the value of the "unexamined" life.
In the story of the Apology, Socrates is put on trial for corrupting the young, something which (according to his testimony) he does by convincing them to examine their life closely and learn to question all their assumptions. In the course of his defense, he makes the oft-repeated claim "...the unexamined life is not worth living..." (Apology) He supports this opinion with numerous theories regarding the value of truth and the relationship between morality and philosophy. Socrates and most intellectuals since his time, have been of the firm opinion that "higher" pursuits such as self-examination and philosophy make for a better life. However, the actual value of living the heavily-examined life could be open to debate. In fact, it is the opinion of this writer that the examined life may indeed be inferior to the unexamined life: examination…… [Read More]
In The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, page 66, Charles Darwin argues that organisms which have favorable traits are more likely to reproduce than members of the population with less favorable traits.
"Seeing that individual differences of the same kind perpetually recur, this can hardly be considered as an unwarrantable assumption" (Darwin 66).
"The ordinary belief that the amount of possible variation is a strictly limited quantity is likewise a simple assumption" (Darwin 66).
"As we see that those variations which, under domestication appear at any particular period of life, tend to reappear in the offspring at the same period; - for instance, in the shape, size, and flavor of the seeds of the many varieties of our culinary and agricultural plants…so in a state of nature, natural selection will be enabled to act on and modify organic beings at any…… [Read More]
Yet rather than understand this revelation as something which is freeing, Sartre experienced it as something fearful. He speaks of this freedom as being a form of damnation:
Man is condemned to be free... condemned because he has not created himself - and is nevertheless free. Because having once been hurled into the world, he is responsible for everything he does..." (Gaarder, 379-380)
If one is free, then one has not way of knowing what to do -- and worse, if one is free then one has no one but one's self to blame for one's perceived failures. (Taking the further step to realize that if one is free that there is no standard to fail except those set by one's self is something undertaken more by the next philosopher I mean to discuss than by Sartre) can actually sympathize with this sense of terror in the face of one's…… [Read More]
This tends to create a negative view of the oppressed and increases the resistance to their cause.
If I were to personally create a philosophy of nonviolence, I would also, like King, focus on the positive effects of such a form of resistance. The basis for my philosophy would be the qualities that make us human. Most importantly, we are human and as such we are able to reason and think rationally. Because we are more than barbarians, we are to handle our conflict situations by thinking of ways to reach the optimal outcome for all parties. If we let our emotions override our reason, chaos results. In matters of conflict, which can be highly emotional, it is therefore of utter importance to use our rationality. This is what distinguishes us from the animal world. We do not need to fight and kill to reach our goals and obtain our…… [Read More]
Philosophy Take Home Exam
Selection: Spinoza, Rousseau, and Sartre
Philosophy and Biography in Spinoza
According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Benedict de Spinoza was among one of the most important of the post-Cartesian philosophers "who flourished in the second half of the 17th century" and dealt with the implications of free will, mathematics, and science in answering questions about the mind body problem first posed by Descartes. (Dutton, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2004) The Jewish Spinoza took up the originally Christian Cartesian notion of the body/mind duality and placed them in a deterministic theological context, freed of some of Descartes' concerns about proving the existence of God.
Spinoza, however, like Descartes, also stressed that the body and mind were of fundamentally different substances, that the latter essence of the mind was 'alien' somehow, or rather possessed elements that the body did not, because of the nature of cognition or…… [Read More]
Soccio's Archetypes of Wisdom gives a relatively thorough survey of philosophy from ancient "wise men" like Socrates down to present-day university professors like Martha Nussbaum. It gives a sense of philosophy as not only applicable to serious questions in our daily life, but also. I think the three biggest areas in which I learned from Soccio's survey of philosophy relate to religion, utilitarianism, and something I would like to term "intellectual modesty." This necessarily represents a personal response to Soccio's presentation of the great philosophers, but I have never taken a philosophy course before this. To some extent, I am most fascinated by the applicability Soccio emphasizes, especially with intellectual questions which can be more broadly applied within anyone's life (including my own).
The chief personal feeling that I got from Soccio's survey of philosophy is an increased intellectual respect for religion. This is purely a personal reaction,…… [Read More]
Philosophy Concept: Veil of Maya
Concepts and ideologies, such as the "Veil of Maya," have tried to declare the philosophical interpretation of the "reality' of the world. These conceptions are helpful in analyzing the importance of our senses and to assess the belief that whatever we observe is not all reality but there is something beyond that apparent reality. Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have developed their own theories relating to the reality of the world and which gives us the necessary knowledge to judge our senses as a means to observe the outer world. Plato has defined the objective world as an illusion and relates to objective appearances, which we call objects, things etc., as illusionary objects. His classical example of slaves staring at shadows can best define his conception of objects and things. According to him, the real world objects that we term as things or physical body…… [Read More]
As what Falzon postulated in his article on Descartes and Dualism, the author states that 'the dualist view of human beings means that it is possible for the mind to exist separately from the body (2002, p. 62)' but the persona is still that same person despite residing in another physical being. Thus, John Malkovich's mind may be transferred to Craig's body but then it is the personality of Malkovich that now resides in a different physical form. Schwartz used the memory of Malkovich to live a life he never had -- or even wanted as his old self and finds fulfillment in being John Malkovich.
Although Descartes postulated that 'we had "clear and distinct" perception that the self was distinct from the body (lackburn 1999, p. 122),' several arguments still come to mind and various philosophers and thinkers throughout the ages have endeavored to answer the dualist concept --…… [Read More]
Philosophy: Knowledge Is Virtue
Socrates is widely acknowledged as the world's first philosopher, since he was the first to direct the attention of men from merely focusing on the study of nature to the study of human nature. Indeed, Socrates was the pioneer in moral philosophy for though the Sophists spoke of justice, law and temperance, they were still unable to define such values (The International Standard ible Encyclopedia, Heartlight Web site).
It was Socrates' search for understanding and defining human nature and the morals guiding it that led him to the dictum that "knowledge is virtue," for Socrates believed that it was the lack of knowledge that led to confusion about what is good. It is apparent that Socrates arrived at this conclusion from his own relentless search for the truth, to which he seems to have devoted his life. It is said that Socrates, in order to obtain…… [Read More]
.. If we adopt an alternative approach in which we 'give up the language of identity'. (Belshaw and Price, p.88). In the light of this perception, the following scenario applies.
If we give up the language of identity, we can claim that a survives the operation and so survives as two different people, B and C, without claiming that a is identical to either B. Or C. Or both. By giving up claims about identity in favour of claims about survival, we can avoid problems about transitivity.
(Belshaw and Price, p.86)
Therefore, we could say that in the term 'personal identity' what Parfit does is to reduce the importance of the personal aspect and emphasize a criterion of identity that is mental or psychological and not dependent on the body. The important question therefore becomes not "will I exist:" but rather will my life continue. There a many criticisms of…… [Read More]
If a new paradigm was constructed, he did not feel it should be used to build upon and existing one, but that it should completely replace the existing paradigm. As mentioned before, this method of thinking does not allow for evolution or growth. If we are constantly getting rid of one paradigm and replacing it with another, it is as though we are negating the first paradigm. This process does nothing to allow us to see how science has changed, nor does it allow us to measure the past against the present. But, according to Kuhn, paradigms were immeasurable. If this is the case, how do scientists know in which direction to move if they have no idea which direction they came from?
If, as Kuhn states, we only have access to the world through a paradigm, why then can't we build upon or change the paradigm? The readings give…… [Read More]
Few individuals are able to truly impact society and even fewer make contributions so significant that they remain as (if not more) pertinent throughout the years as when their contribution first originated. Plato and Sigmund Freud are two such individuals. Both Plato's theory of the soul and Freud's concept of the self share common structural features. However, there are some important differences both in the internal functioning of their models and in the implications their respective theories have for establishing a good society.
This paper analyzes and examines Plato's theory of the soul and Freud's concept of the self. In Part II, Plato's theory of the soul is discussed. Part III outlines Freud's concept of the self. Lastly, this paper concludes with recommendations for integrating both Plato's and Freud's theories in order to establish a good society.
PLATO'S THEOY OF THE SOUL
Plato contended that all true knowledge is…… [Read More]
30. Kosmos: the same for all, no man or god has made, but it ever was and ever will be: fire everliving, kindled in measures and in measures going out.
Here, Heraclitus reveals his paradoxical thinking about the nature of the universe. The universe (Kosmos/cosmos) is simultaneously limited and limitless. The fire of life is “kindled in measures,” meaning it is ignited within a specific space/time unit, and it is also meted out according to an ordered, measurable, and likely mathematical means. Yet at the same time, that fire is “everliving,” referring to an eternal flame. It is also eternal in that it “ever was and ever will be.” Through this statement Heraclitus explains simply the notions of timelessness: that all time exists simultaneously. The riddle of the passage is given “it ever was and ever will be,” how was the fire ever kindled in the first place.…… [Read More]
The Matrix and the Search for Truth
In Descartes’ Meditations, he gives license to the idea that doubt can actually be a way of beginning one’s movement towards truth, just as doubt regarding the flickering of images on the cave wall by the inhabitant of Plato’s Cave begins his movement of turning around and seeing the outside sun and beginning the climb upward towards truth. Descartes seemingly encourages his philosopher-reader to do just this—to doubt in order to begin getting the mind working, questioning and interacting with what one can and cannot reasonably know: “Let us suppose, then, that we are dreaming, and that all these particulars—namely, the opening of the eyes, the motion of the head, the forth-putting of the hands—are merely illusions” (Descartes, 1641, l. 6). This same idea is put to Neo by Morpheus, who challenges Neo to stop living in the dream world, which he knows…… [Read More]
Plato’s concepts of art and aesthetics encompass the core elements of his philosophical principles. Specifically, Plato shows how art becomes an imitation of an imitation: a clear reference to the philosopher’s concept of forms. Within Plato’s philosophy of art being nothing more than an imitation of an imitation is a value judgment, because Plato proposes that anything that is an imitation is also something that distracts and distorts reality. In other words, art can adversely impact the human ability to use reason. However, art served a fundamentally different purpose in ancient Greece than it does in the twenty-first century. Plato’s philosophy of art and aesthetics can seem anachronistic in light of the role art plays in postmodern society. When viewed in light of the role art played in ancient Greece, though, Plato’s philosophy of art showcases the logic behind the allegory of the cave in the Republic. Essentially, art…… [Read More]
It is important to note, from the onset, that despite the fact that Heraclitus’ work is available in various quotations and fragments, there is still significant meaning conveyed via the same. I hereby take into consideration 123. Nature loves to hide and 87. A fool loves to get excited at any logos.
123. Nature loves to hide.
The philosopher presents the inability of human beings to fully decode reality. Human beings find it difficult to perceive or reconcile the inescapable particularity of the universe with its instinctive unity – bringing up queries on how the particular and the whole interact. Although the universe appears to be composed of a variety of items that are seemingly not only self-existent but also inconspicuous and unobtrusive, the philosopher is able to internalize the contradiction to the effect that change is the one constant. That what is congruent to us is essentially temporal…… [Read More]
Increasing the level of happiness in people is all about breaking bad habits and starting new ones. This paper will show exactly how to do that by taking just a few short steps in the right direction.
Bad habits are easily formed because they are the path of least resistance. As Achor notes, “passive leisure” is not as rewarding as “active leisure” but we prefer the former because it is initially easier to do. By making it harder to do, and making active leisure easier to do, we can actually be happier: “Whether people are trying to change habits at work or at home, the key is to reduce choices by making a few simple rules” (Achor).
The best way to be happier is thus to make it easier for ourselves to do the things that we think of as hard. If there are obstacles in the way, one should…… [Read More]
Self-compassion is an important concept to understand because it falls under the category of self-care. Selfishness on the other hand does not. Selfishness is commonly associated with actions that may satisfy a certain desire but that do not actually promote a holistic good. Self-compassion on the other hand is oriented towards helping the self. Bowen (2017) states that one should look at it this way: self-compassion is about showing love to yourself in the same way you would show it to your neighbor. So often people get caught up in the need to please others, satisfy others, and serve others that they never take the time to take care of their own needs. It is important, in such cases, to step back and take a little self-compassion on oneself.
Self-compassion is synonymous with self-care. It is like maintenance of the self. If one buys a car, one has to service…… [Read More]
When viewing the Star Trek episode “Measure of a Man,” it is difficult not to sympathize with the character Data, not only because of his behavior during the episode but because of the close relationship many viewers developed with him and his desire to be human over the course of the series. The question of whether such super-intelligent androids capable of autonomous choices based upon feelings rather than programming would be possible to create in the future is uncertain, however, given the current limits of technology. Regardless, Picard clearly advocates a view of Data as possessing a soul, given that he explicitly affirms Data’s right to autonomy, free choice, and the ability to exercise his will over his body. This suggests that these rights are conveyed by a higher power that cannot be taken away.
Maddox, in contrast, argues for a purely material view of the android. The fact that…… [Read More]
In Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, six principles are provided to help people achieve the titular goal: 1) Become genuinely interested in others; 2) Smile; 3) Remember that a person’s own name is the best sound to them in the world; 4) Listen well; 5) Use terms that are interesting to the other person; 6) Show the other person that you think they are important. In short, the main idea of the book is to care about others and be sincere about it and to do it with a smile and with positive energy. That is the best way to win friends and influence others. In this paper, I will describe how I implemented these principles in my own life, at school, at work, and what the outcomes were.
In my personal life and in my student life, I realized that I was around a lot…… [Read More]
Philosophies of Life:
Personal and Traditional
hen one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes (Hassad, 2000). Although each person's individual "philosophy of life" is different, there are some well-known philosophical interpretations that can shed some light upon common attitudes concerning personal identity. Six famous life philosophies are attributed to Socrates, Freud, Albert Camus, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Muhammad.
Although there are several ways in which one can interpret the meaning of life and personal identity, perhaps one of the most useful steps one can take in the process is to recognize…… [Read More]
For example, before Newton, gravity was not considered a reality because the force of gravity itself cannot be perceived via the senses. The scientific method corrects for sensory shortcomings. However, philosophers must endeavor to think beyond that which the senses deliver.
Morality, Philosophy, and Technology
Discussion 1: Human/Robot Interface
Current robotics technologies depend on strong human controls; no android exists that can survive independently of a human being either for its creation or for its sustenance. No android can therefore be considered alive in any reasonable definition of the word. Therefore, robots are dependent on humans. Robots do not make decisions; humans make decisions and program robots to execute those decisions. In the same way that a human being operates an automatic weapon to kill another person, so too does a human being operate a robot to kill another person. Therefore, human beings are always responsible for the actions carried…… [Read More]
Kuhn's ationale on the Irrationality of Scientific evolutions
"Communities in this sense exist, of course, at numerous levels. The most global is the community of all natural scientists."
~Thomas S. Kuhn, from The Structure of Scientific evolutions
To understand Thomas Kuhn's ideas regarding scientific revolutions, one must have a grasp on Kuhn's ideas relating to the history of science in general. Kuhn's perspective on the history of science is that scientific knowledge is not accumulative. He did not perceive the accumulation of knowledge as linear. Thus, before Kuhn explains the irrationality of scientific revolutions, he explains the irrationality of the historical picture of science in general. The paper will contend that scientific revolutions are irrational because science is irrational. As will be demonstrated by Kuhn and other authors, there is no specific logic as to why some theories and paradigms become popular and other do not. To paraphrase Kuhn,…… [Read More]
This idea was accepted by most of the philosophical schools of the time, including the Atomists.
Plato took quite a different approach and found that ideas, as noted, and saw idas as existing outside of human consciousness. Plato's doctrine of recollection holds that learning is the remembering of a wisdom that the soul enjoyed prior to its incarnation, another aspect of the idea that there are ideal forms "remembered" by the soul in this world, and this is actually a mythical statement of this view that neither reason nor the intelligible order that it reveals is alien to the human soul. The soul is seen as existing before life here on earth and as remembering the ideals it knew before birth. Protagoras would not have engaged in this sort of argument, jus as he avoided arguments about the existence of the gods as being outside of sensory experience.
3. Plato's…… [Read More]
The central ideas about this knowledge may be categorized into four parts: knowledge, wisdom, belief, and opinion. Some are individualized -- some culturally based, some based solely on sensory perception, and some, from consideration. In its most practical state, "knowledge" may be information about which we are aware -- facts, figures, accepted truths, ways of doing things. Wisdom, in contrast, takes that knowledge and allows individuals to make judgments and decisions based on knowledge -- presumably gained through experience or the process of learning. Belief is a culturally (thus cognitively) based make up of what we hold to be true simply because we innately know it without the need of proof or method. Opinion, is a personalized belief of judgment that has no proof, no certainty, but generally takes in information (whether correct or not) and synthesizes it into an idea that allows for individuals to have stands and strong…… [Read More]
What makes a Belief True or False
Some of our beliefs turn out to be erroneous, and therefore it becomes necessary to consider how, if at all, we can distinguish knowledge from error. This problem does not arise with regard to knowledge by acquaintance, for, whatever may be the object of acquaintance, even in dreams and hallucinations, there is no error involved so long as we do not go beyond the immediate object: error can only arise when we regard the immediate object, i.e. The sense-datum, as the mark of some physical object. Thus the problems connected with knowledge of truths are more difficult than those connected with knowledge of things. As the first of the problems connected with knowledge of truths, let us examine the nature and scope of our intuitive judgments. (ussell, 1997)
All persons have beliefs. Beliefs are very close to all of us and in…… [Read More]
Philosophy Scenario Evaluation
In many situations, certain questions can be answered in a manner that can be regarded as true in viewing the answers from different contexts. An answer that would not be widely-regarded as "truth" in today's day and age, may have been considered true in the context of an earlier time, which does not necessarily mean that this respective answer is wrong. In viewing the following three scenarios, one can better understand how a truth can be found not only in viewing certain subjective situations, but in the sense of being true in the context of a more objective world.
For instance, if asked, "What is the height of the Washington Monument?" A knowledgeable American would say, "555 feet 51.8 inches," while a knowledgeable Italian would say, "169,294 meters." In this instance, both speakers can be regarded as saying something true. While each individual's respective answer may seem…… [Read More]
In his writings, Hegel is concerned about the concept of the Absolute. He provides many different definitions of the term Absolute. One of those definitions is that the Absolute is what people normally conceive of as God. However, the god of Hegel is not confined to the Judeo-Christian definition. Hegel's Absolute is pure mind and consciousness.
In Philosophy of Mind, Hegel defines the Absolute as both "mind" and "spirit" that inform a "supreme definition" of God (Mickelson). The Absolute is supreme and eternal. It is indivisible. As the word "absolute" suggests, it is not soluble; it does not dissolve.
As Scott puts it, "the Absolute is Spirit, and Spirit is Reality." Therefore, all reality can be explained by the understanding of the Absolute. Human beings exist only in relation to the Absolute, but the Absolute does not depend on any other entity or being for its self-definition or its…… [Read More]
When we consider our own philosophies about many things, we are forced to make judgments determining what is most important to us. It is only through this kind of examination that we really learn what our real beliefs and values are. In addition, through this kind of examination, we have the ability to become so in-tune with our philosophies that we make decisions that truly reflect what we believe without having to ponder deeply. It is for this reason that an examination of our philosophies has a practical value to daily living.
Thus, philosophy is not simply something practiced by the ancient scholars. Instead, it is a practical tool that helps us better understand ourselves. Through both philosophy and an examination of our philosophies, we look at our world in an enlightened, purposeful manner, and we have the ability to better understand it.… [Read More]
The Value of Philosophy: The subject of philosophy concerns itself with understanding of the self, humanity and the universe in an attempt to arrive at or define a "unified, coherent, systematic world view." (Para 4, p. 35)
Such broad definitions of philosophy often lead to a viewpoint that philosophy is of interest only to the world of academia, characterized as it is by debate and the lack of consensus. While it is true that philosophy may be considered to be eternally evolving, perhaps in keeping with the very evolution of human kind, the fact is that the study of philosophy holds immense personal and practical value for the simple self-evident truth that philosophy pervades every aspect of life: "...a moral being, a social and political animal, an appreciator of art and beauty, a perceiver and knower, a scientist, a religionist...all these aspects of humanity and self are areas of…… [Read More]
While there is plenty to criticize in the work of Descartes, Locke, and Hume, one cannot justifiably claim that Jose Vasconcelos criticisms of traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge apply to these theorists if only because Vasconcelos' criticisms do not really apply to anything, as his criticisms are largely based on straw men. This is not to say that traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge should be free from criticism, but rather that the problems with these traditional views are more fundamental than Vasconcelos realizes, to the point that Vasconcelos suffers from many of these same issues. Essentially, both Vasconcelos and the previously mentioned authors suffer from a simply ignorance regarding the functioning of the human brain, the nature of consciousness and memory, and the evolutionary processes by which organisms and ideas evolve, with this ignorance born out of an implicit or explicit maintenance of…… [Read More]
" (ohlf) These maxims may be as simple as gratifying a desire or something complex like becoming a lawyer. Kant then distinguishes between two basic kinds of maxims: material and formal principles. If I am acting in order to satisfy some desire, such as going to a Starbucks to get a coffee, that is acting on a material principle. According to Kant, maxims are rules that describe how one does act and imperatives prescribe how one should act. A categorical imperative commands that I should act in some way unconditionally. Kant regards these categorical imperatives as moral laws and they apply to everyone in the same way. In other words, if stealing is morally wrong, we cannot say that stealing is okay., because we are hungry and lack the money to buy food for ourselves or our families.
Kant's Categorical Imperative commands that we should act in some…… [Read More]
Further, warfare and poverty have all but been eliminated. But in order to have happiness, the people are dependent on government produced stimulation, including Soma and promiscuous sex. The reason for this is because this society lacks the staples of human identity and individuality, such as family, culture, art, literature, science, religion and philosophy.
n this sense, Huxley's utopia is an ironic, or false utopia as without individuality and happiness, society is not really a utopia. Thus, Socrates would agree with Huxley's underlying philosophy that true happiness is only possible through an expression of individuality. Without individuality, society is in fact a distopia.
This is a sentiment that Thoreau would agree with as the premise of his Walden Pond was to create a personal utopia through an expression of complete individuality. Thoreau's premise was that by depending on pure individuality one would experience true happiness. n order to accomplish this,…… [Read More]
The question arising from this claim is whether evidence exists to prove that there exists an infinitely good, powerful, and wise God where morality naturally emerges. Humes argues that is hard to imagine that an all-good, powerful God exists in this world full of pain and misery. From these claims, one can argue that this insight, or God, has both evil and good, as is present in man if man is in God's image and likeliness.
Immanuel Kant: from the Critique of Pure Reason, the Good Will and the Categorical Imperative, the Postulates of Practical Reason
Kant believes that the vigorous application of same methods of reasoning can yield to an equal development in dealing with the issues of moral philosophy. Kant proposes a list of categories of Freedom in Relation to the concept of good vs. evil. Kant uses logical distinction as the basis for the catalog. Even though…… [Read More]
Philosophy -- Plato's "The Apology"
"The Apology" is Plato's recollection of Socrates' trial, conviction, sentencing and last words to the jury. The Apology is divided into three parts. The first part, Socrates' principal speech to the jury, is his argument against old and new accusations. The second part, Socrates' "counter-assessment," is Socrates' rebuttal of the prosecutor's recommendation of the death penalty. The third part, Socrates' final words to the jury, consists of his speeches to the jurors who voted for his conviction and to the jurors who voted for acquittal.
Socrates' Principle Speech
Socrates first takes on the people who have slandered him over the years with "lying accusations" against him: that he is "a student of all things in the sky and below the earth" (Plato, Grube, & Cooper, 2000, p. 22) which is a physicalist or atheist; that he "makes the worse argument the stronger" (Plato, Grube, &…… [Read More]
Given that experience is argued to be the foundation of knowledge (according to Locke) how - if at all - does Locke make room for what Leibniz would call 'necessary truths'?
Gottfried Leibniz made many criticisms of the work of John Locke, while acknowledging its sophistication and importance, observing that 'although the author of the Essays says hundreds of fine things which I applaud, our systems are very different' (Leibniz, 1982, p. 47). There is indeed a philosophical gulf between the two thinkers. Locke does not believe human beings can have any access to accurate knowledge of the actually existing reality of things, their 'real essence.' Only through the words we use to stand for things do we have any relationship to those things:
Nor indeed can we rank and sort things, and consequently (which is the end of sorting) denominate them, by their real essences; because we…… [Read More]
In sections 37 thru 45 of the Monadology Leibniz offers three different proofs of the existence of God. Explore the way in which each of these proofs is derived from the 'two great principles' introduced immediately before.
The 'two great principles' expounded in paragraphs 31-2 of the Monadology are the principle of contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason. The principle of contradiction states that any statement containing a contradiction is false, and its opposite is true (para. 31); the principle of sufficient reason states that no state of affairs can exist, and no statement can be true, unless there is a sufficient reason why it is so and not otherwise, and that these reasons cannot usually be humanly known (para. 32). If these principles are accepted then it follows that there are two kinds of truths, each being based upon one of the two principles. Truths of…… [Read More]
Philosophy of research is basically related to the fact that there is no overarching, generally accepted truth. Statements about reality are based on assumptions and mankind has continuously researched into the world around basing this research on assumptions. The quest to understand has thus also led to a philosophy of research.
There are several philosophical justifications for the experimental research method in sociology. The idea of experimental research is founded on the principle of observation. The coordinator of the experiment is manipulating a variable or variables in order to obtain a certain manifestation from another variable. The latter is monitored in order to better understand a particular sociological group for which the respective variable is representative.
The philosophical justification in sociology is that experimental research emphasizes the causal relationship between variables. By reducing sociological realities, particularly the relationships between individuals, to variables and almost statistical information, one can better ensure…… [Read More]
Since a hypothetical imperative represents one of many possibilities that are only means to an end, they cannot be objectively necessary, and therefore do not have the same command over human behavior as a categorical imperative. As Kant notes, commands are laws that we must obey, even when they contradict our inclinations (27).
If we treat others as a means to an end, then we use them in service of another goal. However, if we treat others as an end in themselves, then we respect them without regard to any other goals or ends. To treat someone as a means to an end is to make them less important than some end result, whereas to treat someone as an end in themselves makes them the final and most important consideration. Slavery may be the most offensive example of using others as a means to an end, but there are…… [Read More]
However, in principle, the rules and laws of society merely ensure our freedom from unwanted behavior of others. In many cases, in fact, the particular rules themselves are purely arbitrary, such as the simple rules of the road about stopping on a red signal and going on a green signal because the reverse rule would be just as good. The purpose of the rules of the road are simply to protect us from accidents. Likewise, acquiring a drivers' license as a condition of driving is intended to ensure that anybody who drives a heavy vehicle capable of maiming and killing is competent to do so without exposing others to risks.
Other rules of society are much harder to justify because they regulate conduct that affects nobody else. For example, prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have a legitimate purpose of protecting others. On the other hand, prohibitions…… [Read More]
Socrates has been accused of not recognizing the gods of the state, and also of inventing gods of his own. In fact, this is a two-part accusation. Socrates is first being accused for not believing in the state-sanctioned religion. Of course, it is impossible to know what Socrates does or does not believe. Based on his words, though, it would seem Socrates does actually believe in the gods although may not pay them the kind of respect that the Athenian courts would prefer.
The second part of the accusation is different. Here, the state accuses Socrates of inventing new divinities of his own. Socrates is in fact not starting a new religion and he does not tout the divine authority of any deity. If the accusation is taken collectively, that is, if declaration of guilt or innocence is made on the fulfillment of both these two parts, then Socrates…… [Read More]
Kant's Theories of Good Will
One of Kant's examples of good well is an action that is taken with good intentions; he calls it good because the volition of the action is good. There is no good will in an action taken for the good it might do for others or for the good it might do potentially for the person taking the action. Kant's sense of good will dictates that good will is not good for what the consequences it effects. Kant's concept of good will dictates that something is not good because of how appropriate the action is toward accomplishing a specific end. Even if the action taken did not result in the desired action or even a good action, the value of the good will is not lost, forgotten, or diminished.
Good will rises above personal motivation or desire of the person taking the action and…… [Read More]
Happiness and Pleasure: Plato v. Aristotle
Happiness and pleasure are often used as easy synonyms. However, two of the major philosophers, perhaps the major philosophers of antiquity, that of Socrates and Aristotle make a strong distinction between the two concepts of pleasure and happiness. Socrates states that the natural impetus of all human beings is to seek pleasure. However, according to Socrates, true and sustained pleasure is only found in the happiness of the soul. In other words, merely feeling good is of little benefit, only the difficult process of finding knowledge about the world can give a human being a truly worthy, happy, and profitable life. The ultimate end or final good of human existence is eudaimonia, a kind of happiness that is the 'flourishing,' the fullest expression of the human mind. In contrast, sensual delight, such as the pleasure found in sexual desire, is only a very…… [Read More]
Socrates was a proud citizen of Athens. He loved his native state so much that when he was condemned before her courts, he prefered to be sentences to death instead of exile, because to be away from Athens would have been unbearable to him. He had fought bravely in her wars and won great acclaim, and laid his life on the line for her protection. Considering the degree of patriotism with which Socrates was endowed, it is strange and ironic that he was brought up on charges of corrupting the youth and challenging the laws of his state. It may in fact have been Socrates' passion for the egalitarian values of Athens that led to his prosection and death.
As the first democracy, ancient Athens was a society where lawsuits ran rampant. In that day many people seemed to scorn the constant suing, and it was a matter of…… [Read More]
Philosophy of Life
Humans have a distinguishing nature, which defines the way they think, act, and feel. The human nature has influenced the culture that humans have kept with each other. In my observation, humans have a distinct culture that defines their operations and activities. For many years, many studies have been carried out to establish the human nature, which defines all human beings. Various views on the nature of human beings have been developed to explain human behaviors and mannerisms. Aristotle and Plato argued that humans may be explained as conjugal animals because they couple when adults to build household. It is also argued that humans are political animals with the potential of developing complex communities besides being mimetic (Oruka, 1996).
ecent years have seen the development of modern views on the nature of humans, such as, a being with potency to think, develop, and replicate. This modern view…… [Read More]
The naturalist position is further "bolstered" by a fundamental faith in the veracity of sensory inputs and human cognitive processes, a faith that is woefully misplaced. In fact, the naturalist belief in random evolution undermines any belief in the ability of human senses to derive truth about the workings of the universe (Plantinga 2). Those who believe in a supernatural deity often believe that said deity imbued human beings with the ability to acquire and understand knowledge. If this is the case, it is possible for human beings to use their minds to discern the nature of reality. But if instead humans are simply the product of randomly accrued changes through natural selection, then there can be no such guarantee. Our physical senses and cognitive processes wouldn't have developed with reliability in mind, but rather with survivability. The mind or the senses are only important, in the naturalist context,…… [Read More]
But this Love, too (or satisfaction) has its highest ideal in the metaphysical realm of Knowledge that can grant a man a far more satisfying and blissful existence.
In short, Socrates' hierarchy of Love is the following: Love is a beautiful body that is the beauty of all bodies that is the beauty of all souls. Following from which, Love is also the laws, activities, and customs leading onto the beauty of knowledge, ideas, and theories resulting in Beauty itself. Beauty, therefore, is synonymous with Knowledge and Right Action (Hecht, 25).
Socrates discusses Love, too, in another essay (Hecht, 95) where he talks about the pleasure that gods receive by observing the right actions of man. Here, too, Socrates employs the term 'love' in reference to being pleased by something that is morally right. The gods appreciate someone who is a just person and obtain a sort of pleasure from…… [Read More]
Gaining the ability to sense and capitalize on these shifts in managerial philosophies over time is directly proportional to the ability of any organization to remain competitive over time (Chang, 2008).
Participating in the Shift in Management Philosophies
The evolution in management philosophies today is forcing a major shift in how companies are competing globally (Polsfuss, Ardichvili, 2008), shifting from being authoritarian and more focused on how to enable collaboration and growth. The predominant focus on how to create corporate cultures that are resilient and capable of withstanding the many risks and difficult economic conditions of the global economy today is more important than having a purely ontologically-based organizational culture. Management is responsible for creating the necessary frameworks, norms, values and expectations that define the entire organizational culture. For management today this stewardship is especially critical, as organizations are struggling with how they can become more agile and capable of…… [Read More]
Assuming that a 'plain' letter represents knighthood but a ~ represents being a knave representations go as follows.
A: Alice says at least one of them is a knight.
B: All knights tell the truth
C. If Alice is a knight then at least one of them must be a knight, and Alice must be one of the knights.
C: The oracle always tells the truth
D: The oracle says if there is one knight, there are at least two knights and if Sam is a knight, then Alice is a knave or Bob is a knight.
E: Alice cannot be a knave or all are knaves.
F. If Bob is a knight either Sam or Alice must be a knave
G. Alice cannot be a knave if Bob is a knight, as Alice's statement must be valid.
H. Sam must be a knave.
I. Bob must be a…… [Read More]
When professors work with students with special needs they should always be certain to create an inclusive environment that encourages all students to shine. Moreover, community college professors need to develop curricula that honor diversity whenever possible. A comprehensive teaching philosophy for the community college professor therefore expands student awareness of diversity as well as of their subject matter. The community college instructor must also keep in mind that many students will have families, part-time, or full-time jobs and must therefore respect the needs for students to juggle differing demands. Professors should always listen to their students needs: if work loads appear too hard for many students then the professor should consider reducing them. Expanding awareness also includes helping students network. The community college professor should introduce students to various campus organizations, clubs, other classes, and community resources. The instructor should direct students to campus bulletin boards and career development…… [Read More]
The different tastes in personal pleasure can be seen in the leisure industry as a whole. Some people seek out community service vacations, some seek adventure vacations, and other people simply want a nice, pretty beach and warm sun. All seek, I believe, to become better people, even if only simply through relaxation. My standards for happiness and my virtue ethics are less stringent than Aristotle's standards. So long as pleasure does not impinge upon the lives and productivity of native inhabitants, or the pleasures of others, varied quests in the pursuit of leisure are all honorable, from the vacationing volunteer in Dafur to the Disneyland tourist seeking to give memories to a child, and finding pleasure in the child's reactions to new sights and sounds.
Defense of Rule-Based Ethics." NYU Philosophy Homepage. Retrieved 29 May 2007 at: http://homepages.nyu.edu/~rpm213/philosophy.html
McLean, Donald & Yoder, Daniel. (2005). Issues in Recreation…… [Read More]
Never the twain shall meet would be an appropriate descriptive. The prime example of this form of federalism is the U.S. government during the late 1700s through the early 1900s. With "dual" federalism, both separate and shared powers are present.
Marble-cake (or co-operative) federalism is "one big happy family" federalism. Co-operation between state and federal government is its signature. The two levels of government are actually one big government, interwoven and pursuing the same goals together. Crime reduction, better education for our children, and global warming are issues that both state and federal levels would be working on together with the same sense of accomplishment. Co-operative federalism became prominent in government between roughly 1930-1960.
s a matter of fact, under the original dual federalism during the early years of our country, each state that came into the Union was offered a "partnership" with the federal government. Every state knew what…… [Read More]
Knowledge and truth were considered absolute and immutable by these two, though for very different reasons, which is the complete antithesis to the empirical theories of Popper, Peirce, Kuhn, and James. The progression of knowledge in the face of such certainty could only result in pure growth from previously established claims, as no truth could ever be said to exist that was not thoroughly and absolutely proved by careful extrapolation from a priori conclusions.
Several interesting anthropological occurrences have convinced me that the empirical method, with its possibility for the adjustment of truth based on the framework or paradigm from which the determination of truth is made, is a much better way of understanding truth and the concept of "absolute certainty." Cultures exist that have no concept of, or words for, time. "Yesterday" and "today" are meaningless concepts that do not exist. The extreme difficulty of communication that this presented…… [Read More]