Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Group 4 Section H1 - John Lachs p 20-27

Today's discussion was another interesting one! We broke down our pages that were assigned to us by choosing the most important topics to discuss. One of them was on page 24. He says, "Philosophy is at its best when dealing with the investigation and results of other fields, it has no accepted fertile method, and it has not uncovered a single true proposition on which its practitioners agree." We went around the group asking if this statement was true to them. Their was a unanimous decision that it was what everyone thought was philosophy (though he put it in better words than I could have!). We thought philosophy was thinking really hard about different topics in the world by using any method that works fr each individual because there is no set way of going about philosophy.

Then, Larissa brought up the idea of religion being like philosophy. We continue to think really hard about it and it goes everywhere with us. Keaton thought that it is separated, but he said that he did not know if it should/is separated.

We quickly switched into the idea of whether philosophy is dying. Lachs said that he liked the public philosophy. He said right now we are using philosophy in the classroom , but we need to go outside the classroom with philosophy. One group member (I did not write down if it was Larissa or Yusra, sorry!) said that if people are bombarded constantly by the idea o philosophy, they will tend to listen to what the philosophers have to say. Also, Yusra said that people would rather not think about the types of subjects that we have talked about normally outside the philosophy classroom because Americans are lazy. We like to go with the flow of how things go and we want the way out (said by Larissa!).

Then, the final discussion we had was the idea that is found on page 26. He says, "Even in adulthood, the best learning is by imitation." We discussed the difference between whether it is better to learn by imitation or experience. We all tended to agree that it would be better if we learned by experience in adulthood. We are more mature in adulthood and we do not need to rely on what is good and what is bad by imitating about it. We must have the maturity to know what is and isn't acceptable. Erin pointed out that it is better to imitate to learn when you are a child growing up into this world. However, it ended up being that  learning by experience is the way for adult, and not what Lachs tends to go with.

DQ: (For John Lachs) Do you agree with Hegel on the idea that past ideas will influence or change new ideas in the future?

FQ:     Q:   ___________, according to John Lachs, seems to think that the present is a seed whose conversion into plant and flower is a teleological task left t the future

          A: Peirce

Link: In my discussion question, I asked about Hegel's idea on the influence of ideas. I wanted to share a quote I found that deals with what he thinks about the relationship of ideas and time.

“Truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.”
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

I will post the questions our group made on the original blog post for questions for Lachs!


  1. I really liked Lachs’ definition of philosophy. I remember the very first reading assignment was “What is philosophy?”from Philosophy Bites. Everyone had such different ideas and so philosophy was hard to describe. However, this definition encompasses all of those definitions.
    I think that if adults do learn from imitation rather than experience it is because, like we had said earlier, people are lazy and don’t want to change. If you do the same thing over and over each day, it’s more like imitation, not experience. You do what your boss tells you. Someone tells you that this is the best method to go about solving a problem. If you really think about what an average day is, most people don’t think for themselves. In that regards, maybe adults do learn from imitation. Maybe it’s not until some sort of situation appears where we have to think for ourselves that we learn from experience.

  2. I guess when I think about philosophy versus religion, they are similar in some ways but different in others. Both philosophy and religion are worldviews, so a stoic pragmatist is going to live his life implementing all his stoic pragmatist beliefs. Likewise, a Christian is going to life his life implementing all his Christian beliefs. However, religion is based on the existence and supremacy of a god or God, while most philosophies are more concerned with secular ideas.

    So maybe different philosophical and theological ideas are worldviews built on different foundations but still determine the way in which we live our lives? My worldview is that of a Christian because I am most concerned with Jesus and my relationship with Him, and that very much affects my relationships with others here and now.

    DQ: For John Lachs - Can you please expound on what you mean when you say "pragmatism takes the place of lame versions of Marxism and religious thought"?

    FQ: According to John Lachs, the central interest of ¬¬¬_____________ is in "the improvement of life, or...in the growth of what is precious"?
    FA: Pragmatism

    In my link, Ravi Zacharias gives his thoughts on what makes a worldview viable. I found it very interesting.


  3. Erin Paul8:24 AM CDT

    Good summary, Evan! I like his definition of philosophy too. One of the reasons we said philosophy might not be so prevalent in our society is there is no clear definition and so most are confused about what it really is. I know my views on philosophy have changed a lot since I've been in this class. We talked about how philosophy is pretty well-known but the actual philosophers are not. Although philosophers don't get a lot of glory this way, I think it's good when people create their own philosophical beliefs without knowing who goes which way. It's like learning from imitation - we don't want to just pick the one philosopher we like the best and believe everything he says. And speaking of learning by imitation, I think we still learn that way as adults. But not in the same way as we did when we a child. We still imitate people but we know why we are imitating them. If I look up to someone, I'm going to imitate them. Not blindly or by doing everything they do. But certain characteristics about them that I admire, I am going to try and replicate in my own life.
    DQ: Lachs - Why is it that you believe learning by imitation is better than experience?

  4. Woops! I did not realize we were supposed to post a reply to this post! Well, I really enjoyed this topic, not particularly the BOOK (this book was much easier to grasp the concept easier though!) However, what REALLY sold me on this whole concept of Stoic Pragmatism was that Dr. Lachs came and spoke to us. He is a fantastic, engaging, thought provoking speaker, and he really brought the concepts to life! His coming to the class to speak with us made the book come to life.