Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quiz Jan21

Th 21 – What's your definition of "philosophy"? Do you have a favorite philosopher? Can you summarize your current, personal philosophy of life? READ: William James, Pragmatism lecture 1; WATCH: What's Philosophy for? School of Life (SoL). LISTEN:What is Philosophy? and Who's Your Favourite Philosopher? (PB Philosophy Bites). Podcast
  • Bring your written answers to class, we'll swap and grade them. 
  • You get a run just for taking the quiz, and if you ace it with six correct answers you'll get another. There's no penalty for missed questions, you've got nothing to lose. The three exams (at the end of February, March, & April) will be drawn from the quizzes, so these questions are part of your growing study guide.
  • Supplement my quiz questions with your own, in the "comments" section below, and earn a run.
  • Your correct answers to others' supplemental quiz questions count.
  • You can also earn additional runs, up to five per class, by posting relevant comments, questions for discussion, links to articles and videos etc.
  • Note in your dated personal log if you took the quiz, who graded it, if you aced it, if you posted any comments, questions, or links, or did anything else you think entitles you to a run.
  • Don't forget to post your Introduction ("Who are you? Why are you here?")
1. What did William James tell his audience was the most interesting thing about each of them?

2. Why does James consider his lecture audacious?

3. What examples of philosophical controversies does James mention to illustrate his claim that we're all vitally interested in philosophy?

4. What is the role of temperament in philosophy, according to James?

5. What does James say about "tender-foot Bostonians" and "Rocky Mountain toughs"?

6. Does James favor "refinement" in philosophy?

Discussion Questions

  • How would you begin to describe your own personal philosophy? 
  • What philosophical issues are most interesting to you personally?
  • How would you describe your own philosophical temperament? Are you a hard-nosed realist, a soft-hearted sentimentalist, tough-minded, tender-minded, naturalistic, mystical, ...?

William James, Pragmatism 1-

In the preface to that admirable collection of essays of his called 'Heretics,' Mr. Chesterton writes these words: "There are some people—and I am one of them—who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether, in the long run, anything else affects them."
I think with Mr. Chesterton in this matter. I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds. You know the same of me. And yet I confess to a certain tremor at the audacity of the enterprise which I am about to begin. For the philosophy which is so important in each of us is not a technical matter; it is our more or less dumb sense of what life honestly and deeply means. It is only partly got from books; it is our individual way of just seeing and feeling the total push and pressure of the cosmos. I have no right to assume that many of you are students of the cosmos in the class-room sense, yet here I stand desirous of interesting you in a philosophy which to no small extent has to be technically treated. I wish to fill you with sympathy with a contemporaneous tendency in which I profoundly believe, and yet I have to talk like a professor to you who are not students. Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind! I have heard friends and colleagues try to popularize philosophy in this very hall, but they soon grew dry, and then technical, and the results were only partially encouraging. So my enterprise is a bold one. The founder of pragmatism himself recently gave a course of lectures at the Lowell Institute with that very word in its title-flashes of brilliant light relieved against Cimmerian darkness! None of us, I fancy, understood ALL that he said—yet here I stand, making a very similar venture.
I risk it because the very lectures I speak of DREW—they brought good audiences. There is, it must be confessed, a curious fascination in hearing deep things talked about, even tho neither we nor the disputants understand them. We get the problematic thrill, we feel the presence of the vastness. Let a controversy begin in a smoking-room anywhere, about free-will or God's omniscience, or good and evil, and see how everyone in the place pricks up his ears. Philosophy's results concern us all most vitally, and philosophy's queerest arguments tickle agreeably our sense of subtlety and ingenuity.
Believing in philosophy myself devoutly, and believing also that a kind of new dawn is breaking upon us philosophers, I feel impelled, per fas aut nefas, to try to impart to you some news of the situation.
Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens out the widest vistas. It 'bakes no bread,' as has been said, but it can inspire our souls with courage; and repugnant as its manners, its doubting and challenging, its quibbling and dialectics, often are to common people, no one of us can get along without the far-flashing beams of light it sends over the world's perspectives. These illuminations at least, and the contrast-effects of darkness and mystery that accompany them, give to what it says an interest that is much more than professional.
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. Undignified as such a treatment may seem to some of my colleagues, I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many of the divergencies of philosophers by it. Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries when philosophizing to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making for a more sentimental or a more hard-hearted view of the universe, just as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament. Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world's character, and in his heart considers them incompetent and 'not in it,' in the philosophic business, even tho they may far excel him in dialectical ability.
Yet in the forum he can make no claim, on the bare ground of his temperament, to superior discernment or authority. There arises thus a certain insincerity in our philosophic discussions: the potentest of all our premises is never mentioned. I am sure it would contribute to clearness if in these lectures we should break this rule and mention it, and I accordingly feel free to do so... (continues)


From a distance, philosophy seems weird, irrelevant, boring...

and yet also – just a little – intriguing.

But what are philosophers really for?

The answer is, handily, already contained in the word philosophy itself.

In Ancient Greek, philo means love and sophia means wisdom.

Philosophers are people devoted to wisdom.

Being wise means attempting to live and die well.

In their pursuit of wisdom, philosophers have developed a very

specific skill-set. They have, over the centuries, become experts in

many of the things that make people not very wise. Five stand out:

There are lots of big questions around: What is the meaning of life?

What's a job for? How should society be arranged?

Most of us entertain them every now and then, but we despair of trying

to answer them. They have the status of jokes. We call them

'pretentious'. But they matter deeply because only with sound answers

to them can we direct our energies meaningfully.

Philosophers are people unafraid of asking questions. They have, over

the centuries, asked the very largest. They realise that these

questions can always be broken down into more manageable chunks and

that the only really pretentious thing is to think one is above

raising big naive-sounding enquiries.

Public opinion – or what gets called ‘common sense’ – is sensible and

reasonable in countless areas. It’s what you hear about from friends

and neighbours, the stuff you take in without even thinking about it.

But common sense is also often full of daftness and error.

Philosophy gets us to submit all aspects of common sense to reason.

It wants us to think for ourselves. Is it really true what people say

about love, money, children, travel, work? Philosophers are interested

in asking whether an idea is logical – rather than simply assuming it

must be right because it is popular and long-established.

We’re not very good at knowing what goes on in our own minds.

Someone we meet is very annoying, but we can’t pin down what the issue is.

Or we lose our temper, but can’t readily tell what we’re so cross about.

We lack insight into our own satisfactions and dislikes.

That’s why we need to examine our own minds. Philosophy is committed

to self-knowledge – and its central precept – articulated by the

earliest, greatest philosopher, Socrates – is just two words long:

Know yourself.

We’re not very good at making ourselves happy. We overrate the power

of some things to improve our lives – and underrate others.

We make the wrong choices because, guided by advertising and false glamour,

we keep on imagining that a particular kind of holiday, or car, or computer

will make a bigger difference than it can.

At the same time, we underestimate the contribution of other things –

like going for a walk - which may have little prestige but can


contribute deeply to the character of existence.


Philosophers seek to be wise by getting more precise about the


activities and attitudes that really can help our lives to go better.

Philosophers are good at keeping a sense of what really matters and what doesn't.

On hearing the news that he’d lost all his possessions in a shipwreck,

the Stoic philosopher Zeno simply said:

‘Fortune commands me to be a less encumbered philosopher.’

It’s responses like these that have made the very term ‘philosophical’

a byword for calm, long-term thinking and strength-of-mind,

in short, for perspective.

The wisdom of philosophy is – in modern times – mostly delivered in

the form of books. But in the past, philosophers sat in market squares

and discussed their ideas with shopkeepers or went into government

offices and palaces to give advice. It wasn’t abnormal to have a

philosopher on the payroll. Philosophy was thought of as a normal,

basic activity – rather than as an unusual, esoteric, optional extra.

Nowadays, it’s not so much that we overtly deny this thought but we

just don’t have the right institutions set up to promulgate wisdom

coherently in the world. In the future, though, when the value of

philosophy* is a little clearer, we can expect to meet more

philosophers in daily life. They won’t be locked up, living mainly in

university departments, because the points at which our unwisdom bites

– and messes up our lives – are multiple and urgently need attention -

right now.


  1. So...after doing the reading for both this class and my cultural anthropology class, I have determined that I don't have a favorite philosopher. Instead, I have people that I have come to admire because of what they have done and said.

  2. Philosophy is a filter to which you see and react to the world. I maintain a philosophy of striving to be Christ-like or if you want to call it a Christian philosophy. My favorite person to listen to on the subject is Andrew wommack because he always encourages growth and challenges people to seek more!

  3. (12 m/w) Philosophy in my opinion is the idea of questioning absolutely everything. By questioning everything you are "loving wisdom" because you are trying to acquire as much knowledge as possible. I don't even think the questions you ask have to have answers, they just have to be asked. I don't have a favorite philosopher yet, but that is something I hope to gain by the end of this semester! My personal life philosophy is probably to ask any questions that I have. I think it's important to try and discover the answer to things you wonder about and if you don't ask, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn.

  4. Jeri Radford9:23 AM CDT

    (11) Philosophy is the study of a certain way of life. A person's philosophy describes the outlook and reaction to the world he or she may have. There are certain things people believe in, because of his or her own philosophy. Me, I do not have a favorite philosopher that I follow. This may be because I have not looked into philosophy or philosophers much. However, there are multiple ideas that I believe are pretty fti to me. I don't think I have a personal philosophy yet. I feel like once I acquire more experience, my philosophy will become more apparent to me.

  5. My name is Joseph Sasraku and I'm here to expand my knowledge and challenge myself. Philosophy in myna own definition is how one views life in his or her own eyes, their perspective and what the perceive as " reality." Even though I'm not sure that he is a philosopher, T.E Lawrence is one of my favorite people through out history because i like and agree with his view on life. All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." - T.E Lawrence

  6. Lucas Rogers10:44 AM CDT

    (11) Philosophy to me is the way people see or go about their life, a certain way they think and believe. Each person's philosophy differs from some one else. I do not have a favorite philosopher because I have never really looked into philosophy much. While I do believe I have a philosophy, I'm not sure I have completely figured my self out yet. Hopefully as I grow older I can figure out my philosophy.

  7. Anonymous11:01 AM CDT

    Ashley Stancil (11 MW 2:20)

    Philosophy to me is critical thinking used to examine different aspects of life. My favorite philosopher is Socrates. My current personal philosophy of life is that you'll never know what you're capable of if you don't take a few risks.

  8. (I'm in Section 12... I think. Whichever one starts at 2:20) This is Trent Dillihay. My personal definition of philosophy is that philosophy is the art of studying life and the nature of the universe, studied in at least somewhat abstract and subjective terms through the lens of reason, logic, and the philosopher's own personal thoughts and experiences (these three aspects can possibly sometimes contradict each other). As for who my favorite philosopher is, at least at the time I write this, I do not have one. In fact, I'm actually kinda new to the study of philosophy; I've tried finding out more in the past but ended up hitting a series of metaphorical brick walls. As a result, I'm not really that knowledgeable about the more intricate details of philosophy. I know some of the big names to an extent (e.g. Socrates, Nietzche, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbs, Locke, Rousseau, etc.) but a good amount of what I know is political philosophy. Still, I really want to learn more. My own personal philosophy is something I could ramble on about for an hour or more but is also sort of disconnected. It's comprised mostly of a series of semi-related philosophical and personal beliefs and isn't exactly as polished or cohesive as I'd like, but it's what I have at the moment. Here's a couple of the more important points.
    1: Humans are basically living enigmas and contradictions. We can be both the most brilliant and most unreasonable living things in existence at any given time.
    2: The human experience is almost entirely subjective. An individual's mind and thought process is largely based upon their own individual experiences and responses to them. As it is almost impossible for another person to grasp exactly another person's subjective reality, it's very difficult to truly understand another person. We can get pretty close, though, at times.
    3: A person's own instinctive view of the world and their personal philosophy can be influenced by logic and reason; however, the reverse is also true, maybe even more so. People are not exactly rational beings.
    That's what I can enumerate right now. Like William James said in that speech, it's really more of an instinctive feeling than something you can specifically write out.

  9. Haley Harwell11:49 AM CDT

    My, Haley Harwell (Section 12), definition of philosophy is rather vague yet I feel like it almost needs to be because it can mean so many different things. I guess to sum it up, it’s a way of doing something, i.e. philosophy of art or philosophy of life. I don’t, as of right now, have a favorite “philosopher,” but I do however have people who I admire their way of living, so to me that counts. My current personal philosophy of life is pretty straightforward. I want to live to the fullest, while doing and sticking up for what I believe is right. I don’t want to conform to societal norms unless that is something I feel is right.

  10. Anonymous2:24 PM CDT

    Kali Sunstrom (12) I think philosophy is a way of thinking it is neither right nor wrong. I look at Adam smith and Karl Marx as philosophers. I don't have a favorite but I like looking at both sides of it. My philosophy of life is just go with it.

  11. Justin Huggins (12) : 1. Philosophy to me is thinking deeper into either common things or complex things. I do not have a favorite philosopher. My philosophy of life is to prepare for success. Be prepared to fail in some aspects of life, but learn from you failures. Refuse not to be successful.

  12. (8 th) Janet Peoples. Philosophy to me is a way of thinking about different things in life. There's no wrong or right way to think about things in life and anyone can have an opinion on any topic. I don't have a favorite philosopher but opened with learning about all the different philosophers. My philosophy in life is just a way of thinking outside the box.

  13. (12) My group decided that philosophy is a person's ideas about the aspects of life. In order to decide which ideas are important to the individual they must ask questions and attempt to find answers that are relevant to the topic. We didn't have a favorite philosopher. (Morgan , Megan, Aimee)

  14. Anonymous3:45 PM CDT

    Kali the reporter Ashley the moderator mariem The scorekeeper you'll never know what you're capable of a mess you take risks .

  15. Jeri, Alexis, Lucas (12)3:46 PM CDT

    (12) After the walk today............

    Alexis, Lucas, and I (Jeri) talked about the word philosophy. We all had a quote or two that we liked and believed fit us. Two came from Socrates, and one came from Gandhi. None of us had a favorite philosopher or just had a certain philosophy we believed. Philosophy is pretty new to the group.

  16. Anonymous3:46 PM CDT

    (12) Misha Sweet. Philosophy is the investigation and inquiry into the things/events in life that neither have a right nor wrong answer- that cannot be proven by science or something tangible.

  17. Anonymous3:46 PM CDT

    (Zachary Cavaness. Section 12 M/W) After our group discussion here is what we came up with: Philosophy is an attempt to find answers that science might not ever be able to answer. Everyone has their own philosophy and it plays a huge role in who they are, how they act, and how they think.

  18. Philosophy is the way one views the world and their place in it. Aswell as questioning all aspects of life. (12)

  19. (12) Justin Huggins, Krystal, Vanessa : we analyzed the different ways that we looked or viewed life, through the different walks we have all lead. Because philosophy is a filter in which you see and think of everything in life. question everything!

  20. Mikayla Briggs, Brandi Laney, Haley Harwell (12)
    Today we discussed our own, personal philosophies under which we approach daily life. We all have different approaches and methods for going about our days and we compared and contrasted them. We also discussed who our favorite philosophers are and why we value what they have to say.

  21. Anonymous3:50 PM CDT

    Eli & Victoria: We decided that philosophy is completely subjective and that each philosopher is entitled to their own beliefs. Any answer to a question which satisfies the "temperment," ( to quote William James) of the person asking the question is what they will likely believe. Hence, philosophy is endlessly abstract and there is no way to be wrong.

  22. Chris, Evan and I decided that philosophy is about trying to understand different things in life, and how they came about. We also decided that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We all have different ways of figuring things out.

  23. Terry, Vincent and I discussed what each of our views of what philosophy is. We also briefly discussed the philosophy of race and the importance or lack thereof of education

  24. Zachary Hyche5:36 PM CDT

    In class today, my group of three discussed that philosophy is helpful and detrimental to different people for the same reason: it has no concrete beginning, definition or basis off which to rely.

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  26. My opinion on philosophy means what you already know about life and controlling your own reality. John Locke is the only philosophy I've heard of before this class but I would like to learn new ones.

  27. (#8) I would define philosophy as the method in which one or many may perceive a certain ideal (I.E: life, religious figure, or a type of study). I cannot name who my favorite philosopher would be as I don't really know of any; however, I hope to have found one by the end of this semester. As far as my current philosophy of life is concerned, I believe in working hard in everything I do and living my life to its fullest.

  28. Anonymous8:55 PM CDT

    We discussed that we think philosophy is one's idea of how the world works. We also came to the conclusion that anyone can be a philosopher, and that parents, peers, and other people can influence us philosophically. Henry David Thoreau came up as a philosopher that is particularly inspiring. His idea of becoming one with nature was a major talking point on our walk. - Our group: (Brandon Holley, Lucus Pennington, Dr. Oliver) sec 12.

  29. Confucius is the philosopher we agreed on due to his devotion in promoting the spread of love while exercising self-discipline. Even after his death, people were still moved by his philosophical ideas. A good life philosophy love the life you’ve been given. In our opinion, it is up to one’s perspective if one is a philosopher or not. This makes it possible for everyone to be a philosopher.

  30. Really enjoying these comments! But I have to address a recurrent theme, that there's no right or wrong answer in philosophy etc. What I think that actually means is: no universal consensus among philosophers about which are the right answers - or even the right questions. But any given philosopher will almost always defend a particular answer as the right one and denigrate others as wrong. I, for example, am firmly convinced that people who murder in the name of political or religious piety - Hitler, ISIS, radical "pro-lifers" et al - have definitely arrived at the WRONG answer. Philosophy is not a discipline in which "anything goes"... but it is one in which everything is subject to questioning, doubt, debate, and dialogue.

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  32. (#8) I believe philosophy is the lens that a person views the world through, such as life situations, religion, and "rules" set by humans. I do not have a favorite philosopher because I have never studied in depth about philosophy, but I look forward to researching more in order to take a stance along side a philosopher! My personal philosophy that I live by is summed in a quote, "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful!" -Eric Thomas I believe success will follow when you put sweat, hard work, and determination in anything you want to accomplish.

  33. In my opinion the first thing that comes to mind when i think of philosophy is life. I think philosophy is the study of life and how things came to be. I would say Confucius is my favorite philosopher. In the past i studied him in history class. My favorite quote by Confucius is " Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it".

  34. Joi Biddle7:32 AM CDT

    Philosophy to me is how an individual views the world. We all view the world differently based on our life experiences and the individuals that are present in our life.

  35. I can currently say, as much as I look into it, that I don't have a favorite philosopher. It's not that any would perk up my interest. It's more of understanding and having the similarities of the philosophy of life that I follow. To me, philosophy is a face that always changes but, keeps to its own way of perceiving thoughts and conciousness.

  36. #8- Adam,Blake,& Denecia.
    What is philosophy? Perspectives of different things in life.
    Favorite? Sun Tzu and John Locke
    Philosophy on life? We are here for a reason; to be apart of something bigger than ourselves.

  37. I would say that I don't have a favorite philosopher currently, but I do have a definition for philosophy. I would say that philosophy is the process of questioning what you believe and figuring out why you believe it.

  38. Unesti Banks10:25 AM CDT

    Philosophy to me is basically an individuals knowledge, reality through different experiences and perspectives. My favorite philosopher would have to be God. (8)

  39. (#8 TR)
    1. My definition of philosophy.
    Philosophy to me is a standard of thought processes that can be evaluated against other thoughts, or moral decisions/choices.
    2. Who is my favorite philosopher?
    I really enjoy the classical Greek philosophers, in particular Plato and Socrates discussions of government.

    3. My current personal philosophy.
    A core belief of mine is having no regrets. Reflecting on the past and analyzing mistakes is a key part of coming into adulthood, however doing that in a negative manner is unhealthy.

    (8 TR) 8-27-15 Walk
    Moderator: Dr. Oliver
    Reporter: Nicholas Fulford
    Scorekeeper: Noah Silver

    Today’s walk lead our group’s conversations all the way from fatalism to domestic animals and the projections humans put upon them. We found that most of the group had a pragmatic approach to philosophy, and how we use it to make important decisions. I talked about the classical Greek philosophers and their thoughts about government, while Noah elaborated on existentialism, something I knew nothing about. Was consciousness real, or is it something we use to fill in unanswered questions? Men used to believe mercury was being moved by some external force, and the Greeks made stories to explain natural phenomenon, such as the sun rising and falling. My personal favorite discussion was “fatalists still look both ways crossing the road.” Even if a fatalist believes in an inevitable end, they sure don’t want to meet their demise by a Honda accord. Philosophy is an art of living and dying well.

  40. Anonymous11:26 AM CDT

    (8) On our walk today, we shared our interpretations of philosophy and declared our favorite philosophers. My selection was Albert Einstein, another in our group chose Nostradamus. Our collective definition of philosophy revealed itself to be that the love of wisdom is interpretative and subjective perspective.
    It’s all relative y’all.

  41. (#8 TR 8) Whitney, Morgan, and Beth
    While walking around in groups, we came to a conclusion that philosophy is each individual's journey to find the meaning of life. Everyone has their own philosophy thus we, as human beings, must respect and be open to the varying perspectives.

  42. Anonymous5:12 PM CDT

    (#8 TTr 8am) Austin W, Janet P, Karol S.
    Today on our walk around campus we concluded that philosophy has a lot to do with religion and all the unanswered questions of the universe. Janet and I have not yet found our favorite philosopher, but Karol's favorite is Saint Paul.

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  46. https://youtu.be/Y7rXlbHtcqM

    This guy is now my favorite philosopher. (12)

  47. (section #11) In our groups on Wednesday we discussed the many facets and mediums in which one can find Philosophy as well as the notion that Philosophy is not something limited to people of great intellect and status, but to every person whether they realize it or not.

  48. Anonymous7:49 PM CDT

    Mariem Farag (Section 12): Philosophy is the meaning of life. Philosophy is really everything that is happening around us. My favorite Philosopher is Thomas Aquinas. My personal philosophy of life is never looking back; I just learn from my past, but never do I let it take control of my destiny.

  49. Katelin Simmons8:49 PM CDT

    (Section 12) Trenton, Justin, and I agreed on Wednesday that one can gain different aspects from different philosophers to be able to gain a better understanding of philosophy as a whole, and connect the different ideas of the philosophers to be able to find a cohesive unified ideology that they agree with.

  50. {8} Karol Saleh. my personal definition of philosophy is search of the truth. A wise man. wisdom and love if wisdom and finally it looking for life, death, reality, and the origins of the universe. there are four favorite philosopher to me, Plato and Aristotle, both from Greek and also saint Paul from the Holy bible and wise of Solomon. My personal life philosophy: the mind is the basis of the proper mindset.

  51. (#8) On Thursday my group of three discussed what philosophy was to us. We thought philosophy was the ideas of others. We thought it was how people thought and what they beloved to be true.

  52. Anonymous7:26 PM CDT

    Vincent Thompson - Fav TIB

  53. (#8) As Shane, Robby, and I walked around in our group we discussed that we all believed that philosophy is how people view the world around them and putting their personal thoughts to ideas around them. Robby and I did not have a favorite philosopher, but Shane's is Plato. We hope in this class we will discover new ideas in order to be able to agree or disagree with new philosophers we learn about. We all agreed that in life to work hard is to succeed. Success is hard to come by if you do not put hard work in and if you live by this then happiness will appear in your life along with answers.

  54. (Tyeisha Lewis #8) i do not yet have a favorite philosopher. i believe philosophy is just understanding what surrounds us. understanding who, what, why or how. my life philosophy is how we think becomes what we are

  55. (11) In our group we discussed that an optional definition of philosophy is an individual's perceived understanding and personal belief on specific principles and acquired knowledge based on what they view as reality. We believed much like William James that philosophy is interchangeable and subjective varying deeply on person to person. When we tried to decide who was our favorite philosopher our group couldn't fully narrow it down to any specific one because of our overall lack of knowledge on the subject. One member in our group did however push the question on what defines and qualifies a philosopher offering for example Michael Jackson and Prince as possible philosophers. Although perhaps unconventional, with this idea we concluded that philosophers do not necessarily require a tangible proof of professionalism to still be recognized as philosophical.

  56. Katelin Simmons11:05 PM CDT

    (#11) My favorite "This I Believe" essays are:

  57. Zion, Carol, Janette. I, Zion, have shared my beliefs in public before in an evangelistic way. And Carol and Janette have never shared in public, but have in confidential conversations.

  58. J. Skylar Dean - Sec #4

    1. What is my definition of philosophy?
    To me, philosophy is the conscious decision to think about issues from an objective, yet personal light with openness to change. Often these issues are ones we take for granted or tend to pass by in our everyday lives.

    2. Who is my favorite philosopher?
    C.S Lewis

    3. What is my current, personal philosophy of life?
    My current, personal philosophy of life is to attempt to make the conscious, daily decision to knowingly live my life going after the upmost joy and meaningfulness. I say "attempt" because it is easy for me to get distracted by everyday business, but I want to live above that with goal that when I come to the end of my life I will have the least amount of regrets, and the maximum satisfaction in a life lived to the fullest in every way that is worthwhile.

  59. Ian Law #4

    1. I think of philosophy as the practice of questioning the common assumptions people make about life. Most people may make their way without thinking about why we exist or what life is about. Approaching this philosophically means examining these anacknowledged problems and bringing them into debate, without necessarily arriving at a conclusion.

    2. I've read bits and pieces of different philosophers like Descartes, James, and Nietzsche. I couldn't say I have a favorite, assuming that a favorite would be one who I mostly agree with. I feel like philosophy is an intensely personal thing and that it's unlikely that two people will wholly concur in their worldviews.

    3. I'm not sure what my personal philosophy is other than the belief that human reason can adequately explain the universe: a vaguely "scientific" philosophy.

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  61. James Manni (6)

    I think philosophy is asking the big questions. Why are we here? Who made us? How should we live our lives? Questions like those essentially make up what philosophy is. I would say my favorite philosopher is Alan watts. We looked heavily into his thought process in high school, and I think his view on subjects such as money and why we feel are fascinating. Hes someone I want to learn more about. Describing my own philosophy is a bit of a challenge. I believe you should go through life with an open mind, and see what happens. Life is reactionary, and certain actions can't fully be evaluated until a period time has passed. I don't think anyone is capable of answering the tough questions in life in our current consciousness. I'm not a religious person, but I do believe there is a grand plan; there is a reason we are here and a reason we can think rationally. That reason will hopefully be explained when we die. That's my only expectation for the afterlife. I think the issue that fascinates me most is why we are all here. What put life on this planet? Why is life on this planet? I think about that all the time. As far as my temperament goes, I think I'm more tough minded. I'm fatalistic in a sense, and pessimistic when it comes to a lot of things (the eagles mostly).

  62. Amy Young #4
    What's your definition of "philosophy"?
    My definition of philosophy is simply how individuals view the purpose of life.
    Do you have a favorite philosopher?
    I currently do not have a favorite philosopher because this is the first time I have studied or looked into philosophy.
    Can you summarize your current, personal philosophy of life?
    I feel like this question is hard to answer for many people, including myself. I am definitely an open-minded person. I can read about a certain way of thinking and go straight into trying to understand it; I do not judge others for what they believe. I am not a religious person. I am still trying to figure out just exactly what I believe about God and the existence of one. I believe that people are not meant to be here to work their whole lives. People are here to enjoy life and live simply. I am still unsure of a lot of things, just like many others I assume, but I am hoping this class will open my mind even more and show me what I truly believe.

  63. Caleb Morton (#4)

    I think of philosophy as trying to find meaning and purpose in your surroundings and rejecting nihilism, although I guess nihilism could be viewed as a philosophical view.

    I don't really have a favorite philosopher, but I do think ancient Greek and Roman philosophers are pretty interesting.

    My current philosophy on life is pretty nihilistic. I think a person's current view on life depends heavily on what they are currently experiencing and what they've gone through over the years. Everyone's views differ because of the individual experience of life.

  64. Sterling Smith (#6)9:19 PM CST

    Supplemental Question to Reading:
    What are the main differences between empiricists and rationalists, and which side do you think James falls on?

  65. Cassie Franse #69:21 PM CST

    To me, philosophy is how a person views life and explains life as it is or seems to be from their own perspective. It is exciting (and a little scary) to think that everyone has their own way of thinking and experience life in different ways. I know the famous Greek and Roman philosophers that we are taught to know in history class, but I have yet to pick my favorite one. I don't have a definite philosophy of life yet, I just try to make each day count. I can be a bit pessimistic at times, but other times, I can be the most optimistic person in the room. I think I'm a soft-hearted realist. Depending on the topic, you'll either see the realist side of me or the sentimentalist side of me. I don't know if there is a category that I fit into perfectly. A few of the topics that interest me are religion, society, and trying to figure out why society has set the standards that it has. I am excited and interested to see who I am at the end of this semester.

  66. Ellisha Thomas (#4)
    1: I think philosophy is about trying to understand the meaning of your life and why you were meant to be on this earth. Questioning the ideas people make about life.

    2: I don't have a favorite philosopher. I believe philosophy is a personal thing that all depends on what that person's belief is and their own opinion about life or worldview.

    3: My personal philosophy is the world is absurd. No facts govern it. Life is best once we truly accept the world's absurdity. You give our life's meaning, and you control your personal world.

  67. Jonathan Murray (4)

    1. I view philosophy as a collection of different ways people have attempted to describe the world as they see it.

    2. While I enjoy different philosophical concepts, I have not put in the proper research to really know who my favorite philosopher is.

    3. I would say my current philosophy is that people are not here for any particular, grand reason, but that the meaning we give to our lives is what we make it.

  68. Stephen Martin (4)

    1: What's your definition of "philosophy"?
    Philosophy is the sense through which we view the world. It shapes the way we think through our efforts to seek out knowledge and truth.

    2: Do you have a favorite philosopher?
    G. K. Chesterton - though I believe he would scoff at the idea of such a label

    3: Can you summarize your current, personal philosophy of life?
    I don't believe I could put it into words. My philosophy on life is an ever-changing feeling. The more I learn and grow the more it melds and adapts to who I am. Perhaps at my core I could say my philosophy is a desire to Know others, to create relationships with those around us, to Listen and Learn.

  69. Katharine Khaoone12:44 AM CST

    Katharine Khaoone (Section 4)

    I have always thought philosophy was one's own definition of a way of life. Philosophy includes peoples' different perspectives on life, like how things came to be or why certain things happen. When it comes to my favorite philosopher, I don't think I have one. I've never really looked in depth on different philosophers. Although I've heard of the main ones like Aristotle, Socrates, etc., I've never really paid much attention to the things they actually taught. As for my own personal philosophy.. I can't really narrow it down to a short amount of words. I believe in a variety of things like how everything happens for a reason, how one should live life positively, how I believe that experiencing negative things makes you grow as a person, and much more.

  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Sean Byars (6)
    1) My definition of philosophy is simply an individual's way of viewing the world. This is influenced by many outside factors including past experiences, but also by our own personality.
    2) As of right now, I do not have a favorite philosopher, probably due to the fact that I am naive to most of the ideals of many philosophers.
    3)I have not put a lot of time thinking about my personal philosophy; however, I would say that my philosophy as of now is to strive to be the best at whatever you do.

  72. Personal Philosophy: Katharine Khaoone and Karla Arias. Section 4.
    Philosophy is a very broad topic that can be difficult to explain. God is a personal philosophy to me, I believe that we will be rewarded for our good acts in heaven. (Karla) I personally do not believe in a "specific" God; I kind of follow multiple different principles pulling from a variety of religions.

  73. section 4 - Amy, Dani, and Ashley
    We discussed free will, religion, and social norms and why they are that way.

  74. Anonymous11:02 AM CST

    Section 4- Mason, Khylan, Randi

    -keep an open mind.
    -think outside the box.
    -everyone thinks in a way to make them happy.

  75. section 4. In our group was Alley, Kate,and Katelyn. We talked about our personal philosophy of free will and religion. Also our religions

  76. Section Four:
    Preston, Harrison, Ashley, David:
    My personal philosophy is that people were put here to help each other. Everyone is meant to benefit each others. My personal philosophy is God created the world and we are all here to serve and love God. I believe people have an inherent responsibility to come into existence and make things matter.

  77. Section 4: Emily, Sarah, and Logan -
    In our group we talked about our different philosophical ideas and what they meant to us. We talked about good and evil. We all thought that people should have an open mind to all others and to opportunities that are thrown at you.

  78. 6 Brock Francis
    My definition of philosophy is going against the grain to ask the deeper questions of life. Instead of just accepting something for the way it appears, philosophers look at an object or event and ask what makes it the way it is. I do not have a favorite philosopher due to my lack of knowledge of the subject, so I am looking forward to exploring some philosophers in this course. Again, I am not totally up to speed on the subject, so I would believe, from the reading, my temperament would be tough minded.

  79. Section 6
    Nick, Chad, and I (James) discussed weather or not philosophy was something there could be an answer to. We decided that the questions that philosophy asks can't be answered. The unknown is something that allows for open interpretation and it is crucial for us as a race to interpret differently or else we wouldn't be able differentiate ourselves from other species

  80. Section 6 - Frank (myself), Sean and Robert discussed our personal interests in philosophy, and our outlooks on life.

  81. 6 Brock Francis, Sterling Smith, Cassie France
    When addressing how would you determine your philosophy, our group had an interesting view. Sterling and I agreed with an idea of free-will determinism. This is where a person has the choice, but the choice is determined by many external factors. Cassie agreed with the idea of complete free-will.

  82. Anonymous2:25 PM CST

    Section 6 - Devin M. , Kelli W. and Courtney M. We discussed the importance of being happy. As people we should not only support but encourage people to do what makes them happy. As long as the actions or ideals are positive in nature and perpetuate this concept (are not detrimental to the happiness of others). We are here to support and encourage progress among ourselves and others. We are not meant to be alone and through this we must share experiences, good and bad. But we must always strive to learn in any situation and apply this to our lives. You cannot make progress if you are unwilling to learn, adapt and change.

  83. Cameron H, Ellisha T, Stephen M (#4)

    We spoke of being in control of our own life and how connection and interaction with others is important to our own growth. Listening to others and keeping an open mind as to what it is to live in their shoes, yet still making and choosing your own life's philosophy via free will.

  84. Section 6: Lace Wilson, James Hugglebum, and Lucas Futrell. I am not sure why our comment didn't post or maybe it did and i am just blind. But we discussed free will and our belief or disbelief with religion. We also discussed our backgrounds and how we got to where we are with our beliefs.

  85. Sophie Raffo3:12 PM CST

    Sophie Raffo Section #6. I read This I believe II over the summer and was incredibly intrigued, disgusted, astounded, and surprised. There were many that said similar things and many that said things I would never dream of saying.However, I did enjoy several. Some of my favorites have to be Terry Ahwal (pg 11), Mary Carpenter (pg. 44), Christine Cleary (pg 56), David Gessner (pg 88), Roald Hoffman (pg 112), and Isabel Legarda (pg 143). I will try to post links to these, but I am pretty bad at working computers, so they may or may not work...

  86. Sophie Raffo3:24 PM CST

    Sophie Raffo Section #6.
    Discussion Question: Are we really the only beings in or solar system, or do you think others are out there? If we are barely a speck on a great canvas of stars, are all of our actions for naught? Does anything we do truly matter... or is somebody, somewhere laughing at our naivety?

  87. Beshoy Aziz8:22 PM CST

    Dena Assad, Fatmah Altaleb, Beshoy Aziz (section 6). We talked about the difference between creationism and evolution. We all agreed that they are both religions; one in which you believe in God and the other is believing in science. we came to a conclusion that we are here for a reason, and that the universe did't come from nothing.

  88. Anonymous8:48 PM CST

    Devin (6) - I really enjoyed listening to this TIB from Penn Jillette. https://thisibelieve.org/essay/34/

    "Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around."

  89. (4) Jonathan Murray, Brian Sally, and Anthony Hutchings

    We discussed what our philosophies were and if they were affected by any religious beliefs we held, how cool the brain is and how it relates to philosophy, and how we had a variety of temperaments between us.

  90. Erick Morgado1:14 AM CST

    (4) Roland Phan & Erick Morgado
    We discussed a bit on our philosophy on free-will and any thoughts we had towards it. I believe them to be a set of pre-made instructions and he believes them to be paths that can be branched out with our choices.

  91. (6)Kellie, Devin, and Kiah
    We discussed that because we live in a society that does not always think for themselves that we just allowed things to happen and for preconceived ideas to run rampant in the day to day live.