Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, September 6, 2013

Philosophers Guild(H)

Overview- Each set of people provided insight into each book read allowing those who had to sacrifice time for other books to catch up on what they could not read. 

Kyle started our group with a wonderful question of whether or not Happiness is lost with the gain of knowledge.  Ignorant bliss vs. Informed Despair.  Dr. Oliver jumped in on the idea bringing up Socrates and Plato.  Specifically the "humble" ignorance taught by Socrates, which was then compared to more modern day self imposed ignorance.  America was then brought up and a fine point was made on the topic of the un-philosophical minority vs a more reserved majority.  That is to say America might be more philosophical than most people think, it is merely a smallvery loud  minority is what is considered regular. 



  1. Ignorant bliss vs. Informed Despair would be such a fun discussion topic. I wonder if most chose ignorance like I would? (H3)

    1. (Highlanders) But are those really the only two options? Is there no medium between the two? I've never thought ignorance would be very blissful at all, but beyond that, I kind of wonder if all information is really troubling? Is it really the case that to know is to suffer? Or are there exceptions?

      Food for thought.

  2. I am more of a person who likes to know everything if its good or bad which is not good for me at times but I think it goes hand in hand with the topic of the truth and I am strong believer in the truth.

  3. Yeah, don't know how to talk to the class any other way, so I'll just do this.

    I'm not going to be in class for a session or two since I need to get my medication changed. I hope you all understand.

  4. Factual Question: Why did philosophy become stunted after the death of Aristotle? (For years afterwards, people thought Aristotle was right about everything so they quit trying to think and disprove his theories even when some were incorrect.
    Discussion Question: Do you agree more with the Platonian/Socratic theory of forms or the Aristotelian material view?
    Comments from last time: I enjoyed talking about Plato and Socrates, but they are so similar I felt that it was difficult to generate any real discussion about them. But after reading Aristotle, I feel that we can discuss which theory we favor most.
    Links: I found a helpful site comparing Aristotle and Plato. http://frankdevita.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/plato-and-aristotle-compared/
    Comments: I also commented on the philosoraptors group (17-3) and said I would rather hear a lecture from Plato rather than Aristotle. It would be interesting for Plato to defend his spiritual views in our scientific world.

  5. I would agree that most Americans are more philosophical than the rest of the world thinks and that it is the case that they are part of a reserved majority and the rest make up a smell, yet vocal, minority.

  6. Factual Question: What famous conqueror was thought to have been taught by Aristotle? (Alexander the Great).

    Discussion Question: An interesting question I found in the reading: "What's education for and what should it include?" The two theories seem to be either for the benefit of the economy or the benefit of the individual.

    Comments: On whether the pursuit of knowledge can lead to depression: Knowledge can be seen as increasing one's understanding of the world, and if it is true to say that leads to depression, one can assume that that means the world is inherently evil and depressing, which I choose not to believe.

    Link: I found a website with some cool Aristotle quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/aristotle.html

  7. Factual Question: How did Aristotle believe one could increase their chance at eudaimonia? -By developing the right kind of character.
    Discussion question:Do you believe Aristotle's theory on Eudaimonia is an accurate description of human happiness?
    Comment: Since I was the floater for our group I am going to give a brief run down of the topics from the other groups. Group 3 was discussing Plato's idea of soulmates when I got there. the two opinions I heard were that since there are many choices that could change your life's path, the idea of having one person for you is incorrect because you choose your own fate and direction. The other was that Love has to be fostered so when you love someone, it doesn't become real until after you have fostered it, then you can call that person your soul mate. I think over all they did not agree with Plato. Stemming off that conversation was a question about the religious Idea of Predestination. The conversation ranged but I had to move before a set answer was given.
    The Highlanders group had been discussing Plato as well but their conversation switched to the question "Is it possible to know anything?". Once again, the conversation ranged between thoughts, including noone knows if you can know anything, or that it is pointless to discuss questions like that because there is no way to answer it, or that thinking about it stretches your mind. and the last question they discussed was what make a philosopher a philosopher. Once again, I had to leave before the conversation was completed.
    Link:Here is another article talking about Aristotle's theory of happiness- http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/aristotle/

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  9. Factual Question: Who was Aristotle's book, Nicomachean Ethics thought to have been named after?
    Answer: Either his father or son.

    Discussion Question: Would you go to a philisophical therapy session? Why it why not?

    Comment: I think it's less about intelligent people having depression and unintelligent people not, but more about people who question the world, many of who are intelligent, and those who take the world at face value. Of course, there are exceptions to this.

    Link: This is an article about the link between intelligence and mental illness.

  10. Factual question: what school did Aristotle start? (Lyceum)

    Discussion question: Do we truly pursue the interest of ourselves by pursuing the interest of others in society?

    Comment: This class was a little different than the others before it. We started by discussing the readings we were assigned, then we had the first floater shift. Each time a new floater came in the conversation would shift completely to a new topic. This made for a very interesting discussion.

    Link: a link to quotes by Aristotle on ethics: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2919427-ethika-nikomacheia

  11. Gavin (The Highlanders)12:25 PM CDT

    The question about whether or not knowledge and happiness have an inverse relationship is an interesting one. I think it entirely depends on the subject matter. For example, the more knowledge I gain about music, the happier I feel I really am. However, the same may not be said about gaining knowledge of the inner-workings of the American government.

  12. Mitch (Highlanders)1:13 PM CDT

    I think the happiness v. knowledge idea is extremely interesting and could go in many different directions. I agree with Gavin in the fact that it definitely depends on the subject one is thinking/talking about. Having knowledge in a field that one is interested in or working in, might lead to happiness in the fact that they are knowledgeable (or even an expert) about a matter. But having knowledge of unpleasant workings of a system or unpleasant facts about people or organizations can lead to an extreme sense of sadness or even disgust towards those things.

    1. Mitch (Highlanders)1:16 PM CDT

      Here is a link to a discussion forum on the issue of happiness vs. knowledge