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Philosophy
Two women apply for jobs. They look exactly alike. On their applications, they list the same last name, address and telephone number. They were born to the same parents on the same day, same month and same year. Everything is identical. The receptionist says, "You must be twins." They say, "No". Now how is that possible? (Take 30 seconds to think about it.)* This morning I want to encourage a re-assessment of your thinking processes and to consider how you might change them in order to accommodate the type of attitude that will encourage and inspire a new awareness within yourself. The outcome, of course is the creation of expanded successes in every area of your life. As unlikely as it may sound, most of us do not take conscious inventory of how our thinking habits and patterns affect the inevitability of a recurring outcome. My focus this morning is to establish the obvious affects of patterned thinking, to suggest an overview of your particular thinking habits, and to stimulate new thinking. *(They are two from a set of triplets). Now if the answer was not obvious to you it is, at the least, your invitation to start thinking differently. Go beyond the conventional. Don't try to legitimize your old stilted thinking. Insist on training your mind to go beyond the usual and seek out the response that defies your traditional rationalization. You are not obligated to do anything with it. But it is imperative that you determine to stretch your imagination and dare to go beyond limited reasoning. IBSEN: "The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That is one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population - the intelligent ones or...
pages: 4 (words: 1018)
comments: 0
added: 04/30/2011
I am writing to you as the last generation that I will see in my lifetime. When the Atlantic slave trade came to an end, many of us thought that this signalled the end of slavery. However, it appears that equally evil acts are still going on. Modern-day slavery encompasses a range of violations of human rights. It contains the “practices of child labour, bonded labour, serfdom, servile marriage, trafficking in persons (especially women and children), and the exploitation of domestic and migrant labour” (Forms). You are young and may not have yet fully decided your views on life, death and God. However, regardless of this, your generation needs to tackle these evils and to ride the world of them. Christianity, Islam and Judaism all teach that God is all-powerful, all-good and all-knowing (Stewart, p 163). In our diverse world, many people wonder how a God, if He exists, can allow such evil and suffering to occur. St Augustine defends the existence of God against such arguments. His free-will theodicy claims that human evil, such as implementing slavery and human trafficking, takes place when humans use their free will, which God gave them, to turn their backs on God (Allen). A further significant part of Augustine’s argument is that man’s view of the world is limited, and therefore it is impossible for us to comprehend its overall goodness. When assessing St Augustine’s, and other attitudes on theodicy, it is important to acknowledge that the problem of evil is only a problem to individuals who believe in God. To non-believers, or atheists, evil is unpleasant and depressing, but it is not really a problem. Nevertheless, whether an atheist, an atheist, or an agnostic, suffering causes distress, and children and adults who are subject to slavery are good examples. Of course, it is difficult...
pages: 5 (words: 1296)
comments: 0
added: 11/07/2011
Theory of Knowledge Paper for IB TOK Class 'Don't give me any more facts! I need to make a decision right now!' Although one can question knowledge endlessly, one cannot forever suspend judgement while researching and reflecting. What would it mean to act responsibly in a situation where one cannot possess certainty? How would one justify the decision? The question of decisions which must be made without the support of a full array of facts is an interesting one. Such a decision requires an adherence to a moral code, but also an understanding of probability. Also, the consequences of any action taken must be fully understood before one can make the judgement whether or not it is better to go through with the action or not to pursue it at all. Most people are of the inclination that "lack of certainty is due to lack of knowledge and that if we knew the whole situation . . . we should be able to predict the future with certainty." (Emmet 208), but absolute knowledge is impossible, so decisions can rely only on existing facts. The facts which exist can not be disputed, but they must be in a sufficient number if a decision is to be made. In essence, one must respond to the question of what this sufficient number might be, and this number must be determined in a manner such that the likelihood that the facts are a good approximation of the whole picture is high compared to the potential consequences of one being wrong. In some cases where certainty does not exist, one can employ a simple mathematical probability. For instance, if one were asked the question 'Is it going to rain today?' and the conditions were such that they indicated there would be no rain (ie: not a cloud in...
pages: 5 (words: 1208)
comments: 0
added: 02/06/2012
Why is it so important that young children in our society receive a good education? The answer to that question is very simple; because they are our future. The old saying "the youth of today are the leaders off tomorrow" holds more truth than many people realize. By giving children a good start at an early age we are only helping ourselves as well as the children. A good example of this is can be seen in our society. By the time a teacher in our society retires from his or her position their students will have made it out into the real world and taken jobs. This new generation will be the ones to make the decisions about laws such as Social Security, and Medicaid. The students will be able to turn these programs around and make them more beneficial to their recipients. These teachers who are now retired will be the ones who are collecting Social Security and reaping the benefits of the children's solid education. The idea of educating the youth is not even close to a new idea. Philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau in the seventeen hundreds and even farther back than that to the time of Plato in three hundred eighty six B.C. and after. Both of these great men shared similar ideas on how children should be taught so that they can get the most out of their education. Though educational philosophy dates back thousands of years, there are still many great thinkers who are revolutionizing teaching with their philosophies today. In the later part of the twentieth century there was also Paulo Friere who is considered by some to be the greatest thinker of his time and also Maxine Greene who has also greatly changed education in today's society. Thanks to these...
pages: 9 (words: 2324)
comments: 0
added: 12/06/2011
But if the mind actively generates perception, this raises the question whether the result has anything to do with the world, or if so, how much. The answer to the question, unusual, ambiguous, or confusing as it was, made for endless trouble both in Kant's thought and for a posterity trying to figure him out. To the extent that knowledge depends on the structure of the mind and not on the world, knowledge would have no connection to the world and is not even true representation, just a solipsistic or intersubjective fantasy. Kantianism seems threatened with "psychologism," the doctrine that what we know is our own psychology, not external things. Kant did say, consistent with psychologism, that basically we don't know about "things-in-themselves," objects as they exist apart from perception. But at the same time Kant thought he was vindicating both a scientific realism, where science really knows the world, and a moral realism, where there is objective moral obligation, for both of which a connection to external existence is essential. And there were also terribly important features of things-in-themselves that we do have some notion about and that are of fundamental importance to human life, not just morality but what he called the three "Ideas" of reason: God, freedom, and immortality. Kant always believed that the rational structure of the mind reflected the rational structure of the world, even of things-in-themselves -- that the "operating system" of the processor, by modern analogy, matched the operating system of reality. But Kant had no real argument for this -- the "Ideas" of reason just become "postulates" of morality -- and his system leaves it as something unprovable. The paradoxes of Kant's efforts to reconcile his conflicting approaches and requirements made it very difficult for most later philosophers to take the overall...
pages: 3 (words: 758)
comments: 0
added: 01/07/2012
Business has created wealth that has given numerous individuals financial freedom, yet at the same time, it has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. The philosophy of business considers the primary principles that underlie the operations of an enterprise. Developing a balanced business ethic between profit-taking and honesty is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks for a corporation. In the wake of post-communism, we are now living in triumphant times of global capitalism; but the inevitability of corporate greed and deception in this system can create devastating results like Enron, WorldCom and Arthur Anderson.8 These corporations failed because of the people that work there; a series of deceptive operational decisions left these billion-dollar corporations and their millions of investors in demise. And there are many other examples of smaller companies undergoing "corporate restructuring" in an effort to save themselves. What business ethics involves is the plundering of natural resources, exploitation of labor in lesser-developed nations, unfair competition, impacts on the environment, treatment of employees and social responsibility.1 Business managers must keep all of these points in mind when making decisions on behalf of their organizations. This paper will look at the different factors a manager ought to look at when making informed decisions, with consideration of the stakeholders – the manager him/herself, the corporation and greater society. Through the use of the role-differentiated model, the utilitarian model and the professional contract model, I contend that a business manager has moral right but not the moral obligation to act up to the limits of law in any situation; in other words, the manager will be considered amoral only if he/she has broken the law. First we must understand that all business is anchored in the subjective viewpoints of the manager, of the corporation and of society. Each of...
pages: 13 (words: 3468)
comments: 0
added: 11/26/2011
Aristotle's first argument concerning the nature of pleasure answers the question of whether of not pleasure is the Good. While he holds that pleasure is indeed, a good, it is just that, one of many. Pleasure is not however, the Chief Good. Aristotle backs up this first argument with some key notions about pleasure. Firstly, that pleasure can be enhanced or decreased through the addition, or taking away, of other factors. Wisdom, for example, can increase one's experiencing of pleasure, while a negative attribute can diminish it. Since the Chief Good cannot be made more or less desirable by other features, pleasure is not it. Second, Aristotle illustrates the idea that some pleasures are good, and some are negative, and some pleasures vary in degree. The Chief Good is not a variable. It is complete in itself. This again proves that pleasure is not the Good. I cannot see many holes in this part of Aristotle's argument concerning the make-up of pleasure. I am therefore inclined to agree with him. Take the example of gardening, an activity which many people enjoy. This pleasure can be increased or decreased by other factors, such as weather. If it is cold outside, gardening will be less pleasurable, while if it is very sunny, pleasure in gardening is increased. As the Chief Good does not vary in degrees, I concur with this aspect of Aristotle's argument on pleasure. Aristotle's second assertion in his evaluation of the nature of pleasure is that pleasure is neither a movement, a process, nor, a transition. On the contrary, Aristotle believes it to be complete the whole time. He backs up this argument firstly, by stating that while becoming pleased (from displeased) might be a transition, pleasure itself, once reached, is not a process of this type. Second, he claims that while...
pages: 4 (words: 933)
comments: 0
added: 09/01/2011
In Ion, Plato presents a dialogue between his influential teacher Socrates and a distinguished rhapsode, Ion. While Socrates considers himself "a common man who only speak the truth" (47), Ion is proud and boastful, regarding himself as a rhapsode who can "speak about Homer better than any man" (47). The primary issues between these two contradictory characters' are the difference between gift of speech and knowledge of speech, as well as the attending of oneself to moral by understanding an idea as a whole rather than superficially understanding. Ion is a rhapsode, a professional narrator of Homer, who obtained the first prize in the festival of Asclepius. Despite his "talent" for dramatics, intonation, and voice of inflection, the seemingly necessary vocal tools of a reciter, his knowledge and understanding of Homer, specifically in terms of those various arts featured in Odyssey, fails to extend beyond his ability to memorize the epic poem. Socrates speaks candidly about such paradox Ion is experiencing; "Of whom, Ion, you are one, and are possessed by Homer and when any one repeats the words of another poet you go to sleep, and know not what to say; but when any one recites a strain of Homer you wake up in a moment, and your soul leaps within you, and you have plenty to say; for not by art or knowledge about Homer do you say what you say, but by divine inspiration and by possession." (50) Socratic theory of inspiration is a divinity that is moving a person. Socrates speaks metaphorically, saying that such is like a magnet that attracts iron rings and magnetizes them along a chain. Muse inspires poets, and poets inspire rhapsodes or critics. Socrates also mentions, "And every poet has some Muse from whom he is suspended, and by whom he is...
pages: 6 (words: 1396)
comments: 0
added: 01/15/2012
The genealogical method is the basis of Friedrich Nietzsche's work On the Genealogy of Morals. Nietzsche's genealogy can be illustrated as a way to investigate values. The investigation of values, points out, how certain values were originally initiated. Nietzsche's genealogy also presents a critique, by Nietzsche himself, on already established values. Nietzsche's genealogy also creates a future in a revolutionary manner values. In order to understand the Nietzsche's genealogical method one must first analyze the parts that make it work. One area to analyze is Nietzsche's critical reversals. He feels that the current values, which are imbedded into society, are in some way a reversal of actual truth. Nietzsche wants society to consider the concept that values that seem to exhibit goodness actually to the reverse. A prime example of critical reversals can be seen in Nietzsche's concept of Good and Evil vs. Good and Bad. From Nietzsche's viewpoint, to fully understand the concepts of Good and Evil vs. Good and Bad, one must first understand certain how moral systems developed and how culture played a role in its development. Nietzsche felt that moral systems were not created by exterior beings. He feels that moral systems are developed from within a society. Nietzsche feels that there were two categories for morality. The initial morality conveyed was a Master Morality. This was the morality illustrated by the nobles in the times of Ancient Greece. To better understand the Master morality one must first analyze the thinking of the Nobles. The nobles felt a pathos of distance over their slaves. Pathos of distance is a feeling in which the nobles feel completely set apart from the slaves. The nobles also felt they had the lordly right of giving names. In this concept the rulers control the language. They define the meaning of words. In the concept...
pages: 6 (words: 1391)
comments: 0
added: 01/26/2012
The Nature of Tragedy: In the century after Sophocles, the philosopher Aristotle analyzed tragedy. His definition: Tragedy then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions. Aristotle identified six basic elements: (1) plot; (2) character; (3) diction (the choice of style, imagery, etc.); (4) thought (the character's thoughts and the author's meaning); (5) spectacle (all the visual effects; Aristotle considered this to be the least important element); (6) song. According to Aristotle, the central character of a tragedy must not be so virtuous that instead of feeling pity or fear at his or her downfall, we are simply outraged. Also the character cannot be so evil that for the sake of justice we desire his or her misfortune. Instead, best is someone"who is neither outstanding in virtue and righteousness; nor is it through badness or villainy of his own that he falls into misfortune, but rather through some flaw [hamartia]". The character should be famous or prosperous, like Oedipus or Medea. What Aristotle meant by hamartia cannot be established. In each play we read you should particularly consider the following possibilities. (1) A hamartia may be simply an intellectual mistake or an error in judgement. For example when a character has the facts wrong or doesn't know when to stop trying to get dangerous information. (2) Hamartia may be a moral weakness, especially hubris, as when a character is moral in every way except for being prideful enough to insult a god. (Of course you are free to decide that the tragic hero of any play, ancient or...
pages: 4 (words: 1050)
comments: 0
added: 08/05/2011
A Comparison of Plato and Aristotle Plato versus Aristotle Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers in the 4th century, hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. This fact is very cleverly illustrated by Raphael's "School of Athens" (1510-11; Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican), where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher forms; and Aristotle is pointing down because he supports the natural sciences. In a discussion of politics, the stand point of each philosopher becomes an essential factor. It is not coincidental that Plato states in The Republic that Philosopher Rulers who possess knowledge of the good should be the governors in a city state. His strong interest in metaphysics is demonstrated in The Republic various times: for example, the similes of the cave, the sun, and the line, and his theory of the forms. Because he is so involved in metaphysics, his views on politics are more theoretical as opposed to actual. Aristotle, contrarily, holds the view that politics is the art of ruling and being ruled in turn. In The Politics, he attempts to outline a way of governing that would be ideal for an actual state. Balance is a main word in discussing Aristotle because he believes it is the necessary element to creating a stable government. His less metaphysical approach to politics makes Aristotle more in tune with the modern world, yet he is far from modern. Plato's concept of what politics and government should be is a direct result of his belief in the theory of forms. The theory of forms basically states that there is a higher "form" for everything that exists in the world. Each material thing is simply a representation of the real thing which is the form. According to Plato, most people cannot see the forms, they only see their representation...
pages: 7 (words: 1905)
comments: 0
added: 09/25/2011
A Biography for Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Immanuel Kant was born in Konigsberg, Russia on April 22nd 1724. From a young age he attended a school devoted to the tenets of Pietism (a 17th century evangelical movement) devoted on bible study and personal religious experience. His Mother had no education and devoted her life to God and her family, his father supported her on the little wages he earned from making saddles. In 1740, at the age of sixteen, he enrolled in the University of Koningsberg. He developed a passion for physics and mathematics from a child and continued an in-depth study of these at University. His father died in 1742, which resulted in Kant being forced to drop out of education and become a private tutor to support himself. In 1755, he received financial aid from a friend and continued his education. He obtained a doctorate and became a professor at the institution teaching in mathematics and science for the following fifteen years. Throughout this time he attended a number of lectures by other members of staff in the field of philosophy and eventually began to teach this subject also soon thereafter. Kant began to attract students from all over the world, intrigued by his ideas and concepts of philosophy. He gained national recognition due to his concepts of morality, his idea of the categorical imperative and his description of the autonomy of will. He worked towards making philosophy a scientific concept, that knowledge is also a matter of human reason. Kant lectured on the issue of the existence of God. Agreeing with Hume that no rational argument of the 'pure reason' form could be given for God's existence but however, he proposed that 'practical reason' could. Kant believed that in observing moral instincts of people, through the eyes of faith we can...
pages: 2 (words: 435)
comments: 0
added: 11/14/2011
Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such profound impact in the field of politics, religion and philosophy. Even to the day, their influence can be espied in the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school of thinking and later significant philosophies such as Daoism and Legalism gained immense recognition as well. Each party had their own proposals for creating an idealistic political society where the many problems they faced in their everyday lives could be eliminated. All three approaches were very distinct but at the same time, they contained certain similarities as well. In my reasoning, I find that Confucianism and Daoism could be paralleled in many ways to find several common grounds. On the other hand, Legalism goes on to take a more unique approach which was much different from the previous two. Kongzi (Confucius, a Latinized name) was born in 551 B.C.E., to a poor family of the lower nobility. Throughout his life, he relentlessly tried to gain an office with a prominent ruler of the time who was willing to adopt his various concepts. Unfortunately, Confucius died in 479 B.C.E., before such a change ever took place. However, he succeeded in winning over a handful of devote followers who continued his legacy and Confucianism later went on to become one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history. Of his followers, Mencius and Xunzi became the most renown. Since Confucius did not succeed in completing a manual of his views, these followers had to derive their own interpretations of the system which now formulate, the Analects. The Analects portray an idealized gentleman, and his various duties in terms of the society, family and the rituals. Confucius explains about the way (Dao) which...
pages: 5 (words: 1225)
comments: 0
added: 12/03/2011
Most people think the theory of evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin, and rests on scientific evidence, observations and experiments. However, in the same way that Darwin was not its originator neither does the theory rest on scientific proof. The theory consists of an adaptation to nature of an ancient dogma called materialist philosophy. Although it is backed up by no scientific evidence, the theory is blindly supported in the name of materialist philosophy. This fanaticism has resulted in many of disasters. That is because together with the spread of Darwinism and the materialist philosophy it supports, the answer to the question 'What is a human being?' has changed. People who used to answer: 'Human beings were created by God and have to live according to the morality He teaches' have now begun to think that 'Man came into being by chance, and is an animal who developed with the fight for survival.' There is a heavy price to pay for this great deception. Violent ideologies such as racism, fascism and communism, and many other cruel world views based on conflict have all drawn strength from this deception. This article will examine this disaster Darwinism has brought to the world and reveal its connection with terrorism, one of the most important global problems of our time. The Darwinist Misconception: 'Life is conflict' Darwin set out with one basic premise when developing his theory: 'The development of living things depends on the fight for survival. The strong win the struggle. The weak are condemned to defeat and oblivion.' According to Darwin, there was a ruthless struggle for survival and eternal conflict in nature. The strong always overcome the weak, and this enables development to take place. The subtitle he gave to his book The Origin of Species, "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural...
pages: 10 (words: 2681)
comments: 0
added: 02/09/2012
David Hume Theories Knowledge is gained only through experience, and experiences only exist in the mind as individual units of thought. This theory of knowledge belonged to David Hume, a Scottish philosopher. Hume was born on April 26, 1711, as his family's second son. His father died when he was an infant and left his mother to care for him, his older brother, and his sister. David Hume passed through ordinary classes with great success, and found an early love for literature. He lived on his family's estate, Ninewells, near Edinburgh. Throughout his life, literature consumed his thoughts, and his life is little more than his works. By the age of 40, David Hume had been employed twice and had failed at the family careers, business and law. Occasionally, he served on diplomatic missions in France and other countries. Hume's major work, A Treatise of Human Nature, was not well understood when first published, and received much criticism. The first two volumes were published in 1739, and the third in 1740. Immanuel Kant and other philosophers did notice his work and began respecting Hume for his reasoning. Later, he republished the first and third volumes as An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, and An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals in 1748 and 1751 respectively. The second volume was used as Part 2 of Four Dissertations in 1757. During his lifetime Hume's reputation derived from the publication of his Political Discourses (1751) and six-volume History of England (1754-1762)," (Langley 415). David Hume discovered he was literary celebrity when visiting France in 1763. He retired to Edinburgh in 1769 and lived a happy life. He passed away August 25, 1776 and left in his will that he only wanted his name and date on his gravestone, "leaving it to posterity to add the rest," (Langley...
pages: 3 (words: 794)
comments: 0
added: 09/29/2011
Does knowing we are going to die help us to live? How? We often take our lives for granted especially when we're young. We think we're going to live forever. But, from one moment to the next, nobody knows what will happen. A person could be alive and well one moment and dead the next, this shows the value of life and the uncertainties of death. Death is the "great unknown," and that's why it's so frightening. Also, we perceive the inevitability of death long before it happens, which can be worrying, even tormenting. This fear and suffering keeps us from thinking seriously about death as it impedes our happiness. We need to know how to do this, how to live in freedom, not being imprisoned by the future and not being carried away by things in the present. When we can live our daily life deeply and genuinely, we begin to feel free and are able to live; we can see the true nature of life, we arrive at a great freedom with in you and freedom is the essence of happiness. All of us are equal as far as life and death are concerned; we are all going to die. So it is very equal, death will happen to everybody. Everyone has to die however, before we die, can we live properly? Properly being living life and enjoying life, not being sucked in by your surroundings and thought. I am determined to live properly until I die. If we are going to die, then we have to live the best we can. If we don't live the best we can why should we live? You are given an extraordinary thing, which is life, and you should use it to fulfil everything you desire, that is how life should be lived....
pages: 4 (words: 831)
comments: 0
added: 10/30/2011
" Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved"(William Jennings Bryan) Both Septimus and Clarissa, two unrelated narratives, fell into the superego stage. They both believed that what they had to do were necessary to be expected and what was necessary to be achieved. Clarissa's relationship with both her childhood love, Peter Walsh, and her present husband, Richard Dalloway, helped to clime from the id to the superego. Her life has been spent in regret and sorrow, forcing her to think suicidal thought like Septimus and living everyday not knowing real love. Clarissa always believed in finding her own destiny, she found it, she just took the wrong road path too it. Clarissa is very heart broken woman who made the wrong choice to her destiny and future. In the novel Mrs.Dalloway, Virginia Woolf uses the element of conflict to illustrate the theme that one shapes their own destiny and future. Through the character of Peter Walsh, Woolf uses conflict to show how one makes their own destiny. Peter sat down beside Clarissa, and everything seemed to race past him "he just sat there, eating, and then half way through dinner he made himself look across at Clarissa for the first time"(61). Peter was very much in love with Clarissa. Every time Peter saw Clarissa it was like for the first time, his eyes would light up and in his mind he would think she was my destiny that's filled with our future. He wanted to marry her he thought they where destined to be together. He expressed his love by bringing the fun to her life, meaning taking her to new places and doing new things. Peter wanted to...
pages: 5 (words: 1200)
comments: 0
added: 01/23/2012
In order to answer this question, must assess whether each of the above are necessary to having knowledge, and then consider whether any other requirements must be added. Traditionally, knowledge is believed to constitute three requirements. They are that the thing which is known must be true, the person who knows it must believe the fact to be true, and he must have justification for his belief. This idea can be shown in the following way. s only knows q if 1. q (meaning that q is true) 2. s believes in q 3. a's belief in q is justified. This is known as the tripartite definition, due to there being three parts to the definition. Let us consider each aspect and decide on its value in this definition. The first principle claims that one can only know q if it is true. This seems reasonable. I could not be said to know anything that was false. I cannot know that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1061 if the idea itself is false. Truth is a crucial criterion for knowledge. The second principle claims that one can only know q if one is in a state of belief concerning it. This also is reasonable. If I do not believe something to be the case, I cannot possibly be in a state of knowledge. If I do not believe that The Battle of Hastings took place in 1066, then I cannot be said to be in a state of knowledge concerning such a fact. If one fails to agree with something, he cannot have knowledge concerning its truth. The third principle is equally important. If criteria one and two were satisfied, I might still not be said to have knowledge. For example, I might believe that a football match took place yesterday between Ipswich football club and...
pages: 6 (words: 1517)
comments: 0
added: 01/02/2012
Early in Meditation III, Descartes states that he is going to "inquire whether there is a God." (Page 71) Descartes believes that the light of nature reveals to us ideas that are clear and distinct; and that any idea that is clear and distinct "cannot in any way be doubtful." (Page 72) Of any idea that he has, that of God's existence, he feels, was revealed to him through the light of nature and he considers that to be the most clear and distinct. Throughout the next few pages he goes on to "prove" that there is a God based on three main principles: the causation principle, the existence of innate ideas, and our perfect idea of God. The Causation principle states that there must be at least as much reality, and perfection, in the cause of something as there is in the effect. By this Descartes was saying that our creation is the result of the acts of someone, or something, more perfect and containing more reality than ourselves. He uses this principle as one of his arguments for God's existence, saying that God must be the most perfect and contain the most reality because he "created me along with everything else that exists." (Page 76) According to Descartes, there are three types of ideas: adventitious, invented, and innate. Our perfect idea of God is not adventitious because in order for this to be so he would have to be recognizable by our senses. He is not invented because we ourselves do not possess enough perfection to think of such a perfect being on our own. Therefore, this idea of God must be innate. Innate ideas are discoverable; we have these ideas without actually experiencing them. This innate idea of God must come from God, referring back to the Causation principle, because...
pages: 3 (words: 561)
comments: 0
added: 01/16/2012
How is the pursuit of scientific knowledge adulterated by the influences of economics, morality and political beliefs? Quite often we think of the pursuit of scientific knowledge as an exploration through which information is gathered solely from experimentation, but experimentation is only one among a variety of ways in which scientists gather information to be formulated into knowledge. Along with experiments, scientists may conduct surveys, or build on pre-existing information using assumptions and theories in order to obtain knowledge in any particular scientific medium. That which the scientists determine as knowledge, however, does not always mirror that which the public receives as new scientific knowledge. Along the path of distribution, the influences of economics, morality and political beliefs can adulterate pure scientific knowledge. Almost all scientists seeking to gain knowledge in a new area have to overcome financial insufficiencies. Whether they need the money for lab equipment or field research or other such projects, sufficient funding is almost always unattainable. Because so little is known about this new field, few are willing to support it. Once more information is discovered and scientists acknowledge the importance of that field, more funding is gradually provided. As seen in the movie And the Band Played On, the AIDS researchers were not able to obtain adequate funding until the seriousness of the AIDS epidemic was thoroughly stressed. Even today, the amount of funding supporting AIDS research remains deficient. Typically, the same is true of any scientific study; the required funding is only provided after the scientists present data compelling enough to promote further studies in that particular area. Next to interfere with the pursuit of scientific knowledge is political beliefs. In a society especially like the one in which we live today where everyone is striving to be "politically correct", it is in the scientists best interest...
pages: 4 (words: 1023)
comments: 0
added: 02/03/2012
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