Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sedentarian Philosoraptors 17-3

Hey dudes,

We, being lazy or what have you, decided to stay in the classroom with Dr. Phil today after lecture on several French existentialists, and oddly enough--Hugh Heffner. Dr. Phil and John began the discussion on moral duty, in context of Sartre's concept of "bad faith." Where does this duty come from, is it guilt, is it obligation, etc. This led into a discussion on choice, especially how Sartre conceived it. Basically, the only thing I'm taking home from his philosophy and our discussion is that we must be more aware of our choices.


  1. FQ: Who wrote the best-selling book God Is Not Great? Christopher Hitchens
    DQ: This chapter presents broadcasters and journalists as philosophers. Is it right for a journalist to inject their philosophy into their reporting, or no? Should stories be presented "as-is", or should a journalist assert and defend an opinion that they feel is morally just for the betterment of their readership?

    I had a nice long post here discussing this idea, but some combination of running in incognito mode and perhaps a time-out error wiped the entire thing when I went to post it. Serves me write for not putting it in Notepad first.

    Anyway, my basic assertion was that the best way to present a story would be to present the best arguments from both sides and let the reader decide. While that might be "unphilosophical", it would probably make for better reporting. And as such, would it be fair to describe Lerner and Stone "bad" journalists?

    Hitchens was definitely a polarizing figure, but when he died it seemed that every cartoonist wanted to comment on it. Here are a few:





    Sorry I didn't make links. Too many. Too lazy.

  2. I think that guilt plays a bigger part in moral duty than obligation. As an adult you don't have to do anything, you're free to do what you want and make you're own choices. We do things out of guilt, we don't want to disappoint the people we care about.

    FQ (LH)- What Jewish philosopher reported on the trial of Eichmann, a German Nazi who played a role in the Holocaust?
    Hannah Arendt

    DQ (PB)-Hayek thought there were certain areas that the government should operate, such as the institute of law, money and school, and there are other areas that the government should stay clear of. Do you agree that the government should be limited in their power? If so, in which areas?

    Link to Arendt's report on Eichmann's trail called "Eichmann in Jerusalem" http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1963/02/16/1963_02_16_040_TNY_CARDS_000271829

  3. The three chapters that were for homework in Little History were possibly my favorite of the entire semester. I loved reading about Eichmann in the chapter about H. Arendt, and that chapter made me really think about where we put the blame in many situations, something I think to be very philosophical.

    FQ: (LH p 203) What philosopher wrote the book Tractus Logico-Philosophicus in which the main message was that "the most important questions about ethics and religion lie beyond the limits of our understanding and that if we can't talk meaningfully about them, we should stay silent"?
    Answer: Ludwig Wittgenstein

    DQ: Though Eichmann is not really written about as a philosopher in LH, I think his point of view of his innocence is actually philosophical (and almost logical). So, as for my DQ, what do you think of Eichmann's plea at trial? Do you think the part he played should go unpunished?

    I think the answer to that is a difficult one, especially given the tough emotions that come with the Holocaust. When i think back to how I felt as I walked through the Holocaust museum in D.C., I want to punish every single person that was involved in that entire massacre, even the people that claim they had no choice (that they didn't know better). BUT, when I think about how Eichmann might have felt (something I will never actually experience), I want to take more time and ponder that decision. Did Eichmann have a "choice"? For example, I was raised Catholic. Though I have a strong understanding of many religions, all I actually KNOW (having experienced) is Catholicism. Therefore, I will almost always do anything that I have been taught by my church and by my father. Now, not to say that Eichmann's religion was to schedule the trains that led people to their death, but I'm wondering if we can REALLY blame him for something that he was taught to do from the beginning, even if he knew it was wrong. I think this question bothers me more than anything else this semester...

    1. Forgot to post my link. Oops.

      This book is possibly one of the most amazing (and depressing) things I have ever read and I truly believe that everyone should read it. You get a perspective that they definitely do not give you in history books.


  4. FQ: Which philosopher took the idea of the scientific method and turned it upside down by asserting that, instead of gathering evidence to prove your hypothesis correct, it would be better to try to prove that it was false?
    - Karl Popper (LH pg. 214-215)

    DQ: Popper also asserted that any claims that were made that were "pseudo-science" were not falsifiable, or in other words, could not be proven, and were therefore worthless (that seems to be a recurring feeling with a few of these philosophers). Do you agree that the worth of something can be determined by the inherent "truth" behind it? And by truth, I mean something that can be proven to be either true or false.

    I've dealt a lot with Induction and Proof by Counter-example/Contradiction this semester in my Foundations of Higher Mathematics class, where we use them as methods of proofing. Kind of entry level stuff, but for me, it's had a lot of impact on my faith, because it's really a cool thing to sit and think about - to prove something wrong (completely and utterly, I might add) all you need to have is a singular example of where it isn't true. Doesn't matter what it can be, it can be anything, as long as it is a situation where the statement either does not apply or is proven false. Using that idea, it's just really interesting to see what all has held up over the past few thousand years. Not anything really worthy of contributing to the conversation, I guess, just something that has really piqued my interest over the semester.

  5. FQ: Which philisopher thinks religion is "screwed up and silly"? Answer: Carlin

    DQ: Do you think that because you can assume or infer something that it can then be argued as a fact? What would suffice in proving a point valid?

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo