Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 2

We get down to business today, selecting discussion groups and finding out which of us already has a favorite philosopher. Mine, as I've already indicated, is William James. I'll try to say why, today.

It will be interesting to check in on that question again at semester's end. I don't expect my preference to change, but yours might.

Be sure to start forming the habit of reading the "Next" announcements and posting questions (factual and discussion, FQs & DQs) about the assigned readings before each class. In future, you'll post in the comments section of your group's author post. But today, you can do it here.

UPDATE for Section 8, Jan.22: Fun class today!- despite the pandemonium at the end when we couldn't quite get ourselves sorted into discussion groups. But we'll get it done on Tuesday. You can post your comments, questions (FQs & DQs), and links here and in subsequent posts, pending selection of your own groups' authors next week.

We have at least one group in Section 8 that has already given itself a name, not a number: "Philthy Philosophers." I like it!

But, one of our scorecards walked out the door. If you have it, please bring it back on Tuesday.



  1. I'm going to start my post by answering the questions listed on the right that we did not discuss today, because I like them. I'll do another post for my pre-class for T 27. I'm in section 008.

    My definition of philosophy is making sense of the world around us with the use of our own ideology and theology.

    My favorite philosopher is Socrates, I'm rather partial to old writers/authors/poets and playwrights of this era. It should be no surprise that I'm also partial to the philosophers of this era. I love the "old" wisdom that I find in his words. For example, "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." His words speak to me, very deeply.

    My philosophy in life is "Life is circular". Everything swings back around eventually, in various ways. Because of this, I also employ a belief in thrice return. All that comes back, comes back three times in good or three times in bad, depending on your role or how you behaved in that situation the previous time. An example of this might be that I grew up proudly Canadian, probably about as patriotic as many Americans are. In Canada, we really are much the same as people here. We make fun of America, we judge Americans by what little we see on TV or the internet and we know it's unfair but we also know you do the same for the most part. Of course, I fell in love with a southern man and now, live in America and am becoming an American. I am attending an American school and will bring all my dreams to fruition in America. It all comes full circle. Life is circular.

  2. Very thoughtful post, Shonda.

    Our department recently added a Canadian to our faculty, Dr. Rebecca King (Religious Studies). Is it an invasion? I hope so, I like Canada!

  3. Section 8

    Answer to questions:
    1. What is your definition of philosophy?
    - I think that Philosophy is a particular way of thinking, and the way that type of thinking directly and indirectly affects yours life, along with those who surround you.
    2. Whose your favorite philosopher?
    - At this time, I do not have a favorite, nor do I know much about philosophy in general. I would assume, though, that this class might shed some light on who he or she might be.
    3. Personal Philosophy?
    - As a Christian, much of my personal philosophy is greatly influenced by the bible, and the way I interpret into my life. With that in mind, I believe that every human being is sacred and that all people should be treated as though they were created beautifully and exactly has they should. I believe that it is my job to love others in the midst of their hardest times, and that its imperative for me to appreciate those who feel unappreciated. I believe that no one should go a single day without laughing, simply because it's good for the soul. The world we live in holds inside of it many beautifully created phenomenons, but I believe that their are greater things to see beyond this world, and that until then, I must love all, even when they choose to hate me.

    FQ- Who stated "My mind only thinks with my legs."?

    DQ- Do you think that greater success would come to students in college who brainstormed as they walked before they started on each assignment?

    Links to my favorite This I Believe:
    1. http://thisibelieve.org/essay/61191/
    2. http://thisibelieve.org/essay/16702/

    1. Austin Smith5:55 PM CST

      FQ- No one. Jean Jacques Rousseau, however, stated "my mind only works with my legs"

      DQ- Yes. I believe that people feel "comfortable" with being lazy. In general, activity starts a chain reaction throughout the body. If people sit all day, in the same environment, with little stimulation, it becomes habitual to think within the scope of a box. The subconscious act of pacing is one great example of the mind manifesting it's frequency through the body. I definitely think that walking would help "jog the brain", no pun intended.

  4. Austin Smith10:58 PM CST

    PART 1.

    Section 8: Philthy Philosophers

    This text box is incredibly short and irritates me greatly.

    1. I would define philosophy as an innate (natural) compulsion to rationally and logically identify truth in understanding phenomena, noumenon, and most importantly, thought.
    It's the multi-directional argumentation, conceptualization, and reformation of thought which aims to remove bias and doubt from their proposed explanations. Subjects like science were created through trial and error of inductive and deductive reasoning, while philosophy helps identify truth to those conclusions and propels our understanding of the subject into further complexity.
    The system of philosophy allows people to transcend from a state of egocentrism and ignorance into a state of rationality and unbiased understanding of observation and thought.

    2. I don't have a favorite philosopher since many ideas gained from one can compound or branch on the ideas of another. I do, however, believe each philosophical viewpoint is interrelated and by understanding various views one can ascertain a deeper understanding of truth. After all, where would we be without Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle?
    I started uncovering this subject in small segments with Plato's Phaedo Symposium. While this was a very interesting read, I was more interested in modern philosophy: I wanted to move from the ideas of immortality and higher powers to something I could personally relate to. After reading 'The Birth of Tragedy' and 'Human, All Too Human' by Friedrich Nietzsche, I finally found direction within the subject.
    While Nietzsche helped fine tune my thought process, Hume's 4 dissertations: History of Religion, Of the Passions, Tragedy, and Standard of Taste, simply blew my mind. It's like both philosophers were taking my inexplicable thoughts and poetically reciting their entirety. I've never said "That's what I'm saying!" so often as when reading their publications.
    Long story short, once I found Nietzsche I knew what genre of philosophy I was interested in. He marks the official birth of my interest.

  5. PART 2.

    Yeah, I ranted... #NoJudgement

    3. I feel the need to separate morality from philosophy so I don't confuse anyone (If anyone is even reading this).
    I believe morality is a product of philosophizing the outcomes of situations. When I make an observation that triggers an ethical or moral response, I use philosophy as a device to identify what I FEEL is the closest thing to truth. This truth is how I establish a sense of right and wrong. Therefore, I believe that by stating my philosophy is based on my morality is actually a false cause fallacy.
    My philosophy is dynamic. It changes as I accumulate more information that alters my views. When my method of searching for truth changes, so does the end result. My opinions are constantly modified due to this fact. I couldn't imagine living a life where everything is predetermined, or there is ultimately one right answer for any situation. Life is not black and white; there's a lot of gray.
    By remaining in a state of ignorance, people falsely assume morality is static, or unchanging. When we assume morality is predefined, we lose the ability to think critically and philosophize alternative methods of right and wrong. More importantly, when any book of religiosity tells me to trust in scripture over my own sense of morality (no, I don't think religion is necessary for morality), I only find myself asking more questions.
    Karma is a very simple concept that works time and time again. I choose not to life a lifestyle of indebtedness and servitude just for a selfish reward in the "promised" afterlife; I choose to live my life as an infinitesimal part of universal existence. Who am I to make such definite claims of the afterlife? I have a hard enough time with advanced calculus.
    In a nutshell, I believe in doing selfless things for others because I appreciate when others do the same for me. My philosophy in life is to expand beyond my own understanding and into the superconscious. As Socrates stated, "The philosophical goal in life is to transcend beyond the desires of the body, ultimately embracing the idea of death". I disagree with religion because it teaches just the opposite- fear.

    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    FQ- What view did my favorite philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, have on walking?

    DQ- Why do some people take our beliefs so seriously? (Religion or other)


    1. Austin Smith11:06 PM CST

      Why do some people take REJECTION to their beliefs so seriously? (Religion or other)

    2. Fariz Ali10:31 AM CST

      Because many people have a closed mind when it comes to rejection. We all fear rejection because we fear that if our belief is rejected by others than it is wrong and we have been taught all our lives (especially in schools) that being wrong means being rejected by the norm regardless of whether the norm is correct or not. What we don't realize is that rejection is the reason for why we have so many diverse beliefs because the only way to question the norm is by rejecting it first.

    3. All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

  6. Breanna Martin-008

    I am the one who accidentally took the scorecard home, my apologies! I will bring the scorecard back! :(

    Answer to questions:
    1. What is your definition of philosophy?
    -Philosophy is a way of explaining different views,but less offensively? does that make sense? i have a hard time explaining myself. I feel like philosophers are able to "push" their views without actually PUSHING them. Like its a gentle push.

    2. Whose your favorite philosopher?
    - So far, I do not know of many, so i do not have a favorite , although i am seeming to enjoy Socrates ( of course)

    3. Personal Philosophy?
    -I am a Christian, but my philosophy is very broad.I am open to everyone's ideas, although i may not always agree, I don't judge anyone, for any reason. I believe we're all on this earth for the same reason. To live. I feel like we should be able to live freely and peacefully.

    This i believe:

    The guts to keep going


    These two essays are absolutely great, very touching. Especially the first one.

    FQ: What poison did Socrates drink when he was sentenced to death?

    DQ: Do philosophy and religion have the same concepts?

  7. Madi Stephens6:57 AM CST

    Section #8

    1. What is your definition of philosophy?
    Philosophy is reason, your personal philosophy is your own reasoning. It's how and why you believe the things you do. It's the study of life and choices and thoughts, the study of the mind. Our philosophy defines us and influences how we act and interact with other human beings, nature and life in general.

    2. Who is your favorite philosopher?
    Right now I do not have a favorite philosopher because I really don't know much about the subject. I know the names of the major philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hume and Descartes but I don't know their philosophies. So, because of this I'm undecided.

    3. Personal Philosophy?
    Like others have posted, I also am a Christian but religion is definitely not my philosophy. I think many of my philosophies are rooted in the bible and Christian-like views. But, my thoughts and reasoning on life and the nature of human though is always ever changing. I am constantly reading and learning new things that challenge by beliefs. And I think when your beliefs are challenged they are either strengthened or changed. I believe that my purpose in life is to 1.Love others, meaning lending a helping hand, going out old my way to make someone else's life a little easier or less hectic. I think we are all created with the purpose to serve others and not put ourselves first- to not be selfish, to help the grater good. 2. Gain wisdom and knowledge. Through experiences we gain wisdom and through learning we gain knowledge. We should always be trying to further educate ourselves, gain all the knowledge we can and broaden our views.

    FQ: Why is philosophy often described as a "difficult" subject?
    DQ: Is your philosophy constantly changing with new influences, knowledge and gained wisdom?

    This I Believe:

    http://thisibelieve.org/essay/68091/ For me music is so powerful, just the shear fact that someone had the ability to create certain sounds that somehow come together to make a powerful and moving noise amazes me.