Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Nameless 8 (Section 17, Group 1)

Hey folks! We have an author now!

Today we discussed the introduction to America the Philosophical, and whether or not we thought that America was in fact an un-philosophical country. The consensus seemed to be that mainstream media appeals largely to the lowest common denominator and as such features a lot of programming that doesn't require much effort to consume; that said, more thought-provoking media is available if you look for it. We discussed some of that material during the lecture, one example being the New York Times' new philosophy blog "The Stone." We also touched briefly on the Allegory of the Cave, with the group opinion largely being that it was presumptuous for a philosopher to say that he/she is the only one who really sees and understands reality -- who decides who is a philosopher, anyway?

Our group still lacks a name, so I've dubbed us the Nameless 8 as a working title. Feel free to suggest something fun and creative that you'd like us to be called instead.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I am the ever-present Opinion, as the people from the Honors section can tell you, at least the ones in my group. I would like to offer my thoughts, if I may, on your discussion dealing with Plato's Cave. It seems to me that the role of the philosopher is to answer the question, "Why am I here?" That question corresponds to a pursuit of truth. In order for the philosopher (or anyone else, for that matter) to come to a conclusive answer on what truth is, he must obtain a clearer vision of what is really there. Seeing shadows on a wall doesn't exactly hold a candle to seeing the actual things which can be guessed at by the shadows. The philosopher who finds the outside world, then, finds the substance of the thing which he had only guessed at previously.

    That last bit leads into his Theory of Forms, too, but more importantly, it links to the search for absolute truth. Just as the man in the cave desires to know more of the world and follows that desire to the light (and thus to the real world), every person desires to know what truth is. Plato's Cave allegory suggests that knowing absolute truth is possible, which possibility I maintain is reality.

    There be my thoughts, such as they are. Ignore them if you like, or ask me questions. I love questions.

  2. Hi, Mitchell. You always propose compelling arguments and explanations. I admire that. But I am not perfect at interpretation. What exactly do you mean by "the outside world" that the philosopher must find?

    1. Draven Brew (H2)2:58 AM CDT

      I'm not Mitchell, but I think I have an explanation. Plato believed that everything had an ideal form, and that the way we see things in the world was just an imperfect version of that ideal form of reality. For example, when you look at a cat, that is just an imperfect form of the ideal cat. Plato also applied this logic to intangible ideas, like justice and virtue. Plato therefore posed that in order to truly understand the world, one must try to understand the ideal form of these things, illustrated by one of the prisoners breaking free and seeing the world as it truly is.

      I don't know if that helps at all, but I hope it does.

  3. What caused the philosophy blog "The Stone" to start and be published in the New York Times?

  4. Factual question-Who came first second and third? out of Aristotle Plato and Socrates?? Answer: Socrates, Plato , then Aristotle

    Discussion question- what do you think of Aristotle statement children can not be happy? Or know what happiness is?

    Comment- I am very curious of that last part who do the Philosophers think gave them their knowledge and the power to tell everyone else what they are thinking? We talked a little about this partly because I asked this question but I think it is good to pose questions back to the philosophers since they are questioning everything all the time they much have some answers to our questions too.

    Link- My mangers and I were just talking about this topic of this most people who ask a lot of questions do not like to be questioned themselves.

    Molly Brown group1 (17)

    1. Responding to your discussion question: I believe that might be the silliest idea ever. Children are naturally happy because they know what's important. Namely: playtime, snacks, and generally doing whatever you want. They're naturally curious, and as a consequence of that they are constantly learning and improving themselves.
      Seems like children have it figured out. Somewhere along the line we start taking ourselves too seriously and lose sight of what's important...probably around the time when we start trying to do things to impress other people.

    2. I agree that children may not understand what happiness is fully. And it depends on your definition of happiness whether you think children can be happy. For example, if you consider success happiness, then no, they can't be. However, I do believe that children can be sad. So with that being said, can someone experience saddness but not happinesss?

    3. Here is a link from the NY Times discussing happiness, philosoph and science.

    4. Anthony, you are only using your own definition of happiness to decided if children are really happy or not. According to Aristotle, happiness is not "playtime, snacks, and generally doing whatever you want," but happiness is eudaimonia - an accumulation of all the positive and nurturing things that have occurred in your life. Based on this definition of happiness, children cannot be truly and fully happy because they have barely begun to live.

  5. FQ: How was Socrates killed? A: Drinking hemlock.

  6. While I was reading America the Philosophical I couldn't help noticing that the chapter kept referring to a Canadian philosopher that lobbied for philosophers to be able to practice therapy. What is the name of the Canadian? Also in the chapter Ruben Diaz Jr. proposed that third parties should be able to pay for philosophical therapy for low income families, and I was wondering if others thought that was a good way to introduce philosophy to the general public. As to our name I vote we should remain the nameless 8. Labor day weekend I had a fever and at one point I realized that in the state I was in was quite philosophical because I was like Des Cartes and did not know if my world was real or some fever induced hallucination of that elephant.

  7. FQ: Aristotle was the son of a man who was in what profession? A: A doctor.

    DQ: Is it important to study not only our own character but others as well?

    How do we decide who is or isn't a philosopher? That question is very interesting to me because there really isn't a way to decide. I could believe that i heard something profound but someone else could disagree. I feel that everything means something different to each person.

    Link: http://www.deanza.edu/philosophy/resources.html (there is a cartoon in a white box on this page)