Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, September 2, 2016

Quiz Sep6

PG 17-37

1. Plato was a master of composing things like the Ring of Gyges, which was a what?

2. Who said some scientists can't see the philosophical forest for the trees, and are thus trapped in generational prejudice?

3. Who was the number-enchanted pre-Socratic who had a profound effect on Plato?

4. Who is the physicist who inadequately addressed the question of nothing?

5. What is the Ionian Enchantment?

6. What book did Goldstein read in her first philosophy course?

7. Besides epimeleia heautou, name at least two other kinds of questions Plato formulated.

DQ

  • What would you do with the power of invisibility, if you possessed it?
  • What do you think the Twin Earth thought experiment proves, if anything?
  • If you woke up in bed surgically attached to a famous violinist, would you demand to be detached immediately?
  • Why is there "something rather than nothing"?

66 comments:

  1. (h1)
    Is the color you see the color I see?

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    1. The color you see and the color I see may not be the same color. Everything we see is our perspective of how we see the world. It’s like the dress that broke the internet two or so years ago because people weren’t sure which two colors the dress was. I think that everything we see is influenced by our own perspective, so the color I see may not be the color you see, especially if I'm completely and utterly color-blind.

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    2. Does it matter? It's just like the twin earth experiment. We assign the same meaning to what we see, so does it make any difference if we actually see the same colors?

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    3. In the grand scheme of things our perspective of life, through our own eyes and translated by our mind, gives meaning to everything. In a sense it basically creates all. Our perception gives everything being as well as labeling the "nonbeing" as nothing; due to the fact that we do not perceive it.

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    4. We can never know if we see the same colors. Most likely we all see something different, but we will never know because as children we were told exactly what the colors are. We were given exactly what each color was.

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  2.  If I had the power of invisibility, I would go to those who have ever bullied me, made me feel bad about myself, hurt my feelings, etc. and sneak into their home while they are alone and mess with them. Once inside of the house I would turn lights on and off, turn the TV or radio on and off, knock on the walls of the room they’re in, use the bathroom on the other side of the house, and various other things to completely freak them out. This, for me, would be a form of pay back and as well as a sense of closure.

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  3. In response to the Twin Earth thought experiment:
    I think one of my favorite quotes answers this best "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's a freaking duck!" ~ Spencer Hastings (Pretty Little Liars season 1). I know this isn’t her quote but she sure did make it her own though. Anyway, I think that meanings aren’t in the head, but instead everything has a set meaning. So for me, if it looks like water, acts like water, does the same thing as water, wouldn’t it then be water just in a different form.

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  4. If I woke up in bed surgically attached to a famous violinist, I would like to think that I would not be selfish, but instead allow the famous violinist, or anyone for that fact, be attached to me for 9 months in order for them to live. I hope I would be selfless enough to put another’s needs, well another’s life in this case, before my own.

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  5. I remember hearing the phrase “the universe exists because it needed to exist.” I suppose in a way the author of the quote is right, we exist because there is a need for life, there is a need for something. I feel like the easy way out would be to say the Sunday School answer “because God wanted us to exist”, but why did He want us to exist? And why does He exist? I guess He created us almost as companion of some kind, in a way like how a couple has a desire for a child. But why does God exist? I guess it goes back to the need for life for existence, there can’t be just nothing, life has to exist, life has to continue. I guess in a way I would have to agree with author of the quote, God exists because He needs to exist, without Him there would be nothing.

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  6. If I could turn invisible, probably I would do something I shouldn't to be perfectly honest. For the most part I would like to think I wouldn't use it because I wouldn't be able to find anything constructive and honest to use

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    1. I think there would be constructive uses, but overall, I agree with you; the constant responsibility to never give in and do something wrong would be a burden. If I were to get a superpower, I'd hope it was something else.

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    2. While invisibility could be used for good, it has a greater chance of being used for personal reasons, of which most of the time will be something that we would normally never do when visible.

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  7. Well it proves that there is some truth to the theory of forms. Water isn't water just because its called water, or functions as water.

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  8. (H3)

    Yes, but only because I am assuming I did not ask for this, nor did my actions in anyway result in this scenario. Obviously just waking up and being attached to a random stranger without your consent is not something anyone would want. If for some reason I basically brought this on myself though I might be inclined to allow it.

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    1. What if it were in reverse? What if you were the one in dire need of help and that was the only way you could live? Wouldn’t you want someone to give up a measly nine months for you to be able to live for say 20 or 30 more years? When you think about it like that, don’t you think that nine months is nothing compared to giving someone their life?

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  9. (H3)

    Why is there something rather than nothing? There must always be something. The absence of say a person leaves empty space filled with air, the absence of air leaves a vacuum, the absence of a vacuum means there is matter. There must always be something.

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    1. But what if there was no matter? What if there was nothing but space, not the “universe” space, but space, emptiness, etc. What if there was absolutely nothing? Why does there have to be matter? What is the purpose of the matter? Where did the matter come from? Why can’t there just be nothing?

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    2. I remember an experiment I did in a biology class once. We had to draw a dot on a piece of paper and hold it further and further out until the dot disappeared into the blind spot everybody has somewhere on their eye. What took the dot's place was not an incomprehensible void; our minds tricked themselves into filling in the missing space with the pattern of the paper around it. I think there is a reason we cannot comprehend the concept of literally nothing. Nothing exists as the absence of something, and we can only think of it in relation to reality. However, if nothing exists as an idea, as the 0 point in the measurement of existence, then it ceases to be nothing. That is why nothing is unfathomable to us, because there can never be such a thing as nothing. People are obsessed with figuring out how the universe was created, how something sprung from nothing. But I believe that the universe has always existed, and that "nothing" is an impossibility.

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  10. If I awoke attached to a violinist, I would demand to be separated immediately in 100% of cases, even if it was someone else. I would slow down their life just as much as they would mine. I feel almost that it would be selfish to remain attached, keeping them close to me for my own selfish reasons.

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    1. I’m not sure that nine months of their life being slowed down would be on their mind or that they even care, if it means they get their life back. I’m also not sure how it could be selfish to prolong a person’s life, if it is their wish and what they want. How can fulfilling someone’s wish to live and you helping them achieve that, be selfish?

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  12. H01- In response to the twin thought experiment, I believe that it proves that we are only as intelligent as we are in that moment. We as a human race cannot claim to be the most intelligent species because we do not know that there is an existence of a more intelligent species. We are only a product of what we have before us, and I think that should make us strive to be more than that.

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  13. What would you do with the power of invisibility, if you possessed it?

    If I did have the power of invisibility, I would use it to listen. That might sound strange, so let me explain. I enjoy finding out about people by the way they talk and how they interact with others. I'm what you would call a "people watcher." If I had invisibility on my side, I could do that without being in the way. People tend to act differently when someone new is around them. If I were invisible, that would not be an issue.

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    1. H1
      I agree with you 100%! It would be so cool to be able to actively watch and listen without social awkwardness :) It's marvelous to get little peeks into other people's lives as they live them in public.

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  14. Does anybody else have the e-book? Because some of these answers I'm finding as far as page 60. Are these pages right for the physical book? Help

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    1. H1
      All the answers are in the first half of the chapter "A Man Walks Into a Seminar Room." The chapter is split in two by a large indentation between discussion of Plato and modern use of dialogues.

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  15. Quiz Question:
    What was a first approximation to our modern concept of matter?

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  16. Quiz Question:
    According to Plato, what kind of questions were Socrates only concerned with?

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  17. Quiz Question:
    What is the “worse part of philosophy”?

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  18. Discussion Question:
    How do we know what we see is real? How do we know it’s not an illusion, or a dream?

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    1. I love this question. What makes it so much fun is that the only right answer is, well, we don't know! I can't help but think of Leonardo DiCaprio's line in Inception, "Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only after we wake up that we realize something was strange."

      That being said, I find it interesting that, while everyone knows this is a theoretical possibility, hardly anyone, if anyone at all, believes it is true. Why is that the case?

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    2. The simple answer is that we don't. There is absolutely no way to tell if what we see is real. I have had dreams that i have thought were 100% real before only to wake up. If what we see now is not real, then what is and will we ever know?

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  19. H1
    If I could turn invisible, I would have incredible amounts of fun. People watching would be fascinating. It would also be tempting to mess with people, although I hope that I would have enough moral compunction to consider other's mental health as more important than ghostly pranks.

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  20. H1
    I think the Twin Earth experiment proves that meaning, while often subject to perspective, actually exists on its own. The people on both Earths think the same thoughts about a different substance. She shows that even though they're thought of as the same, they are factually different. From what I understand of it, I agree with Putnam's "semantic externalism."

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  21. H1
    Discussion Question: Do you agree with Goldstein that philosophical progress exists, and how does it stand in relation to the progress of science; equal or inferior?

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  22. H1
    http://thisibelieve.org/essay/16673/
    This essay is by Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World. He makes the point that using bad means to achieve a good end never works out, "I find that the means employed invariably determine the nature of the end achieved."

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  23. H1
    http://thisibelieve.org/essay/16936/
    I don't agree with Eleanor Roosevelt; she has the philosophy that no certainty can be reached, and that there's probably an afterlife, but who knows, and is it even that important? I think it's incredibly important to find out the truth to these answers, and that hoping for the best doesn't change reality to suit your wishes.

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  25. Discussion Question:
    Is philosophy dead?
    In the terms of it not progressing?
    (H1)

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  26. Is mathematics factual or a natural occurrence that we give meaning to? (Factual vs. Theoretical)

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  27. (H2) Pemo

    Response to DQ: If you woke up in bed surgically attached to a famous violinist, would you demand to be detached immediately?

    It depends. If I am attached to Lindsey Stirling I would demand to NOT be detached unless I say so (if I had the power to do so). Why? Well, Stirling is the most famous "freestyle-dancing-imagination-violinist there is, let alone her beauty and grace which is beyond awe inspiring. I would at least like to spend 1 at with her to try and find out how it feels to have her spirit, imagination, talent and how it all comes together in her music. Lastly, Stirling started out making her own music about popular role-playing games, which I love.
    If I was attached to someone else, I would probably want to be detached.

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    1. Does that mean you attach more worth to Lindsey Stirling as a human being than anyone else?

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    2. In fact, on a personal note, I must admit that since I am not Lindsey Stirling, this is a scary thought. I believe I speak for all non-Lindsey Stirlings when I say that!

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  28. (H2)

    Below is a link to a video where the speech from The Pale Blue Dot is depicted by a dear videogame I love. I found it to fit perfectly due the fact that said game is about space exploration and leaving Earth behind.

    https://youtu.be/FLxLE7-ocgA

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  29. Why is it that the violinist thought experiment features a violinist? Should it make a difference? Why should we care about the vocation of the person we wake up attached to (which I gotta say would be freaky!)?

    Also, one inconsistency I see between this thought experiment and the issue it is trying to address (abortion) is that unlike waking up attached to a violinist, pregnancy doesn't just, well... happen all of a sudden. It is a result of an action one does willingly, or in tragic instances, unwillingly. Regardless, there is an event beforehand that opens the possibility: a factor the thought experiment fails to illustrate. This isn't to credit or discredit any argument, just to point out a flaw I see in this specific form of the argument.

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    1. (H3) This is a very valid point. Two notes on this however. I feel that the thought of it being a famous violinist is intended to give the impression that their individual life has had significant value and contribution to society. Second, I feel that this is more of a demonstration to illustrate to men the idea of being the woman in a pregnancy. If a guy gets a girl pregnant, he has the ability to walk away and act like nothing happened. This is forcing them to think about what they would do in a woman's position, Yes, any time someone has sex, they assume the risk of pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that they ask to get pregnant. Contraception can fail, it can be nonconsensual. But I feel this thought is more aimed at putting a man in a woman's shoes of having to face the pregnancy as if it was his body at risk.

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  30. I suppose there is something rather than nothing because we cannot observe or truly understand nothingness. Why do we often illustrate nothingness as black? The color black is something. Incidentally, this has made me wonder what color people born blind see. Is it black, or truly nothing?

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    1. (H3) Black may be the closest thing that our brains have to conceive as nothing. When we close our eyes, it is black. The absence of all light is black. Nothingness is a state in itself. Nothing to see, hear, smell, or feel. And perhaps that is a good question to ask someone who was not born blind and can remember how things look, but is now blind.

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  31. I remember reading somewhere (unfortunately I can't remember the source) that what a blind person sees is equivalent to what we see directly behind us. There's just no information coming in.

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  32. If I had the power of invisibility I would walk around and listen in on the conversations of others, learning little bits and pieces of all the people around me.

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  33. I don't believe the Twin Earth philosophy proves anything at all, it is simply an idea in which some choose to believe. (H3)

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  34. If I woke up attached to anyone I would choose to stay for the 9 months in order to be able to save their life. My life doesn't have more value than anyone else's, therefore if I have the ability to be able to save a life then I should. (H3)

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  35. (H3) What do you think about the Greek proscientific idea of organisms attaching to other organisms to create new life forms, examples: mitochondria in cells of animals and chloroplasts in plant cells? Does this idea contradict or validate theories like evolution and natural selection? (pg. 34)

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  36. (H3) Goldstein makes a comment, on page 35, that due to "scientific disciplines emerging constantly, the number of philosophical questions, the left-behinds, is shrinking." She says, "If cold storage is all that philosophy can provide, then the natural course of scientific progress will eventually empty out the cold storage room until all that is left are those permanent non-starters of the soundless-or-not-falling-trees-in-the- forest ilk." Do you believe it is possible to run out of the majority of philosophical questions or do you believe that scientific progress will provoke more philosophical questions to replace those answered, creating an endless cycle?

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  37. (H3) Goldstein asks a question at the end of the reading, on page 37, that "if philosophy makes progress, then why doesn't Plato at long last just go away?" Do you believe philosophy is making progress or does it simply stay the same, just with new generations hypothesizing over the same questions? If you believe it is making progress, why and why is Plato still so relevant? If not, do you think the questions pondered will be answered later on or are they simply a way to connect vastly different generations and cultures?

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  38. (H3) Do you believe advancing technology is aiding philosophical reasoning or rendering it obsolete? (pg. 37)

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  39. (H3) In response to the question, if you woke up in a bed surgically attached to a famous violinist, would you demand to be detached immediately, I go back and forth on whether I would stay attached or not. First off, I feel like it would be an infringement on my rights to wake up attached to someone else without my permission have been given. Then there's the question of how this extra individual attached to you is going to affect your life. You may get some free music out of the deal, but you may lose things more valuable such as privacy, intimacy, etc. There is also the health risk to consider. Many of these same concerns exist in the debate over abortion, for which this is a metaphor. What if the fetus is endangering the mother's life? Is it not the woman's right to decide what happens in her own body? The woman is required to maintain and provide for another human life, a task that should not be taken lightly. Like Ben stated, the fact that the person in the metaphor miraculously wakes up with another person attached to them is quite different from a woman committing an act resulting in another life growing inside her. Also the attached violinist, once removed, would not depend on the other person for the remainder of its life. However, the child would most likely need or seek out the mother, in cases of adoption. I do not believe that it is my ethical obligation to stay attached to the individual or have the child, however, I would consider the idea, depending on my current status in life.

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  40. (H3) If I had the power of invisibility, I think I would use it in a scientific manner. Specifically, to observe certain situations/cultures without influencing them. This is a common concern for most anthropologists who study cultures and societies that can be easily influenced. The question is usually stated, how does one immerse themself in a culture well enough to comment on and analyze it without becoming a part of it, and, therefore, changing it? With the power of invisibility, I would be able to seek out answers to questions that some might not be willing to voice aloud to me in person. This would help expand my current perception of people and different ideas.

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  41. (H3) The Twin Earth thought experiment states that "there's a molecule-by- molecule clone of everything and every person on this Earth with the exception that water is not H2O but something different." However, "both Earthlings and Twin Earthlings think the word "water" means the same thing on Earth and on Twin Earth." I guess what the experiment is really suggesting is, how do we know something is the same in one place compared to somewhere else? Like all philosophical questions, it leaves one pondering what is real and what has just been defined by us humans to scale down and make sense of the complex world around us. I don't know if it proves anything other than the fact that we truly know very little about our world.

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    1. Even with everyday interactions, we can interpret what other people say to us. We bring our own experiences in trying to understand what others are trying to convey to us. Like you say with "pondering what is real and what has just been defined by us", we truly can't even understand the thoughts of another person. The only thing you can be sure about is yourself

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  42. (H3) I used to ask my friends in art class this question all the time and no one's ever given me a good answer. Since I saw a similar one in the comments I thought I'd just throw it out there. How do we know that my blue is someone else's blue? Since we have been trained to associate a certain color we identify with a name, how can we be sure that each of us interprets light waves the same as the next? Couldn't my blue be someone else's version of my orange? Isn't it crazy to think how different our perceptions of the world can be without anyone else ever knowing?

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  43. H1

    During our peripatetic walk today, Christian, Charles (aka Jake), and I discussed at length the idea presented in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World about the ethics of everyone being forced to take drugs in order to create a happy utopia v. people suffering in order to gain their own experiences and understandings. The group was divided on which each person would prefer, but each party also saw the merits in the others' views.

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  44. I think there's always something rather than nothing, simply because we give meaning to everything as a way to try to understand it

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