Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quiz Jan 26

Milesians and Pythagoreans, DR 1-2 (We'll go over this on Thursday (scroll further down for Tuesday's quiz). Post your alternative quiz questions before then, especially from the second half of each chapter. Each gets you a base.)

1. Who labelled the early 6th & 5th century philosophers "PreSocratics," and what did they invent?

2. Aristotle said the Milesians were the first what?

3. Why does Gottlieb say Thales was not simply silly to suggest that H2O is the origin and essence of everything? OR, What must we do in order to refute him?

4. What essential facet of scientific thinking did Anaximander's work exemplify?

5. What famous poetic image do we associate with Pythagoras?

6. What was a good Pythagorean supposed to study?

7. What did Bertrand Russell, echoing Pythagoras and Plato, consider the mind's "highest good"?

8. How does Gottlieb think Aristotle was unfair to the Pythagoreans in his interpretation of their claim that numbers are the principles of all things?

Discussion Questions (Post your DQs too, and comment on mine and others' before class. Each gets you a base.)
  • What do you think Xenophanes meant when he said the following? Do you agree?
    But if cattle and horses and lions had hands
    or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,
    horses like horses and cattle like cattle
    also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies
    of such a sort as the form they themselves have.
  • Do you favor natural, or supernatural, explanations of phenomena? Do you think it's possible to be a naturalist who also believes unproven religious or metaphysical claims about god(s), heaven, immortality, the soul, etc.? Or should naturalists consider themselves atheistic or agnostic, with respect to the objects of such claims?
  • Is it a good practice in science and/or philosophy to try and reduce complex phenomena to a simpler explanation? 
  • Can we make sense of our experience without invoking invisible causes? What makes some invisible phenomena preferable to others, scientifically?
  • Anaximenes was "struck by the fact that people breathe and corpses do not." (15) Was he onto something important? Is breath the essence of life? 
  • Are you "comforted" by the turn from Milesian speculations about nature to ethical questions about "the proper way to live" (17)? Or do you think both kinds of philosophizing are necessary?
  • Followers of Hippocrates "did not divide the world into the divinely mysterious... and the naturally explicable" (18) but instead tried to explain everything naturalistically. Was that an important milestone for medical science? Are modern-day "alternative" healers anti-Hippocratic?
  • Pythagoras famously had both a scientific/mathematical and a mystical/superstitious side. Do you find this incoherent, or intriguing?
  • Do modern humans unwittingly worship Dionysus, seeking some sort of transcendence via self-indulgent sensualism? (27) Is there anything to be said for that?
  • Do you believe numbers can "unlock the secrets of how the world work[s]"? (32) Or does the world include important qualities and experiences that cannot or need not (should not?) be quantified? Is it "madness" to relate everything to a corresponding number?-eg, maleness=2, femaleness=3, justice=4...(34)
  • Do you share or reject Shakespeare's "pure Orphism" in Merchant of Venice? (38)
  • Do you share or reject young Russell's "feeling that intellect is superior to sense"? ((42)
  • Post your DQs

The Genius of Pythagoras... Three Minute Philosophy: Pythagoras
Get Up and Move. It May Make You Happier.
When people get up and move, even a little, they tend to be happier than when they are still, according to an interesting new study that used cellphone data to track activities and moods. In general, the researchers found, people who move are more content than people who sit.

There already is considerable evidence that physical activity is linked to psychological health. Epidemiological studies have found, for example, that people who exercise or otherwise are active typically are less prone to depression and anxiety than sedentary people.

But many of these studies focused only on negative moods. They often also relied on people recalling how they had felt and how much they had moved or sat in the previous week or month, with little objective data to support these recollections.

For the new study, which was published this month in PLoS One, researchers at the University of Cambridge in England decided to try a different approach. They would look, they decided, at correlations between movement and happiness, that most positive of emotions. In addition, they would look at what people reported about their activity and compare it with objective measures of movement.

Writing Your Way to Happiness JAN. 19, 2015
How Exercise May Protect Against Depression OCT. 1, 2014
Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work.DEC 28

To accomplish these goals, they first developed a special app for Android phones. Available free on the Google app store and ultimately downloaded by more than 10,000 men and women, it was advertised as helping people to understand how lifestyle choices, such as physical activity, might affect people’s moods. (The app, which is no longer available for download, opened with a permission form explaining to people that the data they entered would be used for academic research.)

The app randomly sent requests to people throughout the day, asking them to enter an estimation of their current mood by answering questions and also using grids in which they would place a dot showing whether they felt more stressed or relaxed, depressed or excited, and so on.

Periodically, people were also asked to assess their satisfaction with life in general.

After a few weeks, when people were comfortable with the app, they began answering additional questions about whether, in the past 15 minutes, they had been sitting, standing, walking, running, lying down or doing something else.

They also were asked about their mood at that moment.

At the same time, during the 17 months of the study, the app gathered data from the activity monitor that is built into almost every smartphone today. In essence, it checked whether someone’s recall of how much he or she had been moving in the past quarter-hour tallied with the numbers from the activity monitor.

In general, the information provided by users and the data from activity monitors was almost exactly the same.

Of greater interest to the researchers, people using the app turned out to feel happier when they had been moving in the past quarter-hour than when they had been sitting or lying down, even though most of the time they were not engaged in rigorous activity.

In fact, most of the physical activity that people reported was gentle walking, with little running, cycling or other more strenuous exercise.

But the links between moving in any way and feeling happy were consistent for most people throughout the day, according to the data from their apps. It also didn’t matter whether it was a workday or weekend.

The researchers also found that people who moved more frequently tended to report greater life satisfaction over all than those who reported spending most of their time in a chair.

In general, the results suggest that “people who are generally more active are generally happier and, in the moments when people are more active, they are happier,” says Gillian Sandstrom, a study co-author who was a postdoctoral researcher at Cambridge and is now a lecturer in psychology at the University of Essex.

In other words, moving and happiness were closely linked, both in the short term and longer term.

Of course, this type of study does not establish causation. It cannot tell us whether being more active actually causes us to become happier or, conversely, whether being happy causes us to move more. It only shows that more activity goes hand-in-hand with greater happiness.2COMMENTS

The study also is limited by its reliance on cellphone data, Dr. Sandstrom says, because it may not have captured information about formal exercise. People often do not carry their phones when they run, cycle or engage in other types of vigorous activity, she and her colleagues point out in the study. So those types of workouts would not be reflected in the app or the phones’ activity monitor, making it impossible to know from this data set whether formal exercise is linked to happiness, for better or worse.

Still, the size of the study group and the consistency of the findings are compelling, Dr. Sandstrom says. They do indicate that if you get up and move often, you are more likely to feel cheerful than if you do not. nyt
George Orwell’s classic book “1984,” about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, has seen a surge in sales this month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the United States and leading its publisher to have tens of thousands of new copies printed.

Craig Burke, the publicity director at Penguin USA, said that the publisher had ordered 75,000 new copies of the book this week and that it was considering another reprint.

“We’ve seen a big bump in sales,” Mr. Burke said. He added that the rise “started over the weekend and hit hyperactive” on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Since Friday, the book has reached a 9,500 percent increase in sales, he said.

He said demand began to lift on Sunday, shortly after the interview Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Donald J. Drumpf, gave on “Meet the Press.”

In defending a false claim by the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, that Mr. Drumpf had attracted the “largest audience ever to witness an inauguration,” Ms. Conway used a turn of phrase that struck some observers as similar to the dystopian world of “1984.”


  1. Kylan Stribling12:15 PM CST

    I consider myself a good listener because I pay close attention to what the speaker's main point is when they address me.

  2. Heather Deal5:12 PM CST

    Section 9
    Alternative Quiz Questions:
    1. What notion makes it's first appearance in Anaximander?
    2. What is the name of Anaximander's youngest son?
    3. When was Miletus destroyed by the Persians?
    4. Who was Hippolytus?
    5. In the works of which Ionian poets were earthquakes caused by Poseidon?
    6. What disease was commonly called 'the sacred disease' by Hippocratic doctors?
    7. What are the two basic concepts in Pythagorean thought?
    8. Who was the first man to make a serious attempt to apply mathematics to find laws of celestial motion?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Section 9

      Question 1: Notion of elements in conflict
      Question 2: Anaximenes
      Question 3: 494 BC
      Question 4: Christian apologist of 3rd century Rome
      Question 5: Homer & Hesiod
      Question 6: Epilepsy
      Question 7: The limited and the unlimited
      Question 8: Johannes Kepler

  3. 9 - I just have to say that the George Orwell news is both hilarious and sad.

  4. 10

    It seems that Xenophanes thinks that people are close minded. I believe that alot of people don't challenge how they think of something enough.

    2. I favor naturalism. I consider a naturalist to be someone that only accepts the reality of something once sufficient evidence has been collected through testing and observation.

    3. Sometimes certain ideas or occurrences may be complex, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't find a simpler way to understand it.

    4. We can come to logical conclusions about our experiences without invoking supernatural causes. Some people may prefer to think its supernatural causes because they may not think that a certain entity has to be observable or fit certain criteria to be considered real. Or they may believe that they have seen a supernatural entity and that experience enforces their beliefs.

    5. All organism breath in some form or fashion to continue to living. So you could consider breath to be the essence of life I guess.

    6. I consider both kinds of philosophy to be important.

    7. If by alternative-medicine you mean Holistic care It can come off sometimes as anti-Hippocratic. Holistic care can be good treatment depending on what it's treating such as diet and exercise to stay healthy. Medicinal care though is a major breakthrough though with a very high success rate and should be used if necessary.

    8. Because of the time he lived in it is intriguing, but those two thoughts of mind are very counter intuitive.

    9. I'm sure some people are like that. I think some people may see the idea of heaven as a sort of reward for having suffered in life.

    10. I think mathematics can be useful to get a direct answer for something, But those numbers are useless and less you understand the concepts behind them.

    12. I think intelligence and sense go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other

  5. section 8
    Anaximines saw the world as if it were a modern planetarium, where we sit looking up at a doomed ceiling with models of the stars moving above us. How do you view the world?

  6. Anonymous12:51 AM CST

    Maddy Russell
    I consider myself a naturalist and look at natural causes for things. Although I am a naturalist I think a person can do both. Just because a person believes that things happen because of natural causes, does not make them an atheist. A person can separate the two and believe in supernatural causes and natural causes

  7. 8
    Discussion Questions
    I think that Xenophanes is trying to say is that we always assume God looks like us but we only think that because we assume he is like us and that if other animals were as smart as humans than they would think that God looked like them
    I think that you can believe in God or some supernatural being and still think in a naturalistic way. For example some people might say that science dissproves the existence of a god but god could have created science.
    It is good for scientist to try and make things as simple as possible. I know there is a quote that says something like if you cant explain something simply than you dont understand the thing enough.
    I think we could make sense without invoking an invisible cause but I think we just do that to try and rationalize something we dont understand yet.
    I dont know what he was thinking but I do think that breath is the essence of life because when you stop breathing you are no longer alive.

  8. Discussion Questions :
    1 - That is a curious thought, that if the animals would create artwork, would they depict the gods as in their image? I believe that if the animals could paint would then they be animals? The idea of "animals" is that they (however you believe that they came about) are different than humans. They do not have rights, they do not make decisions, they do not form societies or governments. So, say that they were in the position of humans having the ability to draw. Like if they were just another race of people like American, Asian, African, Pacific Islander, etc. I believe if they fulfilled that position, then yes, they would possibly draw the gods as in their image.

    2 - I believe that a supernatural being designed and created a natural world to function as it was designed to function. We study the natural world as we see it today, but I firmly believe in divine intervention, because you can see how the natural world is "supposed" to function, and history tells us, and eye witness tells us, and personal experience tells us that sometimes things happen that shouldn't have happened, and things don't happen that should have.

    3 - Aprofessor told me once that if you can't explain a concept in language that a 3rd grader would understand and comprehend, then you don't understand it yourself. With that being said, I know how important it is to be able to grow you r mind in what you can learn and understand. I guess the idea is that you should never get too far into you r head that you can't come back down to earth to explain it so a child.

    4 - The one goes back to the previous question. There are some things that happen in our lives that just can't be explained by mathematical or scientific description. Things like why does a pregnant mother with stage 3 cervical cancer not only survive (her and her child) but the cancer completely going away? How does a head on collision result in both parties walking away unharmed when they should have both died? Things like this I believe are things that are unexplainable. But you also have the mysteries of science and math that are what drive brilliant scientists and mathmaticitions to fulfill their life's calling to truly and answered questions of this world. That's where you gat the great thinkers, and philosophers who ask impossible questions in order to open their minds.

    6 - before the " naturalistic" view on medicine, I know that the people attributed illness to demons, and bad fortune and getting hurt to kings not of this world. In the revolution of science and how we have evolved our thinking of why people get sick, it has helped in our treatment of said illnesses. So yes, i believe it is goood that we have moved away from that view of illness, to a more naturalistic viewpoint.

    7 - I find it intriguing. Many people groups have been that way; both very scientific, and yet, superstitious in there own right. Now, it may seem incoherent from the outside, but from the viewpoint of their culture, it was just a way of life. The same could be thought as true with religious cultures, and polytheistic cultures when looking at them from the outside. I think superstition can be developed in a culture for many years, and it comes down to respect of that culture's history when you are looking at their lifestyle.

  9. Discussion questions continued...
    8 - As I have stated before, we live in a broken world, and I do not think that we as humans with sensual desires are worshiping the intently or thought or idea or story of Dionysus. I believe that that is the way that we were created and not that we are following the ingrained path presented by Dionysus, just the desire of the heart/flesh that we were born with present us with the decision to act on those sensations and desires or to use self control in inappropriate situations. That decision belongs to us regardless of where the passions come from, but I personally do not think that they come from the theme of Dionysus.

    9 - the beauty of numbers is that they have no units. They can not be told to quantify anything, or that they are not allowed to quantify something. The idea of numbers is a fascinating thought, because you have a means by which to in essence " describe" the world though the idea of numerical values. As Aristotle said, not that the world is litterelly made up of numbers, but numbers and calculations can be used to describe the world in which we life in.

  10. 10-
    Discussion Questions

    1.) I agree with Xenophane's statement that we, as people, perceive god in a figure that suits our own due to out inability to think of as any other than being perfect from out own. This could be due to our inability to think outside the box, or due to ourselves made in god's image.

    2.) I believe natural explanations of phenomena of this world that can be explained, but also believe that naturalists can turn to a religious explanation to things we can not understand, answer, or perceive in this world, hence heaven and hell.

    3.) It is a good practice to reduce complex phenomena to a more simplified explanation as we can get it for others to have/ gain a chance to understand the concept and our thought process to help spread the explanation for others to conceive. A way to share knowledge easily from one to another.

    4.) We can come to an explanation of our experiences without invisible causes/ supernatural, unless the cause is uncertain to us or difficult to face, thus resulting in an easy solution to say other invisible, uncontrollable causes resulted in an experience.

    5.) the ability to breath is of life as water is. As living things we require air/ oxygen to live as we also need water to live.

    6.) Both are necessary questions to have. Ethical questions are more easier to understand and solve logically, rather than questions of nature, as to why we are here. Many questions as to what the world is made of have already been proven as well.

    8.) I find it intriguing how Pathagoras looked at both the arts and mathematics to explain things of this world, but seems that he also turned to the mysterious to questions new or unproven ideas.

    10.) I don't think see it as madness to relate every thing to be associated with a number. The concept is rather silly in a way, but part of it is true on how everything of this world can be solved mathematically. There is mathematics all around us, many things of our world today come from the sciences/ mathematics fields.

  11. DQ alternate quiz
    1.Who is Heraclitus of Ephesus?
    2.Where is Miletus located?
    3.Aristotle divided early Greek thinkers into two. Name both thinkers.
    4.What is Thales of Miletus famous for?
    5.Why did Thales choose water as his interest?
    6.Why was it difficult to distinguish Pythagoras' own thoughts from those of his followers?

    1. Who is the author for the dream of reason?
    2.,When was Bertrand Russell born and how long did he live?
    3. Who was Dionysus?

  12. Anonymous4:58 PM CST

    8- It's Gabrielle Armour again. And, I don't have an official profile. However, my group has decided to do our midterm report on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.