Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Highlanders (group 1)

Our discussion was longer than usual today. We began by talking about the idea of love and whether or not it was a good thing to have that ideal love you strive for. Someone mentioned that if it is love for a person there shouldn't be that ideal love you strive for because you'll never attain it, but if love is love for a hobby, for example, it might be better if you did have that ideal love.
   Furthermore we covered the topic of "is there a perfect other half" which led to the ultimate conclusion of whether love was something missing we have to find or something or someone we don't need, but if they did come into our lives, it would be something extra, something to better ourselves, but not something we need to begin with.
   When the floater came around we started talking about physical beauty and its role in love. "Do you think that love has to start with a physical attraction?" which somehow led to the discussion of perception and reality. "What is truth, what is false?" "What is right, what is wrong?" Perception varies from person to person and everyone has different views, but the perception of a person is the truth to that particular person. Human emotion determines how we perceive things. Finally, the floater asked why we had a set of laws if what every individual thought what they did was right. We concluded that some morals never change. For example, why we all agree taking another persons life is "wrong".
"We value other's lives because we value our own life." (ultimately a selfish reason)


  1. I "love" how both of our groups started with the topic of love. Cannot wait to float to your group!
    ~Seneca (HNRS GRP 3)

  2. I noticed something interesting about the synopsis given of when I was floating to this group: that we established that "some morals never change." My question is this: How does one reconcile that with the idea of there being no absolute truth? If some morals never change, doesn't that mean they are absolute? Knowing this, how can we say there is no absolute truth? (My intent is not to beat the dead horse, nor to come across as antagonistic; if I do, I am terribly sorry. I really do want to know what you guys think so that we can have a constructive discussion.)

    1. I think there is a certain level of impropriety in assuming that just because something is enduring that it is necessarily absolute. Likewise, we can only speak from the perspective of the cultures we were raised in. There are cultures elsewhere, or even earlier incarnations of our own culture, wherein say killing someone is/was absolutely acceptable in the right circumstances. We can only claim contextual morals. We, as people in this country, this state, with these life experiences, say that murder will never be right. But that perspective, no matter how widely-held, will never be ABSOLUTE. And that, arguably, is why we can never have one unified government or justice system. We can only design a system of justice that serves the majorative interest and morality, and as with government, if the minority doesn't agree, there is a certain level of sacrifice that must be made.

  3. On your subject of "other perfect half," Aristotle brings a good point (page 13 of LH). "Eudaimonia can only be achieved in relation to life in a society. We live together, and need to find our happiness by interacting well with those around us..." "We need to be able to live with other people and we need a system of justice to cope with the darker side of life." We need people and politics in our lives to be happy. A single "other perfect half" is still a question in my mind, but we need human interaction to find happiness. Our other perfect half is made up of several different people that complete us in different ways and make us happy overall.

  4. Anonymous5:50 PM CDT

    So would that mean our human ethics come from ethical egoism rather than a distinct set of morals instilled in us?

  5. Olivia (The Highlanders)6:44 PM CDT

    Factual question (LH): Nearly all of Aristotle's writing survived in what form? A: Lecture notes

    Discussion question: What does it mean to "seek happiness" or to really be happy at all?

    Comment: Although I only spent a short period of time in our group, I liked how the conversation started! I believe love is a very complicated subject, and I hope that we could revisit it one day!

    Link: Here is a link to a website explaining Aristotle's ideas about happiness.


  6. Anonymous11:06 AM CDT

    I don't necassarily agree with the comment if you strive for that ideal love in a person, you'll never attain it. I think what us humans want most in the world is love. And if you've found that, you'll be happy regardless if it's 'ideal.' That's what we search for, happiness, not perfection. 'Ideal" isn't necassarily 'perfect.' Humans have flaws, and we wouldn't be ideal without our flaws.

    1. I might be speaking out of turn, but that's not really what we meant. We were saying that, in the perspective of the "other half" philosophy on love, it would be impossible to achieve and maintain such a thing. That form of love is based on LACKING something. It is based on missing the "perfect other half" and so once that half is discovered and you are no longer LACKING it, that element of love is voided. Love, then, by that perspective, if a self-annihilating concept.

  7. Your group seems to have very good discussions. I, like Seneca, cannot wait to float to your group either.

  8. Factual Question: To whom did Aristotle dedicate his book, Nicomachean Ethics?

    Discussion Question: How do you believe people should seek happiness? Or is it even something that can/should be sought?

    Comment: I really appreciate the depth of thinking in our group. We genuinely seem to try to dig to get to the crux of the issue, and I found our discussion on "absolute truths" to be genuinely interesting. There are definitely some differing opinions in the group, but I think that actually contributes to the group rather than detracts, because even disagreements are done constructively in the process of the discussion. I truly enjoy our discussions and look forward to seeing how we interpret this reading in class.

    Link: I've always been fond of Aristotle's work on the Tragedic Theory, and I thought it might be a little ironic and fun to give a link to a theory on Tragedy when we're going to be discussing Happiness.

  9. Jennifer9:41 PM CDT

    Factual Question: Who taught Socrates "everything he knows about love?" A: The priestess Diotima.

    Discussion Question: Aristotle suggested that to live happily we need to develop certain virtues of character. What virtues do you think are important to lead a happy life?

    Comment: I really enjoyed our discussion this past week, and hearing a lot of different viewpoints from our group as well as from the floaters. I think our discussion on truth and reality was very interesting and constructive, and although we did not come to a conclusion on these topics I learned a lot from hearing everyones' opinions.

    Link: Here's a link to a Philosophy Bites podcast on Aristotle's views on happiness that differs from that published in our book.

  10. Factual Question: The root ethika is understood to mean? The study of character.

    Discussion Question: Do you think that Artistoles view on eudaimonia in the sense that everything can effect it for you is similar to the idea of karma? What are the similarities and differences between the two?

    Our group had a large talk also about if we really could truly know anything for certain because isn't truth based on perception? I would like to think that I know things for certain because I am going to school to study things, so it is a little unnerving thinking that it could be impossible to have any knowledge at all. I had trouble with this topic but it piqued my interest. To comment on the Philospher's Guild post I think that America does have its very own strong brand of philosophy its just in a different way from the typical western european tradition. I do not know much about it, but I am interested to see how American philosophy will shape me as other european philosophy has.

    For my link I thought that this video did a great job of actually defining Aritsotles views on happiness. While it may be a bit cheesy and zen I still think that it is interesting to get actual quotes from the man himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLGNrM9ozxg

  11. Gavin Holter12:19 PM CDT

    Factual Question: Who is the philosopher that lobbied heavily for philosophers to be able to practice as therapists? Lou Marinoff

    Discussion Question: Why did the vast majority of journalists make such a mockery of lobbying for philosophers to practice as therapists? Are the professions that different?

    Comment: In our groups discussion, it was interesting to see so many abstract ideas being discussed. A few of us discussed how we like to deal with concrete things, and that abstract conversations confused us. We also discussed the different roles in a conversation, and how it is unfair to assign grades based upon vocal participation. I explained that when I know little about a subject, I am often quiet, but just as engaged in the conversation as those who are talking.
    Link: A link to Marinoff's book: Plato, Not Prozac. http://books.google.com/books?id=wvBwyB9bjsYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=plato+not+prozac&hl=en&sa=X&ei=S1QvUrihDYWI9QSHyIDQBg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=plato%20not%20prozac&f=false

  12. It's interesting that you guys brought up the different types of love. I had only been thinking about love for a person and not a love for a hobby or something like that. That gives a new way to look at things.

  13. Factual Question: What successful conqueror was thought to have been taught by Aristotle? ~Alexander the Great

    Discussion Question: Would you consider going to a session with a "Philosophical Practitioner?" Why or why not? What makes you see this type of therapy as a positive thing or a negative thing?

    Comments: The abstract conversation was definitely something to think about, but I like to deal in concrete ideas and answers, so I tried to step back and chew on things in my mind a little more before talking. Our discussions of love and reality was interesting and intriguing.

    Link: here is a link to an article on the subject of the philosophy of love.