Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"NAMELESS" honors group 3

Hey guys, so I wanted to get this up asap because we didn't assign an author, again.
But our group conversed, firstly, about death; and came to the conclusion that we all do not fear death itself, but the way we might die.  We then moved to skepticism and hedonism, also discussing some of our views on Epicures' and Pyrrho's views.


  1. Excellente. Now if only Dr. Phil would post our assigned reading...wait, syllabus.

    Now, what are we going to do about our midterm presentation? We haven't talked about that at all.

    I'll return with questions, etc. once I find out what to read.

  2. Ummm..presentation...right? When's that due? What is the topic? I'm a bit frantic without plans.

  3. Presentation is due at the end of October, I think. Not certain on the due date. We've still got a little time, but we need to start working on it. We can choose something dealing with a contemporary topic and how it relates to philosophy, OR we can do something on a pre-Descartes philosopher. I, for one, recommend the latter, partly because I'm writing my report on Plato's Theory of Forms, so I'll already have some research done.

    1. I myself would have no qualms with the latter of your suggestions.

    2. Except the only issue is that we're supposed to do a "post"-Cartesian philosopher. I misread it the first time around. Which means I have no ideas (except CS Lewis, of course).

    3. I think it would be easier for the entire group to contribute to a contemporary topic and how it relates to philosophy, but that's just my opinion. I suppose either would be fine, though.

      Also, does anyone know any specifics about the 10pg report? I'm confused on what needs to be done, and I need to get started before I get absolutely slammed with my other classes (which has actually already begun, but I digress).

    4. Perhaps so. We should talk about that in more depth tomorrow.

      The syllabus has some information, but it is rather too vague. I emailed Dr. Phil about it, but he hasn't responded. I *think* we're supposed to use the same criteria as for the solo reports, but I'm not sure on that. I, too, want to get going on mine; I had started, but then I realized I wasn't certain.

  4. Factual: Which of the Roman emperors did Seneca tutor? (Nero; sadly, Seneca's pupil eventually sentenced him to death. (LH))

    Discussion: I found the Stoics' view of life rather fascinating. What do you guys think of their virtual abolition of human emotion?

    Comment: Skepticism as a discussion caught my attention because of the very different ways that skeptics approach the world. It makes me wonder how skeptics decide just how skeptical they ought to be. Questioning everything seems to lead, inevitably, to Pyrrho's conclusion: that he couldn't judge anything at all to be real, so he had no fear--yet, by adopting that mindset, wasn't he making a judgment on the nature of reality? It's interesting, too, to observe how moderate skeptics approach life: they look at the world and ask critical questions about everything in it, which indicates to me a preconceived notion in every human being that there is some kind of ultimate knowledge set, if you will, which can be found. (I think I shall incorporate that into my report.)

    On the question of skeptics, here is the link to The Skeptics Society homepage: www.skeptic.com Interesting little page, that.

    1. Mitchell,

      It's an interesting question you pose, just how far one should go with skepticism. I think we saw the far extreme with Pyrrho, and one could argue that such a level of skepticism is really genuinely impossible to maintain (at least for very long). I think it's a question everyone should consider, too. When they should ask questions, when they should doubt something presented to them, and when something can just be accepted (i.e. that that cliff is, in fact, a cliff, and it is a very, very long way down.)

  5. Anonymous6:11 PM CDT

    In response to Mitchell's discussion question, I think that to err is human, and so are our emotions. I believe that we cease to be human when we no longer feel. But to have control over our emotions is very practical.

  6. Factual: A Stoic believed the ideal life was to live in a highly populated area. True or false. (False; A Stoic's ideal life would be to live in isolation, as a recluse.)

    Discussion: We live in a society obsessed with youth. Do you believe it to be detrimental, or to have no effect on our world? Explain.

    Comment: Like I said before, I believe extreme skeptics would be incredibly annoying to be around. To not have an opinion on anything would make for boring conversation. As for moderate skepticism indicating an ultimate knowledge, I agree, but I don't believe I mean that in the same sense that you do, Mitchell. I believe there are facts -- my own, scientific "absolute truths" -- and that I can't possibly know everything. Ultimate knowledge, to me, is what is scientifically provable. Anyway, off topic there, I suppose.

    Link: I don't know why, but this quote made me laugh. I'm weird. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgesant137422.html

  7. Ben Nguyen (16-1)11:10 PM CDT

    I agree with this group...

    When Epicurus said that fearing death was foolish, what about fearing the way one dies? Seemed like an easy way out to me. I would love to know a way to forget about the ways I could die so that I may live a happier life.

  8. Comment: I liked to hear other people's view of death. It's crazy that we fear the pain of death even though (it might depend on what you believe what happens after death) it will be over and you're dead.

    Factual question: How did Epictetus know about pain and hunger? (He started out as a slave.)

    Discussion question: Epictetus said "Our thoughts are up to us." His philosophy was that the mind can remain free even if the body is enslaved. Do you think that the mind can be enslaved with the body? When have minds been enslaved? What power does a free mind have?

  9. Olivia (The Highlanders)9:30 PM CDT

    I do wonder how I will die one day, but I'm not so sure about the fear in that. Our group discussed the idea that if you are firm enough in your beliefs you will not fear death itself. However, we also discussed the sadness of having untapped potential when you die.

  10. Factual: What does being philosophical mean? - Accepting what you can't change.
    Discussion: Do you agree with Seneca that the problem is not that life is too short but it how bad most of us se what time we have? Why or why not?
    Comment: I thought it was interesting that everyone in our group was not afraid of death, but afraid of how we will die. We all felt like we knew what awaits us after death: Heaven, nothing, etc. so none of us were afraid.
    Link: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/marcus_tullius_cicero.html
    These are a bunch of quotes by Cicero.

  11. Another factual question.
    Who was forced to commit suicide? - Seneca. Nero forced Seneca to commit suicide because he Seneca was involved in a plot to kill him

  12. I agree with you all on not fearing death but being more concerned with how it will happen.

  13. Factual Question: Who said "Life is short, art is long"? Hippocrates.

    Discussion Question: If we view stoicism as the text suggests and look at it as a type of psychotherapy, do you think that the calming of emotions can make life easier and more straightforward?

    Comment: I find that most people are more afraid of the way they will die rather than death itself, as we saw in our discussion last week.

    Link: Stoic quotes