"Philosophy / Logic / Reason" Essays

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Ethics "The Way We Lie" by Stephanie Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (870 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1



"the Way we Lie" by Stephanie Ericsson

Lies are lies, by any name

The essay "The Way we Lie" by Ericsson is a master piece in dissecting the various forms that we would like to cover lies and untruths that we entertain everyday. She overtly divulges that lies are always used to misappropriate the truths that we would rather not be heard by another. Indeed, she summarizes the appropriations of lies as to enable us to exaggerate, to allow us to minimize, to help us avoid confrontation, to help us spare people's feelings, to allow us to conveniently forget and to keep secrets (Samuel Cohen, 2004:120).

Ericsson sets out to indicate that there is no single untruth that can escape the lies brackets hence she categorizes all types of lies that we tell on an everyday basis and even the rare lies we come across and she gives examples of each category of lies. The mentioned categories are the white lie, facades, ignoring the plain facts, deflecting, omissions, stereotypes and cliches, groupthinking, out-and-out lies, dismissal and delusion. All these categorizations and the accompanying discourse is targeted at demonstrating that we cannot escape lies as long as we are alive and interacting.

It is clear from the argument that each person is prone to lies and is faced by a lie each and every day of their lives but there is a threshold of tolerance towards lies that makes lying be an outright evil and unethical, this is when one is living a lie. The author gives a personal encounter where she had to lie to a friend, the bank and even the partner in the house even though the lie, particularly to the partner would not add anything to her. This is just an analogy of the daily lies that are propagated and she challenges the reader to try to live a whole day without telling a lie and see how agonizing that would be.

The writer further discusses the categories of lies in a deeper sense to make it clearer to the readers. She says of white lie to be the most spoken lie as those who use it take it that the blunt truth will hurt more than a simple untruth used appropriately like telling someone they are smart yet they are not. Faced is another category of lies that the user manipulates the receiver by putting up a face that is really not theirs in order to create an illusion in the receiver. Ignoring the plain facts is yet another lie category where the false action is done, in total disregard…… [read more]

Nietzsche's Lack of Cultural Relativism Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (598 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Nietzsche's Lack Of Cultural Relativism

"Cultural relativism is associated with a general tolerance and respect for difference, which refers to the idea that cultural context is critical to an understanding of people's values, beliefs and practices" (EBSCO). This means that when one encounters individual from different cultures or hears of exceedingly different cultural practices, one needs to view these differences with a strong amount of sensitivity and perspective. The reasons for this are twofold: on the one hand it comes from the necessity of offering human beings a fundamental level of decency and respect. On the other hand it means that notions as to whether an action is right or wrong revolves entirely around whether an action is believed to be right or wrong by members of its culture.

Nietzsche does not endorse cultural relativism because if he did, his words and opinions would have to demonstrate the telltale signs of sensitivity for other cultures that cultural relativists are characterized by. For example, Nietzsche rips apart Christian ideals and beliefs, particularly the notion that Christians feel guilty for their natural instincts and desires and essentially repent and deem themselves unworthy simply for being human. As Nietzsche says:

"Guilt before God: this thought becomes an instrument of torture for him… This

is a kind of madness of the will in psychic cruelty that has absolutely no equal; the will of man to find himself guilty and reprehensible to the point that it cannot be atoned for; his will to imagine himself punished without the possibility of the punishment ever becoming equivalent to the guilt; his will to infect and make poisonous the deepest ground of things with the problem of punishment and guilt in order to cut off the way out of this labyrinth of 'idee fixes' once and for…… [read more]

Symposium Apology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (621 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Plato's use of multiple layers of narration to each the actual philosophical arguments in the Symposium are so convoluted as to be almost helplessly confusing upon a first read. Apollodorus relates to his present companion that yesterday he (Apollodorus) was approached by someone who said to him, "I was looking for you, Apollodorus, only just now, that I might ask you about the speeches in praise of love, which were delivered by Socrates, Alcibiades, and others, at Agathon's supper. Phoenix, the son of Philip, told another person who told me of them." This complexity seems almost purposefully obfuscating, and could be a way of reminding the reader that anything reported of what someone else said -- as Plato is doing with others and especially Socrates in this tract -- should be taken with a grain of salt. On a deeper level, the layers of narration and distance that Plato creates in Symposium might be meant as a leveler, of sorts, giving a more equal weight to each of the actual arguers rather than making a more obvious statement about which line of reasoning is the most astute or the most correct when it comes to love. Distance and uncertainty gives the onus of analysis to the reader.


In Apology, Plato has Socrates say of the craftspeople he queried in regards to their wisdom, "because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom," eventually concluding that if he is wise it is only because he understands what he does not know. In Symposium, Eryximachus waxes philosophic about the nature of love with a scientific certainty derived from his medical knowledge, exhibiting just the same type of arrogance in assuming that his area of knowledge gives him an expertise in other fields of knowledge as well,…… [read more]

Twelve Angry Men Questions Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (781 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


For #9, it might be that he is quite old and isn't as alert intellectually as he once was. He is a nice man but quite old and nearing the age when life is getting away from him. Juror #5 is perhaps kept from thinking critically about this case because for one reason he is young and naive. He seems a bit intimidated by the older more mature men in his presence. Juror #2 is a seemingly shallow and weak man who struggles to express any strong opinions of his own. He is a milquetoast; his opinion is likely to be whatever the last person said. Juror #3 is opinioned, loud, and can't stand anyone's opinion but his own. He loses his temper right away. An example of losing his temper is when others disagree with him; it turns out he has a very bad relationship with his son. #4 is a stock broker and plays the role of the rational one (holding on to his view nearly to the end); he doesn't want to think critically because he is sure, in his calm way, the defendant is guilty. Juror #1 is the foreman and he tries to be neutral, which is not how you think critically. #12 just wants to get it over with; he's arrogant and in a hurry to return to his social life. #7 is a bully who didn't want to be there in the first place. #11 is self-conscious about his foreign accent and defers to others rather than thinking critically. #6 is simple and called "an honest but dull-witted man."

FOUR: After juror #8 points out that a witness's testimony that he heard the defendant say "I'm going to kill you" could not be true, juror #5 changes his vote to not guilty. And after #3 loses all control and lunges at #8, jurors #2 and #6 go with the not guilty solution.

FIVE: Fallacy #1: a short man would have a hard time stabbing downward on a taller man. Fallacy #2: people who wear glasses don't wear them to bed, and hence one witness could not have had time to put them on to view the scene clearly. Fallacy #3: not everyone can recall the name of the movie they saw even if it…… [read more]

Positivism vs. Interpretivism Debate Epistemology Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,286 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The first section of their paper is a discussion of how an interdisciplinary approach and perspective is more viable as a strategy. The graphic representation of their framework is contingent on the use and application of multiple theories, ideas, concepts, etc. from a variety of thinkers. Their approach is more integrative and holistic.

Ashforth and Humphrey argue for the use of labeling theory which they explain as the following:

An emerging theme in organizational behavior is that organizations are interpretive structures or frameworks…To act, an organizational member must come to some under-standing of what various social objects-actions, individuals, events, groups, decisions, structures-mean within the organizational context. However, given the inherent ambiguity and multiple causes and forces acting on many social objects, meaning is elusive. Accordingly, meaning has been described as socially constructed and symbolically mediated as individuals at-tempt to resolve ambiguity by triangulating on a more or less shared interpretation of organizational experience. We argue that a critical vehicle for interpreting, organizing, and communicating experience within organizations and, in turn, for guiding experience, is the label. (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1997,-Page 43)

Labeling theory may contribute to the linguistic red tape that Weber argues is a big reason why the debate continues. The argue that labeling is necessary for clarity, but Weber would argue that a theory or practice like this has been used in excess if he were to connect or use this concept as a reason why the debate has persisted. Labeling theory is supposed to provide clarity, but Weber would contend with respect to this debate that labeling theory contributes clutter. Boland and Tenkasi's (1995) concept and study is regarding perspective making and taking in communities of knowing. Perspective like time and culture are relative. This argument or rationale is valuable, but it lends itself to interpretivism over positivism, at least indirectly contributing or participating in the debate.

Jackson performs a rigorous study on Realistic conflict theory (RCT), or realistic group conflict theory. (1993). (RGCT) is a social-psychological model of intergroup conflict. Jackson uses the theory to explain hostility within groups. According to RCT, hostility arises as a result of conflicting goals and competition over limited resources. Group members and groups compete for a real or perceived lack of resources such as money, political power, or social status. The length and severity of the conflict is determined by the perceived value and shortage of a given resource. Harmony can be restored only if goals that can only be achieved through the combined efforts occurs.

Conflict theory and the perspective making and taking theory are the best to explain why the debate has continued. People do not take into account perspective enough. RCT is a reality. People are fighting over resources. Biases develop when there is competition over anything. The biases developed affect people's perspectives. Perspective is at the center of the debate. One perspective values positivism, another values interpretivism, and yet another values the debate. Incessant debates that prove counterproductive are ultimately distractions from greater achievements that could… [read more]

General Systems Theory and Modern Research Paper

Research Paper  |  17 pages (4,711 words)
Bibliography Sources: 25


System Theory

The origin and foundation of system theory

System theory as a general frame of inquiry

System and environment

Living System Theory

Boundaries of Living System theory

General system theory

Social Entropy Theory (SET)

16A comparison of the theories

In this paper, we analyze Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory by comparing and contrasting the analysis of Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory… [read more]

Barstow, Marjorie. "Oedipus Rex Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,295 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


The human need for poetry, (set forth by Aristotle in the Poetics) as Halliwell states, appears to be regarded by many Aristotelian scholars "as marginal or digressive" -- but Halliwell suggests that it is an important part of the overall explanation for the importance of drama: "In Poetics 4…Aristotle identifies two features of human nature which explain the existence of poetry" (Halliwell "Pleasure, Understanding, and Emotion" 241). First, there is a natural instinct in human nature towards mimesis; second, there is a definite pleasure derived from mimetic objects.

Halliwell contends that these two points show how fundamental it is for human nature to crave stories (which are representations of actions -- which is what the Poetics asserts is the most important element of poetry: plot). By exposing itself to poetry and drama, a society undergoes a cathartic experience -- an experience that affects and challenges the emotions as well as the intellect. It is a kind of purifying process (Halliwell Aristotle's Poetics 2) that ultimately helps inspire society in a positive way.

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics may also be of assistance in this paper, because it is here that Aristotle lays out what it means to be a good man. As Aristotle says, in moral virtue there are "defects" and "excesses," and as moral virtue relates to passions and actions, too little passion or too great passion are both improper. The mean is desirable -- and the cultivation of equanimity of the passions (evenness of temper, etc.) is the object of man (Aristotle 44). "Virtue is a mean state…[and] is a habit, accompanied with deliberate preference, in the relative mean, defined by reason, and as the prudent man would define it" (Aristotle 45). Like his view of drama in the Poetics, Aristotle advocates a prudent approach to all things, not the least of which is poetry. Rather than condemn poetry as a whole because of tendencies by poorer poets to arouse the passions, Aristotle praises poetry for the good it can achieve when it prudently effects catharsis, whether comedically or tragically. Moderation is the key.

Furthermore, according to Aristotle, government (no matter the model) must be formed by friendship -- and that friendship must be guided by the objective standard, which is prudence. Prudence is always Aristotle's guide, for if one is prudent, he will fall to neither extreme, and governance will not tend toward corruption: "Homer calls Agamemnon 'the shepherd of the people.' Such also is paternal friendship" (Aristotle 223). Now, Agamemnon was a king, but to his subjects he was like a father, and his subjects were like his children. Since family was central to society, and governance was modeled on family, Agamemnon would have had a role in fostering virtue among his subjects -- being their father and role model, in a sense. There is just such a need for fathers in today's world and just such a need to foster virtue as there was in Aristotle's day.

Thus, as scholars of Aristotle's Poetics show, one of the… [read more]

Othello as Tragic Hero Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,713 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Othello is rife with oppositions that the titular character must deal with every day. While Othello attempts to overcome obstacles of racial discrimination, he remains a target due to his Moorish background. Additionally, despite his many heroic feats, it is unlikely that Othello will ever be considered to be equal to others that have achieved the same triumph feats. There are many things working against Othello throughout the play that it is difficult to see how he could ever pull ahead, especially with Iago poisoning his mind. As such, the tragic traits of the play infiltrate every aspect of it and are not limited to the characters, but also to society and social constructs.

Works Cited

"Aristotle." Virginia Community College System. Web. 4 July 2012.

Arthos, John. "The Fall of Othello." Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring, 1958), pp.

93-104. JSTOR. Web. 4 July 2012.

Boas, George. "The Evolution of the Tragic Hero." The Carleton Drama Review, Vol. 1, No. 1,

Greek Tragedy (1955-1956), pp. 5-21. JSTOR. Web. 4 July 2012.

Brown, Larry A. "Aristotle on Greek Tragedy." Lipscomb University. January 2005. Web. 4

July 2012.

Golden, Leon. "Othello, Hamlet, and Aristotelian Tragedy." Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 35,

No. 2…… [read more]

Gandhi's Concept of Satyagraha Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (814 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


One could also argue that this concept applies to everything that one encounters in life. As one commentator notes; "On a personal front it involves a life committed to truth, chastity, non-attachment and hard-work" (Gandhi and Satyagraha). In other words, the concept of Satyagraha must be able to deal with every possible scenario because it represents the ideal of truth over falsity.

However, the central question of this paper seems to pose a practical problem. "If you were on the ground with a rocket launcher you knew how to use, and the poachers were coming in to kill rhinos or elephants, what would you do? While one could use the rocket launcher to eradicate the immediate threat, the advocate of Satyagraha would state that this does not solve the problem of poaching and that violence only prolongs the conflict and the loss of life in further acts of poaching. The only true and lasting way to stop the poaching would be a sustained and determined campaign that increases societal and community awareness of the problem to such a level that it eventually leads to demise of the poaching industry. An example of this approach can be seen in Bahuguna's 'Chipko Andolan' movement. This movement practised the Gandhian methods of Satyagraha and non-violent resistance by"... hugging trees to protect them" and hunger strikes ( An indefinite fast to save tigers). This resulted in drawing attention to corruption in government that resulted in environmental irresponsibility. Using this concept, the poachers should not be violently opposed but they should be stopped by using the force of truth and by making them aware of what they are doing to the world ecology.

In conclusion, I do not know if I would personally be strong enough to maintain a stance of bravery and perseverance that is contained in the philosophy of Satyagraha in the face of the immediate situation described in the question to this paper. However, I do agree that a sustained campaign of non-violence that is aimed at reaching and elevating the awareness of society is the only real long-term solution to the problem.


An indefinite fast to save tigers. Retrieved from http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-19/nagpur/32316906_1_tadoba-andhari-tiger-reserve-bandu-dhotre-tadoba-tigers

Gandhi and Satyagraha. Retrieved from http://www.mapsofindia.com/personalities/gandhi/satyagarh.html

Martin Luther King's Principles of Satyagraha. Retrieved from http://satyagraha1.com/kinghow.htm… [read more]

Logical Fallacies Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (734 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Logical Fallacies

Mere Assertion

Mere assertion is the logical fallacy that occurs when the truth of a statement rests solely on the fact that the arguer claims, or asserts, that it is true. Statements voicing general preference or distaste are common examples of mere assertion, because they inherently imply that the statement is true simply because an individual said it.

Circular Reasoning

The circular reasoning fallacy occurs when a statement is supported by a more emphatic rendition of the same initial statement. It is similar to the mere assertion fallacy in that the truth of the statement is still based solely on the arguers insistence of its truth, however with circular reasoning, there is at least a pretense of evidence or explanation. Examples of circular reasoning include the statement that God is real because the Bible says he exists, and one knows that the Bible is accurate because God wrote it.

Ad Hominem

An ad hominem argument is one that involves an attack on the person making an opposing argument, rather than an attack on the opposing argument itself. Ad hominem attacks are perhaps one of the most common logical fallacies in the public discourse, with individuals and groups frequently attempting to impugn the character of their opponents rather than rebut their positions.

Red Herring

The red herring fallacy is a technique by which the arguer raises a unconnected point, under the pretense that it is relevant, in order to distract the opponent. Popularized by mystery stories, in logic the red herring fallacy is a subset of the fallacy of distraction, and frequently occurs when someone proposes two statements, with one seemingly supporting the other but in reality serving to distract the opponent from the matter at hand.


The pseudo-questions fallacy occurs when an arguer asks an opponent a question that presupposes facts that have yet to be established, such that any response on the opponent's part will implicitly agree with these presuppositions. In this case they are "pseudo" questions because although it appears as if answering them might further explicate the subject at hand, the real goal is to trick the opponent into accepting the presuppositions of the questions.

False Cause

The fallacy of false…… [read more]

Language and What it Does Words and Time Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (926 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Language and What it Does

Where are all the humbling, memorable, well-crafted stories about believable characters fighting for hope and survival in our climate-changing, globalized and fragile world? What's happened to the screenwriters who once upon a time craftily juxtaposed compelling characters with down-to-earth and/or tragic Earthly events? Is it now considered passe to employ character-powered narrative that helps the underdog overcome conniving, selfish culprits and extraordinarily complex situations in lusty scenes from today's changing world? When it comes to embracing 2012-style pragmatism -- which could and should branch out to naturalism and realism -- has quality storytelling disappeared forever from the entertainment genre called film?

Tired Predictable Plots Cry Out for Quality Narrative

When shelling out good money to be informed and/or stimulated in those ubiquitous multiplex buildings that house the projectors and sell busloads of buttered popcorn, why is it so seldom that a real-life feature film -- not necessarily a documentary -- presented with more than flair and fluff, with substance and style, is projected upon the enormous white screen? Riveting real-world storytelling has apparently flown away, like the helium balloon that slipped out of the fingers of a face-painted 4-year-old at her backyard birthday party and disappears into the blue sky as little girl tears flow far below.

But we digress. Do any writers today have the courage to indulge audiences with storytelling that reaches back to ancient strategies and approaches naturalism and realism vis-a-vis verified, empirical science? Where is the irony, the tragedy, the drama-based for example on a little boy who is tearfully empathetic with the plight of critically endangered California Condors that, after approaching near extinction, were taken into a captive breeding program then re-released back into the wild?

Aristotle, were he here upon the earth today, would employ his tragic formula for the integrity of the genre. The righteous telling of the tale -- is it, too, an endangered species?

Aristotle would find the reversal of fortune that has raped the habitat for California's Desert Tortoise a perfect worldly conundrum for his tragic plot structure. The iconic philosopher's work would be a boon to an otherwise milquetoast gaggle of writers penning superficial sagas of drunk college boys in Las Vegas with their hideously brutal hangovers.

For Aristotle, the inspiration he would draw from the story of the severely endangered California Condor would transcend simple storytelling and explode into a dynamic postmodern drama. First Aristotle's strategy for tragedy is the powerful reversal of fortune theme. Using naturalism, Aristotle would paint powerful brush-strokes across an imaginative canvas with thousands of Condors soaring in the clear skies with their 9-1/2-foot wingspans as they bred and prospered in the post-Pleistocene period.

Time elapses with grace, but by the 20th century men with guns are blowing them out of the…… [read more]

Commodities Are Inherently Morally Bad Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (844 words)
Bibliography Sources: 9


Thomas Hobbes later broadened bacons philosophy of materialism by systematizing it. To him human senses are responsible for the desire of material things. The sight, touch, smell taste inform the heart and brains causing pressure in human beings to acquire commodities (Hobbes 1996). Both Bacon and Hobbes arguments are centered in the fact that human knowledge is fueled by senses.

Arthur Schopenhauer a German philosopher also contributed to the growing debate on materialism, he considered materialism as a philosophy of one who fails to plan (Schopenhauer 1883). He claims that people know material objects through observation and consequent actions in the brain. The way material objects are experienced is dependent on how the brain understands.

Ludwig Feuerbach introduced a new twist to materialism through his book The Essence of Christianity. He provides an approach focusing on human values and concerns as the external manifestation of one's inward nature.

Opposing Views

The old age United States of America's national ethos, "The American Dream" is pegged on materialism. Materialism and the American dream are in tandem. Materialism is what stabilizes not only the American economy but also the global economy and allows competition in various markets. Materialism keeps economies alive especially in the United States, According to Reuters, spending in the United States reached $9.7 billion in the first 20 days of the festivity season up 14% in 2011 as compared to 2010 (Rueters 2011). It is a tradition that parents consistently fulfill their children's wish resulting to a flourishing economy. This situation leads to creation of employment opportunities. This supply and demand theory has turned luxuries into necessities resulting in the success of the American economy. According to Egilly (2011), materialism may cause negative views but it is a good thing for the future of American economy. With the constantly changing in the nation, materialism will always emerge with the newest technology.


Appadurai, A 1986, 'Introduction: commodities and the politics of value', in The Social Life of Things: commodities in cultural perspective, Cambridge University Press., Melbourne.

Burke, J 2010, Instant Gratification -- the Trap That Avoids Building Real Wealth, viewed 2 June

2012, .

Egilly 2011, www.teenink.com, viewed 2 June 2012.

Engels, F 1892, 'Socialism: Utopian and Scientific', General Introduction and the History of Materialism.

Hobbes, T 1996, Leviathan, Cambridge, Cambridge.

Marx, K 1844, 'The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society', in Manuscripts.

Rueters 2011, Business &, viewed 2 June 2012, .

Schopenhauer, A 1883, The World As Will and Idea, Routledge & Kegan…… [read more]

Happiness Hypothesis I Approached Jonathan Book Report

Book Report  |  2 pages (680 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Similarly -- though Haidt refers to an elephant from chapter to chapter -- it makes sense that our implicit or automatic processes can be managed though not eradicated. In fact, just as Haidt learned to trust the trail horse not to walk off the edge of the trail and fall onto the rocks below, Haidt indicates that trusting those implicit and automatic processes to do just what they have always done grants a measure of control over the confederation of elements of the mind.

Haidt posits that people can develop their rational understanding of their behavior sufficiently to be efficacious self-evaluators, and thereby act with greater concordance among the various aspects of their "whole" being. Grounded in positive psychology, Haidt's theories describe pathways for people to create more intentional lives by integrating the many disparate forces that influence their behavior and thinking with the inescapable biological aspects of being human. Some of the very simplest of Haidt's dualities resonated with me, particularly the notion of our lizard brain that doesn't ever stop working, even when our more sophisticated intellectual engine is driving.

My willingness to accept a number of Haidt's propositions was conditioned by an article I read, several years ago, in which the central findings of a series of research studies revealed the relation between intelligence and self-perception. Simply put, the research indicated that people with superior intellect would know how little they actually knew for certain, while those with inferior intellect would have radically elevated opinions of themselves. Summarizing, a good fit would be to change up the adage, "old enough to know better" to "smart enough to know better." Juxtaposed next to this research, Haidt's notion of naive realism rang true. Haidt argues that people recognize that their experiences influence their worldview, but invariably, people tend to believe that their perceptions are more acute and based more on reality than on any individually constructed version of reality, which by its nature would more obtuse. It is, apparently, hard to tell when you are wearing rose-colored glasses.… [read more]

Mind Body Mindy/Body Separation: Spinoza and Descartes Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (581 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Mind Body

Mindy/Body Separation: Spinoza and Descartes

In his Ethics, Spinoza makes the assertion that, "the object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body." What Spinoza essentially argues is that all experience is ultimately experience of the body, as the body is the source of all experience -- i.e. It is only through the body and its processes that experience can be had, in Spinoza's view. Any concept of the mind, then -- any "idea constituting the human mind" -- is really an deal of the body, or at least a concept mediated by the body, as is everything else. An individual cannot truly come to know their mind, then, in this view, but rather they can only come to understand their body's perception of the mind and thus come to know their body through an investigation of the mind. This is not the only view on the subject of the mind and body, however, and Descartes would perhaps entirely disagree and certainly amplify and more completely describe the implications of Spinoza's thinking through his own thoughts on the subject.

According to Descartes, there exists what he terms a "real distinction" between mind and body. The body, according to Descartes' model of the mind-body split, is an unthinking yet extended (that is, physically extant, so far as can be determined) substance, while the mind is a thinking yet un-extended (non-corporeal, in our experience) substance. In this construct, there is a very real difference in the inherent nature of the substances of the mind and body, and thus there exists this "real distinction" -- what Descartes perceives as an undeniable and self-evident delineation of the two types of substances. The body can only be known through the mediation…… [read more]

Lying: Deceit in Language Tools Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (770 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


These fallacies transcend markets and shopping however, and in my opinion represent excellent tools to analyze everything.

Upon completing this exercise in finding fallacies, the student will soon realize that every argument has a logical gap somewhere within its reasoning. This very essay is riddled with them, however using reasoning and common sense; one may decipher this deceptive practice with relative ease. Being comfortable in a world of illusion may be daunting, but practice makes perfect. Debunking every written argument should be the goal of every educated man or woman today. The ability to peacefully hold two polar opposing statements as truth is an accomplishment in and of itself that requires discipline, faith and the knowhow of spotting these fallacies.

Schrank's essay seems bitter and resentful. Picking on advertisers as the main proponents of misinformation does not appear to be fair. Lying and deceiving people in the name of capitalism and competing for dollars should be expected. Buyer beware, experience is you best instrument for gauging what is useful or not to yourself. Reliance on authority is the biggest fallacy of them all and should be avoided whenever possible. Today's educational systems seem to rely on much authority to convey some truth. This is further proof that one's own education should be examined in a personal manner and comparative understanding contains many shortfalls in utility.

Harris' weasel words are spread throughout the libraries of this world in enormous number, including this essay itself. Such demonization of vocabulary demonstrates a fear of self-reliance. Tools have no morals in themselves and the author "loading" words with negative connotation demonstrates how he is snared in the very same trap he attempted to set.

When dealing with any form of communication, written or otherwise it is always best to have a filtering system turned within one's mind. This is the only true defense of poor thoughts entering the mind. Using logical fallacies as tools will help those wishing to gain greater understanding in a simpler and more refined matter. Eliminating emotion and connotation when digesting information will also help in accompanying this type of reasoning. The always changing universe is filled with opportunities for learning and without deception and falsities it is impossible to determine the…… [read more]

How Persuasive Are These Critiques of Economic Globalization Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,042 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … NAFTA to be impressive in its use of figures and facts but to be, simultaneously subjective. Scott reinforces his argument with plenty of facts that come from authoritative sources. He supports the article with graphs, tables, and figures that clarify and add weight to his information as well as giving more immediacy and credibility to his argument. On top of all of that, the style of the article -- divided and subdivided into clear categories adds additional readability and order to the whole.

On the other hand, I found the article to be subjective and heavy-handed.

Scott's argument is as follows:

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1993, the rise in the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico through 2002 has caused the displacement of production that supported 879,280 U.S. jobs.

Many of these jobs are in high-wage positions in the manufacturing industries but the category of jobs lost crosses all spectrums. Aside from this negative outcome, NAFTA has caused other problems such as contributing to rising income inequality, suppressing real wages for production workers, weakening workers' collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reducing fringe benefits. These are a tremendous amount of complaints that Scott has attributed to NAFTA and he, accordingly, has to prove them to establish his credibility.

Whilst Scott's article is replete with facts and he is obviously an expert on the matter, his heavy-handed crusade against advocates of NAFTA disturbs me. It would have made the article less subjective would Scott have objectively provided me with the rationale that prompted NAFTA's signatories to sign the agreement and that impels accord with the agreement. Empathy with, and understanding of the facts that result in approval of the agreement would have made the article more persuasive and less slanted.

Instead, Scott leaps right into the calumnies against NAFTA: False promises; growing trade deficits and job loss; NAFTA's negative effects on foreign direct investment; job losses in 50 states; long-term stagnation and growing inequality in the wages of U.S. workers without college degrees who made up 72.1% of the workforce in 2001; and its negative effect on workers in 3 countries who have been hurt for different reasons.

The article, as said, is impressive due to its hefty use of figures and scientific data that buttresses its argument. Graphics, too, contribute to overall impression. On the other hand, I find the article to be not only one-sided but also to attribute too many problems to NAFTA alone without considering other possible factors.

Whilst there may seem to be a correlation between NAFTA and decline in economics as well as steep unemployment and other negative global factors, correlation does not imply causality. There may be other factors, in addition to NAFTA that have caused these negative implications, NAFTA may be responsible for only some of them, or there may be a factor behind NAFTA that is responsible. By single-mindedly attributing all of the problems to NAFTA, Scott comes across… [read more]

Standards Check Complete This Form Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  3 pages (784 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10



In my reasoning, have I focused on what is more important, given:

My purpose?

The question at issue?

Are my sources relevant to my thesis?

Are my claims relevant to the question at issue?

Briefly Assess the Relevance/Importance of your Evidence and Claims:

The purpose of my argument is to demonstrate the relationship between the media and the development of a child from a very young age. I believe this is relevant because of the exposure that the children have to the media. However, this issue is not well researched in the past and, therefore, it is necessary that I provide the appropriate evidence for my work. Consequently, all my references are relevant to my thesis and work in general.

Sufficient, Deep, and Broad

Have I reasoned through my topic enough? Yes

Have I thought through the implications of my argument? Yes

Have I amplified and explained my points enough to be clear-yes

Have I sufficiently countered the opposing points to my argument? Yes

Do I have enough evidence to really make my case? Yes

Will my readers really be convinced by my evidence? Yes

Have I looked below the surface, shallow implications? Yes

Have I considered alternative points-of-view and interpretations? Yes

Briefly Assess the Sufficiency of Your Argument: throughout the paper, I have tried to reason as much as I can on my argument. I also understand the other argument that counters mine by saying that there are no negative implications of the media on the development of the child. Throughout my work, I have countered the argument efficiently and used all the evidence that I could access. Through my evidence and consideration of other interpretations, I hope that I will convince the reader on my thesis.


Is the language in my thesis statement specific, narrow, and precise, or is it abstract and vague?

Have I stated exactly what I wish to argue, or is my real position something slightly different from what I am stating?

Will my readers really understand what I believe about this topic?

Do I need to replace any abstract words with more precise words?

Briefly Assess the Precision of Your Language, Terms, and Claims: I have used simple grammar in my thesis statement. Therefore, I hope that the reader will understand my point-of-view on the topic right from the thesis statement.… [read more]

Myers-Briggs Personality Scale Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,489 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


I am open to meeting new people, and feel my life is richer when I know more people. I don't mind being alone, but I prefer to interact with others.

Part III: a. Describe the following: 1) Artisan, 2) Guardian, 3) Rational, 4) Idealist.

Artisan personality generally refers to people who are extraverted, who love being around other people. Artisans… [read more]

Rousseau David Hume Book Report

Book Report  |  2 pages (755 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Rousseau stated that "Discourse is motto" in his book Discourse on Inequality. Does this quotation guide Rousseau's argument in the Discourse? If so, to what extent?

I actually do not see how it is related since 'Discourse' means a lecture or discussion.

On the other hand, it may guide his treatise in that the whole treatise is a critique on the conventional structural and societal differences between man.

According to Rousseau, "man is born equal but is everywhere in chains" by man's own design, meaning that man, in his natural state, is an animal like any other prompted by pity and self-survival for perseverance. Rousseau sounds like a per-darwinist. Man in this state is the ideal human. He is driven by his drive of perfectibility to improve himself and his condition, but he has no moral inclinations or principles, nor conscience as such. He has few needs, and little contact with others. He is happy.

Man is, however, a creature who is shaped by his surrounding. Natural forces such as earthquakes and famines drove him to all corners of the globe, where, forced to live amongst others, man developed a set of conventions. Reason and society developed simultaneously, but reason also became a negative element in that it enchained men with a set of societal rules (such as amour propre) that are more unnatural than liberating. Men, too, s tarted to compare themselves to others and to dominate others in order to boost their esteem.

The Discourse continues to show how physical inequality is soon replaced by moral inequality by rich expropriating property form poor and, in very Marxist terms, Rousseau describes how the rich oppress the poor and, in order to rationalize and entrench their superiority, make rules that the poor have to follow. These rules become the morals

Society, therefore, has gradually evolved form the free liberal state where humans initially lived in ignorant harmony to the last and incrementally reached stage of despotism that is dominated by materialism and wealth. The richer the man, the more powerful he is, and since he is the one who has set the laws -- the more the laws incline towards his advantage.

In effect, therefore, the discourse ends by showing that man has ruined his own race…… [read more]

Kant Adam Smith Locke Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (792 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The state only had the right to infringe upon such property rights if absolutely necessary (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau Econ 205: 18). Locke viewed the ability to retain the property citizens had generated from the toil and sweat of their brows as an integral part of human liberty -- he feared inhumane levels of taxation and appropriation of private property by the state, both which he saw as a way of reducing the population to a state of submission.

In contrast to the positive view of private property held by Locke, Rousseau saw private property as a manifestation of the inequality inherent in the human condition when humans were removed from a state of nature. In the state of nature, every person could simply take what he or she needed from life. In contrast, when society was constructed with divisions of labor, "the property owners and non-laborers" can "dominate and exploit the poor. Rousseau observes that this state of affairs is resented by the poor, who will naturally seek war against the rich to end their unfair domination" (Discourse on inequality, Spark Notes, 2012). Private property is thus a source of discord, rather than a source of personal empowerment and liberty for Rousseau. It reflects the loss of liberty that is the natural causality of the abandonment of a state of nature. Private properties' existence is not a reflection of human liberty. Private property is not a natural extension of human rights as it is for Locke, but an expression of a loss of a purer state of human affairs.

Rousseau believed that private property was less ideal that property owned by the community 'in kind' or commonly, although he did think that as part of the social contract, property rights could be conveyed by the state to private citizens. Still, this concept is fundamentally different from Locke's, as Locke sees property rights as pre-dating the social contract.


Discourse on inequality. Spark Notes. [18 Apr 2012]


Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau. Econ 205. PowerPoint. [18 Apr 2012]


Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Spark Notes. [18 Apr 2012]


Shoulder, Kenneth. Primary qualities, secondary qualities and substance. About.com.

[18 Apr 2012]

http://www.netplaces.com/philosophy/enlightenment-empiricism-sir-isaac-newton-and-john-locke/primary-qualities-secondary-qualities-and-substance.htm… [read more]

Kant, Rousseau, Locke Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (795 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Critically discuss.

In Theory of Moral Sentiment, Adam Smith offers what initially seems to be a very pessimistic view of human nature. He states that human beings are by nature self-interested and will do what they can to advance their personal interests in society. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, it should be noted. In fact, Smith's famous espousal of free market capitalism could be seen as a paradigm of self-interest. In the economic marketplace, persons advancing their own self-interest eventually create an equilibrium which allows the needs of every man to be satisfied. This can be seen in the classical laws of supply and demand, which suggest that as demand increases, price increases. But as price goes up, demand goes down. Eventually a 'happy medium' or an optimal equilibrium price is attained, until market conditions change.

However, Smith does not think that rational self-interest alone drives human morality. His moral theory extends beyond pure economic self-interest. Smith grants that some human beings do accomplish altruistic deeds, without the pressures of pure, rational self-interest: "we get pleasure from seeing the happiness of others because we do really care about their happiness and not merely as a means to our own" (Kilcullen 1996). There is an element of self-interest in this sentiment, since we are still experiencing our own pleasure, but it is derived from witnessing the happiness of others. Human beings are capable of empathy and as social animals they desire their feelings to reflect the sentiments of others: "Social life requires some sharing or correspondence of feeling -- sympathy. If two people cannot sympathize they cannot live together. Hence people control their feelings to bring them into line with the likely sympathetic feelings of the people they associate with" (Kilcullen 1996). Once again, there is an element of 'selfishness' in that it is assumed that the empathetic person must feel some sense of kinship with the other person, based in personal or imagined experience. But the ultimate outcome of the free market of this moral sentiment is beneficence towards others.

Works Cited

Kilcullen, Richard. "Tape 1: Adam Smith -- The Theory of Moral Sentiments." Modern Political

Theory. 1996. [18 Apr 2012]


Rohlf, Michael. "Immanuel Kant." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[18 Apr 2012] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant/#KanCopRev

"Sensibility." Kant Dictionary. [18 Apr 2012]

http://www.philosophy-dictionary.org/Kant-Dictionary/SENSIBILITY… [read more]

Socrates: A Just Life Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,927 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Such person is motivated by the appetitive portion of the soul and he fails to allow his decisions to be decided by reason. He fails to reflect on what is best for the soul as a whole and is only interested is satisfying the appetite part. He is guided simply by what appears pleasant or desirable. Acting in such manner, Socrates argues, means that all of one's values are not allowed full expression. The result is that such individuals feel deprived and incomplete and end up being in a perpetual state of inner conflict. This inner conflict results in an inner hostility toward oneself. A state that Socrates believed was undesirable and which is never in one's best interest.

Whether or not Socrates' description of inner justice is beneficial or ideal has been debated for centuries. It fails to address how one will relate to others. In Socrates' world it is entirely possible to be at peace with oneself; to act in accordance with what you rationally determine to be best for all aspect of one's nature yet fail to treat others rightly yet a more complete reading of Socrates' statements reveals that in Socrates' system of thinking doing injustice to others hurts oneself internally and a just individual would never act consider taking such action. To Socrates causing harm to anyone is an act of injustice and the just man will not harm another because by doing so the just man will prove himself to be the opposite of everything that he claims to be. In the ancient world this was a profound and novel idea. In a world dominated by violence and continued warfare, for anyone to believe that causing harm to another, regardless of the reason, was the act of an unjust person.

Socrates begins the discussion in the Republic arguing that men, as a rule, find it easier to live life enjoying the pleasures of the unjust rather than suffer the inevitable trials and tribulations of a just man who must make decisions based on what is good and just. Socrates argues, however, throughout the body of the Republic that leading a just life is more important that having the opportunity of enjoying the pleasures brought about by living unjustly. In the end, Socrates argues that it is better to live as a poor man and possess a good and just soul than to live one's life unjustly and acquire wealth and power.


Reeve, C.D.C., (editor). (2004).…… [read more]

Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,359 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Forced Compliance

Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance:

The article presented for the purposes of this paper, below, is written by two Stanford University scholars and focuses, as one can see from the above title, on "Cognitive Consequence of Forced Compliance." While the title sounds very academic, and is deeply pensive, one must ask exactly what this essay aims to do, and whether these concepts are as hard to understand and as complex as they may seem at first glance. Indeed, in order to answer these queries, one must summarize the various parts of the article, all of which is rendered below.

The article begins by asking a very important question, one which will shadow its entire analysis, and which states: What happens to a person' private opinion if he is forced to do or say something contrary to that opinion? Needless to say, this is a question that is answered differently by different people, a thing inherent in human nature, as no two persons will think exactly alike. However, there could be a consensus, as a subsequent facet to analysis on this question, the examination of which these writers undertake. They state that studies show that, contrary to the afore-stated belief, under some conditions, "the private opinion changes so as to bring it into closer correspondence with the overt behavior the person was forced to perform." In other words, if theory does not correspond to fact, or thought to action, a person will do his or her best in order to create symmetry between two intangibles, and reconcile his or her own changing nature with the preceding, individualized status quo.

At the end of this explanation as to how a person reacts when they are forced to comply, is simple reasoning: survival. Individual opinion will move and waver according to the medium in which an individual finds himself or herself. The authors go on to state, after describing other experiments focusing on the same question, and in relation to the above statements that,

"One would consequently expect to observe […] opinion change after a person has been forced or induced to say something contrary to his private opinion. Furthermore, since the pressure to reduce dissonance will be a function of the magnitude of the dissonance, the observed opinion change should be greatest when the pressure used to elicit the overt behavior is just sufficient to do it."

It is this statement, together with the focus question (i.e. What happens to a person' private opinion if he is forced to do or say something contrary to that opinion?) that the paper strives to analyze in more depth, and for this reason, the authors conduct their own experiment, the procedure of which is rendered in detail below.


The authors begin the section by restating a point made previously; namely, that the experiment "was designed to test [the] derivation [between private and coerced opinions and their results] under controlled, laboratory conditions. For this reason, the experiment took a sample of 71 male… [read more]

Moral Luck by Admitting Defeat Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,865 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


But where does a notion of moral luck apply to (say) members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Americans who were sufficiently opposed to Fascism that they went to fight it in Spain before there even was an ethical choice to be made about resisting the most repellent actions of Nazism? This is the situation of the hero of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, and of Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca. As testimony to the fact that time plays a much larger role in moral evaluations than Nagel seems willing to concede, we can recall the U.S. government's queasy euphemism for members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade -- they were "prematurely anti-Fascist." The choice to oppose Nazism was a choice that was regularly made by those who identified as Communists, after all -- and in Britain or America or Germany, their Communism rendered them greater domestic enemies than the Fascists did until it was demonstrated that their view of Hitler was more accurate than, say, Neville Chamberlain's. It is worth noting that, after the war, their anti-Fascism was not hailed as moral astuteness or prescience -- before Hitler's invasion of Poland, they were "prematurely anti-Fascist" but soon after Hitler's suicide they were the Red Menace, subject to McCarthyist witchhunts. In this case, Nagel's insistence that moral action cannot be judged solely on the ethical nature of the will (as Kant insists) but must include some attention to results can seem more problematic. The real difficulty is the way that time can wholly redefine the nature of ethical judgments, simply because ethical judgments are (in Nagel's definition) always made in retrospect. The advantage of the Kantianism that Nagel argues against is that it attempts to abolish luck by refusing the retrospective aspect that judges actions by results, and by restricting what is morally analyzable to what corresponds with the way in which human…… [read more]

Sociology Obedience, Authority, &amp Responsibility Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,585 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7


(Akerloff 1991) People in societies should seek to understand and achieve a balance between obedience and leadership. It is important for each person to be a good follower neither following blindly, nor over-questioning authority, and how to be a good leader.

The quote that truly sways me to this position is the one mentioned earlier. I think that quote truly captures the state of mind and behavior regarding obedience and responsibility for atrocities. The statement is akin to Marx's theory of alienation of labor as a result of a capitalist system. People are alienated from their products and from their labor living detached, disconnected lives. In this case, people are alienated from their actions and their responsibilities, leaving a world in a mess: there are all these horrors occurring yet no one is responsible for them? What do we do? We begin with questioning obedience and taking responsibility for our actions.


Aguilera, Ruth V., & Vadera, Abhijeet K. "The Dark Side of Authority: Antecedents, Mechanisms, and Outcomes of Organizational Corruption." Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 77 no. 4 (2008): 431 -- 449.

Akerlof, George, A. "Procrastination and Obedience." The American Economic Review, Vol. 81, no. 2 (1991): 1 -- 19.

Biggart, Nicole Woolsey, & Hamilton, Gary G. "The Power of Obedience." Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 29, no. 4 (1984): 540 -- 549.

Bocciaro, Piero, & Zimbardo, Philip G. "Defying Unjust Authority: An Exploratory Study." Current Psychology, 29(2010): 155 -- 170.

Elms, Alan C. "Obedience in Retrospect." Journal of Social Issues, 51(1995): 21 -- 31.

Leveilee, Nicholas P. "The Role of Obedience in Society." Student Pulse, 2011 (25 March…… [read more]

Pleas of His Friend, Crito Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (715 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


In disregarding Crito's advice, Socrates chose to honor his commitment to truth and morality even though it will cost him his life. Socrates believes that if he chose to escape as Crito suggests that such escape would be neither justifiable nor true. Although his family and friends would be happier if he escapes he would not be following the moral or justice code of the state where he had lived his entire life. On the other hand if he were to escape the other citizens of Athens would not be pleased and they may decide to take their frustrations and disappointment in him out on his family and friends. He believes that it is always wrong to break an agreement and that obeying the state is a requirement up until the very moment of death (Grube, p. 57).

The analogy that Socrates offers is that by disobeying the state and choosing to escape would be like not obeying the parents that had raised him (Grube, p. 54). Instead, Socrates chose his commitment to truth, morality and philosophy over his very life. His commitment to his state was so strong that he felt that disobeying it was like committing suicide; a disregard for everything that he had always believed in and for which he had lived. Socrates believed that by disobeying his state and choosing to escape he would never be allowed to enter it again, nor would he ever be able to live peacefully. In the end, Socrates placed the interests of his state above his own. He did so unselfishly and stuck to his moral convictions to the very end. Crito's comments and suggestion, on the other hand, were based upon his own feelings and how others would view him. He had little or no concern for the state and the importance of its laws. Socrates, however, was able to view the bigger picture even in his darkest and most lonely moments. In doing so, Socrates chose to accept the inevitable which was the loss of his life but he managed to save the morality and truth of Athens which was what always defined the meaning…… [read more]

English Critical Thinking Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,093 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … processing that information in an analytical manner, and being able to bring outside materials to bear upon the material studied. It is more of a process, and can be utilized in public speaking, reading, watching television or movies, or a general approach to daily life.

In general, the basic aspect of critical thinking is to analyze the source material and decide upon its veracity and relevance. For example, not everything posted on the Internet is true; one must read to establish the sources of the material. A critical thinker also uses other senses to establish their opinion of the stimuli, be that visual, audible, or even body-language (in the case of speech, etc.). Using critical thinking to process information requires that you not only analyze the source material "critically," but that you think about the opinions and views being presented. Certainly, it is not as easy to read, write, and process critically, one has to think about what one says, how one says it, and whether the arguments are made to buttress the argument, but the idea of critical thinking is a great stimulation to one's own brain and learning.

When Ludwig Wittgenstein noted, "You cannot know a thing if you do not doubt it," he may have been thinking about how we might use critical thinking in a scholarly way. Applying critical thinking to books and articles would use the process to establish the professionalism and continuity of the publication, the author's expertise, whether this is an opinion piece, or whether one can trust that the facts have been checked. One would, for example, hope that a piece on the economic policy of the United States in the New York Times would hold more credibility than one posted on Homer's Blog. In most disciplines, critical thinking would find one going beyond and behind the words to find out what message is really being sent. Using critical thinking in conversations can sometimes be problematical. It is important that people be allowed their opinion, and not everyone will back up that opinion with facts. However, how one takes in the information and uses it is one's own responsibility, and critical thinking would have one ask the same questions about the facts of the information regardless of the medium.

In philosophy and scholarship, Critical Theory is somewhat a response to the maxim "whatever you say a thing is, it isn't." This has been argued for centuries, back to Ancient Greece and the idea of forms having structure and shape only when described in meaningful ways to an individual -- but not every individual agrees with those forms. Thus, critical thinking has a transformative methodology. The answers provided should focus on the manner in which we, as humans, should live. The discovery of that "truth" however, is part of a methodology developed in Ancient Greece by the philosopher Socrates. In its most fundamental form it is a way to debate opposing viewpoints, either with others or through self inquiry, using questions… [read more]

Kant's Definition of the Mind Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (609 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … priori and a posteriori capacities of the mind say about it's own activity. Also, they will contrast Kant's definition of the mind at its processes with that proposed by Locke. Their prognostications about the human mind form the basis of our knowledge of the conscious mind.

First, we must define a priori knowledge (that which can be known as true without any reference to or evidence from the outside world) and also a posteriori knowledge (that which can only be known by an examination of the outside world to observe whether or not it is in fact that way. According to Kant, the human mind contains certain particular capabilities for the perception of kinds of order in the world, such as the phenomenon of causation. His argument was that the innate capacities of mental perception were on a base level a priori. He felt that somehow within humanity was an innate or at the least a necessary precondition for rational thought ("A priori/a posteriori," 2012).

We know that at a base level, that Kant was correct in his view that is called idealism. He further argued that the mind places a an arbitrary structure upon the world and raises the possibility that the perceptions we have may be a delusion, or an oversimplification. This represents our sensory limitations. Also, our understandings of the world may be very wrong at sometimes. Evolution has guaranteed humanity with some objective alignment between the relevant properties of the real world and the mental capacities of perception of the human mind, that is a balance between the a priori and the a posteriori mind (ibid.).

Unfortunately, Kant made the mistake in his baseline assumption that what could be determined through introspection was alway a priori. While he accurately perceived important aspects of the human mind via introspection,…… [read more]

Condillac's Proposal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (751 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Kant -- Condillac's Proposal

Etienne de Condillac was a French philosopher who was specifically interested in the philosophy of the mind. He lived during most of the 18th century, from 1715 to 1780 and was able to devote himself to his studies by becoming the Abbot of Mureau in France. He was certainly a product of his time, and as an early psychologist helped bring newer insights into some of the other Enlightenment thinkers, among which Locke and Voltaire are the most famous. As a part of his time, Condillac's works and thought form most of the best examples of 18th century thought -- a lucid way of explaining cognition, brevity in his writings (as opposed to the florid styles of the previous century), moderation in all things (more of a return to Aristotle) and an endless pursuit of the logical method (Falkeintein, 2007).

From a philosophical point-of-view, Condillac believed language was the vehicle in which senses and emotions were transformed into higher cognitive thoughts and that language reflected the structure of those thoughts in a definable manner. Since all knowledge comes from the senses and there are no real innate ideas, language becomes an expression of what human's sense in their world. Similarly, economics is a logical outgrowth of those thoughts and support the idea that human history is divided into two phases: progress and decline. During the progress phase, development is rational and the use of resources robust causing negative behavior from the "have" classes and encouraging luxury until decline sets in and the masses arise and the process begins again (Hergenhahn, 2005).

Condillac's Proposal holds that sensations are spread across a given space, even though they are not spatial. The only way to experience them is through sensation and feedback from those sensations. Similarly, sensation and emotion, as we have seen, give rise to language, and their communication when sensations are absent is only viable once language has already been developed. A person may exist without language; but not be rational -- and language is communication and a social function of thought and feeling as well as our own bank storage (in our minds) for the relationships of how things are conceived. "In a state of total isolation the human being is…… [read more]

Fallacies in Fredrick Douglass Speech the Hypocrisy of American Slavery Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,102 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Fallacies in Frederick Douglass' the Hypocrisy of American Slavery

In 1852, at a July 4th celebration in Rochester, New York, former slave Frederick Douglass gave a famous speech arguing against slavery. Douglass began by highlighting the differences between the state of whites and blacks during that time, and focused on the fact that the idea of an American day celebrating independence highlighted the differences between him and his audience, a group of white Americans. His speech remains one of the most famous speeches by an abolitionist, and, in it, he makes some strong arguments against slavery. However, while the speech is strong, persuasive, and moving, it is also a wonderful example of fallacious rhetorical devices. Throughout the speech, Douglas employs several fallacies including: the ad hominem attack, begging the question, and the appeal to belief. These fallacies seem to support his argument, but because they actually leave his claims vulnerable to legitimate challenges, they actually undermine the strength of his argument. However, that does not mean that Douglass' argument was ineffective. While it contained several fallacies, it also contained significant support for the idea that slavery was immoral.

One of the fallacies apparent in Douglas' motion is his use of an ad hominem fallacy. Generally, an ad hominem fallacy is "a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting)" (Nizkor Project, Description of ad hominem, 2011). In Douglass' argument, the interesting twist is that rather than using a negative ad hominem attack, Douglass relies on the reputed goodness of God to make an argument. He states, "Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine" (Douglass, 1852). Clearly, Douglass is trying to suggest that God's inherent goodness means that God could not sanction something like slavery. However, this is a fallacy. "The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made)" (Nizkor Project, Description of ad hominem, 2011). In other words, whether or not God is good has nothing to do with whether or not He established slavery.

Another fallacy that Douglass employed was begging the question, which is also known as circular reasoning. "Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that… [read more]

Dialectic of the Enlightenment Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (658 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Our preoccupation with what he calls metanarratives has to be replaced by a conception of political discourse as a dual of local narratives and language games and not toward "final" resolutions, but a continuing dialogue. But toward creative and novel. Habermas, wishes to preserve his and other scholars epistemological and modernist search for a universal and impartial theory of justice. He calls Lyotard an irrationalist and conservative, betraying an intellectual poverty of the resources needed to carry out a systematic critique of present practices and in the detection in ideological distortions in discourse. Perhaps this is why one can not separate the concerns of modernity and postmodernity from each other. It is a bit like the chicken and the egg. Both perspectives have validity and it is hard to say other is wrong. Both have seeming beginnings and ends that look similar. The two discourses form each other because they are part of a dialectical paradigm that can not be separated. Like permanently joined Siamese twins, they die without each other. The paradigm can not be "localized" to one discipline. Instead, it is one that spans disciplines (Fairfield 994)


In this short essay, we examined Lyotard and Habermas's stance on the issue on the issues of postmodernity and modernity and their relationship to the enlightenment. Lyotard believed that we have to transcend the historical narratives to comprehend the implications of the phase from modernism to postmodernism. We saw how Habermas saw postmodernism as simply a deconstruction of modernism. Certainly, both positions have merit. Perhaps the argument is like the chicken and the egg and postmodernism really can not be disconnected in any real way from modernism or the enlightenment before that.


Fairfield, P.. (1994). Habermas, Lyotard and Political Discours. Available:

http://www.*****/pdf/19/rp_19_5.pdf. Last accessed 20 Feb 2012.
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Ferraris, M., & Taraboletti Segre, A.. (1988). Postmodernism and the Deconstruction…… [read more]

Neo-Aristotelian Criticism Essay

Essay  |  9 pages (3,423 words)
Bibliography Sources: 9


Neo-Aristotelian Criticism

In September 2005, Jane Fonda gave the keynote speech, entitled "The New Feminism: Reuniting the Head, the Heart & the Body," at Women & Power, a three-day conference hosted by the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, an organization oriented towards "focusing on health and wellness, spiritual growth, and self-awareness, as well as V-Day, "a global activist movement to… [read more]

Dialogues of Plato Book Report

Book Report  |  3 pages (928 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Therefore, they must have knowledge of the topic in which they speak, such as virtue. If a man tries to teach of virtue, then he too will likely become more virtuous.

2. Critically discuss any one argument for the immortality of the soul (from Phaedo) b. Critically discuss what Socrates means when he says the philosopher spends his life practicing dying.

In the dialogue entitled "Phaedo," Plato writes a dialogue as if Socrates were speaking to a group of listeners during his last hours on Earth. In the piece, he expresses his beliefs on the immortality of the soul. Through the piece, Socrates makes four arguments which are designed to support his theory. First there is the "cyclical argument" which is that since the human body is mortal and can perish, then the soul must be a formal opposite. Just like matter cannot be either created or destroyed, only changed, so too the human soul cannot either begin or end; it simply changes forms. The second argument is the "theory of recollection" which states that at the moment of birth, people already have some knowledge, such as how to breath and how to cry and how to relate to mother and father. The only logical reason for this prenatal knowledge, according to Socrates, is if the soul is older than the physical body and has already been through a life before. Thirdly, Socrates argues that there are two types of things which exist: the tangible and seeable components of the world and the more ethereal, invisible aspects. Just because they are not visible, does not mean that these things do not exist. The final argument in favor of the presence of the soul is that it participates in the life process. Since to exist, something must be temporary and something infinite, it is only logical that the soul not only exists, but it also eternal.

The life of Socrates was ended by a glass of poison. However, long before his death, Socrates was quoted as saying that philosophers spend their lives practicing dying. By this, it is likely that he meant that for a philosopher, life is but a short-term in a longer process. The soul cannot die. Therefore, man cannot really die. His body may perish, but the soul continues on into the next plane of existence. Through "Phaedo," Socrates proved his belief that the soul was within each human being and that this soul was invisible and infinite. If the soul is immortal, then this part of man is also immortal. Philosophers, being perhaps more insightful than other members of the society, will understand this immortality and will celebrate the death of their body as the potential for rebirthing of the soul.

Works Cited:

Plato. Great Dialogues of Plato. Perfection…… [read more]

Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift's Satirical Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,370 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


The narrator does not provide any evidence for the claim that a child only takes two shillings to raise until it is a year old, other than to state that he has thought about it for many years, as if time alone was the surest path to truth. This tactic continues as the narrator pretends to reason out the number of children affected by his proposal. He begins by stating that "the number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half," and then gradually subtracts from that number in order to determine that "there only remain an hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born" (Swift 2-3). The narrator does not offer any justification for the numbers used in his calculations, and this is precisely the point of including them; including the performance of math within the essay is a way of distracting the reader, so that the narrator's perceived legitimacy and accuracy does not stem from the basis for the numbers used, but rather that he bothered to use numbers at all. Thus, when the narrator repeats the phrase "I subtract" over and over, he is essentially using the ability to perform simple calculations as evidence for his scientific prowess (Swift 2-3). Put another way, this section reveals that the narrator's tactic is to convince the reader that because the calculations are correct, the narrator must be trustworthy, even if those calculations are based on arbitrarily determined numbers.

One may view the narrator's use of numbers as an appeal to scientific knowledge and discourse, but this is only one method by which the narrator seeks to support his proposal in lieu of any evidence. Another tactic depends upon the assumed class status of the audience, whereby the narrator appeals to an anonymous authority who bestows some particular piece of knowledge, such as when the narrator states that he has "been informed by a principal gentleman in the country of Cavan" (Swift 3). As the reader will recall, the first sentence of the essay reveals the narrator's true interests, which lie with the upper classes whose seemingly carefree existence is marred by being forced to see poor people when they are out and about. The narrator identifies with and seeks to support the upper classes, so it is only natural that the word of "a principal gentleman" be presented as something as good as fact. By relying on this anonymous member of the upper classes (a tactic used throughout the essay), the narrator is able produce seemingly independent verification of his claims while implicitly reinforcing the authority and ideological control of the upper classes.

The beauty of Swift's A Modest Proposal is the way in which it uses the language and argumentative mode of the upper class in order to reveal the dishonesty and destructive potential of that language. This is why the essay's argument is not just about the plight of the poor, but rather the way in which language is used… [read more]

Descartes Rene and Baruch Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (678 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2



Rene and Baruch

There can be little doubt that Rene Descartes' role in the emergence of modern science was instrumental in the perception of a definition of psychology being at variance with that which was existent during the time of St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle. Largely due to the methodology employed by the French philosopher, he was able to provide a foundation for all sciences -- including psychology, which is the science of how the mind works and various other aspects of cognition -- to truly begin in a manner that can consistently be demonstrated and proven. Descartes' analytic style of presentations on the subject of science and knowledge examines the root causes of what is known within a specific field of study, and attributes those causes to some necessary source that provides the foundation for them. Doing so allowed Descartes to not only provide new definitions and aspects of various scientific processes and fields of studies, but also to surmount many of the conceptions that applied to those fields before, as the following quotation sufficiently demonstrates. "In establishing the ground for science, Descartes was at the same time overthrowing a system of natural philosophy that had been established for centuries" (Smith, 2010).

However, it should be noted that Descartes' distinction between the mind and the body does not necessarily apply to Baruch Spinoza's views in regards to intellect. Descartes traditionally contended that the mind and the body were wholly separate entities, and that the processes and applications of one were entirely inconsequential to that of the other. This duality of existence of these two entities is underscored by the following quotation, in which Descartes "reaches this conclusion by arguing that the nature of the mind (that is, a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (that is, an extended, non-thinking thing), and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other" (Skirry, 2006). Spinoza, on the other hand, primarily viewed the mind and the body as different aspects of a unified…… [read more]

Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,095 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0



Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous I Have a Dream speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on August 28, 1963. That speech was, in some respects, the pivotal moment of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as well as of the entire Civil Rights Era in American history. From a rhetorical perspective of the speech, the author relied primarily on two of the three rhetorical approaches: namely, logos (the appeal to logic) and pathos (the appeal to emotions). The author did not utilize the ethos approach (the appeal to the status or authority of the speaker) except very indirectly and vicariously, in connection with the social status of those to whom the speech was addressed. More specifically, the author appealed to pathos first, by recounting the sad plight of American blacks in history and in contemporary times. Then, the author appealed to logos by reference to the logical basis of the fundamental right of equality as well as by reference to the need to distinguish between racist and non-racist white Americans, and to avoid resorting to bitterness and violence in retribution for injustice. The author's only (arguable) appeal to ethos was through his reference to the status of his long-suffering audience.

Rhetorical Analysis

The author relies more on the strength of the pathos appeal than any other rhetorical approach. Specifically, as illustrated in the following excerpts, he recounted the sad plight of American blacks since their formal emancipation nearly a century earlier.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity…but one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

Rhetorically, that passage evokes the painful image of the millions of slaves who were brutalized throughout the slavery period, juxtaposing that concept with the metaphorical use of the phrase "seared in flames" as a possible reference to the practice of branding slaves in the same manner as cattle. Likewise, the author uses metaphors about sadness, being crippled, loneliness, and exile to underscore the emotional appeal to justice for American blacks.

The author utilizes the appeal to logos several times, such as by referring to the importance of restricting the tools of gaining justice to those that are, themselves, just rather than unjust,… [read more]

Socrates: Offering Legal Counsel Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (663 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Some of your students have had spotted histories, such as Critias, who strove to overthrow the democratic government, and succeeded briefly. However, you must point out that you have never advocated outright sedition. Although you may have spoke of an ideal, philosophical kingdom, you did not say that people should overthrow our current system of government to attain it. You have always enjoyed the freedom of speech offered by Athens, and had Critias had his way, you could not have sustained yourself as a philosopher, given that you would likely have fallen afoul of his antidemocratic principles.

Make it seem as though your speculation about an ideal philosopher's kingdom was an intellectual exercise, like all of your other debate about philosophy, rather than something to be put into real practice. Only by making an argument based upon the principles of free speech do you have a hope of leaving the courtroom a free man. Secondly, you must stress that the actions of some of your former pupils was not based upon your teachings or your urgings, but was rather rooted in their own base nature.

Because of the fears stoked by the recent overthrow and restitution of the democracy, it is possible that these arguments will not succeed, and you will still find yourself condemned through guilt-by-association. Athenian courts are decided by democratic means, and the majority of the population is still fearful about what transpired in the recent past. Also, your manner of questioning people often provokes ire, rather than affection or tolerance.

You must disassociate yourself from the actions of your former students and make every effort not to seem arrogant or boastful. Create a common bond between your ideas and the ideas of the jurors by stressing how your work was supported by the freedom of Athens. Appeal to their higher sensibilities and stress your service to the state.

Work Cited

Linder, Doug. "The trial of Socrates." [13 Jan 2012]

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/socrates/socratesaccount.html… [read more]

Nozick Matrix Questions on Cinema and Reality Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,744 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Nozick Matrix

Questions on Cinema and Reality

Robert Nozick proposes the following thought experiment. Suppose that you were hooked up to an "experience machine." Once hooked up to the machine, you would forget that you were attached to the machine, and for the rest of you life (which would be just as long) you would have exactly the sort of… [read more]

Theoretical Approach Critic on a Chosen Media Object Term Paper

Term Paper  |  11 pages (4,649 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Media Critical Analysis


Hamlet: The struggle of being and the power of passion

Hamlet: The struggle of being and the power of passion

Media critical analysis

The Struggle of Being and Power of the Passions attempts to show the role played by the tragedy in areas such as aesthetics and politics. To this end, the idea is to see,… [read more]

Aristotle Ethics in Book X Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,150 words)
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States and households both should encourage this type of training in virtue, though, which leads Aristotle into his discussion of Politics.

As Aristotle explains in Chapter 7, the happiness associated with the contemplative life is by far superior to that associated with the civil or political life, no matter how virtuous. In fact, he even refers to the superhuman quality of this type of life, which might be beyond the capabilities or ordinary mortals. He also explains that this type of life requires more leisure than the life of politics or military service, but it is still the best life and brings the greatest happiness. Since the nous of humanity is also divine, it has a natural longing for transcendence to the spiritual level, which is the greatest good. Aristotle seems to be saying, however, that in order to fully live in this way, the individual will have to withdraw from the day-to-day concerns of politics, public service or civic duties. Certainly the base and animal-like majority who spend all their time dwelling on food, sex and physical desires can have no part of this higher spiritual happiness. Perhaps the true contemplatives would have to live secluded lives as monks, nuns or hermits, away from all the cares and temptations of the world. In this area, later Christian theologians and philosophers found much in Aristotle's Ethics that was congenial, especially his contempt for the life of hedonism and physical pleasure and the deliberate cultivation of virtues. In their case, though, the main goal was salvation of the soul rather than happiness.

Despite all the great scientific and technological advances over 2,500 years, much or Aristotle's analysis of humanity and society still holds true in the modern world. Fundamentally, most people do exist on the rather low level as consumers of pleasures and avoiders of pain. Indeed, mass consumer society treats this type of mindless hedonism as a virtue and even a necessity to stimulate the economy. Mass media and culture encourage this type of immersion in pleasure and self-indulgence that Aristotle would have despised as animal-like. Certainly modern society also places very high value on money-making and idealizes the wealthy in ways that Aristotle would have found repugnant. He probably would have viewed contemporary American society as a kind of oligarchy rather than a republic or aristocracy, which could only survive if middle class citizens and nobles had a high degree of civil virtue and considered the needs of society over their personal pleasures and desires. Aristotle would also have found a definite lack of civic virtues in the politicians and leadership class, who definitely do not regard virtue as its own reward and view high office as a means of obtaining power and wealth. By Aristotle's standards, then, it is neither a very virtuous nor a happy society, and the young are being trained to turn out base rather than noble. Even in religion and spiritual life, all too often those lacking in virtue use this as a path… [read more]