"Philosophy / Logic / Reason" Essays

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Plato the Republic Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,024 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10

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Plato (the Republic)

There have been numerous theories concerning the best means through which equality, justice, and at the same time power can be achieved and defended by a state. At this moment in time the rule of democracy and that of the democratic principles is considered to be most suitable for the world we live in. However, there are… [read more]


Philosophy in His Writings Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (625 words)
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However, Hegel does not limit the definition of Absolute to God. Limiting a definition of the Absolute to God is detrimental to the quest for knowledge and truth. Logic is central to Hegel's argument, because the Absolute is perfectly logical.

Hegel also expands the definition of the Absolute to encompass Truth. This suggests that there may be an objective reality "out there," that exists regardless of what any human being wants to believe. There are different means of approaching this absolute Truth, but that does not change the nature of the Absolute.

What is remarkable about Hegel's definition of the Absolute is that the philosopher recognizes the importance of the process of using logic to understand the Truth. The Truth is never static. The Truth is continually evolving as the absolute Mind gains wisdom and knowledge. "The truth is the whole. The whole, however, is merely the essential nature reaching its completeness through the process of its own development," (Hegel, cited by Mickelson).

For Hegel, the Absolute is also self-conscious. Hegel's Absolute is not unlike the Buddhist concept of the Universe. Like Buddhists, Hegel does not believe in an anthropomorphic God. If asked, "Do you believe in God?" many people would hesitate because the question assumes that God is only defined in the Christian manner. Hegel suggests that God cannot be limited in this way, and therefore approaches a more realistic and workable definition of God. God as Absolute invites the human being to use the power of Logic, Reason, Mind, and Ideas to contribute to the expansion of universal knowledge and truth.

Works Cited

The Encyclopedia of Marxism. Retrieved online: http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/a/b.htm

Mickelson, Carl. "Hegel Glossary." Retrieved online: http://www.class.uidaho.edu/mickelsen/texts/Hegel%20Glossary.htm

Scott, Alex. "Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind." Retrieved online: http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/hegel.html… [read more]


Philosophy of Suicide Arthur Camus vs. Arthur Schopenhauer Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,752 words)
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Philosophy of Suicide

Suicide involves two sides: the act and the reason. The reason, or philosophy of suicide, is what justifies the act to the person committing suicide. In this sense, to the actor, the means justify the end, or the act of killing oneself justifies the philosophy of taking one's own life.

The Act

Suicide is defined as being… [read more]


Meno and Phaedo the Role of Wisdom Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,032 words)
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Meno and Phaedo

The Role of Wisdom in true Virtue according to Meno and the Phaedo

The roles of wisdom and virtue in human life have enjoyed considerable discussion in Plato's works before the Meno and Phaedo dialogues were written. Hence, the two works can be seen as a culmination of these concepts in the mind of Plato. Furthermore, the way in which wisdom and virtue are expounded in these works should also be considered in the context of previous explanations in Plato's works.

Meno for example appears to attach a very simplistic and literal meaning to the value of wisdom. He regards it as knowledge that can be taught. He follows Aristotle's early assertion that "virtue is wisdom" with a statement to the effect that virtue can therefore also be taught. According to Roslyn Weiss (137), for example, Meno is a somewhat simple soul, but highly aware of this and willing to learn. He therefore eagerly accepts Socrates' assessment of virtue as equal to wisdom.

However, Socrates has something more subtle in mind with the concept of wisdom. Because, according to the philosopher, virtue does not come by nature, it can be assumed that wisdom is not a natural process either. This assertion is based upon the fact that not all human beings have the same amount of virtue or wisdom, and these concepts are therefore the result of targeted effort.

In order to explain this further, Socrates makes an important distinction between learning and teaching. Virtue and wisdom come by learning. It cannot however be taught by one specific teacher. It develops through life and experience. This is where Meno diverges strongly from Socrates in his insistence that both virtue and wisdom must be elements that can be taught. He makes not distinction between learning and teaching (Weiss 138) or between wisdom and knowledge. These concepts are all equal to him. He is therefore further delighted by the philosopher's assertion that virtue and wisdom are not only equal, but that they arrive by a process of learning. It appears that he entirely misunderstands the philosopher's concept of virtue and wisdom.

In previous works, and most notably the Republic, Aristotle explicated his philosophy of virtue and the role of wisdom in it. Indeed, wisdom itself is one of the four main virtues. In his dialogue with Meno, Aristotle notes that "virtue is a quality of the soul." He constructs this as equal with wisdom, as virtue itself is concerned with being profitable rather than harmful. Aristotle arrives at this conclusion by considering that none of the soul's qualities can be seen as either harmful or profitable without the addition of virtue. Similarly, the addition of wisdom brings profit rather than harm. Hence, in imposing the same qualities upon the soul, virtue and wisdom are equal.

In this sense, Plato's concept of wisdom connects with his earlier views on reason, while virtue is connected with the philosopher's concept of morality. In the Republic, Plato expounds the soul as consisting of… [read more]


Logic Paraphrase: "There Are Reasons A-Level Outline Answer

A-Level Outline Answer  |  2 pages (550 words)
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Logic

Paraphrase: "There are reasons to be upset at the existence of the wealth gap: it creates political instability, violent crime, shortened life spans, and is simply unfair." The only major change made I turning the rhetorical question ("Why decry the wealth gap?") into a statement that clearly expresses the author's intent and meaning. The paraphrase more clearly lays out the argument largely because of this starting point, however it was already fairly explicit and arguably more rhetorically effective in its original form.

An editorial in the April 13 New York Times argues that greater federal regulation of the mining industry is needed in order to prevent mine disasters and limit the deaths caused by future accidents through greater safety procedures. The basic premise is that there is are no effective means for ensuring compliance with current safety standards, as evidenced by the repeated violations at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where an explosion killed twenty-nine men. The conclusion is that greater federal oversight and regulation will ensure greater safety by preventing similar accidents and loss of life.

3)

The three basic functions of language are informational ("The door is open."), expressive ("Open doors seem vulnerable.") and directive ("Close the door.").

4)

The anthropogenic cause of global warming is a source of real disagreement in the political and scientific spheres -- though the Earth is warming, it could be due to natural causes. All arguments amongst politicians concerning "what the American people want" are merely verbal, as the American people clearly do not think with a unified mind but rather want many different and often mutually exclusive things. The argument over gun…… [read more]


Hellenistic Philosophy the Skeptics View A-Level Coursework

A-Level Coursework  |  5 pages (1,737 words)
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According to Plotinus anxiety is experienced by the separation of like and like. As the individual transcends from the material world through the Soul to the One, he comes closer to the ideal of purity, unity and eternity. This enables him to eliminate the anxiety by attaining the highest state of goodness.

10. The Hellenistic concept of tranquility is termed as ataraxia, which is a freedom from anxiety and disturbance. It signifies a state of content with one's fortune and fate. Various schools of philosophers have attempted to discover the path to the Hellenistic ideal of mental tranquility and have presented conflicting theories. According to the Hellenistic philosophers the pursuit of Hellenistic tranquility requires the pursuit of knowledge that is attainable and that helps in relieving mental anxieties. The Skeptics advocate a suspension of judgment and moderation in affect to avoid anxiety about the truth of things. The Stoics on the other hand adopt a dogmatic approach. The Epicureans focus on the pursuit of pleasurable experiences to avoid anxiety. The price to be paid for tranquility varies under each philosophy varying from avoiding the search for the truth to relying on established principles to undertaking the search on the strength of free will. Depending on which philosophy one subscribes to, the attainment of a state of inner peace and contentment…… [read more]


Philosophy Kuhn's Rationale Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,831 words)
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The more troubling comparison, however, is to coercion.[footnoteRef:5] [5: J. Rouse. 'Kuhn's Philosophy of Science Practice.' Division I Faculty Publications. Paper 18, , 2002 . ]

Other authors agree with Kuhn and can see the rationale of his argument for the irrational nature of science and the irrationality part of the nature of scientific revolutions. Rouse recognizes as Kuhn did… [read more]


Philosophy Ideology and Theory Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,108 words)
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Educational Ideology, Philosophy, And Theory

Differentiating Ideology, Philosophy, and Theory

The concepts of ideology, philosophy, and theory are interrelated in ways that account for difficulty in understanding their distinctions (Rosenstand, 2008). The fact, for example, that all ideologies incorporate (or are based on) one or more philosophy is one source of potential confusion; the fact that the converse is sometimes but not necessarily always true is another source of potential confusion (Rosenstand, 2008; Wiley, 1995). In principle, ideology refers to a set of beliefs and often to a larger view (or a worldview); philosophy represents a systematic intellectual inquiry intended to help understand the nature of reality; and theory is a methodological approach to interpreting reality accurately and in a manner consistent with the available empirical data (Rosenstand, 2008; Wiley, 1995).

Within the realm of education, for example, the belief that modern education is deficient for specific reasons would be an ideology; the position that the key to improving education lies in better meeting the needs of all students through recognition of the differences in their learning styles and preferences would be a philosophy; and a testable hypothesis about the efficacy of various teaching methods in relation to different learning styles would be an example of a theory.

Ideology and Philosophy Differentiated

In general, ideologies are beliefs or sets of beliefs about the world or about a subset of the world of particular interest (Taylor, 2002). In contemporary American society, both political conservatism and political liberalism would constitute ideologies, as would Communism, Marxism, and Socialism. All of those ideologies encompass underlying philosophies consistent with the overall worldview shaped by the ideology. To a certain extent, different (meaning mutually inconsistent) philosophies can fit within the same ideology, provided only that they do not conflict with the more general principles or set of beliefs that define the ideology.

For example, Republican conservatives may differ substantially in their particular philosophies in many areas without deviating from the core ideology of Republican conservatism. That is particularly evident today in the political extremism voiced by segments of the Republican Party whose members refer to themselves as "Tea Partiers." Likewise, every Democratic primary election campaign demonstrates the wide range of political and social (and other) philosophies among political liberals, most of whom share the worldview and ideological perspective of the Democratic Party.

Ideologically, most politically conservative republicans share the worldview that government should exercise only minimal control over private business; nevertheless, certain conservative Republicans may consider health insurance reform a valid exception from that general principle, philosophically. Similarly, most conservative Democrats might share the worldview that government has a fundamental obligation to regulate business as necessary to maintain certain standards and public policy; nevertheless, certain liberal Democrats may oppose the idea of a public healthcare option administrated by the federal government.

Philosophy

Philosophy is further differentiable into several different components. Specifically, metaphysics is the study of what exists (ontology) and how it relates to and fits into the world (cosmology), while epistemology is the study of… [read more]


Philosophy Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,388 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Philosophy is a broad science and it is normally used as an umbrella term for comprehensive body of studies. It is usually used for the study of inordinate concepts such as ethics, logic and aesthetics. But it also goes beyond these to study religion, social values, political theories etc. For many decades even psychology was considered a part of philosophy but not anymore. Every science involves philosophical problems, but the above-mentioned subjects all raise, in one form or another, the problem of values and thus start metaphysical questions of central import.

Thus metaphysics is the clearing house for all fundamental philosophical problems. It is the comprehensive discipline in which all philosophical issues and theories converge. Indeed, inasmuch as the special sciences, such as physics, biology, psychology, and sociology, set out from unexamined dogmatic assumptions and issue, severally, in various uncoordinated results which require synthesis, in order to yield a consistent world view, to metaphysics belongs the twofold task of critically examining the primary assumptions of the sciences and of synthesizing their conclusions into a harmonious whole. As a critical inquiry into the validity, scope and interrelations of the respective fundamental assumptions and conclusions of the special sciences, metaphysics is the criticism of the categories, that is, of the chief concepts which man uses in the ordering and mastering of experience. But as widely accepted this branch might have been, it has also faced criticism from famous names such as Kant and Voltaire. Many felt that metaphysics was not to be given the kind of attention that it had come to garner. (Walsh, 1963, p 13)

However metaphysics remains an important branch of study and continues to occupy a significant place in the world of philosophy.

Philosophy is a vast field which also means that there will be as many differing views about what philosophical thought is and what is not. Stephen Stich has introduced a new dimension to the philosophical discourse by focusing on the reasons why there is low representation of women in the club exclusively catering to philosophers. He believes that there is a possibility that women do not have the same intuitions about certain philosophical queries as men and while this needs further experiments for it to become a fact, it is an interesting way of expanding on 'what is philosophy' discussion.

Some of the biggest names in the world of philosophy have given us useful fodder for future experimentation with intuition and philosophical questions. According to Socrates in Plato's Apology, wisdom was the main ingredient of philosophical and in turn was connected with justice. He felt that justice could only be exercised by men of wisdom and these men were people who admitted lack of knowledge where they should and do not claim to know more than they actually do.

"I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think… [read more]


Understanding Educational Philosophies Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (994 words)
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¶ … Education Philosophies

Understanding Educational Philosophies

The notion of education refers to the learning process that continues from the time a person is born till the time of his death. Individuals engage themselves in the learning process in order to gain knowledge that can shape and contour their learning styles. Teachers and trainers in this regard play a significant role for the students that aid them in their learning process during their formal education in elementary, middle, high school and beyond (Vang, 2010).

In this regard, educational philosophy is an academic field of applied philosophy that bolsters and supports a specific vision and idea of education. The definition, objectives and significance of teaching and learning process is evaluated in the process of applied philosophy. This philosophical study of education is more like guiding principles that help the students learn about education and its related issues (Vang, 2010).

However, different educational philosophies have been developed over the course of years. Metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic are the areas of philosophy that is extensively connected to the field of education (Vang, 2010).

Metaphysics is one of the branches of philosophy that focuses on the study of existence and deep nature of reality. Physically living and non-living things are learned though metaphysics that incorporates the earth, humans, space, time, cause & effect and change. Nonetheless, it has been observed that a number of diverse fields of interest are being elucidated by the concept of metaphysics that include religion, spirituality, parapsychology, astrology, meditation, reincarnation and so forth (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2010).

This means that it has immense connectivity to the field of education as it facilitates in the process of understanding of various concepts regarding the society, civilization, nation and the world on a broad spectrum. In addition, it also enhances the ability to realize the developments in religions and communities that would lead to critical and abstract thinking, thus resulting in coherent and lucid expression of perceptions in both verbal and written communication (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2010).

Epistemology is also a field of philosophy that concentrates on the theoretical study of knowledge that particularly highlights the nature, scope and downsides of knowledge. Additionally, this branch of philosophy is hypothetically related to the study of intellect science. The examination of nature of knowledge has been the aspect of arguments. Indeed, this field has remained a debatable and controversial arena with respect to its association to the ideas of truth, belief and justification (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2010).

This field of philosophy is also connected to education extensively because it enlightens the information that all the things learned during the years of schooling are not ineffective, worthless or a waste of time. In other words, epistemology addresses and concentrates on questions such as what is knowledge, how it is attained, how do people distinguish that they know and many more, which makes it essential to the field of education (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2010).

Axiology…… [read more]


Philosophy Structures Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (711 words)
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He is too lazy to do this and too afraid of making the wrong choice.

Reasons:

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance" (Kant 1).

"This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance" (Kant 1).

"Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians" (Kant 1).

Conclusion:

"Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it" (Kant 2).

I think the argument that Kant considers has this form:

Enlightenment is escape from nonage, which is the inability to decide for the self without influence from others. Men do not want to take this responsibility because they are too lazy or too afraid. Therefore most men do not strive for enlightenment but remain burdened by requiring guidance.

However, I think Kant's objection to this argument fails, for this reason:

Kant assumes that guidance is a bad thing and that a person is either lazy or afraid for making their own choices. It is necessary to think about one's actions before a course is chosen and seeking guidance or wisdom from others is not a form of weakness, but rather the ability to understand that a person does not necessarily see a situation from all perspectives. Making a choice with blinders on is not making a good decision.

Works Cited

Darwin, Charles. "Natural Selection; or the Survival of the Fittest." The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection. Cambridge: Cambridge Library Collection.…… [read more]


Moral Philosophy Can Desires Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (2,861 words)
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Which type of foundation for such duties do you find more convincing? Why?

Kant deems that certain forms of actions such as theft, lying and murder are extremely prohibited even in situations where such actions would lead to happiness. The wrongness or rightness of activities neither does nor rely on their upshots, but rather on the duty they fulfill. According… [read more]


Naturalists and Materialists Philosophy Essay

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For example, he argued that earthquakes were caused by waves within the water that the earth sets on (33). Without having seismographs and plate tectonics to counter this assumption, it was a perfectly logical conclusion for the man to reach and he used it as proof of the water on earth hypothesis. As he employed all of these in his theory, Thales has to be credited with perhaps the first established scientific theory about the workings of the universe.

Besides this "Grand Unified Theory," Thales was also involved in the burgeoning of several philosophical ideologies. He is credited with the first uses of monism in philosophical thought. At the core of all human existence, he argued was a sense of shared community. Even more, this unity somehow impacted every living things that existed on the planet. Humans, animals, plants all shared this unity which was unseen and even largely unfelt except in the cases of close kinships such as family or friends. Those we hate even are part of this universal united entity within. Everything was somehow connected with everything else on the planet by a soul or some kind of a life force. The world itself, he believed, was a living entity and so what was life and what was matter were inseparable concepts.

More than just humanity and nature, Thales was interested in knowing to define what it was which made up all material objects. He wanted to know what it was within an object or a living thing which gave it the properties and characteristic normal to that item. In this too he eventually determined that the basis of all matter was in water. Humanity has taken this philosophy and expanded it. For example, scientists have agreed that in interplanetary exploration looking for sources of water will indicate life on these distant planets. A theory that was discovered millennia ago still has merit within a far more technologically advanced age. This is just one example of how both pre- and post-Socratic philosophers impacted the rest of humanity.

These early ideas of Thales encouraged other early pre-Socratic philosophers to try to figure out what that life force might be. If it was agreed upon that all things in the world were connected then it was the job of philosophers to identify it and explain it in the best way possible. This was the burgeoning of the naturalist philosophical movement, an exploration of what was behind this connection with every natural thing in the world. Specifically, naturalism is the philosophical belief that the mysteries of the universe can all be explained by natural as opposed to supernatural phenomena. Unlike later philosophers who were interested in the spirit or soul for religious and theological purposes, the philosophers of Thales' time were guided by simple curiosity (Allen 6). They had questions and made a career of sorts out of extrapolating on these questions.

The pre-Socratic philosophers were the first people to look at the world and question why and what and… [read more]


Philosophy the Roots of Modern Term Paper

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Hegel's views are similar to Kant's, as Hegel holds that philosophy should become self-critical and aware of its own limitations. On the other hand, Hegel argues that such self-critical reflection demands that philosophy be aware of the genesis, context, and development of itself.

Hegel presented a modern, subjective point-of-view, saying that the existence of objects in space around us is doubtful and it is not possible to gain knowledge of the world through rational thought alone.

Locke criticized the common rationalistic belief in knowledge without experience. Locke took modern philosophy in a new direction, from the analysis of the physical world to the study of the mind.

This made epistemology, which studies the nature of knowledge, the main concern of modern philosophy. Locke's philosophy tried to reduce all ideas to simple elements of experience, yet he distinguished sensation and reflection as sources of experience.

While contemporary Western culture constantly changes and evolves, it is still modern in many ways. Still, this culture had changed from being mainly modern to post-modern. For example, modern philosophy centered on universal, absolute truth, while post-modern thought is centered on pluralistic, personal truths and personal statements.

One problem with modern thinkers is that they assume that viewpoints are more homogeneous than they are. Our current awareness of diversity forces us to change these modern arguments to fit into a society with multiple cultures, religions, and value systems.

For example, in the Grounding, Kant argues that all rational creatures have a duty to keep their promises. Treating other rational creatures as ends rather than means best supports Kant's moral theory. However, relying on universal applicability does not logically convince me to accept his arguments.

Modern philosophers believed that human reasoning could find absolute truth and tried to prove the existence of God. Post-modern thinkers believe that, since flaws and biases exist, truth can never be found. Who knows what the absolute truth is? In my post-modern thoughts, no one does. Maybe there is an existing complete truth but we will never understand it perfectly, as only God has that power.…… [read more]


Kant and Nietzsche on Reason Essay

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Kant and Nietzsche: "Categorical" or "Chimerical" Imperatives

Kant's entire philosophical project is grounded in the primary and universal applicability of reason -- practical and "pure" -- and his moral theory is no exception. From the moment he discards the idea of an innate "moral instinct" or conscience as the basis of moral authority (Kant 10), rationality becomes the only possible… [read more]


Philosophy of Education Create an Outline Communicating Essay

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Philosophy of Education

Create an outline communicating your educational philosophy using the following guidelines. Consider the historical development as it impacts educational philosophy.

The modern classroom is nothing like the classroom of even two decades ago. In most areas of the country, 40% of the class is of non-Anglo descent, many do not speak English as their first language, and, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, this trend is rapidly growing to where it is projected by 2020 there will be less than 30% Caucasians in the modern classroom (IES, 2010). What does this mean for the contemporary teacher? Certainly, no teacher can be expected to know every language, or be familiar with every culture from every student. However, is that what is meant by diversity in education or necessary to be effective as a modern teacher?

In essence, the idea of diversity in the classroom is to operate with the idea of a global village and overlap in cultures within the microcosm of the classroom. This means simply that the modern educator be sensitive about culture, gender, sexuality, and individual differences within the classroom. History, for instance, has been incredibly Eurocentric and male oriented for generations. What this has meant in the classroom is that white males of European descent have been emphasized as those who were important to the human race opposed to others. Successful diversity within the classroom simply encourages a change in curriculum and focus: look at history from alternative points-of-view; look at innovation cross-culturally; look at the contributions women and minorities made towards technology and historical development; ask questions about a student's own cultural development and heritage and allow them to celebrate that (Rosebery, et.al., eds., 2001).

ii) Reflect on your belief statements in Module 1 and create your mission statement as an educator.

Mission Statement: My classroom will reflect the highest standards of intellectual and social development, bringing relevant and multidisciplinary subject matter to the student in order to show that the world is a synergistic organism. Using the inquiry method, I will strive to move students from rote knowledge acquisition, to higher levels of analysis, synthesis, and actualization via Bloom's hierarchy ("Bloom's Taxonomy, 2005).

iii) Describe your own educational philosophy in terms of its metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic.

Metaphysics: Metaphysics is often difficult to define when focusing on tangible outcomes, but is essentially concerned with explaining the nature of being. It allows us to ask what kinds of things there are in the world, and how those things relate to one another. My educational philosophy is, above all, an inclusive paradigm for intellectual growth. In…… [read more]


Philosophy of Descartes and Its Rational Transition Essay

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¶ … Philosophy of Descartes and its rational transition through the stages of senses, self (Cogito) and God (Innate Idea). Find two criticisms on Descartes approach to philosophy.

While considering the argument over dreams, Descartes was guided to his position by a set of personal experiences. His test sample of one individual yielded the case that his mind was the… [read more]


History of Western Philosophy: John Locke Essay

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History of Western Philosophy: John Locke was a little confused at first by the way this section started with Filmer's arguments in favor of the monarchy, but once Russell started speaking about Locke I realized the benefit of first setting up the theories Locke was reacting to when developing his more democratic theory of government. It is amazing to me -- as Russell said it would be to the modern mind -- that someone could have reasoned the way Filmer does. His use of the Bible -- or actually, his very selective interpretation of the Bible -- reminds me of the current ongoing debate about teaching evolution vs. creationism or "intelligent design" in public schools. In both cases, arguments are built using what looks like sound logic, but at the bottom is a premise that is inherently illogical because it derives from faith -- that kings derive their authority via hereditary inheritance from Adam, on the one hand, and that God created everything -- including fossils -- just as they are today on the other. Once I fully understood Filmer's argument, I also understood why Russell needed to start with this explanation of what the thinking was before John Locke wrote his treatises on government. Locke's ideas have become so ingrained in our modern consciousness that they often appear as self-evident facts, and an explanation of his philosophy would have seemed needlessly elementary and even obvious had it not first been explained that thinking had previously developed along radically different lines.

This section also made it very clear to me in an almost tangible way that thought and philosophy des not happen in a vacuum -- it is always a product of the history that creates it. Often when studying philosophy, it feels as if the ideas helped to shape the world. To a very large degree, this is true, and Locke's ideas were used a century later in the founding of America and even to an extent in the French Revolution. This makes it abundantly clear that philosophical thought can have very real and practical applications and consequences. Russell makes it just as…… [read more]


John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism Research Proposal

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John Stuart Mill's philosophy of utilitarianism were a popular moral guidepost for leadership today, it would be interesting to see how many leaders embrace the idea that actions are correct so long as they lead to the promotion of contemporary definitions of happiness. It would be fascinating indeed to witness the justifications for actions by leaders on moral grounds made… [read more]


Philosophy Plato Lived a Century After Pythagoras Term Paper

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Philosophy

Plato lived a century after Pythagoras, though he also studied the idea of the Pythagoreans and accepted some, notably in terms of their ideas on mathematics. Plato has been considered a disciple of Pythagoras, but he should not be seen as a Pythagorean because he followed his own thought processes and developed his own view of the nature of the world. Plato learned about logic and ethics from his direct teacher, Socrates, who would also question much of what the Pythagoreans accepted.

The idea of the eternal forms is one of those concepts Plato either developed himself or adapted from Socrates, for it is not always possible to tell where Socrates ends and Plato begins in the dialogues. In examining the world and the relationship of the human mind to the world, Plato found that ideas, as he used the term, are not only something in human consciousness but something outside it as well. Platonic Ideas are objective and do not depend on human thought but exist entirely in their own right. They are perfect patterns that exist in the very nature of things. Such an idea is not just a human idea but the idea of the universe itself. It is an ideal that can be expressed externally in concrete form or internally as a concept in the mind. The Idea is the foundation of reality. Plato is classified as an idealist in his philosophy, basing his view of the world on the idea that there are forms embodying this world in a state of perfection and that what we perceive in this world are only shadows of the ideal. Central to Plato's thought is the power of reason to reveal the intelligibility and order governing the changing world of appearance, with the purpose of creating, at both the political and the individual level, a harmonious and happy life.

The way Plato adopted Pythagorean ideas for his eternal forms came in the idea of numerology, with the number Two represented the world of the eternal forms, a world of duality in which there is an Ideal world and a world of the sense, only the latter of which can be accessed directly, while the former is only accessed through philosophy.

The ancient Greeks considered the nature of the universe and whether it was permanent or not. Heraclitus stated that it was not possible to step into the same river twice, thus indicating his belief in the prevalence of change all around. Heraclitus believed that stability was an illusion. Parmenides thought that motion was an illusion. Plato offered a compromise in his view of a dual world, one unstable and transient and the other permanent and unchanging.

Protagoras tried to explain the ideas of the human mind "psycho-genetically," declaring that the entire psychical life of the human being was such that it consisted only in perceptions. This was a form of sensualism, and Protagoras believed that the world could only be perceived through the senses. This was also related… [read more]


Philosophy Socrates to Sartre and Beyond Term Paper

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Philosophy

Socrates to Sartre and Beyond: A History of Philosophy

In Socrates to Sartre and Beyond: A History of Philosophy Samuel Enoch Stumpf and his co-author James Fieser might seem to be taking upon themselves an impossible and unwieldy task. As the title of their work proclaims, they strive to show a line of intellectual continuity between the earliest ancient… [read more]


Chaos and Order How Philosophy Got Started Term Paper

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Chaos and Order: How Philosophy Got Started

Werner J. Krieglstein (2002) talks about chaos and order and how these two conditions have played on the thinking of mankind from his earliest days, as he realized he did not have the answers to the all things in the universe. Here, with the ancient contemplations of the universe around him, and the curiosity about man's own presence on earth as he gazes upward and sees the universe above him, the earth beneath him, and suddenly feels the need to explain his self in the presence of these more enormous aspects of heaven, earth, the moon and the sun. This is when philosophy began, although there is probably no way to say at exactly what moment and by whom it began; it is clear, and very well discussed by Krieglstein in Compassion: A New Philosophy of the Other (27-33).

Krieglstein introduces the Greek and Egyptian strategies for the creation of man and the universe and earth; and in introducing these ancient concepts, the ways in which the ancients went about creating stories to make sense of existence, is for the Egyptians, when they decided there was, out of the chaos of nothingness, a fluid snake-like intelligence, that took the shape of "something" other than man, and became the first God, Atum, who was simultaneously Ra (the sun God), and who created six other gods, before turning to the task of creating man.

The Greeks, took, looked around themselves and realized that they were in the midst of something much greater than themselves either individually or collectively. "Who could blame the Greeks when they preferred the light of reason to chaos? (Krieglstein 27)." So it began, at least as Krieglestein describes the and ancient Egyptians, that at least those two groups began philosophizing about making order from chaos; which is what the psyche of mankind needs, to make sense of that which is unknown to him. This is why Krieglestein mentions that chaos occupied a place in the minds of the ancients (27). It is the nature of ratio (reason), for mankind to attempt to make sense of chaos, to convert chaos to order, to harness the energy of chaos - because the ancients realized, too, that there was an energy in chaos - and to convert that energy to ratio (28-29).

It is no surprise, then, that this need to make reason or order from chaos lead not just philosophy, but to science too (29). History shows the continual efforts, through science, make ratio of chaos (29). Krieglestein talks about Descarte's philosophy of rationalism, and Kant's realm of necessity (29). Each of these men, like the ancients, was consumed with the need to make sense out of that which defied logic, in science and in philosophy.

The Newtonian world view left its mark on sociology and psychology. Marxist sociology declared the human being a product of historical forces, while capitalism put more emphasis on the chaotic twists and turns of the marketplace to… [read more]


Critique of a Postmodern Philosophy Thomas Kuhn Term Paper

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Postmodern Philosophy

Philosophers over the course of history had been trying to find the answers to questions comprises of HOW, WHEN, WHO and WHAT. They apply these query terms to every phenomenon whether it is related to nature or human existence, whether it is the question formation of universe or it is about its end.

From the medieval age till… [read more]


History of ED Theory and Philosophy in US Schools Term Paper

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Educational theory and Philosophy in U.S. schools

Educational Theory and Philosophy during 1950's

During the 1950s one of the concentrations for most of the educational theories were the existing "isms" and how they coincided with education. Some of the most common "isms" were "experimentalism," "re-constructionism" and "progressivism" and these were directly proportional to any educational analysis. However, most researchers that… [read more]


Philosophers and the Development of the Age OS Reason Term Paper

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Age of Reason / Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Reason & the Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Reason is generally considered a separate movement in 17th and early 18th Century Europe, which preceded - and led into - the Age of Enlightenment; it is also commonplace to approach both eras as having overlapping boundaries - and hence, they… [read more]


What Is Progress for the Philosophy of History? Term Paper

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¶ … progress' for the Philosophy of History

Political Activities Change History

Essentially, progress for the Philosophy of History can be summed up in a single word: action. The nature of such action, of course, depends on the ones who are the authorities of those actions. However, upon reading excerpts from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels the German Ideology and… [read more]


Induction Discussions Across the Centuries: David Hum Term Paper

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Induction

Discussions Across the Centuries: David Hum, Paul Edwards, and the Ongoing problem of Induction

Though the pages of a philosophy textbook might seem full of dusty long-dead men, the logical progressions and conclusions outlined by these men do not occur in isolation, and philosophy as a body of knowledge is far from a series of isolated and independent conjectures. Instead, philosophy operates as a dialogue spanning the millennia of human investigation into problems of knowledge, reality, and purpose, with the arguments and conclusions of philosophers long past still serving as points of departure for more contemporary thinkers. Some problems continue to evolve as this dialogue progresses, with agreements found and foundational arguments generally accepted and built upon, yet for certain other issues the discussion remains at early stages for centuries at a time.

The problem of induction is one of the latter type of philosophical problems in its fundamental lack of progress despite centuries of discussion. This is not to say that arguments in this area have not led to more sophisticated and detailed examinations of the problem as some of philosophy's best and brightest have turned their attention to the issue, but ultimately no real progress has been made in developing a solution to the induction dilemma that has been generally accepted or not strongly refuted or limited by the same fundamental problems originally identified. This could lead to the obvious conclusion, of course, that the problem might not have a solution, however this is not something that can be concluded lightly.

Two arguments spanning much of the period during which the problem of induction has been a focus of certain philosophers will be detailed and examined below. David Hume's identification of the problem, which is considered by many to be the first true codification and definition of the problem of induction (though Hume never used that specific term), occurs in his an Enquiry on Human Understanding, first appearing in the eighteenth century. Paul Edwards, a twentieth century philosopher, dealt with the problem explicitly by addressing Bertrand Russell's own definition of the problem, however his argument finds a dialogue with Hume's description of the problem just as directly. Through an examination and comparison of Hume and Edwards' arguments on the problem of induction, it can be seen that although the problem can be sidestepped it still cannot be solved.

Hume's Definition of the Problem of Induction

Hume distinguishes between two kinds of true knowledge: relations of ideas and matters of fact. Relations of ideas are logically coherent and self-evident in and of themselves, such as the statement "all apples are pieces of fruit;" apples are by their very definition pieces of fruit, and therefore any contradiction of this statement can be demonstrated to be logically inconsistent without appeal to any further observations, relations, or facts. Matters of fact are essentially things that are directly observable, such as "the shower is on." The truth of this statement can be determined through simple and direct observation; either the shower is… [read more]


Philosophy of Science as Developed Term Paper

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The world's real circumstances, unlike numbers or abstract Ps or not-Ps, are always in a state of flux. (Boyd, 2004)

Empiricists stressed the need to verify statements with sensory data in all possible situations, thus providing one of the founding philosophies of the sceintific method of experimentation. Hume, stressed that all the materials of thinking, also known as perceptions are derived either from sensation or "outward sentiment" or from reflection otherwise known as "inward sentiment." Hume divided perceptions into two categories, distinguished by their different degrees of force and vivacity. Our "more feeble" perceptions, ideas, were ultimately derived from our livelier impressions. One can only imagine a horse after one has seen a horse in life, or at least a picture of one. (Morris, 2001)

Hume calls ideas feebler because of his copy thesis; he argues that all ideas are ultimately copied from impressions. That is, for any idea we select, we can trace the component parts of that idea to some external sensation or internal feeling. Thus, ideas are always once removed from the truth -- an idea of a horse is inferior when produced from a copy, as opposed to the sight of a real thing. (Feiser, 2004)

In dealing with abstract notions of morality, this becomes problematic -- how can one prove if God exists, as one cannot prove by Hume's observable criteria that God does not exist, according to the central tenant of verifiable theory? God, and even abstract political concepts such as democracy and the inalienable rights of human beings cannot be verified in Hume because they cannot be proven true or false as theories in absolute. But although somewhat limited, the empiricist, logical positivist theory of verifiability in science is a bracing and refreshing reminder of the limits of the ability of philosophy to define in the abstract 'the good' and the 'moral' outside of situations in life.

Works Cited

Boyd, Richard. "Confirmation, Semantics and the Interpretation of Scientific Theory." http://www.rpi.edu/~eglash/eglash.dir/SST/boyd.htm

Feiser. James. "David Hume (1711-1776): Metaphysics and Epistemology." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/humeepis.htm

Logic: The Verifiability Theory of meaning. Theology Web. 11 Dec 2004

http://www.theology.edu/logic/logic10.htm

Logical Positivism. Fact web assembled by W. Payne. 11 Dec 2004

http://facweb.bcc.ctc.edu/wpayne/logical_positivism.htm

Morris, William Edward, "David Hume," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2001 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .… [read more]


My Philosophy Over Different Philosophers Scientists Term Paper

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Philosophy

My philosophy over different philosophers/scientists

In a book by that title, Paul Kurtz asks, "science and religion: are they compatible?" His answer is that though both may be valid, they are only minimally compatible. Religion, he suggests, is the creative and poetic expression of the human imagination which seeks to create answers to those unexplained aspects of life which… [read more]


Reason Mind and Body Term Paper

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Reason Mind Body

The philosophers of ancient Greece were the first western thinkers to develop the notion of reason, and specifically, to investigate how far reason can take human beings in their search for understanding of the world and themselves. Essentially, reason refers to logic or rational thinking; it stems from the idea that every characteristic of the world that… [read more]


Hegel's Historical Narrative Philosophy of History Term Paper

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¶ … GW Hegel's Philosophy of History. The author explores the narrative and his ideas and concepts that are derived from that work. The author also compares and contrasts this work with the beliefs and theories of Karl Marx. The author uses four sources to underscore the important points of this paper.

Often times writers, historians and philosophers develop their… [read more]


Science vs. Philosophy: Return to Unity Term Paper

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Relationship/Science-Philosophy

The Relationship Between Science and Philosophy: Return to Unity is predicated on the concept that the dichotomy between the two disciplines was artificially created in order to achieve various desirable ends, and that this dichotomy now no longer serves mankind and is being replaced by a 'discipline' that not only brings science and philosophy into relationship, but virtually unifies… [read more]


Philosophy Field Trip Realism Term Paper

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This agreement is necessary because a belief is what one is prepared to act upon, and only actions based on beliefs that agree with the facts promise to head to the desired outcomes.

Pragmatists recognize that human beings are within nature rather than looking at nature from the outside in. Human beings interact with nature, and human intelligence is social.… [read more]


Medieval Philosophy Term Paper

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5 (Gersh, 1998, p. 123)

At about this same point in history, it is important to note that collections of texts were being made. Mckitterick & Marenbon, (1998, p. 97) offer this comment, "Sometime before 814, Archbishop Leidrad of Lyons presented a comprehensive collection of philosophical treatises to his cathedral library." These writers follow up withi an extensive list of… [read more]


Philosophy of Mind When Thinking About Essay

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Philosophy of Mind

When thinking about philosophy, it is a general conception that philosophy resides in the mind. In other words, thought is the main residence of philosophy. This has been recognized by philosophers throughout the ages. Even today, modern philosophers recognize that the mind and thought are the ruling domains of philosophy. When considering specific philosophical concepts like the external world and the individual's relationship to it, as well as memory, learning, and new friendships, it is clear that the mind plays a significant role in how philosophy is used to make sense of living and being.

Thomas Nagel, for example, created the work What does it all mean? To bring philosophy ot a more general audience. One of the areas of philosophy that this author considers is those things that are outside the mind. Nagel provides evidence that some consider the world outside the mind as non-existent. This philosophy is referred to as solipsism. In this philosophy, Nagel suggests that some believe that there is nothing outside of the individual mind. Since no sense impressions can be said to exist outside the individual mind, those who subscribe to solipsism believe that there is no external world, and that all experiences exist only in the mind.

Nagel, however, does not appear to support this conclusion. One of the reasons for this is the fact that solipsism is a relatively extreme philosophy, not to mention that it is also a lonely one. Believing that there is no world outside that created by the individual mind makes all things, including friendship and other people, a mere illusion created by the mind ot make the individual experience more entertaining and interesting.

Instead, the author seems to support the view that there is no conclusive answer to the question whether there exists anything outside the mind or not. Indeed, Nagel directly states that solipsism is not his conclusion at all. He does not provide a very specific conclusion that does support his specific view. Nevertheless, while Nagel seems to support the view that there is little outside of the mind that can be supported by conclusive evidence, he is more prone to supporting the idea that there really is little beyond the individual sense experience that can be verified conclusively without doubting the evidence. One thing that the author does assert is that existing evidence does not warrant the existence of one single soul in the reality experienced by the individual.

For this reason, Nagel seems more prone to the skepticist view, that there simply is no way to know whether there is indeed a world beyond the one experienced by the individual. The author goes even further by suggesting that there is no certainty to suggest that there are indeed the past existence and experience that reside in our memory. Nobody can be certain that he or she existed before the experience of the now.

Nagel's conclusion seems somewhat inconclusive in terms of a persona conclusion relating to what he believes about… [read more]


Experimental Philosophy Williamson's Criicisms Term Paper

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I also agree with Williamson when he argues that the methodology of experimental philosophy is dubious. In particular, the ambition of experimental philosophy to collect a wide range of responses to identify any gaps in theory seems impracticable because of the size and diversity of the population. Williamson (p. 3) also acknowledges that such an approach would result in a gigantic task of data collection through surveys. This would consume a large amount of time and would be less likely to offer meaningful insight into the reality of a thing rather than in what Williamson calls "the concept of X" (p. 1). I also agree with Williamson criticism of the absence of expertise in this proposed revolutionary approach. Since the data would be collected from lay people, the role of expert opinion based on the traditions and principles of philosophical questioning would be minimized to an insignificant role. Any philosophical enquiry cannot be complete without the inclusion of expert opinion.

From Williamson's Article, it also appears that the experimental philosophers have failed to appreciate the diversity of the population. It is also the assumption of uniformity in their analysis of philosophical intuition that is unsettling. There is greater diversity among human beings in terms of social, cultural and intellectual factors. Globalization has brought about greater specialization and compartmentalization in society. Hence, any segment of the population with reasonable uniformity in terms of the above factors would not yield any meaningful results that could be used to construct a philosophical theory.

On the other hand, attempting to extract generalizable findings from the data collected from a large and diverse population would also not be a productive exercise. Therefore, I find Williamson to be justified when he fails to find any clarity in the ideas projected in the shape of experimental philosophy.

Williamson's claim that experimental philosophy does not stand up to testing of its assumptions is also true. Williamson (p. 5-6) effectively illustrates the confusion with which experimental philosophy attempts to distinguish concepts such as contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism on the one hand, and conceptual competence and conceptual performance on the other. Particularly, in the discussion of conceptual competence and conceptual performance, Alexander fails to consider the role of perception. He also fails to explain the factors that act a source of interference in conceptual performance. Since philosophy deals with abstract concepts and reality, it is essential that any discussion of terms should be clear, which the experimental philosophers fail to do successfully.

In the exuberance for giving precedence to survey findings, experimental philosophy undermines the importance of philosophical intuition to its own detriment. It negates the significant contribution of hypothetical cases as well as cases from real life to the study of philosophical questions. Williamson (p. 7) is to be appreciated for highlighting that real-life cases are also verified through perceptual evidence which lends credibility to the role of philosophical intuition. Hence, the complete ban on the use of examples to inform philosophical theory is unjustified and does not amount… [read more]


Logical Errors Book Review

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The ad hominem fallacy

Where one verbally abuses the opponent.

5. The red herring

Another famous fallacy that diverts our attention from the issues at hand. McInerny gives the example of a debate by two chemists over introducing a new line of fertilizer. One chemist, realizing he is losing the argument, deflects the issue to a recently denied pay raise.

6. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Confusing causality with effect. This occurs just as much in science as in theology or, in fact, in every part of life and is a common fallacy. A caveman sees the singing of the birds accompanied by the rising of the sun and therefore concludes that the bird's singing 'pushed' up the sun. One phenomenon, although occurring before or correspondent to the other, need not necessarily mean that it produces the other.

The above were just six of the 28 fallacies that McInerny describes and wonderfully illustrates in part Five. Comprehensive and relevant, we are bound to leave the book a better thinker.

The jacket description touts the book in the following terms:

Whether you are a student or a teacher, a professional honing your career skills or a generalist devoted to the fine points of thought and expression, you are sure to find "Being Logical" an invaluable guide to reasoning.

I concur.

Source

D.Q.…… [read more]


Fichte Separate Right From Morality Term Paper

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This is through examination of the unique roles of ethics and rights in controlling and determining interactions between individuals within the society. Ethics forms part of the first principle in relation to the illustration by Fichte as he seeks to build on the ground by Kant on the systems of ethics. Rights on the other hand focus on the second principle relating to the recognition of the rights of other individuals and institutions within the society. Ethics aims at promoting relationship among individuals within the society and aspect of self-awareness as a motive for the demonstration of morality. This differentiation is essential in limitation and enhancement of the freedom of the human beings within the society (Fichte 2007). This is through formulation of the laws and regulations as the external spheres for the management of interactions of the individuals in the community.

It is uncertain to determine whether Fichte was liberal in relation to the illustration of the concepts and philosophical views. This relates to the differentiation of the political views, human rights, and ethics in relation to existence within the community. Fichte is liberal in consideration to his views or expressions of the concept of individual rights in relation to privacy and personal freedom. Despite this expression of liberalism in the context of personal rights and freedom, Fichte is anti-liberal with reference to the economic sphere affecting interaction or actions of other individuals within the society. This is an indication that the original rights of an individual should be respected and recognized. According to the views of Fichte in the examination of the differences between rights and ethics, it is ideal to note the existence of the state's right interference from the protective perspective. State or government interferes with the rights of an individual with the aim of offering maximum protection to the actions and freedom of other beings across the globe. Differentiation of rights and ethics at the personal level is essential in the guidance of effective and efficient behaviour thus an opportunity for controlling or limiting action of individuals in the society (Fichte 2007).

It is also vital to differentiate between rights and ethics to facilitate effective and efficient thinking and reasoning thus fostering adequate relationship among individuals. Fichte notes that the concepts of rights and ethics are complex thus the need to study them in isolation for the purposes of simplicity or effectively analysis. This makes it advantageous for an individual in understanding the concept of ethics and rights. Differentiation of rights and ethics is also vital in enhancing evaluation of other rights such as the concept of right to property within the society. Individuals have the opportunity to monitor and enhance their freedom through implementation of the laws and regulations for the purposes of limitation of actions of the free beings within the society (Fichte 2007). Differentiation of the rights and ethics also provides an opportunity for the adoption and implementation of specific definition of the terms and their interpretation in the context of the… [read more]


Plato and the Apology Essay

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Plato and the Apology

Philosophy is an intellectual discipline that exercises logic and reason in its quest to comprehend reality. Philosophy always seeks answers to the fundamental questions of life. It also tries to answer the question concerning human nature, morality and knowledge. Every dimension of life, from the composition of democratic governments to computer software, has its origin in… [read more]


Trial and Death of Socrates Essay

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Trial and Death of Socrates

Why did Socrates think that it was illogical for a virtuous person to be afraid of death?

It should be established first of all that Socrates is virtuous and he deals in logic. His Socratic dialogues (recorded by Plato) delve into the logic of almost everything believed and stated. In Socrates' response to the Athenian jury (that condemned him to death) he mentions that while he has "never" done any "wrong" to any one "intentionally," he didn't really have time to defend himself. That said, he cleverly states that since he's done no wrong to anyone, why would he then do wrong to himself "…by asserting that I deserve some evil and to make some such assessment against myself?" (like death) (37-b). "I should have to be inordinately fond of life, gentlemen of the jury," he continued, to assume that other men would put up with my conversation (37-d).

What reason does Socrates give for preferring death to living? For one thing, he says "You see by my age, that I am already advanced in years and close to death," and he added that if the jury had waited a little longer to put him on trial he could have saved them the trouble because he would have met his mortality "…of its own accord" (38-c). He goes on to say that he could have used "…lamentations and tears" and could have begged for his life but that would have been "unworthy of me"; begging and saying things that are untrue in his own defence are the things the jury was "…accustomed to hear from others" (38-e). And here is a very good passage that illustrates his preference to being condemned to death rather than be allowed to live:

"I would rather die after this kind of defence than live after making the other kind" because neither he, Socrates nor "…neither any other man should, on trial or in war, contrive to avoid death at any cost" (38-e / 39-a). In other words Socrates wanted his integrity to remain intact even after he was gone; he wanted his legacy to be that of a man who sought honesty in all he did. And he made the point that just because young people gathered around him and emulated his questioning style that was no reason to be condemned to death; but if it is the desire of the jury to convict him, as a virtuous person, he does not fear death. Being condemned to death "perhaps had to happen, and I think it is as it should be" (39-b). He believes in his logic that there is "great hope" that "death is a blessing"; if death is truly like "a dreamless sleep" (again, his logic) "for all eternity" than "…what greater blessing could there be, gentlemen of the jury?" (40-d / 40-e).

Once again, because he is virtuous, he turns to logic when he alludes to Minos and Radamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, all "demi-gods who… [read more]


Pure Reason Underscores the Theory Essay

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As such, the categories would be part of a process that would justify beliefs or infer new beliefs. The fallacy of accident and generalization would represent such processes.

Further enumerating lacking elements of Kant's categories are the processes of comparison and change. The business of classifying and distinguishing involves the process of comparison. Within the second class of category, Of… [read more]


Scandal in Philosophy in Soccio Essay

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However, in the colonial possessions of Great Britain (Ireland and Scotland) would arise the Enlightenment philosophers who issue a stern wake-up call to the blithe post-Cartesian rationalists who do not attend to sensory evidence. The first of these is John Locke, who is considered to be the classic Empiricist. Locke recognized that, in the wake of Cartesian dualism, there were significant epistemological questions to be answered: what are the origins of our ideas, for example? Descartes had believed in the existence of "innate ideas" which existed "a priori," almost as a built-in condition of thought itself: these included such things as mathematical statements of identity (2 + 2 = 4) and the basic facts of geometry. To a certain degree, Descartes' thinking on this matter is not as odd as it may sound: in Plato's Meno, Socrates takes great effort in asking Meno's uneducated slave-boy, in plain language through the questioning Socratic method, to conclude with universal geometrical truths that he had never been taught. For Platonic dualism, these geometrical truths indicated the existence of a kind of purity of knowledge and intent in the realm of the Forms, which is why the boy is able to access them despite no prior instruction (or so Socrates seems to prove) -- Socrates and Plato hold to the belief that knowledge is "anamnesis" or "un-forgetting" of eternal truths known by the soul due to its participation in the realm of the Forms. In Cartesian dualism, the geometrical and mathematical proofs actually serve more to indicate the existence of a world outside the mind. Of course Locke challenges the notion that somehow these mathematical ideas could be pre-existing in the mind with his famous definition of mind as a "tabula rasa" or… [read more]


Philosophy and Theoretical Frameworks Fit Questionnaire

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¶ … philosophy and theoretical frameworks fit into the overall process of research? In its most basic form, the theoretical framework of research relates to the philosophical basis on which the research occurs, forming the link between the theoretical and practical aspects of the research. Identification of methodology forms a philosophical bias, following the scientific method, and forms the overall… [read more]


Thomas Aquinas and God Essay

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For example, it takes some faith to grope around a room in the dark. The person trusts that the furniture has not moved and that there are no hidden disasters. Yet ultimately, it is reason that informs most thought in the tangible, transient universe. Likewise, the realm of God is best understood with faith but there are times reason can be used to grope around the spiritual darkness that is doubt and uncertainty. Aquinas's logic is remarkably solid, even though there are core assumptions about the universe that are not fully reconcilable with reason in an absolute way. The ways of knowing God are internally valid, even if they are not infallible arguments. God is not, for example, a necessary prime mover. The universe could be simultaneously nothing and something, but Aquinas remains completely unwilling to allow for the possibility that the universe was never created. A discomfort with nothingness and uncertainty is fully reasonable, which is why Aquinas's argument has its internal validity. The faith that Aquinas values and presumes is one that comfortably coexists with reason; and the reason that Aquinas uses in his arguments coincides with the philosopher's faith.

According to Thomas Aquinas, faith is fully compatible with reason. Whereas faith is a superior method of ascertaining God, reason is often necessary for overcoming mental or cognitive hindrances to accepting the reality of God. Aquinas's argument related to the ways of knowing God provides a core framework for how one can present God to those who have weak faith. Ultimately, Aquinas distinguishes between the type of faith that is evident in absolute or mystical conviction; and the type of faith that is more intellectual in tone.

Work Cited

Aquinas, Thomas. On Politics and Ethics. Trans. Sigmund, P.W.W. Norton, 1987.… [read more]


Neo-Confucianism Is a Philosophy Research Paper

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Knowing your own mind is the access to the truth and once the truth has been achieved the individual is free to apply that knowledge upon himself.
If one should compare Confucianism and neo- Confucianism it should be stated that for both currents of thought the family is a very important element. It is the starting point and the central… [read more]


Philosophy of Religion Essay

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Philosophy of Religion

Throughout the past years there have been attempts by various religious followers to put forward a proof of God's, this included not only Christian philosophers but also the Jewish and Muslim philosophers, which has led to the development of a catalog of arguments. All the philosophies developed have faced a number of controversies leading to their revision and refinement over the years and also development of new ones. These arguments are categorized as The Cosmological Argument, The Ontological Argument, Pascal's Wager, The Teleological Argument, The Argument from Religious Experience, and The Moral Argument.

Among the most referred to philosophers are Thomas Aquinas and St. Anselm. The former has a cosmological argument about God's existence while the latter has an ontological argument over the same. A cosmological argument is the argument based on the existence of the universe in relation to the existence of a being that brought about its existence and maintains it whereas the ontological argument tries to prove the existence of God using exclusively abstract reasoning.

The arguments

Anselm's ontological argument takes a hypothesis and proves that it is an acceptable thus false. He uses a hypothesis that God does not exist and it is this that is supposed to conflict the concept that God is "that than which no greater can be perceived

." He argues that if God is that than which no greater can be conceived then nothing greater than God can be imagined. In case God does not exist then something greater than God can be imagined such as a God that does not exist. Anselm therefore concludes his argument using a five-point argument which says: God is that than which no greater can be conceived; this therefore means that there is nothing greater than God that can be imagined; therefore there is nothing imaginable that can be greater than God; but if God does not exist then there is something imaginable that is greater than God; therefore God exists (Williams, 2007).

On the other hand, Aquinas' cosmological argument is built up around a distinction between that which necessarily exists and that which is contingent that is to say a distinction between things that must exist in all possible worlds and a thing that may go out of existence. Using this he sets up a contrary position and then proves it wrong by first accepting that all things are contingent. He disapproves the idea of contingent things by arguing that if that was the case then nothing would be in existence at the moment. He therefore supports the idea of necessary existence and states that there is a hierarchy in which case each lower necessary existent thing depends on the higher to infinity but says this needs to be explained (McDermott, 1993). He concludes that God is the self-explaining necessary being as understood by humans and goes further to define God as "The self-explaining necessary existence upon which all things are contingent in all possible worlds

On a closer look at… [read more]


Wo Quine's Modal Logic Term Paper

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Modal realism, as explicated by David Lewis in his work on the Plurality of Worlds, concerns the infinity of possibilities. On Lewis's view, there are infinite possibilities of worlds, where an infinite number of individuals are living an infinite amount of lives. This idea relates closely to the increasingly recognized concept of the "Multiverse," where more than one universe exist… [read more]


Continental Philosophy Essay

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Continental Philosophy

With the objective of describing the historical development surrounding continental philosophy's existentialism and phenomenology as a response to Hegelian idealism, I believe that it is fitting to first provide an overview of the ideas of Hegel. What indeed, is this Hegelian idealism?

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is indisputably one of the many important thinkers of Western philosophy. He has influenced the works of many succeeding thinkers -- Karl Marx is notably one of them (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006). He belonged in a distinct period in philosophy known as "German idealism," which is Germany's response to the period of Enlightenment.

Hegel argued against Kant's philosophy of the inescapability of human ignorance. Instead, he maintained that the realization of fullest human potentials is not through the determined processes of the mind but through dialectics; of free and reflective intellects (Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2008a). Hegel's dialectics, or the dialectical activity of the human mind is centered on the idea that every concept has an opposite, a result of this conflict is the synthesis of ideas. This synthesis is placed on the domain of higher level of truth. Moreover, Hegel's idealism maintains that through evolution, the human mind shall arrive at the highest level of awareness and freedom -- the realization of its fullest human potential (Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2008b).

Given this nature of thought, a response to Hegelian idealism came in the form what is now known as Continental philosophy. Within this broad array of thought, we can find its many strands: existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction and critical theory (faxed material, date). This article shall focus on existentialism and phenomenology, particularly its principal contributors and specific issues it entails.

Existentialism

Existentialism faces the fact that existential predicament may not be solved. If we do not accept this fact much honesty this kind of fact, then life is headed towards deterioration. If we do not struggle with problems that envelope our very existence, then we will not find the meaning and value of life. These rather dark truths have long been espoused by thinkers such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Soren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche as a response to the optimism found in Hegelian idealism, i.e. that human mind is in constant progression towards total freedom and realization of its potentials (ibid).

Kierkegaard objected Hegel's stance on the rationality of things as the former emphasized that the world is defined by irrationalities -- the world is a place where suffering, death, and dread are inescapable. Hence, the utility of philosophy must lie on its ability to speak to the anguished individual living in this irrational world and at the same time confronted by decisions that need to be made (ibid).

Nietzsche, having been influenced by the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer, also…… [read more]


Educational Philosophy Statement Thesis

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Educational Philosophy Statement

What do you think is real, true, good, beautiful and logical?

The English poet John Keats wrote in his poem entitled "Ode to a Grecian Urn": "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Keats meant that beauty was synonymous with the kind of logical perfection and truth evident in great art. Keats also meant for a work of art to be beautiful, it needed to be truthful and have some correspondence with reality. For example, a pretty story that suggests good people are always rewarded and the wicked are always punished, does not meet Keats' standards of beauty and truth. Stories may be fictional and great works of art, but even fiction must contain some insight about the human condition to ensure that it constitutes great art. Great art teaches, just as teachers teach great art. Thus, I would add that beauty is not only truth, truth beauty: beauty is what is real, good, and logical as well. All of these values are tied together

Keats wrote these lines while gazing at a Grecian urn, while he observed painted people on the vase in constant pursuit, youthful and in love, but never realizing their passion. He said that the images on the Grecian urn were truthful because it captured a moment in time that many people experience when a relationship is just beginning and everything in life seems joyful. Youth and enthusiasm are beautiful, of course. However, I believe if the urn were transformed into a story and suggested that love was always perfect, then the story would not be beautiful because it would not be fully truthful and have a logical structure to its tale. The urn is only about one moment in time, unlike a story.

A story may not be factually truthful but it must at least contain truthful insights. It must reflect the reality that most of us experience. Even the most sublime love story of all time, "Romeo and Juliet," shows not only the beauty of love but how even the most innocent and committed young people in love cannot avoid being injured by the ugly societal forces of family hate and adult manipulation. The synonymous nature of truth, realism, goodness, logic and beauty is why many individuals experience only a guilty pleasure when they watch bad, unrealistic television programs that merely tell them fantasy stories about the world, and have no basis in reality and truth. These stories often contain scenes that are not logical with the real narrative structure and created world of the story, but are merely included because they are sensationalist -- or because they promote a sponsor's product.

Of course, a great fictional story may edit out some aspects of mundane existence, but a good story creates a sense of 'yes, I agree,' and 'yes, I understand' in the hearts of a reader or viewer. A beautifully painted picture or statue that is sublime… [read more]


Universals in Medieval Philosophy Essay

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¶ … Universals in medieval philosophy

How do we know something is always, universally true and applicable to every single situation in an unerring and absolute manner? This is one of the oldest problems in philosophy, known as the problem of the 'universals.' In medieval philosophy, this formulation was specifically configured by Boethius to posit the apparent paradox that nothing can be 'universal' because it is never isolated from other parts of things that affect its nature. In other words, everything exists only 'in context.' According to Boethius, a universal has to conform to several particulars. It must exist "in its entirety, and not only in part," that is, as a self-contained substance, "simultaneously, and not in a temporal succession," in other words, it should not be reliant upon a certain and specific series of causes and "it should constitute the substance of its particulars" in other words, it should be unadulterated.

Universals are the primary propositions of deductive logic, for example: Socrates is a man, all men are mortal, and therefore Socrates is mortal. However, while this proposition is a universal validity within the construct created by the person writing the syllogism, and it is perfectly possible to create a deductive syllogism based upon a universal in abstract philosophy, whether universals exist in the 'real world' still remains an open and far-from decided question. After all, "If no perfect example of a member of a universal exists in the world of experience, how can people be able to judge what fits into a universal and what does not? In short, how do people learn about universals if not through experience? Plato said that universals have a real existence independent of human beings and that the individual soul 'experiences' these universals, of 'forms' in the special realm in which the soul resides before birth. The individual is then born with a 'memory' of these forms. In short, Plato argued that people are born with innate patterns of thought and what we were capable of apprehending through these categories constituted universal knowledge." The Medieval scholastics extended upon this line of thinking in what eventually became a debate between rationalists and nominalist theologians. The Realists said that certain Platonic universal truths and substances did exist, while the Nominalists said that the idea of a universal was merely a name or 'nomen' that people gave to a category of what was really subjective experience. In short, calling…… [read more]


Plato the Failure of Rationalism: A Response Term Paper

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Plato

The failure of rationalism: A response to Plato and Descartes

In the "Republic," the ancient Greek rationalist Socrates admits that, to a great extent, his vision of an ideal society is just that -- an ideal. The concept of a world governed solely by philosopher kings cannot be perfectly realized, but as a 'Platonic ideal' he states that it is necessary to critically engage with this concept. His theoretical societal 'form' is perfect, he alleges, because it is supremely rational, with every individual perfectly placed in his or her social category, as determined by his or her innate abilities. Nothing is left to chance, in his world governed by philosopher kings, everything is rationally determined.

Plato's ideal begs us to ask a very obvious question: how rational can a society be, if it offers no guidance as to how to negotiate the complexities of lived reality? What of the possibilities of these 'ideal' philosophers becoming tyrants? After all, communists believed that their society was a philosophical 'ideal.' And within the philosophical community, every now and then, an idealist philosopher rears his ugly head (as opposed to an idealistic philosopher) who explains how, for example, eugenics might be morally justified in theory, even though such a policy might lead to genocide and a very clumsily executed form of genocide at that, given that no human being really possesses the wisdom to impartially decide who will live and die. Believing that a rational system of governance or just rationality on an abstract level can exist in an objective fashion, without reference to the irrational, ugly, or biased impulses in human nature is perhaps the most 'irrational' idea of all.

One of the great ironies of the limits of philosophical rationalism is seen in the example of Rene Descartes, who famously resolved that there was 'proof' of human existence, and God, because there must be a 'being' doing his thinking and meditating, a being somehow separate from the body. Descartes could not have known that modern scientific research would yield the stunning finding that it is the body that produces the mind, not vice versa (Descartes believed that somatic or bodily awareness came after the coming into being of consciousness and one's spiritual birth as a human entity). However, damage to the body, such as occurs during a stroke, is a sobering reminder of how easily one's thought patterns can alter our rational deductive capacity because of physical, neurological damage. This is one reason why Charles Darwin's findings were so disturbing to religious individuals, because he highlighted how human consciousness, as well as the human body, did not suddenly generate from nothing, but rather roots in physical, slowly evolving human evolution.

It might be argued that what Darwin discovered with deductive logic could not have been possible, or at least, was supported by the author Francis Bacon's earlier stress on the need to restore the senses to their appropriate place in finding out what was the correct way to apprehend reality. Bacon's… [read more]


My Philosophy of Nonviolence Term Paper

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Philosophy of Nonviolence

It is tragic that even in these advanced times, violence is still so prevalent in our society. While the most prominent recent example of this is the 9/11 attacks, violence is a worldwide phenomenon, particularly in the political arena, and particularly where certain sectors of society find themselves oppressed. Sadly, examples are almost too numerous to choose from. Indeed, it appears that in most cases of oppression, violence is seen as the means of solving the problem. In turn, the problem with violence is however that it escalates, resulting in a large amount of lost lives and tragedy that often overshadows the initial purpose of the fight. In solution to this, Martin Luther King suggests his philosophy of nonviolence, based upon his study of Gandhi's philosophical work. Indeed, nonviolence creates a much more powerful form of resistance than violence, because it focuses on friendship rather than enmity. The former accomplishes goals much more effectively than the latter.

What is particularly interesting about King's philosophy is the suggestion that nonviolence is not a passive act of surrender, but rather an active force towards reconciliation rather than escalating violence. Indeed, the 9/11 attacks have proven King's point: violence in response to violence leads only to further violence, and little is resolved as a result.

Furthermore, violence cultivates resistance. The reason for this is that violence is born from resistance in the first place. As such, violence and resistance go hand-in-hand in their cumulative effect. Interestingly, nonviolence has the same cumulative effect, but in a much more positive way. This positive paradigm is what King promoted in his philosophy of nonviolence. When violence is used as a means of resisting political oppression, terrorism, or other unacceptable phenomena, the escalation could lead to widescale atrocities such as riots or further terrorism. This is highly undesirable, particularly from the point-of-view of those aiming for political or social change such as Martin Luther King. Indeed, violent events tend to remove the focus from the atrocity of oppression and…… [read more]


Asian Philosophy Term Paper

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Eastern Philosophy

Think. Don't Think. From the beginning this has been one of the primary differences between Eastern and Western Philosophy. Generally Western systems attempt to think and rationalize a system of philosophy based on experience and create a logic theory on the meaning of life. In Eastern philosophy, thinking is part of the discursive mind and clouds the actual perception of reality, so don't think, experience. In the West experience is explained in words, in the East, words are slowly pealed away so one can experience reality directly. Think. Don't Think. In fact the Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, opens with the following, "The Way that can be told is not the Unvarying Way, the names that can be named are not the unvarying names." (Morre 149) So, in essence, words always fall short of the true meaning of experience. Eastern philosophy must be felt and experienced rather than thought about. In these philosophies there is not just the mind but the heart-mind from which understanding comes, something the west has separated into two distinct entities. It is intelligence vs. emotion instead of a combination of the two when talking about philosophy.

One of these particular concepts is one that is also difficult to translate correctly and that is wu-wei. Initially a Taoist concept, wu-wei si commonly transliterated as inaction, but I believe this allows for a mistaken perception regarding the term. The concept does not seem to call for no activity or no action, but something else more in line with the idea that one should "avoid the error of overdoing" (Morre 150) and flow like the Tao in all things. Perhaps translated using the word, effortlessness, gives one a better understanding of the term. Without thinking…… [read more]


Kant and Mills Moral Philosophy Term Paper

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Kant and Mills Moral Philosophy

Deontological vs. Consequentialist Ethics

The philosophers Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill proposed two opposite definition of ethics. Thus, Kant believes that the only thing that can be called 'good' in itself is the 'good will', that is, the abstract principle from which a certain action is derived. According to Kant, neither the action itself nor the consequences or the results of the action can be considered as good. His argument is that good can be many times the outcome of a self-interested action or of a person's conformity with his or her duty. The will to do good, the intention or the idea that leads to the moral law are the main grounds for morality: "It is impossible to conceive of anything at all in the world...which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will." (Kant, 61) in Kant's view it would be therefore illogical to consider that good in itself can exist in any other form than in the abstract human will. Consequently, the purpose of an action cannot have any moral worth; it is only the maxim that dictates the action which can be considered truly good: "An action done from duty has its moral worth not in the purpose to be attained by it, but in the maxim in accordance with which it is decided upon." (Kant, 67-68) Only the abstract idea or concept that determine the moral law can be termed good: "Nothing but the idea of the law in itself, which admittedly is present only in a rational being, -so far as it and not an expected result is the ground determining the will- can constitute the pre-eminent good which we call moral..."(Kant, 69)

Mill, on the other hand, maintains just the opposite view on ethics: he states that the quality of any act stands in it 'utility', that is, its ability to promote or induce happiness on oneself or on the others. The philosopher thus equates ethics with the result or the purpose of a certain action: "Actions are right in proportion as they promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."(Mill, 7) to guard from a possible misunderstanding, Mill proposes that man, through his superior nature, automatically pursues only higher kinds of pleasure and would never be content…… [read more]


Philosophical Ideals and Contributions to Philosophical Thought Term Paper

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¶ … philosophical ideals and contributions to philosophical thought by the following: a: David Hume b: Aristotle c: Spinoza/Lao Tsu d: Immanuel Kant e: John Stuart Mill a: David Hume had a profound effect on philosophical and political ideas in the modern world. He contributed the philosophy of skepticism, which asks the philosopher to question all standards and traditions with… [read more]


Kant Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Term Paper

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Kant

CRITIQUE of PURE REASON

Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is the great thinker's most critically acclaimed work but the reason for that lies not with the metaphysical content of the book but the critique of metaphysics that it generated. That Kant was a supporter of metaphysics is an indisputable fact but that didn't stop him from criticizing metaphysics where criticism was due. He felt that metaphysics as it was understood in his days did not offer a secure path for science.

In other words, he argued that since metaphysics was too concerned with priori or knowledge that mind just knows, it fails to connect with analytic knowledge that science believes in. For example when we say that 2+2=4, we don't really need two books and two pencils or any four objects to conclude that 2 added to 2 would be four, our mind happens to know this. This is called a priori but science doesn't accept this priori without evidence. It believes in posteriori where we see something to establish its existence. For example when we say that sun is yellow and big, we cannot say that our mind just knew it. Our mind learned this after it had seen the sun outside. A person who for example has never seen the sun wouldn't believe us unless we take him outside and show him the sun. That is science and the fact that metaphysics has failed to establish a connection between the two is why Kant felt that metaphysics did not provide a secure path to science.

In almost the same manner, science fails to connect with metaphysics since it believes in tangible objects. Critiquing metaphysics, Kant wrote that though metaphysics is 'the Queen of all the sciences' (Aviii), the part of it where reason should dwell 'is perpetually being brought to a stand' (Bxiv). This means that reason has not been given a place in metaphysics that focuses too heavily on knowledge or priori. Kant further presents the most basic premise: 'Hitherto it has been assumed that all our knowledge must conform to objects', but since this view had failed to establish any link with metaphysical knowledge, we 'must therefore make trial whether we may not have more success in the tasks of metaphysics, if we suppose that objects must conform to our knowledge...We should then be proceeding precisely on the lines of Copernicus' primary hypothesis', this being the hypothesis of heliocentrism" (Bxvi).

Kant was of the view that reason is important for the establishment of truth. If metaphysics fails to open its knowledge to criticism, it cannot be established as a true science. The only way metaphysics and science can connect is through open examination. It is examination of the truths of any field or branch of study that renders it true or untrue as the case may be. It is this thorough examination that brings greater respect to a field as Kant puts it:

Our age is, in…… [read more]


Naturalist Claims About the Universe Term Paper

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Philosophy

Traditional Naturalist Claims: The Problems Therein

Naturalism is the philosophical position most often advocated by humanists, scientists, and -- obviously -- naturalists. They would have us believe, in the spirit of the 7th century Greek philosopher Thales, that the "natural world [is] a realm of insensate matter and impersonal forces that operate independently of human or supernatural volition" (Prado par. 3-4). The naturalist worldview posits that all phenomena in the universe exist only materially and their functioning can always be explained in mechanistic terms. All philosophers and individuals that put stock in an immaterial world, whether that world is spiritual or otherwise, champion an opposing position. An examination of the traditional claims of naturalism will reveal that the naturalist position is lacking, chiefly because naturalism is a philosophical position not an empirical one. Thus, it is no more deserving of individual faith than a person's belief in the supernatural.

Naturalism believes that the world is constructed and ordered in purely material terms, but there is little evidence to suggest that this is the whole story. For the naturalist, nature is the source of everything in the universe and all rational explanations for phenomena can only be constructed in natural, or material, terms (Dubray par. 1). This position has its value, certainly, because it allows us to analyze phenomena and make reasoned conclusions about the way in which parts of the universe are ordered together. From a material perspective, then, the naturalist position is aptly suited to produce reasonable explanations. However, the staunch naturalist does not simply want to provide material explanations for material phenomena, but instead to insist that there can only be material explanations and material phenomena. Karl Popper, a scientist and critic of this kind of inductive reasoning, explains:

naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an "inductive theory of science") has its value, no doubt. [...] I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of scientific method. (Popper 31)

In other words, and importantly, naturalism fails because it presupposes that the explanations is provides are applicable in all situations, before even understanding individual situations. As Popper points out, this is an "uncritical" stance.

In the same vein, naturalists imagine that all situations and circumstances in the universe have a mechanical explanation; i.e., it is possible to provide a natural explanation of every phenomenon (Dubray par. 3). Worse, this obviously ideological position is not supported by anything but the naturalist's wishful thinking. For example, though evolution is the source of heated debate, no self-respecting scientist would argue that contradictory evidence or poor understanding is a challenge to the eventual discovery of the mechanisms of evolution (Johnson par. 8). There is never a doubt in… [read more]


Compare and Contrast the Differing Definitions of Critical Term Paper

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¶ … integrating critical as well as thinking. But several earlier conceptualizations try to concentrate primarily on the process of thinking and avoid its important qualifier, i.e of critical. Hence they tend to give over importance to the process of thinking and reduce the importance of critical aspects. Encouraging and facilitating the process of critical thinking of students is now… [read more]


Freedom and Reason According to Kant Essay

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Freedom and Reason According to Kant

Immanuel Kant's perspective in regard to the connection between reason and freedom is particularly controversial, as the Prussian philosopher considered that being purely rational is basically the same as being free. It is certainly difficult to understand how one's natural ability to put across pure reasonable thinking can influence the respective person in behaving… [read more]


Black Studies - Philosophy the Value Term Paper

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Black Studies - Philosophy

The value of Philosophy

Every human thought, emotion and action is aimed at adapting to the external environment. However, we as human being do not simply adapt to the environment by controlling the environment, rather we try to find the underlying reason for human existence. The main value in philosophy lies that it engages students in disciplined and imaginative thinking about the philosophical questions that arise naturally in the course of human existence. As human being are not exceptional and in order to become better, we need the influence of souls that are superior to our own. Therefore, it becomes critical for us to study and critically reflect on the readings of Aristotle, Plato, Aquinas, Kant, Dostoyevsky, et al.

By reading these classics, we find that reflection and human thinking about the existence of life is a century's old perennial question.

Philosophy seeks answers to the ultimate questions we ask about God, the universe, and human existence. Philosophy does not claim to know the final answers to all these questions, but it does provide insights for all who reflect seriously on these fundamental issues. The aim of the philosophy thus becomes to analyze arguments and assess the value of various claims to knowledge. As a systematic discipline, philosophy develops an integral view of the world, with a special focus on the human person. As an ethical discipline, philosophy presents an account of the rational principles, which ought to guide one's moral life.

One aim of studying philosophy relies to reason the outlook…… [read more]


Philosophy Don't Dream Term Paper

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" (The Republic) This metaphor was powerfully recreated in the first Matrix movie, in which all of reality was a computer program that a few brave souls go surpass. So Socrates suggests constant thought and vigilance to seek out the world beyond our perception, to see the light beyond that cave of the universe, and to release our bodies from the prisons of their cells.

Yet the unexamined life may not be as imprisoning as Socrates seems to think. Many authors, such as David Abram of the Sensuous Life, speak of the vital and mystical importance of the physical. Socrates, it must be remembered, was generally opposed to the physical and placed it far behind the philosophical in importance. Yet for many millennia before that the wise were those who understood intuitively how to comprehend nature itself. What if the "unexamined life" is not ignorance, but rather a refusal to fill one's head with vain thoughts of some metaphysical reality beyond that which is both spiritual and present. Socrates seems to elevate thinking and examining to a place where it is the pinnacle of all human interactions with the world, yet the possibility exists that humans can just as appropriately approach the world through sensing and feeling and intuiting. What makes examining and dissecting any better than feeling and absorbing? The mere self-congratulatory thoughts of the examiner? Even Socrates will say that "such a one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?... before his eyes had become steady ... would he not be ridiculous?" (Republic) Is it possible that the sun at which such a man looks is not our natural element, and that he does not become enlightened by seeing it, but only blind and ridiculous? Perhaps, like nocturnal animals we were created for darkness and not for light -- would it not be foolish for a bat to try to hunt during the day, or a coyote to sing to the sun? What then makes it wise for a man to try to seek this sun of truth when he was born with eyes for the darkness of the…… [read more]


Philosophy the Greek Philosopher Plato Term Paper

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Augustine, and Taylor.

Locke and Aristotle argue that subsistence to intellectual development shall lead to material progress, a precursor to achieving social progress in human society. Locke demonstrates how the institutionalization of human society serves to temper the desires of humans to accumulate more property and create an imbalance in humanity's properties and resources, while Aristotle's belief in reason and empiricism advocates a learned society that only pursues personal development at the expense of social harmony.

Plato, Rousseau, and St. Augustine echoes Taylor's criticism of the rationalized society in the modern world, wherein the pursuit for intellectual development in order to achieve social progress is achieved at the expense of losing the individual's meaning as a human being. For these philosophers, if rationalization of society means losing the essence of being human by hindering his/her ability to discover and realize his/her potentials and capabilities in life, then social progress will also cease to happen in the modern society. Thus, the path towards rationalization takes into account the individual and his/her interaction with other people in the society.… [read more]


Francis Bacon's Philosophy Regards the Reorganization Term Paper

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¶ … Francis Bacon's philosophy regards the reorganization of the study of science and its potential to amplify a nation's relationship with, and understanding of, God. Solomon's House within "The New Atlantis" exemplifies this relationship, specifically with respect to the division of labor and resources; the ultimate result being a utopic society possessing a closer resemblance to heaven than any… [read more]


Philosophies of Life: Personal Term Paper

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Without this, one definitely runs the risk of being a kind of blind zealot, hedonist, sycophant, or fearful lackey -- none of which would make "choosing life" rather than a Camus-like despair much of an option.

Clearly most that hold a strictly "religious" life philosophy or sense of identity may bristle at the assertion that their beliefs may be grounded in much more diverse origins and sources than the traditionally "sacred" ones they hold dear, simple reality seems to support the hybrid model. After all, although many might imagine that they act wholly from lofty motives, most, if not all humans are the products of their environment (particularly with regard to culture), materialistic, and even hedonistic urges. Should anyone wish to refine their personal philosophies of life, perhaps they should subject themselves to some kind of deep inquiry, after all -- it was good enough for Socrates.

Works Cited

Locke, John. "Some Thoughts Concerning Education." 1693. Retrieved from Web site on May 3, 2005< http://www.socsci.kun.nl/ped/whp/histeduc/locke/locke052.html

Hassad, Craig J. "Depression: dispirited or spiritually deprived?" Medical Journal of Australia. 2000. Web site. Retrieved on May 3, 2005< http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/173_10_201100/hassed/hassed.html

Todd, Oliver. "Albert Camus: A Life." Knopf. New York. 1997.… [read more]


Philosophy Plato's Works on Euthyphro, Apology Essay

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Philosophy

Plato's Works on Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo

These four dialogues describe the discussion of Socrates during times of trial, imprisonment, and execution of Socrates. In the dialogues Euthyphro, approaches the court trying him of atheism, and corruption charges. Similar to how people question the relation of religion and social ethics. From this, Socrates challenges Euthyphro's argument that ethics… [read more]


Aristotle's Poetics Essay

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Aristotle's "poetics" in the context of Plato's "Apology"

Aristotle's "Poetics" is the earliest work that takes on a philosophical approach at discussing literary theory. The concepts that the philosopher puts across throughout this work are essential in getting a more complex understanding of various literary works that have been created across time. Plato's "Apology" is especially important when discussing it from the perspective of Aristotelian philosophy, as readers are virtually enabled to understand the exact intentions of the writer at particular moments. As Plato wanted to put across an account regarding a man who speaks in his own defense with the purpose of convincing others concerning the purity of his thinking he brings on a series of concepts that one is likely to identify in "Poetics."

Catharsis is probably one of the first Aristotelian concepts that a person is probable to observe in Plato's text. Socrates initially wants to clarify matters with the purpose of making it possible for his audience to gain a better understanding of the matter under discussion. By emphasizing the ignorance dominating his thinking he expects his listeners to acknowledge that he is speaking from the perspective of a simple man instead of trying to manipulate their thinking by making use of his oratorical skills.

Socrates' character uses catharsis during his speech with the intention of clearing the minds of the judges, as he is well aware that his accusers have gone through great efforts in order to influence these people's thinking. His claim that the words of his accusers "almost made me forget who I was -- such was the effect of them; and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth" (Plato) were obviously intended to address the clear thinking that he believed dominated the minds of his judges.

The Athenians actually perform an act of tragic hamartia at the point when they actually come to believe that Socrates needs to be harshly punished as a result of his presumed breaking of several laws. Even with this, it is only safe to say that even though Socrates lost in his attempts to convince the judges concerning his innocence, philosophy in general experienced a victory at this point. Socrates actually wants to demonstrate that even though the system uses force in an attempt to control the public, he is beyond the reach of his society's leaders and his philosophy cannot possibly be affected by…… [read more]


Human Nature Throughout History Intelligent Term Paper

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All cultures up to this point had tried to determine the question of human nature and came up with very different interpretations. However, nearly each one eventually found that there was indeed good and evil in the world. Perhaps they argued about what caused people to perform unkind or wicked actions, but no one disputed that there were definitively good… [read more]


Philosophy Analyzing Rembrandt Research Paper

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Thus the painting is a conversation between poetry and philosophy across time. Both men in the painting were Greek, so there is some similarity in culture. This is an interesting consideration if we consider the painting a conversation. Imagine a conversation between American culture in the 17th century and the 21st century in a painting. It would be an intriguing juxtaposition and consideration. This kind of consideration occurs in Rembrandt's painting within Greek culture. Furthermore, it is clear that the painting conveys that there is a conversation between poetry and philosophy. Philosophy and poetry are related and connected; they converse and they appreciate each other. Philosophy respects poetry and has admiration for it. Philosophy remembers poetry and integrates what is poetic into the practice and application of philosophy. Poetry has pride of the philosophy and philosophers that came after or sprang forth after the era of poetry in which Homer was prominent. Poetry looks on with respect and hope toward the philosophy of the future. There is some kind implied approval of philosophy and a kind of hopeful nostalgia from philosophy toward poetry. This is the conversation happening in this painting by Rembrandt as the paper perceives it.

The formal element of the painting upon which the paper focuses is use of light. This is a very dark painting overall. There is a lot of black present. Black, in fact, is the primary color of the painting. Aristotle's cloak and hat are black, as is the majority of the background. The most light that is present is the midsection of the painting, while there is also a bit of light on Aristotle's face, which is slighting above or on the outskirts of the midsection. The light illuminates Aristotle's chest. His chest and torso look strong and straight. His right arm is at chest level as it reaches for the bust and rests his hand atop Homer's head. Homer's head is about at his armpit level, so that it is clear that the majority of the most important content of the painting for Rembrandt happens at the chest level. The strength of philosophy is projected as is the admiration and hope of poetry. The light illuminates Aristotle's face so the viewer can see the eyes and expression. He is aged; he is not a young man, yet there is a clearly projected vitality in his body. The light illuminates his sleeves, which are very baggy and look silken. His clothes are fancy and the most decadent part of the outfit is the sleeves, which again, have the greatest illumination. The quality of the light is slightly different around Homer's bust. It seems to be glowing or that the source of light hitting the bust differs from the source of light illuminating Aristotle. Perhaps the change in light quality represents the past. The past, when it is perceived as good, may have a glow or a stardust quality to it as we remember. We remember the softer, warmer, and brighter parts of… [read more]


Intrinsics the Problem of Temporary Essay

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To put this into perspective the question asked is if perdurantists accept that "the lump [of clay] and the statue are distinct coinciding objects?" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010, p.1) The answer is stated is "in principle, yes, but this would be strategically unwise: accepting the possibility of complete coincidence without identity leaves perdurantism with no advantage over the standard endurantists account of coincidence." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010, p.1)

The perduarantists would do well to heed the advice to claim "that the statue and lump of clay are one and the same object, then come up with some explanation of why they appear to have different properties." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010, p.1) The Endurantist is in a better position in relation to permanent coincidence since whatever solution adopted will additionally deal with permanent coincidence even though in some cases adjustments are needed. The dilemma of whether the lump of clay and the statue are the same object or if they are different objects that take and give molecules to the environment has been debated for many centuries and it is likely that the debate will surely continue between perdurantists and endurantists who both hold that they have a valid reason for believing the way that they each believe.

Bibliography

Brower, JE (nd) Aristotelian Endurantism: A New Solution to the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics. Retrieved from: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~brower/Papers/Aristotelian%20Endurantism.pdf

Craig, WL (2000) The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination. Analysis. Vol. 294. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=puqwbxLW_KQC&dq=Endurance+and+Temporary+intrinsics+and+Haslanger&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Haslanger, S. (1989) Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics. Analysis 49/3. 119-25. Metaphysics: An Anthology. 2ed. Blackwell Publishing. 2012.

Lewis, D. (1986) On the Plurality of World. Chapter 4 John Wiley & Sons. Metaphysics: An Anthology. 2ed (ed) Jaegwon, Kim; Daniel Z. Korman; and Ernest Sosa. Blackwell Publishing. 2012.

Sider, T. (2000) The Stage View and Temporary Intrinsics. Analysis 60. 84088. Retrieved from: http://tedsider.org/papers/stages_and_intrinsics.pdf

Temporal Parts (2010) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/

Wasserman, R. (nd) The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics. Retrieved from: http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/wasserr/papers/the%20argument%20from%20temporary%20intrinsics.pdf

Zimmerman, D. (2005) Temporary Intrinsics and Presentism, with Postscript (2005). Retrieved from: http://fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu/zimmerman/TempIntrinsicsPostscript.pdf… [read more]


Aristotle & Metaphysics Aristotle Calls Term Paper

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Man is naturally capable according to the thought of Aristotle to find upon seeking God and upon man's discovery of God the Creator is bound in worship and adoration. Without the discovery of God, man lives in a state of imperfection and in a state of wandering endlessly without reason or rhyme for living and has no manner of knowing whether he is living in a positive or negative manner.

While men will in their first philosophy attain different levels of wisdom and knowing that can in no way be held as universality the ultimate discovery of man in first philosophy is that of a higher or supreme and knowing being referred to in religions as God. Through the discovery of God by man, theology naturally develops thereby enabling the spread of various religions and cultures adhere to specific religious thought.

Bibliography

Madison, RD. (2008) First Philosophy. Aristotle's Concept of Metaphysics. ProQuest. 2008. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=-HcrX8RoR98C&dq=Aristotle+metaphysics:+first+philosophy+or+theology&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Marie-Dominique Phillipe (1983) First Philosophy, Theology, and Wisdom According to Aristotle. Community of Saint John 2007 originally published in Paradigmes de theologie philosophique 1983.

Wians, William Robert (1996) Aristotle's Philosophical Development. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=wE6zGzX5nfsC&dq=Aristotle+metaphysics:+first+philosophy+or+theology&source=gbs_navlinks_s… [read more]


Directive Writing Staff of Jewelry Essay

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The primary elements of persuasive writing are based on making direct and indirect appeals to an audience's unique sensibilities, with emotional appeals (pathos) ranking among the most powerful persuasive tools, logical appeals employing the clarity of reason (logos), and authoritative appeals (ethos) relying on the writer's position or status to legitimize a message. In directive writing, these subtle techniques are not necessary because the writer's authority has already been established, and the audience is typically bound by their status as an employee, student, or citizen to read and respond accordingly. When writing directive material from a position of recognized authority, rhetorical techniques such as threat and command are used to emphasize a point and ensure compliance.

Module 4 -- Part Two:

Dear BLANK,

My name is BLANK and I am a longtime resident of BLANK in your congressional district. I am writing this letter to express one constituent's firmly held view on the subject of environmental sustainability as it applies to the state of BLANK. Currently, you and your fellow members of the 113rd United States Congress are debating a number of bills which would have serious environmental and ecological consequences for the area in which I reside. Specifically, S. 107 has been proposed to "prohibit the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States until China, India, and Russia implement similar reductions." While the political motivations for such counterproductive legislation may be apparent to career congressmen, ordinary citizens in my neighborhood, the neighborhood you were elected to represent, do not believe that the world's lone superpower should be waiting for other nations to lead on the issue of climate change. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States has long been the leader among industrialized nations when it comes to the emission of harmful greenhouse gases, and while progress has been made on that front, the passage of S. 107 would serve to reverse that progress and signal to the rest of the world that environmental protection is a secondary priority. I strongly urge you, both as a constituent of your congressional district and as a concerned citizen of this great nation, to reconsider your stance on the merits of S. 107 and to vote with the nation's environmental…… [read more]


Philosophy in Die Welt Als Essay

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The human being becomes empowered by determining moral code outside the confines of religion. Nietzsche's philosophy has had a major impact on the development of Western thought and Western culture in the modern and post-modern world. His rejection of religion and the embrace of human self-empowerment have almost been taken for granted.

In "Beyond Good and Evil," Nietzsche refers to a concept called der Wille zur Macht (the will to power). Because of his use of the term and symbol of "will," Nietzsche draws on his fellow German philosopher Schopenhauer. Nietzsche develops the concept of the will farther than Schopenhauer. For Nietzsche, the will to power is what drives human beings to achieve great things. Therefore, Nietzsche is concerned about the way the will impacts one's daily life and not as much with metaphysical matters. This anchors Nietzsche as a pre-eminent modern philosopher.

Nietzsche also developed the concept of "eternal recurrence." Eternal recurrence is a concept that Nietzsche addresses in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The concept refers to the cyclical nature of creation and time. There is no "beginning," as which is suggested in Christian literature, or an "end," either. Instead, the world is constantly in flux, and humans are its co-creators. Like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche's writings resemble Eastern philosophy. The concept of eternal recurrence is not a concept that is common in Christian literature.

One of Nietzsche's predominant philosophical concepts is that of the Ubermensch, or superman. Like the concept of "eternal recurrence," the concept of the "superman" occurs in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The superman is the ideal human being, who all persons can become by being more fully in the world. Nietzsche offers a powerful critique against Christianity, which posits that this life is not important compared to the next life. For Nietzsche, true joy, happiness, and self-fulfillment come from perfecting one's life in the present. The concept of the superman also shows that Nietzsche is optimistic, because he believes that all human beings can and should progress towards becoming supermen and women.

Like many modern philosophers, Nietzsche rejects Christianity outright. For Nietzsche, God is dead, because the concept of God no longer has relevance in the modern world. The human being might have needed God at one time, prior to the evolution toward becoming a superman. But through personal development and inner strength, a person does not need God or religion to inform one's behavior or belief system.

Nietzsche has an interesting view of art, which makes perfect sense. The philosopher believes that art is only possible when the artist can balance the pure unbridled creativity with the power of discipline. Therefore, it is not enough just to get words out on paper or paint on canvas; one must also use reason and critical analysis to make those raw creative forms into something that is aesthetically pleasing and meaningful.… [read more]


Personal Philosophy - Tourism Essay

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More than ever before, I am able to ask how the client is doing -- and really mean it. Moreover, I am more open to hearing what the customers have to say. That this is true is indicative of the way and the extent to which my ancient ideas have

3. What is the value of Hospitality for individual participants?

There is great satisfaction to be derived from contributing to the happiness of customers and potential customers. In this examination of my philosophy, I have become accurately aware of how much influence I can have over the lives of others when they enter the hospitality context of their choice. An unexpected benefit is the appreciation of others that is part of figuring out how to engage with customers for maximum benefit. Understanding how to enhance people's lives is great platform for understanding how to enhance one's own life and to determine what is of value. For participants in the hospitality program, the benefits are numerous and deep. For instance, there are many opportunities to learn how to operate different agencies that focus on supporting people in distinct contexts and establishing long-lasting relationships with clients and former clients. For people who participate in the hospitality programs also benefit by acquiring the supports they need to promote their business.

4. What role should government play in your philosophical approach to Hospitality?

One of most important roles that government can take with respect to hospitality is regulatory. Businesses and citizens around the world have experienced the impact of insufficient regulation. Regardless of what people have to say about regulation and de-regulation, government must continue to be the strong arm of implementation behind regulations that are essential to the health of global economy. As a humanist, I believe that people are naturally oriented toward creative pursuits and generating benefit for people. This said, there are always people who enjoy wielding control over others and enjoy even more deriving money from that control. As a free agent, I can apply my personal agency to my work, to problem solving, and to decision-making. Taking this position ensures that I will place myself in a position to be responsible for the outcomes of my decisions and for the outcomes that result from my indecision. Moreover, government can work with countries across the glove to ensure that regulations involving trade are established and -- as much as possible in the current environment -- ensure that regulations are beneficial to the environment, to the stakeholders of the hospitality business, and to global business arena.

5. Do you believe that all hospitality managers should have the same philosophy? Why or why not?

As a humanist, I believe in free agency so I can't argue that all hospitality managers should have the same philosophy. With my existentialist leanings, I believe in each person creating their own meaning and realities -- all the while striving to be authentic in all their relationships. Both of the philosophical platforms that I embrace encourage a… [read more]


Value of Studying Philosophy? Essay

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But if common sense is not 'truth,' then will philosophy yield absolute truth? Russell admits that "philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves" (Russell, Chapter 15). Philosophy should not be viewed as a goal-directed exercise -- indeed, one of its values is that it is not goal-directed, but instead is useful in forcing us to question our goals, such as the notion that monetary success is the most important achievement to which we can aspire or that our race is superior to all other races.

Exercising philosophy sharpens our intellects and by asking us to question what makes us fully human, we become more fully human -- we become thinking and critical individuals. Even if there is no final 'end' to philosophy, it is like a sporting exercise for the mind -- we emerge fitter and more intellectually ready to take on the practical, everyday challenges everyone faces, including philosophers. "The mind which has become accustomed to the freedom and impartiality of philosophic contemplation will preserve something of the same freedom and impartiality in the world of action and emotion" (Russell, Chapter 15).

Philosophy encourages what is often called 'mindfulness' -- a critical assessment of our own thinking patterns and processes, and those of others. Philosophers are not 'above' emotions but they are not slaves to them, if they use philosophy correctly. And rather than being inactive, they are able to act in a more purposeful fashion, rather than purely responding on a level of gut emotions and prejudices.

Work Cited

Russell Bertram. The Problem of Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 1959.

http://www.ditext.com/russell/russell.html [17…… [read more]


Philosophy Matrix II Ancient Quest Essay

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In 250 to 500 words, explain how Plato and Aristotle built on pre-Socratic philosophy.

Historical review of human knowledge shows, at least in part, an unsteady progression from myth to half-scientific, half-philosophical thoughts to philosophy, culminating in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle and beyond them in the teachings of Plotinus (Copleston, 1993, p. 17). Pre-Socratic Philosophers such as Pythagorus, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Melissus, Zeno and Anaxagoras rejected mythological explanations of life and beyond, choosing to explore the rational explanations about the "essence" of things. As a result, Pre-Socratic philosophers, posed questions, posited theories, borrowed from each other, expanded on each other's theories and often disagreed. This early Greek Philosophy continued to develop until it "flowered in the two great philosophies of Plato and Aristotle" (Copleston, 1993, p. 10). Plato and Aristotle considered theories of Pre-Socratic philosophers and rejected, explained, synthesized and incorporated elements of those theories as they saw fit. Plato built on Pre-Socratic Philosophy's stress of the rational and moral by his expanded theories of knowledge in 4 steps along a divided line (Copleston, 1993, p. 151), his Doctrine of Forms (Copleston, 1993, p. 165), which were deemed an "enormous advance" on prior pre-Socratic theories (Copleston, 1993, p. 201), and his theory of morality that expanded prior thought to point to "an absolute moral code" (Copleston, 1993, p. 223). Aristotle built on Pre-Socratic Philosophy by further synthesizing the Doctrine of Forms (Copleston, 1993, p. 52), developing his First Principle (Copleston, 1993, p. 283) and Theory of Ethics (Copleston, 1993, p. 332), for several examples. In sum, the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle are deemed an early and highly significant culmination of human thought's progression from myth to philosophy (Copleston, 1993, p. 17).

Works Cited

Aristotle. (2002). Metaphysics. Santa Fe, NM: Green Lion Press.

Copleston, F. (1993). A history of Philosophy, Vol. 1: Greece and Rome: From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Cornford,…… [read more]


Reason in Promoting Happiness John Essay

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Highly different from this view is the belief in hedonism, one which Epicurus is a proponent of. Epicureanism believes in linking happiness to pleasure, unlike the beliefs of Plato, where Plato attributes pleasure as a separate element and unnecessary to achieving happiness. Pleasure as defined in Epicurus' manner is the gaining of knowledge of one's desires and an understanding of the world's nature. This pleasure constitutes tranquility and absence of physical turmoil (Epicurus uses "ataraxia" and "aponia" to describe these two elements); therein pleasure becomes an intrinsic good. Unlike Annas' views of achievement as an overall stepping stone toward attaining happiness, Epicurus would find gratification of such as those aforementioned (money, fame, glory) to be steps toward happiness. In this manner, Annas' philosophical arguments would clash with those of Epicurus.

3. The Thought Experiment and the Experience Machine

Robert Nozick attempts to refute the argument of hedonism -- and utilitarianism in this case -- with his thought experiment. According to Nozick, happiness is not attainable by the hedonistic views of individual and subjective pleasure. Through his thought experiment, Nozick chose to disprove that pleasure is the end result to a means of happiness. The thought experiment brings about the question that, given there is a machine exhibiting such qualities as to produce the most favorable human experiences, whether the person would choose to stay plugged into the "experience machine" or to return to a more realistic experience. In this aspect, Nozick reasons that a utilitarian view would lead to a person being perpetually plugged into the machine, always feeling the pleasurable emotions believed to bring about extreme happiness, in accordance to hedonistic views.

In this respect, Nozick gives three arguments as to why people would opt out of being plugged into an "experience machine." One reason is that people are more prone to wanting to take pleasure in not only the experience of the act, but in the act itself. Another of his reasons states that humans are plagued with ethical and moral implications that allow them to determine what decisions make them a certain type of person. And the third reason puts a limit to the "experience machine," stating that a machine can only go so far as to the limits of one's idealized reality -- eventually making a monotone set of experiences, no variance possible. In-so-doing, Nozick argues against the likes of Epicurus that pleasure is not the all-encompassing ends to attaining happiness. Like Annas and Kekes, Nozick finds the validity in an experience out of one's actions. A fully encompassing set of experiences and actions in one's life makes for true…… [read more]


Philosophy Final Soccio's Archetypes Essay

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It strikes me that any kind of large scale meliorist scheme for society is required to have a level of emotional appeal -- or rather, it strikes me that without any emotional appeal, Utilitarianism can only impress people in a superficial sort of way. Jeremy Bentham seems to have anticipated various modern positions on things (such as homosexuality) precisely because he did not understand the objections to it were largely emotive (based on disgust and contempt, as Martha Nussbaum would later note, rather than on the older religious logic of Aquinas which had associated sodomy with heresy). Utilitarianism seems to encapsulate the limits of rationality, rather than give a sense of its grandeur. This became far more obvious when Soccio reached the subject of contemporary practitioners of Utilitarian philosophy, and had to discuss Peter Singer and his "relentless application of utilitarian principles" (Soccio 532). The fact is that Singer seems to me a seriously overrated thinker, more given to shock tactics than serious thought. A philosophical Pragmatist would look at Singer and, recalling William James' observation that "inquiry is always interest," would inquire what Singer's own investment in his fervently-propagandized and bizarre Utilitarian prescriptions for society must be. This is fascinating, because in his biography Singer is the child of Holocaust survivors who has himself been characterized as a Nazi by disabled activists in Germany, based on his "Utilitarian" positions on euthanasia, disability and other subjects. It strikes me that he is more likely acting out a personal drama.

Finally, in conclusion, I think the largest thing I took away from Soccio's account of philosophy was a sense of what I would term "intellectual modesty." So many of the philosophers in Soccio are willing to concede what they do not know: Berkeley's idealism in which the reality of the world may be in question, Hume's critique of epistemology which asks how we know that the sun is definitely going to rise tomorrow. Other philosophers in Soccio are deliberately modest or even invisible, like Kierkegaard hiding behind pseudonyms. Philosophy in practice reminds us of the voice of that oracle who said "no man is wiser than Socrates" (Soccio 103). The reason was that Socrates alone was willing to admit his own total ignorance -- he was willing to adopt the pose, seemingly, of a Pyrrhonian skeptic towards his own ideas, and proceeded by questions rather than answers. The importance of Socrates -- and of philosophy in general -- seems to consist in this kind of modesty. It is fascinating to note much later that Hegel is derided as a "system-builder," and Marx is represented as Hegel's chief heir -- suggesting that system-building in philosophy can ultimately be constructed into an ideology or dogma. It is the avoidance of dogma, while maintaining intellectual flexibility, that characterizes the "intellectually modest"…… [read more]


Philosophy Today the Final Chapter Term Paper

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This approach to ethics is also something that Soccio brings out in his discussion of Carol Gilligan, and it seems to me that Gilligan's arguments are persuasive and useful in understanding gender difference. To a certain degree, the arguments that I have made against Singer represent a version of Gilligan's critique: she has noted that women's instinctive approach to epistemological and ethical matters differs from men's, and that it represents "other ways of knowing." Gilligan criticizes a survey of "moral reasoning" that relied on an all-male survey population, and points out that female methods of moral reasoning may not be as centered on the kind of abstract utilitarian rationalism that marks Singer's hypothetical. It strikes me that Gilligan's point is extremely valid, partly because I think any philosophical stance which increases our capacity for pluralism is probably a good thing. Whether gendered or not, I would suggest that "other ways of knowing" need to be taken seriously.

Finally I also found Soccio's account of Martha Craven Nussbaum to be relevant. I find Nussbaum's revival of Classical philosophy more persuasive than Singer's revival of Utilitarianism, and I was moved by Nussbaum's definition of the philosopher's role as somewhere between a doctor and a lawyer. I can also think of no better reason to take Gilligan seriously than Nussbaum's account of how, early in her career, sexism was still endemic enough in academic circles that a colleague could congratulate her on her appointment to his department with the world's most highfalutin way of calling her a whore -- once I understood what precisely was said, I was horrified by it. Yet Nussbaum's vision seems focused on improving things, rather than perpetuating a culture of victimization and complaint. Instead she seeks therapies and remedies. When Nussbaum states that "[The Epicureans and Stoics]…saw the philosopher as a compassionate physician whose arts could heal many pervasive types of human suffering," I find that to be one of the most attractive visions of what philosophy can be that I have encountered in this course (Soccio 538). In particular I found Nussbaum's vision of the philosopher's role to be reminiscent of the philosopher I was most drawn to in all of the readings from Soccio, William James. The notion that ideas of truth are measured in real-world accomplishment which is the heart of Jamesian pragmatism seems just a realistic depiction of a uniquely American way of looking at things. But it is also James' capacity for compassion, and his willingness to consider things like religion in terms of their capacity to "heal human suffering" (as Nussbaum puts it), which makes his pluralistic and optimistic philosophy…… [read more]


Marx's Philosophy on Labor Term Paper

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2).

3. Man as a Species-Being

For the arguments against capitalism and estrangement to collude, Marx reasons that humans are "species-beings," wherein they "look upon [themselves] as the present, living species, because [they] look upon [themselves] as universal and therefore free beings" (Marx, p. 4). As a species-being, humans are separate from the animals by the nature of being "free beings." Whereas animals live for the barest necessities, humans become unique wherein they can "feel themselves." That is, they can freely choose to feel pleasure, unhappiness, happiness, and other emotions thereof. Capitalistic labor, however, hinders this "free feeling," especially when the worker has deleted himself of the emotions with regards to the labor at hand.

When a laborer begins to estrange himself from his work -- through a denial of the self and the miserable outlook of the labor -- then the worker has been stunted in the process of "feeling himself." He does not feel for the job; his happiness is determined only at home when he is not working, and when he is working, he is at a point of unhappiness. The labor itself becomes "not a satisfaction of a need but a mere means to satisfy needs outside itself" (Marx, p. 3). This labor no longer becomes a voluntary form of labor, but one of involuntary forms, one which can be attributed to "forced labor." Thus one can conclude that this would result in alienation and the spiritual disappearance of the human as a "species-being."

4. Conclusive Application of Communism

The estrangement of the worker can be summarized as thus in accordance to Marx's law of political economy: the worker's increase of production leads inherently to the worker's dehumanization. The more value placed on the object, the less important the worker becomes; the more the worker objectifies his work, the less "soul" the worker has in creating the products. For Marx, capitalism leads to this spiritual loss, indicating that the worker is losing himself and becoming the "slave of nature" (Marx, p. 2). Through capitalism, a worker is granted capital that can enable him to fulfill the necessary animalistic concerns of survival: eating, sleeping in a particular territory, keeping warm within a hygienic environment, etc. Perhaps even the basest urges are also satisfied, but to what means and what purpose? Surely then humanity becomes more animalistic in this capitalistic world.

This, then, leads to the argument for capitalism, and not technically against. Communism dictates a classless society with common ownership, an equal ownership of products and labor. This would solve not only the division of rich and poor, but it would ideally allow workers the return of their spiritual realizations. However, would not the idea of a classless, monogamous society strictly dehumanize the idea of man as a "species-being"? Would not the idea of a spiritually "free-thinking" individual be more in tune with the capitalistic society, purely because of the desire of that individual to rise above and produce to the best of his abilities? Is that… [read more]


Communication Evaluating the Effectiveness Essay

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Even when it is called an argument and is between two people over a back fence, the debate has an informal structure that starts with a statement of terms. While the debate is going, since it is sometimes difficult to recall the specific details of the original proposition, a restatement of the topic may be necessary. "At its simplest, restatement involves nothing more that repeating the main idea" (Kane 1988: 81). In most debates, this is done many times as the opponents try to make sure that they are being heard and that the definition of the debated topic is clear. The structure is then completed when someone summarizes the position. "A summary speaker has been compared to 'a biased news reporter', going over the various arguments that have already been made but implying that your side has won them all" (Sather 1999: 9). Even in the basest "arguments" this is true. It may be done while storming off, but a summary statement or gesture is made.

A formal debate also often involves more than one person per side and they must know what the debate is about and trust the others engaged on their side to state the question clearly. Thinking of a political debate, politicians need to understand that they can trust the others on their team to agree with the basic premise that is being proposed. Without some trust in the people who will be forwarding the argument, it will break down (Kee 2006: 13). Of course, debate does not have to be a team exercise, but it is best if others can bring points that one alone may not think about. Also, other people may have strengths that one person will not possess that could present the topic better (Kee 2006: 13).

Oftentimes, even the simplest of questions will be debated, and for that debate to be successful it needs to have some certain elements. The people involved must be prepared, understand that there are two sides to the issue, and they have to follow a logical structure or they are not going to be successful in their attempt. Debates of this sort are an effective means of communication mainly because they follow a logical path that it is difficult to counter.

However, the debater must be prepared to consider the other side. Even in preparation, some points may be missed. If this is the case and the other debater makes a strongly relevant case, then true communication only happens when the other side of the proposition acknowledges this. Debate as a form of communication may be foreign to many people because they have determined that they are not going to listen to what is said and that they are going to just thrust their particular opinion at the other person. However, communication being a two way street, this is where debate breaks down and pure argument begins. Thus, for debate to be an effective form of communication, it has to be an agreed upon two-way… [read more]

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