Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View'

At a time when advances in science and technology have changed our understanding of our mental and physical selves, it is easy for some to dismiss the discipline of philosophy as obsolete. Stephen Hawking, boldly, argues that philosophy is dead. 
Not according to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Goldstein, a philosopher and novelist, studied philosophy at Barnard and then earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University. She has written several books, won a MacArthur “Genius Award” in 1996, and taught at several universities, including Barnard, Columbia, Rutgers, and Brandeis. 
Goldstein’s forthcoming book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, offers insight into the significant—and often invisible—progress that philosophy has made. I spoke with Goldstein about her take on the science vs. philosophy debates, how we can measure philosophy’s advances, and why an understanding of philosophy is critical to our lives today...
Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View' - Hope Reese - The Atlantic

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Philosophers - SEND ME YO STUFFZ

This is me, waiting for the Power Points.

I don't think everyone got my email so here it is: jccoulston3@gmail.com

Presenters, send me your portion of the Power Point presentation so I can combine them into one. The people who signed up to present are: Austin, Jasmine, Jordan, Kristen, Long, and  Zack. Soooo I hope you all know that, lol.

Here are the sections; I'll bold them as I get them in:

Section 1: Analyze This ( ? / ?)
Section 2: Equations Must Balance (Charles / Jordan)
Section 3: There's Meth in My Madness (Dylan / Long)
Section 4: Nothing Here But Chemistry (Adam / Kirsten)
Section 5: Now You're Cooking (Chris / Zach)
Section 6: Free Radicals (John Connor)
Section 7: Pink, White and Blue (Chandler / ?)

I really hope you all paired up with someone to present your section...I have a funny feeling that a couple people didn't. Can we get that straight in the comments? Email me if you're confused about what's going on or whatever. I just want everything to go smoothly Monday so we can be all:

- John Connor Coulston

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Epicurus is our topic. We will talk about his life, the views he has on life, death, the garden, happiness, and wealth. We will link this through modern day intentional communities (Commons) and advertising. The contributors were Colt, Zack, Sam, Jon, Kathryn, Aaron, and Shante'. Researchers were Colt, Sam, Zack, Kathryn, Caitlin, and Shante' with the following group members presenting Colt, Jon, Shante', Sam, Zack, and Aaron. The order of presenting is as following:

I. Who is Epicurus - Colt
II. Epicurus Views on life and Death - Jon
III. The Garden - Shante'
IV. Audience Interactive activity - Sam
V. Happiness and Wealth - Zack
VI. Presenter's Transition - Aaron


To Study From Before We Present:
Pricipal Doctrines by Epicurus (translated by Robert Drew Hicks) B&N.com
Little History of Philosophy , Chapter 4
O’Keefe, Tim. “Internet encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Epicurus
Encylcopedia Britannica Online, “Epicurus (Greek Philosopher)

“Epicurus” Stanford University

Why Not?Group!


 Our group topic is Calvin & Hobbes and philosophy by: 

  • Jaime Wold, PowerPoint
  • Tyler Todd, comic strips, theme is how expectations affect our happiness.
  • Stephanie Byars, background about John Calvin.
  • Grant Vis, comic strips, them is that everything is either one thing or another.
  • Kierra Johnson, background about Thomas Hobbes. 
  • Mervat Mikhail, summary of the project.
  • Ian Mellon, comic strips.
  • Erin Hebstova, comic strips, Pyrrho Skepticism.
  • Layton Switzer, comic strips, asks big questions.

We will analysis of the Calvin & Hobbes cartoons and their philosophical merits. Calvin and Hobbes is a daily comic strip that was written and illustrated by American cartoonist Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes are both derived from actual philosophers.

Bill Watterson Answers Fan's Questions about Calvin and Hobbes
  • Link: http://andrewsmcmeel.com/books/comics-and-humor/calvinandhobbes/pw_watterson.html
Here a llink for an online Strips of Calvin And Hobbes 
  • http://www.progressiveboink.com/2012/4/21/2912173/calvinhobbes

"We're here to devour each other alive."

Oliver's Favs

Hey guys, we discussed our project more in-depth last class period and talked about whether or not we believe a urinal can be considered art.  I think we agreed that one's interpretation of what constitutes art is subjective. Personally, I think a urinal could be considered art. Here is an example of what I mentioned in class.
Remember to study for the exam tomorrow.  Use the other class section's study guide, as well. 

-James McVey

Teenage Mutant Ninja Philosophers -2/25

This week we focused our attention on our group project.

Everyone who read the book should have paired up with a presenter. Presenters should take the readers' notes and put together a Power Point based on the info provided. Let's try to make them fancy with pictures and videos and stuff. Wednesday, we'll discuss compiling all the Power Points into one big Power Point for our presentation Monday.

If you didn't pair up with a presenter, ya need to sort that out, or do as I'm doing, make that portion of the presentation yourself. Whatever you wanna do, just make sure it's done one way or another by Wednesday.

And remember there's a test Wednesday. Do your best and stuff. 

- John Connor Coulston

Monday, February 24, 2014


We will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, February 25 at 6pm in the library. Please be there for your part of participation within the group. We are reserving a room and will post the room number as soon as it is confirmed. We are the first to present and need to all be able to meet one last time before class on Wednesday.

Thunder Dragons

It looks like we are finally coming along with our group project! Remember everybody to do your Research and have it submitted by Friday. You can send to Anthony's email or post it on here. It would probably be easier to send it by email. Just a reminder, you can find the emails on our class page in Pipeline.  

Jake will be Immanuel Kant, and Edward will be John Stuart Mill.

Researches make sure to have solid information and question or else we will have nothing to build our performance on.

If anybody has any suggestions, comments, or questions about our project just leave a comment below.

Morality- accepted moral standards: standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper

Ethics- study of morality's effect on conduct: the study of moral standards and how they affect conduct

Just something to think about, what makes Ethics different than morality? They must be distinguished.

Philosoraptors Meeting at 8:00pm

CAITLYN!!!!!!!! Come meet us at the Student Union building to help us with our Tumblr presentation :)
3rd floor above the POD
We have enough information for the other two subjects, and also finished the powerpoint for them
We have some information on tumblr but need a bit more, and need to incorporate it into the rest of the project.
Thank you!

Group 2 Section 12 Discussion

Philosophy Discussion: We did not have a lot of time to talk both Philosophy and our group project. However, we did begin to discus Thomas Hobbes and how his theory of "state of nature" ties into two of our characters in our group project. I will not get too deep into the conversation about our villains, so we have a bit of a surprise come presentation day. But we discussed how the idea that people lose their morals and values when rules are taken out of the question is what one villain wants to prove; that no one is as good as they believe. We also discussed how another villain represented both sides of Hobbes's theory. But more to come on that Monday!

As for the group project, we discussed the order our characters would be presented (if you have any questions email the group). Also, do not forget to email Jason a quick summary of your character by Wednesday, so he can put together the conclusion. By the way, Evan you were assigned the introduction. If there's any problem with that let us know ASAP. Don't forget to also send Elizabeth the things you want on the visual presentation by Wednesday. If you include videos make sure they are not too long. I do not believe we will have time to meet again before our presentation, so be sure to have your part of it done by Monday when we present!

Have a good rest of the day you guys!  

Daily Quiz

Feb. 24

1.  What judge and author was inspired by Plato's Symposium to write about sex?

2. Whose book The Prince, published in 1532, was described as evil and a handbook for gangsters? OR, Who said it was more important for a leader to be feared than loved?

3. Machiavelli said a prince needs ______, the Italian word for manliness.

4. Which English philosopher walked daily (with a cool writing stick), lived to 91, denied the existence of an immaterial soul, and thought it's only fear of punishment and the law that keeps us in check?

5. How does Machiavelli follows the example of Boethius? OR, with which Roman Stoics does he 

6. What recently-deceased legal scholar rejected the separation of law and morality, and said only conscious beings have "interests"?

7. What late art critic and former MTSU Lyceum speaker said a urinal can be a work of art if properly interpreted?
8. Who "made it possible for American intellectuals to think philosophically about movies"?

1. Richard Posner-117 AP. 2. Niccolo Machiavelli-LH 52, 55. 3. virtu-LH 53. 4. Thomas Hobbes-LH 57f. 5. Fortuna, 45, Cicero & Seneca 46. 6. Ronald Dworkin, AP 110-11. 7. Arthur Danto AP 120-21. 8. Stanley Cavell

FQ: _______ believed that no ultimate test existed for determining what constitutes law in a particular system.
DQ: According to Dworkin, Judges "in hard cases, they must discover (not invent) the moral theory that 'best explains and justifies' rights established in settled law", agree or disagree?

FQ: Who did Borgia place in charge of Romagna? (Hint: He also later had him murdered.)
FQ: Why did Borgia kill his own commander?
FQ: For Machiavelli, what was more important than how something is achieved?
FQ: Which does Machiavelli say it is more important for a leader to be, loved or feared?
FQ: What animals does Machiavelli say we, as humans, should learn from?
FQ: What does the adjective Machiavellian mean?

DQ: What do you think is more effective for a leader, to be loved or to be feared? Is there a possible balance of both?

LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Bantam-Classics-Niccolo-Machiavelli/dp/0553212788
This is a link if you want to buy "The Prince" by Machiavelli for like $5. I agree with Yousef that it sounds pretty cool.
LINK: http://www.quickmeme.com/Machiavelli-Meme
Now that we understand what Machiavelli believes, some of these Machiavelli memes are actually interesting.

FQ: What did Machiavelli say that an effective prince has to learn? 

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IGBKu6qM7Y

DQ: Do you agree with Machiavelli's philosophy on how to approach being a leader?

Link: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/machiavelli.html

Q: What is the name of Posner's book about the philosophy of law? "The Problems of Jurisprudence" AP pg. 118

FQ: Dworkin's abortion argument _______ _______ America's battle over abortion, any more than his subsequent writings on ___________ of presidential impeachment won unanimous consent. p113 didn't, solve, euthanasia

FQ: What two events prompted Posner's attention to sex? p117 his reading of Plato's Symposium and the case Barnes vs. Glen Theatre Inc.(1991). 

DQ: Posner asked What is law? So, what is your intake on what law really is?

Here is a video on Dworkin: Skepticism 

FQ: What family is responsible for having Machiavelli thrown in prison and later banished from his home city? -The Medici Family

FQ: This 17th century philosopher was a materialist who believed that people were simply physical beings and that there is no such thing as the soul. -Thomas Hobbes

DQ: Do you think people are only kept in check by the rule of law and the threat of punishment?

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/opinion/why-machiavelli-matters.html?_r=0

DQ: Do you feel that you could apply "The Prince's" ideals into your own life?

FQ: The latin word Fortuna means what in english? PB 44

FQ: what Christian author wrote a book filed with ideologies that were completely opposite of Michiavellis's? PB45
DQ: Do you believe that if the civilization crashed and all rules were demolished that we all would kill or steal to survive if that was what was necessary?


DQ: What is law? What makes it effective or ineffective? How far should the law be able to reach? What limitations should be placed?

Link: Here's a brief commentary by Posner about his personal philosophy. . .

FQ: What qualities did Machiavelli admire in Cesare Borgia, the only leader of his time that really impressed him? 

FQ: In 1938, Britain's prime minister took this man's word that he would not attempt to expand his country's territory, failing to learn from Machiavelli's lessons.

DQ: There are a ton of examples of world leaders using underhanded tactics to retain power. The CIA, FBI, Gestapo, the KGB. Is Machiavelli right in saying that in order to survive, a leader must be ruthless when necessary?


Fq: what family, who previously ruled Florence, threw Machiavelli into prison claiming he was plotting to overthrow them?
Medici family

Fq: how did Machiavelli believe you could improve your odds of success?
By acting bravely and swiftly

Dq: do you believe as a leader its better to be feared than loved?
Fq: what animals did Machiavelli say to learn from and why?
The fox because they are cunning and can spot traps and the lion because they are immensely strong and terrifying.