"Philosophy / Logic / Reason" Essays

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Environmental Ethics There Are Few Issues Today Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,002 words)
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Environmental Ethics

There are few issues today more widely discussed and more controversial than the environment. The specter of global warming has taken the spotlight from other environmental issues, but these issues as a whole have been slowly gaining prominence since they were first raised several centuries ago. The duty, if any, that human beings bear to their environment -- that is, to this planet and the multitude of ecosystems on it that our actions directly and indirectly affect -- has been a major topic for debate, especially in the latter half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. There are many different viewpoints on the subject, each backed by often incredibly passionate proponents. Many people at this point in time, if not most, agree that we as a species do have a huge effect on our environment and that we must take some responsibility to preserve nature. The preservation of untamed wilderness, especially, is a hot-button issue. There are a variety of opinions on whether this should be a priority, and on why, an almost all of these opinions come down to some form of human selfishness.

This might seem unfair, but in reality most human acts are done for the betterment of the individual or the species, and sometimes both. Acting in any other way would be nonsensical -- though some profess this belief, few individuals act in a way that suggests they would provide nature with a benefit to their own sever detriment (i.e., not many have died to save a tree). Still, there are some good selfish reasons for developing a system of environmental ethics. One such good selfish reason for preserving nature is the cathedral argument. Many cultures and individuals have found something sacred and/or holy about nature. Nature in its rawest forms can allow one -- or seem to allow one -- some glimpse of the act of creation, which is a profound religious experience. Others claim to feel a sense of rebirth, or of a return to some ultra-moral or even amoral state. In short, the cathedral argument maintains that nature provides a sort of religious sanctuary that cannot be duplicated, and as such it should remain as unsullied as any church or other religious edifice. Though the utility of nature in this view is entirely ethereal and in no way scientifically verifiable, it is this very unverifiable nature of nature that proponents of the cathedral argument wish to protect.

An almost entirely opposite argument for the preservation of wilderness is called the laboratory argument. As its name implies, this view sees nature as a laboratory, capable of giving humans insight into many branches of knowledge, including biology, medicine, genetics, and more. It is by definition impossible to reproduce any natural environment; there is now ay to create the raw and unplanned synchronicity that nature appears to have. Thus, each unique patch of nature that is destroyed is irrevocably lost, and any future knowledge or insights yet to be obtained along with… [read more]


Count of Monte Cristo Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,024 words)
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Monte Cristo

Hope and Patience in the Count of Monte Cristo

There is a distinction which may be useful to describe the protagonist of any important literary work that makes as its focus the human experience. If not a hero, the protagonist is an individual whose profound effect on the events and interactions constituting the lives of those in his presence makes his story worthy of recollection. In Alexandre Dumas' preeminent revenge drama the Count of Monte Cristo there is a protagonist who captures this notion. Indeed, Edmond Dantes serves as an example for the singular will to hope which seems to define an individual of such impact. Suffering sudden injustice in spite of his youthful brilliance and wide open opportunities, Dantes is thrust into a deep, despairing darkness to which there is no apparent end. It is thus that his life become a masterpiece of patience and optimism. It is perhaps the case that he is sustained by knowledge, and most certainly true that he is afforded much by the presence of the mentor which he gains in his circumstance. Thus, although Dantes would ultimately grow to be men of considerable success and importance, capable of gaining that which desires upon design and whim, he is a man molded by a combination hope and waiting. Thus, when at the resolution of the novel his revenge leaves him empty, this is the only resolution in which we may gain comfort. Where he expresses man's obligation simply to 'wait and hope,' he offers quite simply the philosophy which helped to deliver him from permanent darkness to an ultimately luxuriant existence.

As the protegee of Abbe Faria, Dantes undergoes a transition that will essentially render nonexistent the innocent and ignorant young man who enters the Chateau d'if. With no way to pass the hours of his days but to learn, Dantes' time in prison is spent amassing the power of wisdom. The brilliant Faria is not simply essential to initiating an education that would shape the boy into a hardened man but also for endowing him with the wisdom to see the truth of his situation. A former political dissident himself, Faria has an intuition not afforded to his young prison-mate. But as he helps Dantes to understand the plot which had him incarcerated, he provokes a change which will shape the direction of the rest of the novel. In recognition of that change, Faria tells Dantes that "I regret now,... having helped you in your late inquiries, or having given you the information I did." "Why so?" inquired Dantes. "Because it has instilled a new passion in your heart -- that of vengeance" (Dumas 56) This exchange illuminates the importance of the mentor's influence, for better or worse, in shaping the course of his student's future exploits, and for giving him a proposition upon which to rest hope and patience. Under the oppressive weight of the prison walls, it is clear to a man of Faria's experience that Dantes will undergo… [read more]


Fashion Industry Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,254 words)
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Fashion Industry

The so-called "Grandfather paradox" refers to a situation in which a person could turn back in time and perform the murder of his or her grandfather because he or she hates him. It is known that grandfather's death occurred in the year of 1957 from natural causes. The time travelling machine though takes the grandson to 1921.The question which arises regards the very possibility for such a crime to take place. The matter has been formulated by a division in two possible arguments.

According to the first argument the grandson has what it takes and if he has what it takes he can kill the grandfather. The conclusion is that he can kill the grandfather. According to the second argument, he did not kill the grandfather and if he did no kill him then it mean he can not kill him. The conclusion thus deriving is that he can not kill the grandfather.

Analyzing the first argument it is obvious that a contradiction appears. If one kills his grandfather before he conceives an offspring who will be the very father of the assumed assassin, then the assassin, let's call him Tim can not be born in the first place. Assuming that Tim goes back in time after his parent what already born and has all the required conditions in order to kill his grandfather, it could be safe to assert that he kills him indeed. But there is a factual information according to which the grandfather died from natural causes. The contradiction is so big that it makes us consider the entire affirmation false.

The analysis of the second argument proves to be more complex. Just as Paul Horwich puts it, the fragility of the argument derives from the logical connection between the premises, which is directly causal. If Tim did not kill his grandfather then it results that he can not kill him. It is only common seems to acknowledge that there are many things which we do not do even if we can do them and the fact that we have not performed them does not determine our capacity of performing them.

Lewis on the other hand focused on the importance of the context. According to him the capacity of a person to do something depends on the circumstances he or she finds himself in. In other words somebody many be able to do something in a certain context and unable to do it if the context differs.

Therefore, from his perspective, both arguments can be proved to be unsound. Under the circumstances in which grandfather died in 1957, then it is obvious that Tim can not kill the grandfather and so the premise "Tim can kill grandfather" will result to be false. If we assume that there is no information regarding neither grandfather nor Tim after the date of 1920, then "Tim can kill grandfather" becomes a true premise and "Tim can't kill grandfather" is false. The overall argument is thus unsound.

It must be… [read more]


Boethius and the Material World the Attitude Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (798 words)
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Boethius and the Material World

The attitude and philosophy with regard to the material world that is to be found in the writings of Boethius can best be understood in terms of the basic tenets the Platonic philosophy of idealism. As one study notes: " Boethius was a major channel of Platonist philosophy to the Middle Ages. In 'The Consolation of Philosophy' he teaches that the eternal ideas are inborn ideas that people remember from the previous existence of the soul." (Guisepi R.) His view of the material world relied to a great extent on the thinking of the Greek Neoplatonists, such as Porphyry and Iamblichus. (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius)

In brief, the Platonic world of ideal forms refers or the true nature of reality as opposed to the mundane or material realm of particulars - which, in essence, is not considered as reality at all. This is clearly illustrated in the famous Platonic allegory of the cave, where humanity sees only the reflections and reality of reality outside the cave and mistakes these reflections for reality itself.

Therefore, the Platonic vision of reality is also seen in the works of Boethius. For Boethius the material world also has no intrinsic value or reality, but is informed by the reality of the ideal world. We see this in his argument concerning universals as opposed to particulars. He argues that, as universals are common to many particulars, they in fact are abstract entities and as such universals they do not exist in reality, but in thought alone. (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius) better understanding of this critique of the material world can be found in his most famous work, the Consolation of Philosophy. This work was written at the time of his apparently unjust incarceration as he awaited execution. The dialogue in the text takes place between a prisoner, who is obviously Boethuis, and the personification of philosophy. The prisoner complains about his unjust and tragic situation. Philosophy replies that it is attitude and perception of reality that is the true cause of his suffering. She states that, "Why, then, O mortal men, do you seek that happiness outside, which lies within yourselves?" (Boethius - the Consolation of Philosophy) This implies that reality lies not in the material world of fortune and circumstance but is on a different plane and level of experience.

Philosophy goes on to argue that the material…… [read more]


How Has Media or Campaign Spun Affected the 2008 Election Thesis

Thesis  |  8 pages (3,019 words)
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Spin

Political campaigns consist not just of statements and appearances by the candidate but also statements by the candidates advisors, often in an effort to spin the press as to how the press should see the meaning of whatever the candidate just did or just said. The practice is so much a part of the process that the press regularly… [read more]


Augustine and Aquinas: The Influence of Platonic Essay

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¶ … Augustine and Aquinas: The Influence of Platonic and Aristotelian Thought

According to St. Augustine, one of the greatest sins of his early life was his love of classical, pagan philosophy. Augustine traces his early sinfulness not simply to his crimes of fornication and stealing pears as a young boy, but also to his belief in the superiority of Latin classical rhetorical works over the Christian words of the Bible. However, he did acknowledge the pagan neo-Platonists who had influenced his thought. In fact, in his Confessions, Augustine writes that it was studying the neo-Platonists that enabled him to break away from the erroneous, heretical teachings of the erroneous, heretical teachings of the Manicheans. It was the neo-Platonists "that first made it possible for him to conceive the possibility of a non-physical substance" that still had value and an existence in the created world before him. Neo-Platonic philosophy which stressed the ideal world of the 'forms' as intuitively sensed or felt by the soul provided him an outlet from the common-sense materialism, in the tradition of pure Aristotelian materialists. For Augustine, the Platonic idea that there is a better, higher world of forms than the one in which we currently dwell, but which still resembles that world, provided him with an explanation about how the world could be created by a good God, yet still possess evil within it -- heaven was a more perfect reflection of life on earth, but still had a correspondence to it.

Augustine's overall emphasis on deductive reasoning can also be traced to the Greeks, as can his belief that grace is always 'there,' it must merely be recognized. This recalls one of Plato's Socratic dialogues, where Plato demonstrates that an ignorant slave can be taught a geometric proof through deduction -- true knowledge is always residing in the human mind, waiting to be drawn out, because of humanity's rational capacity. Similarly, grace is always there to be drawn out, in Augustine's Christian understanding of salvation.

It is true that Augustine's stress upon inner sense "bears some affinities to Aristotle's common sense" for it "makes us aware that the disparate information converging upon us from our various senses comes from a common external source" and "makes us aware when one of our multiple senses in not functioning efficiently. Augustine's discussion of the senses thus reflects some belief in the value of inductive or experiential learning. But for Augustine, the senses are more apt to lead an individual astray…… [read more]


Kant Claims That the Categorical Imperative Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (999 words)
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Kant claims that the categorical imperative will lead us to objective, universal and necessary rules which we will know a priori. In other words it is a universalist theory yet we are morally autonomous -we make the decisions. If everyone is morally autonomous and makes his or her own moral decisions, why is this not a subjectivist position?

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote at a time when there were two divergent philosophical 'camps.' Some rationalist philosophers, in the tradition of Descartes, believed that human beings were capable of knowing truths a priori or solely based on cerebral, rational analysis, without reference to actual experience of hands-on tests of knowledge in the real world. Another word for this view of rationalist, a priori knowledge is that of deductive reasoning, or proceeding from generalized principles to reach specific truths. An example of this might be that 'all men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal.' Kant, however, believed that subjective perceptions could interfere with the human capacity to make moral decisions.

The opposing philosophical camp Kant was responding to with his line of analysis was that of empiricist philosophers who denied the ability to know anything a priori, and insisted humans could only gain knowledge a posteriori, or after testing that knowledge in the real world. Extreme empiricists believed that nothing could be known from generalities, and every specific situation had to be tested -- taken to the extreme, even turning on the faucet would be an experiment, and someone could only state definitively that the water would work after it was turned it on, not assume from previous experiences that it would work. We might function in the real world on the assumption that what happened in the past would be true in the present, but this was not an objective form of absolute truth according to the empiricists. Moral decisions thus had to be made on a case-by-case basis, rather than based on absolute moral principles. Kant rejected such radical subjectivity, just as he rejected the rationalist's absolute belief in the human capacity to know everything through rational analysis.

Kant attempted to create a bridge between these two overviews, stating that we can know some things only through experience and validating the scientific method of testing things in the real world -- but Kant also stated that other things could be known a priori, and these moral commands must be obeyed as if the decision-maker was setting moral law for all time. This is why Kant's great treatise is called a Critique of Pure Reason. Kant was criticizing the idea that pure reason alone was enough to know what was true, but his categorical imperative also assumed that there were certain types of moral imperatives that must be obeyed as absolutes. Of course, because we possess free will, we are free to ignore these imperative moral commands from we deduce. Also, we may reason imperfectly or incorrectly given our innate subjectivity as moral actors. But…… [read more]


Othello the Role of Traits and Weaknesses Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,051 words)
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Othello

The Role of Traits and Weaknesses in Othello

Of all of Shakespeare's plays, Othello: The Moor of Venice, may be the one most driven by character development. All of the play's major characters exhibit very extreme traits and weaknesses, and all of these traits are necessary for the tragedy in the play to unfold. In fact, even the traits that could be otherwise considered positive are so extreme that they make the characters vulnerable to the machinations of the play. Othello is characterized by extreme insecurity, and naivete, which make it possible for Iago to make him believe that Desdemona is having an affair. Desdemona is characterized by being too trusting. Cassio depends too much upon the opinion of others, which makes it easy for Iago to manipulate him in a way that makes it seem as if Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Emilia's loyalty to her husband gives Iago the opportunity to provide Iago with physical evidence suggesting that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him. Finally, Iago's jealousy of causes him to seek revenge against Cassio, and his habit of lying makes it easy for him to manipulate the play's other characters.

Unlike the heroes in Shakespeare's other dramas, one finds it difficult to describe anything heroic in the way that Othello acts in the play, though descriptions of him hint at way he would have been considered heroic. The first introduction that the audience gets to Othello reveals him to be a boastful and proud man. Iago urges him to hide from Brabantio, Desdemona's father, who is coming to investigate reports that Desdemona and Othello are sleeping together. Rather than hide, Othello states that he will stay there, stating, "My parts, my title and my perfect soul / Shall manifest me rightly." (Othello, I.ii, 35-36). This statement initially gives one the impression that Othello is a confident man, but his later actions reveal that those statements are nothing more than the bluster of an insecure man. Later, he describes talking to Desdemona about his early adventures in his life, and says, "She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd / and I loved her that she did pity them." (Othello, I.iii, 182-183).

While her husband is too insecure, Desdemona is too trusting. Unlike Othello, Desdemona is able to recognize that Iago is a villain. She sees how he treats Emilia, and tells Emilia, "Do not learn / of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband." (Othello, II.i, 175-176). However, even though she has witnessed Iago's ill treatment of his own wife, Desdemona never suspects that Iago is the one convincing Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful. Of course, Desdemona's trust ends up being her fatal flaw. Even though Othello has been very cruel to her in the preceding days, Desdemona obeys his instructions for her to stay in her bed. She seems aware that she may be facing her death. She speaks of her possible death to Emilia and instructs her to use one… [read more]


Happy Ending Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (957 words)
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Happy Endings

Margaret Atwood's Happy Endings is an illustration of the premise that the ending of a story is always the same, only the middle matters. This premise is predicated on the fact that ultimately everyone dies, conveniently ignoring the fact that a story need not be carrying through to this ultimate conclusion to have relevance.

This contrivance aside, Atwood's point is to focus the reader on the importance of understanding how the conclusion is reached and why. The six story sketches contained in Happy Endings illustrate vast differences between the beginnings and middles of six stories that end the same way.

Thus, the six stories present differing views of cause and effect. The underlying theme is that in the absence of love, conflict arises. That conflict is necessary to propel the story, to make it interesting. For example, Atwood renders a, D and E. quickly. These stories are full of love, and have no particular conflict. The result of this lack of conflict, as Atwood presents it, is a lack of an interesting story.

The examples of B. And C. illustrate stories with conflict. The point Atwood makes towards the end is that it is not the actions themselves that are the main point of interest, but the reasons for the actions. The conflict that arises between Mary and John in B. derives from a lack of love on the part of John. The heart of the story is not that John does not love Mary, but why he does not and why she does love him. These questions reach into the core of the two characters and are the key to insight.

With C, there is more conflict, again deriving from a lack of love. Mary is not in love with John and from that conflict arises. John's motivations are explored somewhat, while Mary's are given only superficial treatment. Indeed, the superficiality of the treatment given to the how's and why's in story C. show that without them, the story is less compelling. While more action happens in C. than in B, it is less interesting. B was focused more on the how's and why's, which helped to drive the story. C focused on action, at Atwood puts it later the 'what', and this is why the story in C. fails to compel.

In using the framework of the six plot sketches, Atwood further illustrates the point about cause and effect. The F. sketch seems completely glossed over to the point of flippancy, but it serves to illustrate that the 'what', 'what', 'what' of the plot is essentially irrelevant. The story might seem more interesting, she points out, because more things happen, but ultimately there is no particular cause or effect. The relationship between John and Mary contains love, and therefore contains no conflict. The revolutionary plotline serves to infuse a sense of conflict into a…… [read more]


Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  3 pages (882 words)
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Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics

Life represents the pursuit of happiness. One of the most significant minds within Western philosophy, Aristotle believed that Happiness is an ultimate end, meaning that we do not use Happiness to reach another end, and therefore what we all seek out Happiness. According to his Nicomachean Ethics, this acquisition then results in the satisfaction of the human mind; thus proving its significance as an end, "So then Happiness is manifestly something final and self-sufficient, being the end of all things which are and may be done," (Aristotle, 8). This means that all other goods, such as Virtue, Friendship, and Contemplation, serve as means to the final end. However, how each individual achieves that universal goal is specifically different. Within this quest for Happiness, men must be individually responsible for the virtue or dishonor of their own actions. When one rationalizes over a decision, it then becomes voluntary and subsequent to following praise or criticism. It is then this rational intellect which helps guide us to moral decisions; ultimately towards moderation which represents a high moral sense of avoiding both situational extremes.

Aristotle believed that there where many ways one could reach any particular end. Accordingly, he also believed there were several methods for seeking out Happiness, the ultimate end. Three in particular represent the quest to Happiness, "For there are three lines of life which stand out predominately to view, that just mentioned [Pleasure], and the life in society, and, thirdly, the life of contemplation," (Aristotle, 4). A life devoted to politics of the social world, and a life of contemplation both represent methods to Happiness -- the life of contemplation being the strongest. However, Pleasure also represents a way to a much briefer Happiness, not the true Happiness we all seek. Happiness through sensual Pleasure represents the most unstable method of reaching Happiness, "they are content with the life of sensual enjoyment," (Aristotle, 4). The foundations of a Pleasure-based quests will not stand against the higher moral ground of taking the path of a life of contemplation.

According to Aristotle, there are three levels of Friendship which can be attained by men. Friendships resulting through utility are the basest of all the levels of Friendship. In this case one or both parties need the other for utilitarian purposes. The basic friendship rests on the material needs of the individual partnership; thus leading it to be a lower form of Friendship which does not last. This Friendship lasts only the duration of the needs of the parties involved. The next level of Friendship rests on the concept of Pleasure for its structural basis. In this form on Friendship,…… [read more]


Elie Wiesel the Last Emperor Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (744 words)
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Elie Wisel/The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor, Night, and "Oedipus Rex"

Ignorance is not bliss. This principle is illustrated in "The Last Emperor" when the young boy, riding his bicycle around the walled city of his palatial home, finds himself face-to-face with the sharp sword of a guard. The boy is trapped in the walled world of Plato's cave, a world that is not immediately recognizable as such, because it is beautiful and because he has every one of his material desires attend to by servants. However, the boy is not happy because he is not realizing the true purpose of every human life, which is to live in a free and independent fashion. He also has no knowledge of his subjects and the lives they lead. At this early stage, the boy is still gazing at the shadow-puppets on the walls of Plato's cave, only dimly apprehending this is not reality. However, his desire to leave the city shows that he still has the instincts of a human being and a philosopher in the Platonic tradition.

After he leaves, however, he mistakes many false things for the real, Platonic world of the forms, such as Western pleasures along the lines of wine, women and song. At this point, realizing the unnaturalness of his original cloistered existence, he has achieved some dim enlightenment but he is still mistaking the world behind the shadows, the puppets casting the shadows as 'the real.' This is also true not only of himself but the communists who attempt to indoctrinate him in the 'one true philosophy.' The Last Emperor gains enlightenment as a commoner, not because of the rightness of communism but because he perceives the transient and arbitrary nature of existence, being a gardener in a place where he was, as a young and ignorant boy, where he was once treated as a god but prohibited from living as a free human being. He sees the impermanence of all human ideology, and realizes that the ideal world of the forms has nothing to do with the material, man-created world.

Rather than beginning in a place of perfect bliss, Elie Wiesel in Night begins in a place of horror, the ghetto of World War II, and…… [read more]


Plato Myth of the Cave Essay

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Plato's Myth Of The Cave

According to the Greek philosopher Plato, what we commonly think of as 'the real world' is not real at all, but merely an imperfect version of an ideal world, a world full of what Plato calls the 'the forms.' The forms are the ideal versions of everything that exists in this false world. Instead of an ordinary horse, for example, in the world of the forms there is a perfect version of a horse -- and there is an ideal version in the world of the forms of what we think of as love, a kind of Platonic love that transcends the physical world.

To illustrate the limits of earthly cognition, trapped in the materiality of existence, Plato created what has come to be called the "Myth of the Cave." In the real world, we are dwelling in a dark cave, isolated from enlightenment and heaven. Puppeteers have chained us to a rock so we cannot escape, and worse still, we do not know that we are chained because the cave is dark, lit only by a fire in the center of the cavern. The puppeteers manipulate shadow-puppets and we think the false shadows on the walls are 'real' but they are in fact only copies of copies.

Most of us live in total darkness, mistaking the shadows for the whole of human existence. Some people see beyond the shadows, but even they often fixate on the puppets which are not truly 'real,' either. It takes a true, enlightened philosopher to understand the nature of human existence, and only a philosopher can gain enough insight to liberate people from the cave. People need to shake off their chains, turn away from the seductive false reality of the shadows and puppets and escape from the darkness, into a world that is lit by sun rather than false fire. This heavenly world of pure forms away from material existence is the Platonic world.

A good example of how even people less philosophically enlightened than Plato experience the levels of cognition of the Myth…… [read more]


Plato's and Xenophon's Works Both Concern Essay

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Plato's and Xenophon's works both concern the trial and subsequent guilty verdict of Socrates. Both authors describe his defense and his reactions to the verdict and sentencing. The main difference between the two works is the perspective, with Plato's Apology written from the first-person perspective, and Xenophon's from the third. These differing perspectives have specific effects upon the presentation of the subject matter; each work then brings to the event elements that are not present in the others. As such, the authors provide the reader with two different perspectives upon the same event, which compliment each other.

In Plato's Apology, Socrates acts as the first-person narrator as well as the character directly involved in the trial as it occurs. This places the reader in a position from which to experience Socrates' perspective directly. The philosopher speaks directly of his viewpoints and experiences, refuting the accusations against him with great eloquence. The main accusation against him is corrupting the youth.

As such, the majority of the text takes the form of a monologue, with only Meletus, the main accuser, joining the philosopher for a brief dialogue. The only other textual differentiation is brief textual interludes to indicate the verdict and sentencing. Socrates provides the Court and reader with his perspectives on his innocence, his wisdom, and his reaction to the news of his death.

Interestingly, the philosopher does not appear to be surprised at the news. Upon the strength of the text alone, the reader however does experience some surprise. Certainly Socrates has provided ample evidence of his innocence; the youth under his care were indeed not corrupted, but upstanding citizens of the community. He also provides philosophical evidence against the possibility of his being the only possible person who can corrupt the youth within the community. Indeed, by comparing the example of a horse trainer, Socrates demonstrates that it is far more likely that numerous persons could harm rather than help the youth, with only a significant minority able to in fact do them some good.

In this context, it is surprising that the jury nonetheless finds Socrates guilty. However, the suspected implication is that the Court itself is corrupt. This is never openly indicated by Socrates, who accepts his death not only with resignation, but indeed with what appears to be some degree of anticipation.

With the perspective of the third-person narrator, Xenophon's Apology of Socrates has far more scope to provide the reader not only with background information, but also with a wider perspective than only that of Socrates. Indeed, he addresses the problems associated with authors and perspective regarding Socrates' situation in the opening paragraph of his work:

none of these writers has brought out clearly the fact that Socrates had come to regard death as for himself preferable to life; and consequently there is just a suspicion of foolhardiness in the arrogancy of his address."

In order to…… [read more]


Twelve Caesars Research Proposal

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¶ … Twelve Caesars work written in 121 AD by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, the Twelve Caesars, stands as one of the best early accounts of the rulers of Rome during the height of the Republic. In this work, Suetonius chronicles the lives of twelve Roman leaders, highlighting the politics and society of the time. As a historical reference, it could be considered biased, as Suetonius interjects his own opinion from time to time. Although it may be questionable as a historical source, it is an excellent glimpse into Roman politics and society during each of the reigns discussed.

Suetonius opens with the Life of Julius Caesar and the Civil War against Pompey the Great. Suetonius showed the human side of Caesar, particularly his mercy on those who had wronged him, choosing to kill them without torture (Suetonius, p. 97).Suteonius provides long lists of Caesar's accomplishments, including improvements to infrastructure that would benefit generations after him (Suetonius, p. 61-63).

It is through Suetonius that we gain a personal look at what the Roman leaders were thinking and feeling at the time. Without this personal perspective, one could only view the Roman emperors as hard, cold individuals who do not feelings. Suetonius gives the reader a perspective that they do not get from other accounts. Suetonius highlights Caesar's famous talent for choosing the correct words to gain the loyalty of his soldiers and fellow countrymen. His tactful use of oratory was one of Caesar's most memorable aspects (Suetonius, p.38, 39). Caesar was assassinated before he could restore the Old Roman Empire.

One of Suetonius's most interesting accounts is that of the Life of Tiberius. According to Suetonius, Tiberius gained the throne after the death of Augustus. Augustus originally had an heir, Postumus Agrippa, but this heir was deemed morally unsound for the throne. Therefore, Augustus adopted Tiberius, beginning the custom of adopting an heir to the throne (Suetonius, p. 287). It seemed that Tiberius was not expected to be successful by Augustus. Tiberius was a brutal leader who deprived the people in order to gain wealth for himself (Suetonius, p.377). As a leader, Tiberius left the state much wealthier than before he came into power. However, he was so hated by the people that they wished to throw him down the stairs and into the Tiber River, as he had done to so many others (Suetonius, p.401).

Suetonius treats the life of the Julian line rules in a less than savory fashion. He highlights their political success, but paints a picture of tyrants that mistreated the people in order to gain their own wealth. He highlights the atrocities of the rulers and the means of their demise, spending much time on assassinations of the rulers. Suetonius spends considerable time on the scandal and drama of the time, making the work entertaining, as well as…… [read more]


Theory Walter Benjamin Essay

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¶ … Producer: A Goal-Oriented Review

In his article, the Author as Producer, Walter Benjamin argues the importance of writers in the Marxist struggle between capitalist and proletariat, urging intellectuals and writers to understand their position in the struggle. Through ties to ancient Greece, the newspaper, and reflection, amongst other connections, Benjamin argues that writers must think about what they are writing and take a significant sociopolitical stance in addition to achieving a certain literary quality or technique. A brief summary of Benjamin's main points and rhetorical analysis of the article's structure will allow readers to grasp Benjamin's goal in penning the piece -- to convince writer's to take a strong side for the proletariat in the Marxist struggle.

To begin his essay, Benjamin immediately establishes the Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union as the dominate and correct empire by comparing it to perhaps the most famous land of intellect and accomplishment in history -- ancient Greece. Specifically, Benjamin does this by asserting that "how Plato treats the poets in his projected state" might possibly be how the socialists should treat writers during the onset of the Marxist revolution -- Plato "does not allow [the poets] to live there," there being what Benjamin calls "perfect community" (Benjamin 1). Essentially, Benjamin suggests that Plato believes writers are "superfluous" rebel-rousers who refuse to take sides although their writing suggests that they do, indeed, take a side whether they are conscious of this or not (1). From this parallel, the author goes on to use the newspaper to suggest that "the portrayal of the author as producer" must be derived from the press" (Benjamin 1). Furthermore, Benjamin goes on to suggest that the press, and most especially the newspaper with its abundance of opinion articles and editorials, allow for the transcendence of traditional boundaries such as reader and writer, promoting interaction. Finally, the author suggests that…… [read more]


Modern American History Essay

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¶ … American History

The cultural revolution of the 1960s and early 1970s brought about, not only in the U.S., but throughout the entire world, a revolt of the younger generation against what they perceived as restrictions to their expression for their parents, teachers or other figures of authority. In order to be a successful revolt, this generation needed anchors… [read more]


Francis Bacon Essay

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Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a politician, statesman, philosopher and scientist who is known, among others, as the founder of the inductive method in science. (the Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary 71) He was also the author of many famous publications and essays. Many of his concepts and works are still influential in the sciences today. Furthermore, he was an important thinker during the English Renaissance and advocated a new way of understanding the natural world known as "active science" which was to be widely influential.

Bacon was born in 1561 to Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper to Queen Elizabeth I, and Lady Anne Bacon. He was the youngest of eight children. (Abbott xxxi) He developed important connections through his parents who were both highly positioned in society and he was to become intimately involved in the cultural, political and academic life of his times.

He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at Gray's Inn. ("Bacon, Francis, English Philosopher and Statesman") He was also deeply involved with the politics of Tudor England and became a Member of Parliament in 1584. However, his political life was not without turmoil; particularly when he opposed the tax policies of Queen Elizabeth I. He received a knighthood in 1603 and became attorney general in 1613. Bacon was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1618 and was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Albans in 1621. ("Bacon, Francis, English Philosopher and Statesman") However, his fortunes changed when he was accused of bribery and was sentenced to the Tower of London. While his sentence was remitted it had a detrimental effect on his political career and he retired and concentrated on his writings. ("Bacon, Francis, English Philosopher and Statesman")

Francis Bacon's thought and philosophies were to be very influential for the development of science and the study of the natural world - especially in terms of scientific methodology. Of particular importance are his theories relating to empiricist philosophy in words such as the Novum Organum Scientiarum. Coupled with this is the importance to contemporary thought of his "doctrine of the idols" as well as the idea of a modern research institute, which he described in Nova Atlantis. ("Bacon, Francis, English Philosopher and Statesman") major contribution of his views and theories to philosophy and the sciences was his application of the inductive method, which has become an accepted part of modern science. In this regard, Bacon went against older deductive ways of understanding the world and "...urged full investigation in all cases, avoiding theories based on insufficient data." ("Bacon, Francis, English Philosopher and Statesman")

These views put forward by Bacon can be seen as a reaction to the state of learning and science in his time. Bacon was of the opinion that the state of science during the Tudor period was too…… [read more]


Plato's Cave vs. The Matrix Research Proposal

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Plato's Cave vs. The Matrix

The allegory of the cave in Plato's philosophy is a central theme that has been adapted and applied in many works of literature and fiction. In the cave allegory, humankind exists in a cave while the true nature of reality is "outside" and the human beings only see reflection or illusions, which they take to be real. In other words, the meaning of the cave allegory refers to the view that we live in a state of illusion and that we are not aware of the real nature of existence. This theme can be related to the film the Matrix, which is in essence a reworking of the central elements of the cave in Plato and aspects of Gnostic philosophy.

In the Platonic allegory the cave is intended to illustrate the difference between the ordinary or mundane world of particulars and the ideal world of Forms. The comparison between the human state or condition and reality is to be found in Book vii of the Republic. In the cave humanity only sees the obscure reflections of the reality that exists beyond the confine of the cave. Plato asserts that true reality resides in encountering and understanding the Ideal Forms of reality.

Plato refers to the truth as beyond our ordinary and mundane conception of reality. It is "... colourless, formless, and intangible, visible only to the intelligence which sits at the helm of the soul..." (Wright, 1921, p. 49) What is of importance in terms of a comparison between this philosophical analogy and the film is the distinction made between living in a state of illusion rather than truth.

In Plato's view, in order to see true reality and have genuine knowledge, we must encounter the Forms or ideals outside the cave. In the film the truth lies in encountering the Matrix that controls the minds of almost all human individuals.

Therefore, in the Matrix we encounter a situation in which all humanity lives under the rule and control of an artificial intelligence that has…… [read more]


Business Statistics Task 1(A) - Group Spending Thesis

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Business Statistics

Task 1(a) - Group Spending

British

German

French

Italian

Mean

Sample Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Estimate of Mean

Upper Limit

Lower Limit

The French are the largest spenders overall when only considering the average spend per group, even though on average the Italians came to the resort in larger numbers. The British and Germans had the lowest spend per group, but they also visited the resort in lowest group numbers. There was more variation in the amount the French spent, although the lower limit of the mean was still higher than the upper limit of the mean for Britain and German, which indicates that they spent significantly more.

Task 1(b) - Individual Spending

British

German

French

Italian

Mean

Sample Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Estimate of Mean

Upper Limit

Lower Limit

Comments

As expected, French also have the highest spending per person. It is actually the Germans who have the lowest spending per person. The variation here is slightly more consistent, although it would still appear that the French spend significantly more than the Germans and Italians do for each person. They may not spend significantly more than the British though.

Task 1- - Difference in Means of Group Spending

Standard Error

British

German

French

Italian

Z-score

British

German

French

Italian

Comments

From the standard errors alone it would appear that the differences between the means were quite consistent. However this takes into account only the variation and not the mean value. Using the z-score is more accurate as this takes account of variation and mean. Comparing the z-scores in the table shows that there is a significant difference between France and each of the other countries' group spending.

Task 1(d) - Difference in Means of Individual Spending

Standard Error

British

German

French

Italian

Z-score

British

German

French

Italian

Comments

From the standard errors it would seem that there is more variation in the differences between the countries in the individual spending. From the Z. table it is possible to see that there is a significant difference between Britain and Germany and Britain and Italy. There is a less significant difference between Britain and France. There is also a significant difference between France and both Germany and Italy.

Task 1(e) - Regression

British

German

French

Italian

Intercept

Slope

Comments

It seems from these equations that the German spending is impacted most by the number in the group.

Task 1(f) - Correlation

British

German

French

Italian

R2 coefficient

Standard Error of intercept

Standard Error of slope statistic of intercept statistic of slope

Comments

These show that the number in the group and the spending are correlated for all nationalities. The t-statistic of the slope and intercept may be used to find the significance, although this may be read directly from the Excel spreadsheet. This shows that the slope and intercept is significant in each case. Therefore the regression equations produced should be appropriate for prediction of expected spending based on information about group sizes.

Task 1(g) - Estimate for the… [read more]


Propaganda History Is a Rather Difficult Subject Term Paper

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Propaganda

History is a rather difficult subject to address. It is the result of forces and beliefs, of actions and people's attitudes, of societies and their interactions. However, the element which most shaped history is the political system and politicians. They are the actual means through which the voice of the people is put into actions. At times still, the… [read more]


Learning Team Analysis Term Paper

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Learning Teams

What effective strategies can be used to manage a team group process?

Motivational and inspirational quotes, poems, posters, motivational speakers and stories, team building games and activities, all develop employee motivation to achieve a common goal (Chapman, 2008, "Motivational theory"). However, for such ice-breaking activities to work, it is essential that the group set a common goal for itself, at the very beginning, to avoid getting off-track. Procedural rules for making good decisions should be established, and group roles should be clearly defined, to mitigate controversies over power.

Describe the form, storm, norm, and perform of a team.

Bruce Tuckman's model of team development suggests that team dynamics proceeds through a series of stages. The first is that of forming, when there is a great deal of dependence on the group leader for direction, little agreement or clarity about the purpose of the team and its goals, and individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Processes and dynamics are still being established. During the storming mode, team members fight to establish positions, and it is difficult to arrive at agreement, even though there is greater understanding about the purpose of the group. Personal factions may form and personal issues may threaten the goal of the group and its progress (Chapman, 2008, "Tuckman").

Compromises are necessary to enter the norming stage, where there is more agreement and consensus. This is facilitated by the fact that by now, individual roles and responsibilities are better established. Agreements can be reached more swiftly and it is easier to delegate smaller and less crucial decisions now that big decisions are agreed upon by the entire group. There is mutual respect and unity. Finally, during the performing phase, the team knows why and what it is doing, and has a shared vision and sense of mission and strategy to achieve goals (Chapman, 2008, "Tuckman").

Using Jungian Personality Profile assess the strengths and challenges that this profile might suggest for a team.

Carl Jung believed that people come to decisions based on opposing ways of functioning. People may prioritize the information they receive through their senses or their intuition or make decisions based on logic or their feelings. People may make decisions based on objective judgments, or by perceiving individual situations as unique. Different people favor or prioritize sensing vs. intuition, logic or feelings, judgments or perceptions, and thus come to different decisions, just as some people are more oriented in an extroverted or introverted fashion. A team with diverse personality types will often come to conflicting decisions because of the way the team members prioritize, for example, feeling over thinking, or may have trouble discussing conflicting opinions because of different levels of extraversion or introversion in the group…… [read more]


Persuading With Political Speeches Term Paper

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Persuading With Political Speeches

Some emotive words and euphemisms have consistently reappeared within these speeches. Words like "war," "attack," "danger," "God," "defend," "freedom," and "victory" were very much evoked within all five speeches. These words were chosen because they could emotionally incite the audience into favoring war against its aggressors; the word "God" was particularly used to justify the cause of war.

Euphemisms like "heavy losses" and "civilian casualties" are employed by their British speakers Churchill and Blair to downplay the images their audiences might otherwise conjure up of innocent lives being destroyed. Both Bush and Blair use the euphemism "way of life" to make their audiences think that a clash of civilizations is about to take place; this means that it's not just a violent group of individuals that we are defending against but also the alien ideology that they carry.

The themes that keep being reiterated within all these speeches are the notions of fighting back against aggression and of supporting the right cause. The theme of fighting back was chosen so that audiences would be made aware of the importance behind defending oneself against a major enemy attack. This theme was also meant to enforce the idea that cowering in fear and hopelessness after an attack would only embolden the enemy. The theme of supporting a righteous…… [read more]


Allegory of the Cave by Plato Term Paper

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Allegory of the Cave

Plato's "Allegory of the Cave": A reflection on accounting principles and financial statements

The "Allegory of the Cave" is a fable told by the Greek philosopher Socrates in the classic philosophical work by Plato known as the Republic. It is a story that is designed to illustrate the imperfect state of human knowledge. In the allegory, Socrates describes a situation where human beings are in a dark cave where they are unable to see anything without the light of fire. A kind of campfire burns behind them, created by false hands of deceivers, not by the hands of truth. The humans are chained to the rocks, unable to explore and to move beyond the walls of the cave and see something different than what they are forced to see, because of their physically bound state. These human beings represent all humanity. What is so tragic about our state is that we do not know that we are bound, and that our knowledge is limited, by and large -- unless we are philosophers like Socrates.

Between the fire and the prisoners there is a balcony, on which the prisoner's jail keepers, a group of deceiving puppeteers, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the walls. Because the prisoners cannot turn their heads, they cannot see that people are manipulating the puppets, so they believe the shadows are real and the echoes of the puppeteer's voices in the cave are real voices of truth. This shows the difficulty of finding out 'the truth' when one is deliberately deceived. Without openness and transparency, one can easily come to erroneous conclusions, unless one begins to question the surface of things.

Plato created this allegory to illustrate the difference between the world most of us non-philosophically oriented beings inhabit and the world of the forms. The world of the forms is the ideal world that exists in a way that is analogous, but better, to what we take to be reality. For example, if prisoner says he sees a book, he is not talking about the Platonic ideal of a book. "He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow" (Cohen 1999).

Plato thus acknowledges the ability to learn about the ideal world by observations of our shadow-world. After all, if it were impossible to learn about the ideal reality through observations of the real, than Plato could never have arrived at his theory, nor would his analogy be instructive. Plato acknowledges that all of us must learn the truth through constructed examples to some degree, in fact Socrates' logical system is based upon logical deductions through inferences, not making observations alone. Making observations, even through the scientific method, is troublesome for Socrates, because he believes that human perception and our senses are inherently faulty. Otherwise we would never be deceived by the puppeteers that our world is the real thing. This is why math is seen as superior to…… [read more]


Reasoning Them Out, and Believing the Result Term Paper

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¶ … reasoning them out, and believing the result of this reasoning process. In terms of the first element, asking questions also involves recognizing the fact that there are questions that can be asked. Reasoning out the answers to these questions means that an individual is thinking actively about the question and its possible responses. The answers are not predetermined by others or by expectations. Reasoning out answers means that the individual provides his own responses without relying on others for more than inspiration.

Finally, believing the results means that the individual has found answers that he or she finds intrinsically reasonable and reliable. The certainty behind this is that the individual has, by reasoning, found the answers that are the best possible option.

One major misconception about critical thinking is that it is negative. The word "critical" is often equated with the action of criticizing something. In critical thinking, however, the connotation is rather that thinking is applied in a thorough and conscious manner in order to gain insight into the target of thought. Judgments are made in terms of the content, and conclusions drawn.

It is also possible to apply critical thinking when negative judgments are made about one's work or input. A person can apply critical thinking to the judgment, discard what is irrelevant and learn from what is applicable. In this way, the negative emotion is removed and the experience is transformed into positive learning.

3. Critical thinking is by definition clear thinking. While negative emotions such as rage or panic can influence the clarity necessary for such thinking, it is also important to recognize that some emotions do play an important role in such thinking. Emotions such as love for example help critical thinking about effectively handling one's relationships.

Emotions also provide data according to which effective decisions can be made. Living close to persons that are important to an individual for example can influence the decision to move for the sake of a job offer, for example. Furthermore, the emotion of fear could serve as a valuable warning factor in making critical decisions. Emotion is an innate part of humanity, and can be used effectively towards critical thinking.

4. The five concepts that impede critical thinking are based upon actions that accept a certain worldview without questioning it. The first is forming a view of the world based upon the news. Newsworthy events are generally sensationalist in nature for the purpose of attracting more viewers, and is therefore not accurate or realistic. Forming a view of the world on the basis of media such as the movies, television, advertising or magazines is more positive, but equally detrimental to critical thinking. This discourages critical thinking and promotes acceptance at face value.

The media also often encourage types of general thinking that does not promote critical thinking. One of these is all-or-nothing thinking, or other absolutist forms of thinking such as stereotyping. Such thinking is often the result of education or growing up within certain types… [read more]


Burkian Analysis Brief Analysis of Three Speeches Term Paper

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¶ … Burkian Analysis

Brief Analysis of Three Speeches

Using Kenneth Burke's Dramatistic Pentad

An everyday enigma of human experience is figuring out what motivates the people around us, whether they are people with whom we interact or people we watch in the media. Burke's use of dramatism is concerned with discovering human motivations in rhetoric, "for every judgment, exhortation,… [read more]


Huxley's Brave New World Term Paper

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Brave New World

What is the relationship between happiness and individuality?

According to the Greek philosopher Socrates, happiness, as distinct from pure pleasure, was fulfilling an individual's essential function in life. In some perverse way, thus Socrates could be said to be in agreement with the designers of Huxley's Brave New World. Socrates envisioned a world where philosopher kings had a monopoly on the government, where a strong warrior-class defended the state, and where skilled tradesman labored with their hands. Just as a ruling philosopher would make imperfect shoes, a cobbler had no business governing. Happiness was achieved through the fulfillment of one's natural inclination in a social context ("Republic," Classics Technology Center, 2000).

In Brave New World, alphas, betas, and gammas are given preordained roles in society, and are genetically and psychologically conditioned to want to perform those roles. Although Socrates would have disapproved of the taking of soma and disliked the anti-intellectual nature of Huxley's dystopia, like Huxley's fictional scientists, Socrates placed the value of community and harmony over the value of individualism. Someone who is supposed to be a natural cobbler who things he would make a good governor is not permitted to try and fail, just like people are not allowed to give birth 'naturally' and socialize their children according to values contrary to those expressed by the state. The scientists of Huxley's world become the philosopher kings of their modern world.

Happiness, for Socrates, has nothing to do with individuality -- and even Huxley the author seems to imply in the persona of the 'savage' John that individualized values do not necessarily bring contentment or satisfaction. John dislikes the new world because he has not been socialized into its values just like his mother Linda disliked life on the reservation for the same reason. Being used to something as a result of social custom is what determines one's sense of perceived happiness.

Thoreau, in contrast, believed that the…… [read more]


Aristotle's Position on the Existence of God Term Paper

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Aristotle's Position On The Existence Of God

Aristotle's theory of the existence of God has been very influential throughout the development of Western philosophy. In his first discussion of God in his famous work, Metaphysics, Aristotle began by discussing the notion of "being as being." While it is believed by some that Metaphysics was cobbled together from several of Aristotle's disparate writings, others subscribe to the view that the Metaphysics forms a cohesive worldview - as well as a cohesive theory of God. It is to this position that we now turn.

In the Metaphysics, Aristotle claims that "being" refers almost exclusively to what he termed the "Unmoved Movers." In his view, one of each Unmoved Mover is attached to a movement in the heavens. Every one of the Unmoved Movers is in a state of continual contemplation of its own contemplation. Everything that fits in to the second notion of "being" by having its source of motion within itself, is able to move purely because its knowledge of its mover impels it to emulate its particular Mover - or at least it should be this way.

One of the key components of Aristotle's theory is his refutation of Platonic theory. According to Plato, ideas serve as the ultimate principles of Being. Aristotle feels that Plato rendered this theory in order to explain how things are and how things come to be known. But as such, it is an inadequate theory. Aristotle contends that when we postulate the idea of things apart from the things themselves we are causing complications. The ideas must have some definite contact with the things; otherwise they cannot explain how those things came into existence or how we came to know them. As a scientific theory, Plato's theory fails. This is because instead of trying to back up his ideas he instead implies abstract expressions, such as "imitation" and "participation." Such expressions imply a contradiction, if they are to be taken as more than mere empty metaphors. By implying that ideas exist in a world separate from the world of phenomena, Aristotle feels that Plato is precluding the possibility of solving by means of ideas the problem of the ultimate nature of reality.

Aristotle designates the two highest determinations of Being as Actuality and Potentiality. The former is meant to represent perfection, realization, and the fullness of being. Potentiality is meant to designate imperfection, perfectibility, and incompleteness. While Actuality is meant to serve as the determining principle, Potentiality is the determinable principle. These two determinations stand above all other Categories in the Aristotelian universe. They are to be found in all beings except for the Supreme Cause, in which there is no imperfection whatsoever - as well as no potentiality.

According to this scheme, then, God is all actuality - or Actus Purus. All other beings are thus composed of both actuality and potentiality. This dualism can be found at the heart of all Western metaphysics, and was later developed into such concepts as body… [read more]


Nietzsche's Definition of Truth Is an Accumulation Term Paper

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Nietzsche's definition of truth is an accumulation of ideas that can be intrinsic to the individual and therefore an assimilation of fact and understanding. Truth can therefore be individual and independent from fact or reality. It can in short be called "my truth," by the individual and can still be considered the truth as this one individual seas and constructs it. The individual may be perpetrating what some would consider a "lie" and still be telling the truth, according to his or her own perception and creativity. One early example of this given by Nietzsche is the idea that many individuals will openly oppose war, and yet also support it when it occurs or at least allow its occurrence while actively pursuing a treaty of sorts. (143) the stop gap solution being that war will no tend until "truth" is determined, and as Nietzsche has pointed out this "truth" might be variable by source. To create or posses "truth" Nietzsche contends that humans must forget some facts and rearrange them in an order that makes sense for the current state of things.

Nietzsche does not attest that truth in the sense of a culmination of facts that come together to develop the concepts of what is real and what is not real, is not a fabulous goal. He in fact demonstrates that human's have an intrinsic drive to discover the truth, (146) yet he also stresses that in so doing many facts about what is true and what is symbol or dogma are lost. To Nietzsche there is a clear sense that dogmatic interpretation as well as the need for humans to universalize concepts, gives rise to symbolism or representative language, a must for communication and a must for assimilating, "truth" from untruth. "Whereas every metaphor standing for a sensuous perception is individual and unique and is therefore always able to escape classification, the great edifice of concepts exhibits…rigid regularity" (146) Humans are in short capable of discovering and retelling the "truth" only to the degree that they can communicate it, and this communication includes perception and redress according to the needs of the perceived needs of the environment which they inhabit. Nietzsche stresses that humanity cannot separate itself from the desire of a good impression and therefore truth must be seen as something that is independent and individual to each. In other words, life is a stage, and the truth we as individuals and even as nations, in the case of war and relations, we tell is specific to our ability to create a picture that accounts for both truth in a concrete sense and ignorance or forgetfulness and at the same time makes us look like we know what we are talking about

To Nietzsche the enigma is limited as the social purpose, in most cases overrides the fact that truth in a literal sense is obscured and bent by the prism of human understanding and achievement of acceptance. Individuals create a reality…… [read more]


Contract Law - Case Analysis Offer, Acceptance Term Paper

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Contract Law - Case Analysis

OFFER, ACCEPTANCE, and REPUDIATION: CASE ANALYSIS the Court will likely find that the parties had already formed an enforceable bilateral contract for the sale of the property and that Bradwell (hereinafter, "Buyer") performed under contract by tendering payment on the date specified by Seller and the Court will compel the performance by Stone (hereinafter, "Seller"). The seller will argue that the buyer's sending a cashier's check on March 10th violated Condition #3 of his letter specifying that the requirement to issue the $5,000 deposit by wire was not capable of being accepted through payment of a deposit by any other means. Seller will contend that Buyer's failure to issue the deposit payment in the only manner explicitly specified as acceptable in the Anderson letter to Larson constituted a counteroffer rather than an acceptance, because the purported acceptance changed an element of the offer.

Since, according to Seller, the deposit sent via cashier's check was a counteroffer, it revoked the original offer when it was made. The seller never accepted the counteroffer and is under no obligation to proceed with the sale. Furthermore, the seller will argue that the specific language of the offer very explicitly stated that the contract would be "null and void" if the buyer considered any of the conditions numbered 1 through 3 "unacceptable" and that tendering the deposit by other means constituted prima facie evidence that the buyer considered Condition #3 "unacceptable."

This is, essentially, the same argument that the Pennsylvania court rejected in Hatalowich, pursuant to which Seller in the instant case suggests that acceptance via wire transfer was the exclusive mode of creating the contract, not acceptance via cashier's check. As in Hatalowich, this Court will find that the cashier's check constituted a bona fide acceptance of the tendered offer, because the alternate form of payment was not a material variance of the terms of agreement recited in the Anderson letter. In Hatalowich, the Court decided that the form of acceptance was functionally equivalent to that of the terms and conditions in the offer. For the same reason, the Court will reject Seller's argument challenging Buyer's acceptance by virtue of any variance in payment method for the deposit.

In that regard, the instant case adds one element that could have led to a contrary result: namely, if Seller had rejected Buyer's timely tender of a different form of payment for the deposit than the wire transfer specified. In that case, the Court would probably have allowed the same argument, provided that the seller had simply notified the buyer that he rejected buyer's counteroffer (to pay the deposit by cashier's check instead of by wire transfer) within a reasonable time in conjunction with arranging for its prompt return instead of cashing it. Notwithstanding the functional equivalence of two modes of payment, parties may still require one or the other as an explicit term of an offer and reject any acceptance that varies from it. However, once Seller (or his representative… [read more]


Metropolis Fritz Lang Term Paper

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Metropolis

Fritz Lang's, Metropolis, is perhaps the most iconic of all anti-technology, post-industrial films. At its core, there exists an absolute penetrating distrust and fear of a technocratic society where people are nothing but cogs in a machine, and their distance from the products of their labor is so great that they are actually living their entire lives underground. Lang's use of communist rhetoric, Plato's cave allegory, and modernist art combined to make Metropolis a truly unique creation for its time. While anti-industrial sentiment had been readily voiced across the social landscape, it was only along the fringe that such rhetoric had any grip. but, within the context of film, and within the structure of the first true science-fiction movie, people could not help but see the plight of the faceless worker, could not help but loathe the self-indulgence and egregious profit-taking of the owners, nor could they help but feel a deep and common sympathy with the desire of the workers to have, if nothing else, their lives in their own hands.

Metropolis is an early 19th century propaganda film for the communist argument against industrialization because of its effect of distancing man from the products of his labor. Technology then, as it consistently does now, both enhances and hurts our position within the workplace. Greater levels of productivity are achieved, while that same increase in productivity caused by technological advancement reduces the requirement for people.

Metropolis, presents a world where the worker no longer sees daylight, cannot exercise free will, is nothing but a slave to the machinery, the sole purpose of which is to provide a fantastically opulent life for those who manage the machinery. This, of course, is exactly the kind of situation that prompted Marx to form his particular brand of political socialism. In a Capitalist system (which Metropolis exemplifies), "the worker sings to the level of a commodity, and moreover the most wretched commodity of all," (Marx). Lang, however, was not a communist. Instead he fell more in the camp of the secular humanists who observed that industrialized Germany was turning citizens into cogs and recognized that, at least in some part, German's loss of World War I was an indication of a broader social failure of the rampant industrial capitalism that became more than an economic system, but the core of the political system as well.

Metropolis, paints a world of industrial dominance, of absolute control of the people, society, and the future by a small handful of management-types who sit, literally, at the top of the world while the subjects are kept in the figurative dark, doomed to a life of constant work. This world, where the gears of machines are at times several stories high, where people's clothes are all the same, and they all move with the same kind of lethargic slump that fits, almost exactly, the image of the people in Plato's cave. In that world, what the people are experiencing is a secondary existence. For the people in… [read more]


Hamlet the Love Theme: Figure Out Ophelia Term Paper

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Hamlet

The Love Theme: Figure out Ophelia

The figure of Ophelia and the relationship that builds between her and Hamlet are extremely significant elements in the overall meaning of Shakespeare's masterpiece. It has to be noted first of all that madness is one of the most important motives of the play. As it is obvious from Shakespeare's other works, madness… [read more]


History of Science Patronage Guiding Thinkers Term Paper

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History of Science-Patronage guiding Thinkers

Scientific discoveries and inventions are the elements that brought humanity on the road to evolution and development. Without these essential tools, the civilization as we know it today could not have been possible. Nonetheless, from the time of Aristotle onwards, researchers and scientists could not have been able to achieve their goals without a constant… [read more]


Plato Socrates St. Augustine Kant Term Paper

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Socrates, Plato, St. Augustine, kant and Living a Good Life

Socrates, Plato St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant and Living a Good Life

Four important philosophers in world history, Plato, Socrates, St. Augustine, and Immanuel Kant all had good but different ideas about living a good life, all of which I agree with myself when it comes to living a good life. Socrates was Plato's teacher, St. Augustine came centuries later and Kant was from the 18th century. In this essay I will describe what they all suggest about living a good life and how it applies to me.

Socrates believed strongly in truth, as I do. He would go around Athens questioning important people about their knowledge and often pointed out to them and his students through his questions, what these people didn't know they didn't know. Like Socrates, I dislike hypocrites and hypocrisy when I see it, and one of my ideas about living a good life is that one must be genuine and truthful. For his insistence on truth though, Socrates was eventually tried and convicted of blasphemy and corrupting the youth of Athens. But Socrates was only trying to show how people should be honest about what they know and do not know (which I agree with and try to practice myself), and not pretend to know something they do not know. To me, this is a key part of living a good life, although it also requires certain risks and sacrifices, as Socrates illustrated with his own life. Socrates showed by example that this is the best way to be in order to live an honest life, which is a good life and in fact the only way to live life. Socrates believed it was so important to be truthful that he was willing to die for that belief even if he could have instead escaped from prison, and in the end Socrates was executed by the state of Athens for living a truthful life and trying to bring out the truthfulness of others, including Athenian leaders who felt offended and threatened by this. But to Socrates the unexamined life (the life not truthfully reflected upon) was not worth living. So, for Socrates, to live a good life is to have the courage to examine oneself and one's life with truthfulness, and I personally agree with him, even when being truthful is risky and difficult.

Plato was Socrates' student who wrote about Socrates' trial, conviction, and execution. Plato was obviously very influenced by his teacher Socrates, and Plato expressed this in his Dialogues. Another of Plato's own concerns about the importance of…… [read more]


Rhetorical Theory on Kenneth Burke's New Term Paper

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Kenneth Burke's New Rhetoric

Kenneth Burke: The New Rhetoric

Kenneth Burke's theory of the "new rhetoric" - in which he saw culture as a kind of language of contextual symbols, the "symbolic construction of social reality" - is the topic of scholarly debate and discussion even fifty-seven years after the publishing of his groundbreaking book a Rhetoric of Motives. What… [read more]


Socrates Gilgamesh Term Paper

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Socrates

Compare and contrast the relationship between God and humanity for Socrates in the "Apology" and for Gilgamesh in "Gilgamesh"

Both the ancient Greek text of Socrates' "Apology" and the Mesopotamian epic of origins "Gilgamesh" are tales of pre-Christian lives, of people who are actively struggling with the concept of morality and the divine. Rather than a traditional moral economy of righteousness receiving rewards and evil actors being punished, these works present the gods as capricious entities, dispensing fate by their whim rather than basing their rewards upon the moral nature of individual human beings. However, both of the main protagonists still struggle to make sense of this chaotic and unjust state of affairs, and to find some way to live moral lives in the midst of tragedy.

The tale of "Gilgamesh" depicts a heroic and powerful king living in a far-off time. The "Apology" is not, strictly speaking, a narrative at all. Rather it is a speech ostensibly made by the philosopher Socrates in a law court, defending himself against charges of impiety and corrupting the young. For a long time, Socrates had been tolerated in open-minded, democratic Athens as an iconoclastic figure, but as in the case of many democracies, Athens was experiencing a time of heightened concern and repression of unorthodox ideas. Socrates became a victim of this paranoia about the dangers of free speech.

Over the course of both works, the main protagonists suffer perceived or real injustices. Gilgamesh sees his dearest friend Enkidu die, after he is marked out to suffer by the gods. Socrates stands accused of impiety by the Athenian demos, even though he states that he believes in the gods. Set in a mythological past rather than a historical present, Gilgamesh and friend Enkidu must deal with the gods on a one-to-one basis, unlike Socrates who merely deals with the gods as abstractions, in dialogue with his fellow Athenians. Gilgamesh's friend falls ill because Enkidu has been impious by urging his friend to hill the demon of the Cedar Forest Humbaba. Humbaba curses Enkidu to die before Gilgamesh. Even though Humbaba was attacking the two men and is described as an evil entity the greater influence of Humbaba upon the will of the gods means that his word is heard, not that of Gilgamesh or Enkidu.

Socrates' words, of course, also fall on deaf ears and he is condemned. But Socrates' "Apology" is set in a real, historical place and time, an Athenian law court, not during an age where gods walk the earth. There Socrates is accused of impiety, amongst other charges, by human actors, not by the gods. Rather than showing actual acts of physical disrespect to personified, divine beings, the accusations of impiety are rather vague, and seem to suggest a more symbolic disrespect shown to the city's gods, rather than pertain to actual actions against physically manifest divine beings. Of course, the Greeks had a very colorful pantheon of gods in their mythology, but by the time of… [read more]


God and Humanity Term Paper

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God and Humanity

Remembering God

Our heart is restless until it rests in you," (Augustine 3), many nations throughout history have believed that man had an innate connection with the divine. This belief is that we are born with the knowledge of God, but forget these essentially lessons in our experiences as men. Plato, the philosophers known as the Stoics, and later the Christian theologies of St. Augustine all portray a natural relationship between man and God, that must be remembered through religious devotion and knowledge of the natural world. Plato began a tradition of recording man's desire to learn about the immaterial and formless divine, therefore becoming one with it. Plato, however, believed that this knowledge was new to the human mind, which was born without knowledge of "the one" or the Forms. Despite the belief that God was material, Stoicism later used this same concept in their theologies of a natural goodness within the souls of all men. Finally Christianity, through the philosophies of St. Augustine, adopts the idea that we are born with a natural knowledge of God, which must be restored through conversion to and remembrance of His will.

Plato expressed the Socratic idea that it is our life's work to improve the soul and gain wisdom. Through this pursuit we gain true knowledge, untainted by opinion known as doxa. Plato explains in his work the Republic, that it is therefore our life's work to learn as much as we can about "the one," for our knowledge brings us closer to it. The Forms are manifestations of "the one," or the source of all intelligibility and goodness. Through truly knowing the Forms, we gain real knowledge and forever leave the cave which traps us in opinion. True knowledge brings the man out of the cave and into the light of the real world. The divine, in Plato's beliefs, was immaterial and formless but also much more unimaginable than the God imagined by the Stoics and St. Augustine's Catholicism. Although we were supposed to spend our time uncovering the secrets of the divine, Plato believed that we were initially born ignorant of God.

The Stoic tradition followed the Platonic and Socratic idea that it was man's goal in life to gain as much knowledge of the world as possible. They placed extra emphasis on knowing the material world, however, for they believed that God was actually a material being. This divine being was involved in with the events of the material world, for it was a member of that world. Stoicism portrayed an active God who molded fate through his internal relationship to all other material beings (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Stoics, like Plato, also believed that God was associated with an external "one," or universal knowledge. However, man could gain knowledge of this…… [read more]


Plato Descartes Term Paper

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Plato, Descartes

Allegory of the Cave in Book VII of Plato's Republic

What are the people in the cave seeing? What do they think they are seeing? Who does Socrates say that the people in the cave are like?

The people in the cave are somewhat subject to "tunnel vision," which is to say that those who are in the cave are allegorically restrained to the point where they cannot turn their heads to see what is around them, or what is behind them, but can only see directly in front of them. A basically low area of sight, with limited vision. This being said, the people think they are seeing all that there is to see in their world, and indeed, their entire life. With this in mind, Socrates says that the people in the cave are like prisoners who can only see shadows of what exists, not actual things themselves.

B- What is the metaphorical meaning of the cave and of the journey from the darkness of the cave to the outside world?

Metaphorically, the cave and the journey from the darkness of the cave to the outside world is the transition of the individual from the darkness of deception and emptiness in life to the bright light of truth, enlightenment and an overall enhanced life of righteousness.

C- What did the example of Santa Claus explain in relation to the experience of the journey out of the cave?

The example of Santa Claus as it relates to the experience of the journey out of the cave essentially comes down the choice of embracing good or bad behavior. For those who are good-such as those who choose to move out of the cave and into the light-Santa Claus represents rewards for good behavior. The bad-ones who stay in the darkness of the cave-are those for whom a lump of lowly coal awaits from Santa Claus. In just a few words, the parallel is one of reward vs. punishment and the free will to choose which will befall the individual.

D- Is the journey out of the cave and the arrival outside in the light a negative or positive experience, or both? Explain.

The journey out of the cave and the outside arrival are overall a positive experience, because what the journey culminates in is truth and positive living. However, there is a sort of negativity involved because the journey could be a painful adjustment for those who have to make the journey.

2. Descartes-Context and problem

A- in what era was Descartes living and working? What characterized this era in terms of intellectual development?

Descartes was living and working in the era when "modern" philosophy was coming into vogue, of which he was a major catalyst. This era was typified by times when the scientific method was the measure of what was real- in other words, if something could be proven by facts and figures, it was accepted as the truth. Because of this, intellectual development essentially became… [read more]


Helen Longino Term Paper

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¶ … Power, and Knowledge: Description and Prescription in Feminist Philosophies of Science" draws upon the distinctions and tensions between the normative and descriptive traditions in the theory of knowledge, trying to integrate and examine the way in which the feminist accounts of science have impacted the theory of knowledge acquisition. The main focus of the essay is on the epistemology of science. The author also discusses the relationship between the epistemology of science and general epistemology. An important idea that Longino supports is that a good utilization of epistemology is the key to better science. However, the relationship between epistemology or "the theory of what practices produce knowledge" and science defined by "what counts as knowledge" is acknowledged to be more complex than that. Another question the author tries to provide answer to concerns the implication of women both in science and in the knowledge or theories produced by science. Scientific knowledge encapsulates a certain power, which both feminists and scientists desire to grasp. The interlocking aspect of knowledge and power in sciences is another point of interest. The importance of such a discussion is justified by the fact that for a long time women have been excluded from the practice of science, and scientific inquiry has been described as a masculine activity for which women are unsuitable. Moreover, new knowledge has offered women new roles in the socio-economical world; the author puts forth the example of women's implication in the production of artifacts on the microelectronics assembly line. Another fact is the neglect of women's health issues in biomedical research. The examples above suggest in Longino's opinion that the identification of nature as female and the scientific mind as male, and the privileging of explanatory models of control over those constructed around relations of interdependence may question the validity of the scientific method itself. She also suggests that the power of science over natural processes is lop-sided, and is drawn from systematically perpetuating women's cognitive and political disempowerment. Therefore, the questions issuing are whether this appropriation of power is a specific feature of science; and whether it is possible "to seek and possess empowering knowledge without expropriating the power of others." An interesting summarizing question the author formulates at the end of such argumentation is whether seeking knowledge is inevitably an attempt at domination.

The rest of the paper is concerned with providing answers to the above stated questions. The second section of the article refers to the feminist epistemological strategies referred to as modifications or rejection of empiricism and has been termed "changing the subject" or replacement strategies. Whether in modern epistemology the subject of knowledge is individual consciousness, feminists chose different epistemological strategies. For instance, in this paper are considered only three of these: the first holds out the ideal of uncontamined or unconditioned subjectivity, the second identifies bias as a function…… [read more]


Kant, Beauty Is the Symbol Term Paper

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Kant, beauty is the symbol of what is morally good. In order to justify his view, Kant appeals to several parallels between morality and aesthetics, i.e. between what is perceived as beautiful and what is moral. The first similarity he identifies consists of the reaction beauty and morals trigger, i.e. one of pleasure. Secondly, he argues that this reaction of pleasure is independent of any exterior influence manifested as interest as the pleasure generated from what is morally good is bound to interest but this bond does not precede what he refers to as "delight." Thirdly, he argues that when perceiving beauty we use our imagination, a process similar to understanding the reasons why we abide by a certain law. Nevertheless, he claims that when choosing to confirm to a specific law, we need to take into consideration that our freedom of the will does not disregard the laws of reason. Last but not least, the criteria which we use to evaluate beauty are as universal as those of morality. Nonetheless, the principles of beauty are subjective whereas those of morals…… [read more]


Karl Marx and Nietzsche Term Paper

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Marx & Nietzsche

Trust No One" -- Marx's and Nietzsche's Utopian Ethos of Suspicion

The pursuit of sex, the accumulation of money, and the worship of institutionalized religion: these three principles (to love, to prosper, and to find relief from fear of the unknown) have come to define contemporary culture, particularly American culture. The containment of sexuality through the cultural institutions of repression, the containment of the dispersion of money through capitalism and inheritance, and the containment of thought through religious doctrine still provides order and structure to contemporary life. Modernism rejected these impulses, and demanded a radical questioning of all of these culturally-generated ideals, which are so entrenched in our culturally shaped psychology they feel like innate impulses. Modernism demanded that ordinary individuals trust nothing, and be suspicious and viscerally critical of everything taught by teachers, parents, and the media from birth.

Freud has been called one of the Founding Fathers of Modernism because of his characterization of the human sexual drive as natural. He believed there was an innate desire for the mother hard-wired into the human infant consciousness. Human beings were not of a higher order; only cultural repression contained their sexual desires. Marx rejected the notion that anyone could prosper, provided they worked hard enough, in a capitalist system. The system was designed to make workers the wage slaves of factory owners. Marx provided a radical critique of private ownership, and the idea that creating and maintaining wealth by profiting from private property and renting the bodies of employees for labor was fair. Nietzsche questioned the idea of the civilizing, progressive march of thought, rejecting Christianity and proclaiming the Christian God to be dead. He advocated a return to a time during the classical era, where sexuality and individuality was unfettered by received notions of morality. This would produce a true Superman, defiant of all norms.

A reading of these philosophers, Marx and Nietzsche in particular, might suggest that Marx was primarily suspicious of how human labor was valued in his society and Nietzsche was primarily suspicious of faith as a medium of social control. However, both philosophers, it could be postulated, aimed their sights at attacking something even greater -- the notion of positive historical progress altogether. Capitalism was initially seen as essentially democratic in its impulse -- hence…… [read more]