Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Honors Class; The Highlanders

When we split up into groups and the question of "What is philosophy?" was asked my group was sucked into the topic of the government, welfare, taxes, and free corporations. I was confused and I asked how all of that related to philosophy and one girl stated that, that is what philosophy is, what we believe what we agree on and disagree on, orrrr something along those lines. We mentioned Plato maybe once when we were asked who our favorite philosopher was, but that was irrelevant to our EBT  card abuse. oh, and I didn't know the groups were numbered, and the name that was suggested to be our group name was THE HIGHLANDERS.


  1. (H)
    Factual Question: When people were asked whom their favo(u)rite philosophers were, which major philosophers were named? (Answer: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein.)

    A discussion question: What do you think it is that draws people to a particular philosopher? Is it a common viewpoint, or is it something else? Explain.

    In regards to our last meeting, I really rather enjoyed our discussion. I know I have a lot of quote-unquote "unpopular" perspectives, but I really enjoyed being able to discuss them in a civilized fashion. While it seemed more political than philosophical, I think that it's important to remember that there are a lot of parallels between those two fields. A lot of our discussions boiled down to personal v. societal responsibility, and I think that's a fundamental philosophical debate: to what extent are we responsible to others over ourselves?

    A link to a lot of really good Plato quotes:

    And to one of my personal favorites: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398192.html

  2. I got extremely excited at your mention of Nietzche, because I have actually read his book, Beyond Good and Evil.

    Yes, this is a very long quote, but worth reading:
    “You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power—how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live—is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature," means actually the same as "living according to life"—how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa," and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise—and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves—Stoicism is self-tyranny—Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature?... But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to the causa prima.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

    I hope your group gets to discuss this philosopher (and not just politics). haha

    Seneca, HNRS "group 3"

  3. I find it interesting that you guys delved into politics, Leigh. Outside of political philosophy, the fields of politics and philosophy intersect most in ethics. Every government must be governed by some kind of ethics, for otherwise policies would have no justification. As a former debate coach of mine used to say, "Every policy decision comes from a value decision"--meaning, mindset is the genesis of action. The discussion you guys had yesterday could become quite useful, but only if it comes back to ethics. Perhaps I'll get to be in that discussion when I'm the floater from my group.

    1. One could argue that most policy comes back to ethics. Whether it is a moral requisite to interfere in a war-torn country on the grounds of human rights violations; whether it is an ethical decision to tax certain people more or less based on their income brackets; whether it is permissible for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman. Most political choices boil down to a sacrifice of personal liberty v. common good and societal norms, and is not that a fundamental philosophical debate? The one v. the many? The part v. the whole? In many ways, I consider policy to be philosophy in action (or inaction, as the case may be).

    2. The way you explained that gives me a somewhat different view on politics, Leigh. I had never thought about philosophy being a part of our government for some reason. (group 3)

  4. Evan Mason3:48 PM CDT

    H01, The Philosophers Guild, Evan mason
    I absolutely love the name of your group! just putting that out there. I like the definition of philosophy presented here as a means of expressing view points to one another but i think it is too sharply focused. My idea on philosophy is that it is a matter of expressing ideas in ways almost indescribable by language, it is a matter of creating connections to people and nature, and relating raw emotion and ideas in the form well expressed verses. It is also the means by which we all experience the world around us and are able to express what we feel as individuals.

    Well there's my two bucks on the issue.
    Evan Mason.

  5. I would have really liked to have heard your discussion on government, taxes, welfare, free corporations, and philosophy. It sounds really interesting to hear all your different viewpoints.

  6. I too am interested in discussing philosophy as it relates to American politics and government. I look forward to rotating to your group when I am the floater and hearing different points of view on the subject.

  7. Factual Question:
    What was Socrates' punishment for "corrupting young minds" in 399 B.C.? He was made to drink Hemlock

    Discusion Question:
    Why do people have an interest in Philosophy? Is it just a way to express opinions or is it more? Explain

    Our groups' discussion was interesting and constructive. We talked mostly on politics, corporations, and the right to vote. We slightly discussed the link between government and philosophy I think that this first discussion mostly allowed us to get a feel for one another. How the others will react to things they agree or disagree with. Some of what the others belief are.

    As to this upcoming week:
    As to who my favorite philosopher? I don't really have one but I really like Democritus. Here is a link to some quotes of his.

    1. I guess I did not add the link...sorry about that.


  8. Olivia (H)10:29 AM CDT

    Factual question: What 4 areas of American culture lead America to seem embarrassing rather than supportive of the U.S. as a dynamic philosophical culture? A: literature, entertainment, government, and education

    Discussion question: Why do you think American newspapers and magazines generally reject philosophical arguments and viewpoints? Explain.

    Comment: I enjoyed getting to see all the different view points in talking about government philosophies last week! I am excited to see how these conversations continue to play out!

    Link: Here is a link to some pretty cool quotes on philosophy and government


  9. Gavin Holter12:07 PM CDT

    Factual Question: What is the Socratic method? challenging someones assumptions and then asking difficult questions to tease out how little they know.

    A discussion question: What is the purpose of studying philosophy? Does it better yourself as a person?

    A comment on my group's discussion: Our group discussed many of he different ethical dilemmas facing america today in regard to welfare programs. It was interesting to see the different viewpoints of people while still being able to discuss things in a civil manner. We ranged from huge supporters of the welfare system, to people who completely disagreed with it.

    A link to the explanation of the Socratic method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry9Ip77uc_8

  10. Highlanders as in there can be only one?

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