Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, October 31, 2014


“All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks, in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.” Nietzsche

(Do not underestimate the power of costume)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Section 14 Group 1 (ish...)

We first took our test and discussed the theories of Voltaire, Leibniz, and Pope, and then went on a peripatetic walk while discussing the Voltaire's beliefs of the world's condition.

Section 9 group 3

Today, we talked about Voltaire and asked why suffering exists in the world.

Landon Holloway

Peter Lawler lecture

Anyone who attends this gets an extra run. Since I'm teaching the Bioethics class next semester, I'll be there. So, no class today for section 10. Sorry for the late notice.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 1pm
HONR 106
Quick Thoughts on Politics, Education, and Culture, Rightly Understood

Dr. Peter Augustine Lawler is the Dana Professor of Government at Berry College; Executive Editor of Perspectives on Political Science; past chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association, member of President Bush's Council on Bioethics; and the author of over 15 books

Trading Liberty for Security

With our professor's generous offer some run support and his personal urging, I'm posting my extra credit submission for Exam 1.  I chose a DQ we had in class, but didn't have the time to discuss that is near and dear to my heart.

Is the threat of insecurity and fear of violent death great enough for most people to override their desire for personal freedom?  Is safety more important to you than liberty?  Does it bother you that the government may be monitoring your calls, emails, etc.?

The response to the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 was the apex of this issue in my eyes.  Over 11 years after 9/11, we allowed what were objectively two amateur terrorists with a pipe bomb they learned how to build over the internet to shut down a major metropolitan city.  Worst still, our response brought about the very tyranny we profess immunity from through our system of constitutional protections.  A picture speaks a thousand words, so I’ll put these up for viewing:

There may be the word ‘POLICE’ somewhere on the officers kit, but those are military tactics used on American citizens.  I know this from experience, because the tactics, techniques, & procedures used in these pictures are exactly the same ones I used in the Army while deployed to Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq.  House to house, entry with or without permission of the occupants, no probable cause or warrant present.  

Law enforcement officers treated U.S. citizens to the same invasive methods we used to combat insurgents among the population in war zones.  So yes, I would say as a society, we have unequivocally allowed fear to override our desire for personal freedom.

The tipping point in an orderly society and freedoms allowed is always a fine line, but in 1791, we set out the basic rules that established what that line is in the United States of America.  Judging by those pictures, we use them when things are going well and discard them when the going gets tough.  Shame on us for abandoning our principles. 

…as to the NSA and its mass collection program, it’s criminal, pure and simple in my eyes.  There is no ‘may’ in this question; it’s happening and the Snowden leaks prove it.  If their actions were legal, Presidents, Senators, & NSA officials wouldn’t be lying about the capabilities used in collection, and what they do collect. 

The NSA facility near Bluffdale, Utah that came online recently, has an estimated to ability to store somewhere around 12-billion gigabytes.  If that amount of data storage wasn’t scary enough, the ability to upgrade that collection capacity with future technology has to be.  Let's put the potential for growth in perspective.  Think about the flash/thumb drives many people carry.  When flash drives were first introduced in 2000, they had an 8-megabyte (MB) capacity.  Today the top tier flash drives have 128-gigabyte capacity.  That translates to an increase of 16,384% in less than a generation.   Moore's law tells us to expect even more storage capacity in the future, which will raise the ability of NSA storage capacity from what it has today to amounts that are unimaginable in our minds.  

So ask yourself the question, why does your government need that capacity?  Just the scope of this issue is overwhelming.  But it is, to my mind, the defining question of liberty in the 21st century.
Safety will never be more important than liberty for me.  There is only so much risk you can mitigate in life, and I for one, don’t want to voluntary give up any of my freedoms out of fear towards that risk.  Sorry to say, I don’t like the chances of liberty winning this fight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Section 13, Group 3

Today we talked outside about dreaming. We talked about the types of dreams that we have had, and the possibility of having a philosophical idea present itself in a dream . We also talked about lucid dreaming, and how that might contribute to one's philosophy on life.

Section 13 Group 2 Discussion & 10/29 Quiz Questions

Today we discussed/quizzed Voltaire and Leibniz as we read in LH. In our group we discussed, the phrase "everything happened for a reason" and "karma". We all had deep thoughts on "the best of all possible worlds". We discussed shady acts of all people, and how that changes our views in general. How we judge people on first contact. We discussed the difference between acts of kindness and roles of equality by gender roles. We discussed certain aspects of religion, Christianity.

Quiz for 10/29
1) Candide's name suggests what? --Innocence and purity

2) Who did Leibniz agree with? --English poet, Alexander Pope

3) Someone who believes that there is visible evidence of God's existence and design to be found in nature is a what? --Deist

4) What is Voltaire best know for? --Candide

5) Why was Voltaire imprisoned? --Insulted a powerful aristocrat

6) Who stated "I hate what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it."? --Voltaire

Section 13 group 3

Today in class we discussed our readings on Voltaire and Leibniz. We also took a quiz over the material. Nikki has volunteered to choose our 10 quiz questions for the exam on Monday November 10th. Over half of our group decided to be peripatetics today. However, I decided to stay inside. We discussed whether or not we believe that everything happens for a reason. We were somewhat split on our beliefs. Alex did have a point that was compelling. He said he believes that everything does happen for a reason but not because bad things must happen before good. He believes events cause other events to happen. We also discussed how we 'cultivate our gardens'.

GSquad Section 13

Hey sorry for the late post. On Monday we all went on peripatetic to the library. We talked a lot about our memories mainly about our first memory. We all had different experiences. Most of us don't really know our exact first memory but vague recollections. The earliest memory from our group was at the age of 3. Today we are talking about Voltaire and Leibniz
FQ: What was Voltaire's Book and Main Character Called?
DQ: Do you believe in the optimism of the world as a place for greater good than evil or does it even matter in your life and why?

Link: Some quotes by Voltaire

Also the image for our group should be :

Johnson's Boswell

The Almanac today recognizes Sam Johnson's sidekick James Boswell, who was also Voltaire's friend. A good segue for us.
It's the birthday of James Boswell (books by this author), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (1740). He is best known as the author of Life of Johnson (1791), a biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson, which is considered by many people to be the greatest biography ever written in English. As a young man, Boswell's father wanted him to settle down and take care of the family's ancestral estate in rural Scotland. Boswell wanted adventure, excitement, and intrigue, so he ran away to London and became a Catholic. He began keeping a journal in London, and instead of describing his thoughts and feelings about things, he wrote down scenes from his life as though they were fiction. He described his friends as though they were characters and recorded long stretches of dialogue. 
As a young man, Boswell was the life of the party, and everyone who met him liked him. The French writer Voltaire invited him to stay at his house after talking to him for only half an hour. David Hume asked him to stay at his bedside when he died. He hung out with the philosopher Rousseau, and Rousseau's mistress liked him so much that she had an affair with Boswell. He was even friends with the pope. And then on May 16, 1763, he met the scholar and writer Samuel Johnson in the back room of a bookstore. Johnson was a notoriously unfriendly man, but Boswell had long admired him and tried hard to impress him. The next time they met, Johnson said to Boswell, "Give me your hand. I have taken a liking to you." Johnson was 30 years older than Boswell and he was the most renowned literary scholar in England. Boswell was undistinguished compared to Johnson's other friends, but Boswell never tried to compete with Johnson's intellect. Their relationship was like an interview that went on for years. Boswell would just ask questions and listen to Johnson talk, and then he would go home and write it all down in his journal. 
The two men eventually became great friends. They talked about everything from philosophy and religion to trees and turnips. Boswell knew early on that he would write Johnson's biography, but he didn't start until after Johnson's death. The work was slow going. He watched as several others published books about Johnson, and he worried that no one would care about his book when he finished it. He had to fight with his editor to keep the odd details, like the things Johnson had said to his cat and what kind of underwear he thought women should wear. He felt that these were the details that revealed who Johnson really was. When the book finally came out, it was a huge best-seller. No one had ever written such a personal biography that so completely captured a life, and no one has done so since.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Section 14 Group 3

Today with discussed John Locke and his ideas.

Kelton Jones

Section 14 Group 2

In our group discussion, we talked about the first memories that we were able to remember and how we felt about being the same person from our past.  More to be added later.


Group 1 section 14

Today we discussed the idea of tabula rasa, we went over our three discussion questions. The ideas we talked about is nature vs. nurture and the component that creates two very different people. We discussed the idea that the earliest memories and only memories define you.
-Tyler Bean

Section 14, Group 2

I noticed that I forgot to author last Thursday. We went over the stuff for the assigned readings, took our quiz and then watched a presentation. Our group discussed the material a tiny bit between these events.

Section 14 Group 3 FQs DQs, and Links

FQ: Why did John Locke flee to the Netherlands after the English Civil War?

DQ: Do you think that your beliefs are already determined when you are born? Why or why not?

Link: http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/reid/

Group 1 Secrion 10

Today we discussed several topics dealing with memory. We discussed the question presented by a group member of how can some memories be so vivid even from so long ago and yet others fade as quickly as they came? We then discussed whether we can remember childhood memories and how far each of us could remember back to. We discussed if someone couldn't remember committing a crime could they be punished for that crime and we decided that many factors can be thought about during the decision making process for this particular situation such as, was alcohol involved? Many opinions were given and discussed and everyone made good points! I'm glad we're back to having discussion time and our discussion today was a great kick-off to it!

Sect 10 Group 3 10/28

During discussion today we discussed times when we shared our characteristics and beliefs about something that bothered up. It turned into arguments with coworkers, childhood memories, roommates and more.

Then we went on to discuss how our memories play a role in who we are today. It sort of turned into stories from our childhood, whether they played a role in our life today or not.

Section 10 group 2 Kant touch disssss

Today we discussed higher levels of consciousness and if/how humans can access them. Do people perceive things differently? What do we perceive differently? Is it actually happening or is it just our brain messing with us?

Section 14 Group 1

Oh dear... no group post again...
Our last class was about Pantheism and the beliefs of Spinoza, and how his beliefs still affect others in our current culture. We then moved into our last group presentation about The Matrix. We uncovered some very interesting points from the movie, including some hidden philosophical points, as well as the very names of the characters.

Daily Quiz Section 10 10/28

1. List one of the founding documents of America that Locke inspired.
Declaration of Independence; Constitution

2. According to the Irish philosopher George Berkeley, anything that stops being _____ ceases to _____.
observed, exist

3. Why did Locke flee to the Netherlands?
Opposition to the English king

4. Berkeley believed we perceive the world indirectly, Where Locke thought we perceive it directly.

5. Finish the sentence: "For Locke, questions of personal identity were closely connected with ___ ____.
moral responsibility

6. Berkeley believed ideas were held in the world by what?

Section 9: Group 3

Today, we discussed the theory of memory. We all expressed our persona l opinion on how we view memory.

Charles Hull

Backup Quiz Oct.27/28

1. According to John Locke, all our knowledge comes from _____; hence, the mind of a newborn is a ______. (fill in one for full credit, take a bonus credit if you got them both) LH 82

2. Locke said _____ continuity establishes personal identity (bodily, psychological); Thomas Reid said identity relies on ______ memories, not total recall. LH 85-6

3. Bishop George Berkeley was a metaphysical idealist because he believed all that exist are ____; he was an immaterialist because he denied that ______ exists; he was an _______ because he said all knowledge comes from experience. LH 88, 90

4. Esse est percipi means what?

5. According to Dunn, Locke ______ (supported, opposed, invented) religious toleration and the separation of church and state? PB 85

6. (T/F) Campbell disagrees with Locke about the independent existence of secondary qualities like sound and color. PB 95

BONUS: What famous Londoner and lexicographer tried to refute Berkeley by kicking a stone?

BONUS+: What's the function of brains, according to Campbell?  

BONUS++: Whose birthday does Dr. Oliver note in today's post?


1. If the inner world of a newborn is a "blooming buzzing confusion," as William James said, does that show Locke to be right about the contentlessness of the natal mind? Does the mind really start from scratch, an empty vessel? Or might people like the linguist Noam Chomsky and psychologist Steven Pinker be right, to say that the human mind comes equipped with specific, evolved structures for learning language and other things?

2. What's your earliest stored memory? How do you know you're the same person you were before your first recorded memory? Would this be an especially frightening question if you had Alzheimer's? If you ever experience significant or total memory loss, will that be the end of you?

3. Do you notice a difference in the quality of your various experiences. such that some feel immediate and direct (a sunset, an interpersonal encounter, an "epiphany" etc.) while others are more remote, filtered, or "mediated" (a televised sunset, an online chat, a familiar thought)? Is that feeling of immediacy real? What do you think you are encountering, when you have an immediate experience: sensations, perceptions, concepts, ideas... or the world that causes them?

4. How would you fill out the phrase Esse est ____, To be is to be _____? 

5. Do you support separation of chuch and state? Do you value and practice "toleration"? Or is even that too mild an acceptance of others' freedom? Would you want to live in a society whose rules were imposed by Imams, Ayatollahs, or the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church? 

6. What do you think of Morpheus' speech in The Matrix, when he says if you think of things you can touch, feel, hear, see etc. as "real," then reality is just electrical signals in the brain? Agree? Does that make you a skeptic? Can you draw the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, as Locke did, without becoming either a skeptic or a metaphysical idealist like Berkelely? If you did agree with Berkeley, how would that change your daily life and experience? Is this ultimately a distinction (Primary & Secondary Qualities) without a difference, hence irrelevant from a pragmatic POV?

Toleration and the Separation of Church & State

John Locke (b. 1632, d. 1704) was a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. Locke's monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) is one of the first great defenses of empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics. It thus tells us in some detail what one can legitimately claim to know and what one cannot. Locke's association with Anthony Ashley Cooper (later the First Earl of Shaftesbury) led him to become successively a government official charged with collecting information about trade and colonies, economic writer, opposition political activist, and finally a revolutionary whose cause ultimately triumphed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Among Locke's political works he is most famous for The Second Treatise of Government in which he argues that sovereignty resides in the people and explains the nature of legitimate government in terms of natural rights and the social contract. He is also famous for calling for the separation of Church and State in his Letter Concerning Toleration. Much of Locke's work is characterized by opposition to authoritarianism. This is apparent both on the level of the individual person and on the level of institutions such as government and church. For the individual, Locke wants each of us to use reason to search after truth rather than simply accept the opinion of authorities or be subject to superstition. He wants us to proportion assent to propositions to the evidence for them. On the level of institutions it becomes important to distinguish the legitimate from the illegitimate functions of institutions and to make the corresponding distinction for the uses of force by these institutions. Locke believes that using reason to try to grasp the truth, and determine the legitimate functions of institutions will optimize human flourishing for the individual and society both in respect to its material and spiritual welfare. This in turn, amounts to following natural law and the fulfillment of the divine purpose for humanity... SEP

From John Locke's "Letter Concerning Toleration" (1689)-

...Nobody, therefore, in fine, neither single persons nor churches, nay, nor even commonwealths, have any just title to invade the civil rights and worldly goods of each other upon pretence of religion. Those that are of another opinion would do well to consider with themselves how pernicious a seed of discord and war, how powerful a provocation to endless hatreds, rapines, and slaughters they thereby furnish unto mankind. No peace and security, no, not so much as common friendship, can ever be established or preserved amongst men so long as this opinion prevails, that dominion is founded in grace and that religion is to be propagated by force of arms.

In the third place, let us see what the duty of toleration requires from those who are distinguished from the rest of mankind (from the laity, as they please to call us) by some ecclesiastical character and office; whether they be bishops, priests, presbyters, ministers, or however else dignified or distinguished. It is not my business to inquire here into the original of the power or dignity of the clergy. This only I say, that, whencesoever their authority be sprung, since it is ecclesiastical, it ought to be confined within the bounds of the Church, nor can it in any manner be extended to civil affairs, because the Church itself is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth. The boundaries on both sides are fixed and immovable. He jumbles heaven and earth together, the things most remote and opposite, who mixes these two societies, which are in their original, end, business, and in everything perfectly distinct and infinitely different from each other. No man, therefore, with whatsoever ecclesiastical office he be dignified, can deprive another man that is not of his church and faith either of liberty or of any part of his worldly goods upon the account of that difference between them in religion. For whatsoever is not lawful to the whole Church cannot by any ecclesiastical right become lawful to any of its members.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Section 13 Group 2- Discussion

Hello! Sorry this is late. I'm stuck on campus until 9:00pm then have to drive home.

Today we discussed memories. For example, what we remember from being young, how we remember it. Some suggested that the reasoning behind certain memories was because it made them feel a certain way, basically leaving a lasting impression that ties to the memory. Some mentioned that once they see a picture they are able to remember what was going on when that was taken it basically jolts their memory into remembering.

10/27 Daily Quiz:

1. Locke used "man" to refer to what?
2. Why did Locke flee to the Netherlands after the English Civil War?
      He was accused of plotting a murder against Charles II.
3. Berkeley is sometimes described as an ________ and sometimes as an ____________.
      Idealist, Immaterialist.
4. _________, is someone who believes that experience is the source of all our knowledge.
5. Who showed the flaws in Locke's idea that a man is not the same person as he was as a child?
      Thomas Reid
6. According to Locke what are primary qualities?
      Shapes & sizes


It's 8 pm and there's only one AUTHOR post from section #13. Guess I'm going to have to make good on my threat to bar the door.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for a place to post, this will have to do.

Group 3 Section 13

Today in class we took a quiz over the previous readings pertaining to Locke, Reid, and Berkeley. We discussed Locke and his philosophies. We also discussed memories and remembering specific things from childhood.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Johnson refutes Berkeley

Or does he?

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus."
Boswell: Life
Also: Locke vs. Reid re: personal identity. "Reid's second criticism is his most famous and is often referred to as the case of the Brave Officer":
Suppose a brave officer to have been flogged when a boy at school, for robbing an orchard, to have taken a standard from the enemy in his first campaign, and to have been made a general in advanced life: Suppose also, which must be admitted to be possible, that when he took the standard, he was conscious of his having been flogged at school, and that when made a general he was conscious of his taking the standard, but had absolutely lost the consciousness of his flogging.
These things being supposed, it follows, from Mr LOCKE's doctrine, that he who was flogged at school is the same person who took the standard, and that he who took the standard is the same person who was made a general. When it follows, if there be any truth in logic, that the general is the same person with him who was flogged at school. But the general's consciousness does not reach so far back as his flogging, therefore, according to Mr LOCKE's doctrine, he is not the person who was flogged. Therefore the general is, and at the same time is not the same person as him who was flogged at school (Essays, 276).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Section 14, Group 2

In class on Tuesday we discussed the philosopher pascal. We took our quiz and then we listened to a presentation about The Matriz.

Section 14 Group 3 FQs, DQs, and Links

FQ: Pantheism is the belief that God is what?

DQ: Do you make personal decisions based more on reason or experiment and observation?

Link: http://www.iep.utm.edu/spinoza/

Sect. 10 Group 3 10/23

We defined what we believed art to be. Some think it's anything that someone created, others say it is the effort put into whatever your 'art' is. It requires thought.

What if you have a piece of art that is completely wrong? For example, a painting of an event that never happened but involves real people and real places. Is that art? Someone said "Well, why not... If art is anything."

Kant Touch This

Today we gave our questions to the board and took our quiz. Then one group presented. We then had a brief and unorganized duscissin really about an array of things. I hope next class will be more structured and organized.

daily quiz 10/23 section 10

1. What does QED stand for and what does it mean?
I proved what I wanted to pove

2. Who is the art critic that is often linked with the Signficant Form Theory?
Clive Bell

3. T/F Spinonza's God cared about each and every human being.

4. What proofs were in Spinoza's book Ethics?
Geometrical Proof

5. What approach to philosophy emphasizes reason rather than experiment?

6. Which math subject did Spinoza base his philosophy on?

Section 9 Group 1 "42"

Today we were visited by a representative of the Peace Corps.  We learned about the various possibilities that come up with the opportunity to be part of such an organization that wants to make a difference and help different cultures around the world.  After talking about Spinoza, we finished up our midterm projects with soulmates and who all that encompasses.  I agree on the stance that they come in different forms and that it doesn't have to just be romantically.

Peace Corps

Welcome, Ms. Flinn. Thanks for visiting!

These vintage videos on the Peace Corps YouTube channel are wonderful. (Kids, if you haven't seen "The Graduate" you really should!)

Backup Quiz Oct. 22/23

1. Spinoza's view, that God and nature (or the universe) are the same thing, is called _______. LH 76

2. Spinoza was a determinist, holding that _____ is an illusion. LH 79

3. Susan James says Spinoza's "main claim" is that we're always striving to make ourselves more ____. PB 73

4. Anglo-Austrian philosopher ________'s "family resemblance" view implies that there's no single quality held in common by all art. P 159

5. The view that something is art just because it's exhibited in an art gallery fails to distinguish good art from bad, according to one criticism of which theory? P 164

6. The trouble with art forgeries is their attempt to ______. P 174

BONUS: What was Spinoza's definition of love? OR, What is love's proper object? PB 79

BONUS+: Who created "The Fountain"?

BONUS++: Who said the sources of art in everyday life can be discerned in "the tense grace of the ballplayer"?

1. Are you a pantheist? Why or why not? Do you see any important differences between pantheists and atheists? If God includes everything, does that mean nothing is truly bad or ungodly? What's the status of evil and suffering, in a pantheistic world?

2. Would it make any difference in how you live, day to day, if you changed your mind about free will? Would you behave differently? Why or why not?

3. Are you happy? Would it make you happier to embrace a different view of how you are related to the rest of the universe, or a different definition of God? If so, what's stopping you?

4. What's your definition of art? Do you know it when you see it? Are there rules or "community standards" (etc.) that distinguish real art from pornography  (Mapplethorpe etc.) or propaganda ("socrealism")?

5. Are there any "arbiters of taste" whose opinions you value? Do you read or listen to reviews of books or movies before deciding to read/see them? What qualifies anyone to legislate taste or aesthetic standards?

6. What makes "The Fountain" art (or non-art)? What makes anything art? Have you ever created a work of art? How much does institutional or public recognition matter, in the determination that something is artistic?

The lovable* God-intoxicated philosopher is back

The author of Betraying Spinoza and other works of literary philosophy rejects his Rationalist armchair approach but still finds him an intriguing and ethically-sophisticated thinker. (Russell called him lovable*, Novalis "God intoxicated")

So, he seems to have foiled the curse.
Cursed be he by day, and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lieth down, and cursed be he when he riseth up; cursed be he when he goeth out and cursed be he when he cometh in; the Lord will not pardon him; the wrath and fury of the Lord will be kindled against this man, and bring down upon him all the curses which are written in the Book of the Law; and the Lord will destroy his name from under the heavens; and, to his undoing, the Lord will cut him off from all the tribes of Israel, with all the curses of the firmament which are written in the Book of the Law; but ye that cleave unto the Lord God live all of you this day! We ordain that no one may communicate with him verbally or in writing, nor show him any favor, nor stay under the same roof with him, nor be within four cubits of him, nor read anything composed or written by him.
To which Spinoza is said to have replied: "Very well, this does not force me to do anything that I would not have done of my own accord, had I not been afraid of a scandal." OSU

Does that sound like a philosopher, or what?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Section 9, Group 3 Socratarians

We wanted to be peripatetic, but we didn't get to have a discussion.  We learned more about Pascal and posted our FQ's, then watched the group presentation, which was awesome.

Section 13 Group 2

Today, in group two, we split into two smaller groups and discussed Scientology and other beliefs (stemming from the DQ: do you believe in pantheism), and family relationships (stemming from the siblings discussion on Monday). The quizzes from Monday (due to the lack of an author post), and from today are below.

Our Quiz on Monday consisted of the following questions:
1. Someone who denies the existence of the mind is called...?
Behaviorist (Physicalist works too)
2. What did Pascal call the gamble on believing in God?
Pascal's Wager
3. What does Pensées mean?
4. T/F Pascal was an optimist.
5. T/F Philosophy of the mind is the same thing as Psychology.
False (They are similar, but should be distinguished)
6. Pascal thought we were between ______ and _______?
Beasts and Angels

Our Quiz for Wednesday consisted of the following questions:
1. Projecting human qualities such as compassion on to a non-human being, God, is a form of what?
2. T/F According to the idealist theory of art, genuine art has no purpose.
3. What is Spinoza's book called?
4. T/F Spinoza died of a lung illness caused by breathing in glass dust.
5. Where was Spinoza born?
6. QED means what?
Quod Erat Demonstrandum (aka- "Which was to be proved")

Section 13 Group 3

Today in class, we took a quiz on the previous reading assignments. At the beginning of class, we had a guest come in to speak about the Peace Corps. She was very enthusiastic about her experience! At the end of class, we discussed happiness and Spinoza.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Section 9 Group 1

Today we talked about Pascal, which by the way I personally didn't know that he was a philosopher. I was aware of his contributions in physics and mathematics but not in philosophy. While i read the LP book i was thinking....what if Pascal really truly believed in God and the Pascal' s Wager was just a way to have believe to convert to a certain religion???
I got to think about that just when i read that he said "we should believe in God by heart and faith", and if by heart we can't believe than we should just have faith....faith that by believing and devoting your life to God you will eventually naturally be a devoted christian.
So, i believe that he used his intelligence in order to have people do what he thought was the right think to do.
Today we also got to see the video that my group and I prepared, and hope that everybody appreciated our sense of humor.

Section 10 Group 1

We are finishing the last few group reports, with one more to present on Thursday (mine). The reports touched on the topics of Morals and Machiavelli. Next class it will be much easier for me to explain (and for everyone to understand) Kantian Meta-ethics after today's Morals presentation, so for that I am thankful. We briefly went over the readings, took our quiz, brought up final solo reports, and scorecards.


From pantheism.net-

If I accept pantheism, what difference would it make?

You would acquire the most positive attitude to existence on earth in a human body that any religion or philosophy can offer. You would focus your religious energy on nature and the universe. Instead of admiring these as evidence of a creator God's glory, you would love them for themselves. You would gain a much stronger basis for concern about the environment than any Western religion can offer.
You would overcome all sense of separation from the earth and from your own body. If you belong to a traditional religion, you would replace faith with common sense and science, and reconcile the religious and the everyday parts of your thinking. You would express Pantheism through seasonal rituals which would link you to the earth and universe of which you are part, and through meditation techniques which allow a direct mystical experience of nature and matter.

Is pantheism just theism in disguise?

No. Theism means belief in a personal God who is greater and older than the universe. This God may or may not be present in the universe.
Pantheism says simply that the universe is worthy of the deepest reverence. This is a statement about the attitude we should adopt towards the universe and nature - an attitude which we have no choice but to adopt if we open our eyes to the full awe and mystery of reality.
The universe has some features in common with the God of traditional religions - its power, immensity, and mystery. But it is not personal. It has no mind apart from the minds of intelligent species within it. It is neither loving nor vengeful. It does not sit in judgement over us and mete out rewards and punishments in an afterlife.
Before we can really understand the "numinousness" of the cosmos, we must forget everything we have learned about traditional gods, and learn to look at what is in front of our eyes with an open mind. More pantheism FAQs 
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Spinoza is led to a complete and undiluted pantheism. Everything, according to Spinoza, is ruled by an absolute logical necessity. There is no such thing as free will in the mental sphere or chance in the physical world. Everything that happens is a manifestation of God's inscrutable nature, and it is logically impossible that events should be other than they are. This leads to difficulties... Bertrand Russell

Section 13 group 3 10/21

Hey guys! I was sick last class and I am not sure who you chose to be the author or even if that topic was discussed. Therefore I am taking it upon myself to be the author so everyone can post their FQs and DQs without waiting till last minute.
- Melissa

Section 10, group 2 Kant Touch This

Today after taking the quiz, we continued with midterm reports. The first to go was a guy who did his repot on moral philosophy, which was very interesting. The second was two guys who did theirs on Machiavelli, with a focus on his writings and philosophy in his work The Prince. Those were the only two reports that were done today.