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To what extent is knowledge of historical context important when interpreting political philosophy texts?

Introduction

This essay will demonstrate that an understanding of the historical context surrounding a political philosophy text is an essential part of interpreting the assertions it makes. The essay will discuss two philosophers, one whose work is believed to demonstrate this necessity, and another whose composition allows us to observe the dangers that inevitably arise when we attempt to extrapolate meaning from a text, without respecting or engaging with the context that framed its creation.

The intellectuals chosen for this discussion are Karl Marx (specifically on his quintessential collaboration with Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto) and Thomas Hobbes, whose 1651 text Leviathan contains some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought.

Before turning to either Marx or Hobbes, however, we must first consider the importance of interpreting political philosophy so that we may understand just how vital knowledge of historical context is to the process. T. Carver once entertained the notion that ’an examination of thoughts from the past is a bad habit, and we should keep our minds on current affairs‘ (Carver, 1991, p.1). He elaborated on this by posing the question ’Why read Marx at allWhy take any notice of his biographical circumstancesWhy read his works in historical context?’ before concluding that ’there is no knowledge of the present that is not constructed from ideas that were generated in the past‘ (Carver, 1991, p.1). It is for this reason, amonge others, that the interpretation of political philosophies that far precede our current affairs is worth looking into, and upon identifying the value of ideas generated in the past, it is only logical to consider the past from which the idea in question emerged from.

The Communist Manifesto

Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto makes the observation that the history of all existing society has been marred by a struggle between the classes, namely between ’freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman‘ and that this rivalry between the ’oppressor and oppressed‘ has reached a terrible climax in the emergence of the polarisation between the ’proletarian‘ and ’bourgeoisie‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.219). The bourgeoisie are characterised by owning the means of production; while the proletarians have only their labour to sell (Engels & Marx, 1848). According to Marx, the ’epoch of the bourgeoisie‘ had ’simplified the class antagonisms‘ by replacing the feudal system of industry that could no longer meet the growing wants of markets (Engles & Marx, 1848, p.222). Whereas this system had been founded on the idea of men being subservient to their natural superiors, Marx believed the bourgeoisie to have replaced this with an obvious self- interest (Engles& Marx, 1848). The consequences of this change were the distinctions between classes, which had never been more dramatic (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.222).

As outlined previously, the proletarian had only his labour to sell, and as innovations in means of production became ever more revolutionary, specialised skills were devalued and the working man, whose existence depended on the securing of work, faced defeat (Engels & Marx, 1848). The Communist Manifesto called for working men of all nations to unite against the bourgeoisie (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx posited that the bourgeousie’s fall was inevitable, owing to the fact thattheir existence was dependent on the formation of capital, which itself was dependent on wage-labour (Engles & Marx, 1848). Wage-labour relied on competition between the labourers themselves (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx purported that the bourgeoisie’s inevitable promotion of Modern Industry would result in the advance of industry replacing the isolation of the labourers (Engels & Marx, 1848).

Marxist political theory expresses a desire to do away with private property on the grounds that its existence is solely dependent on its non-existence for 90% of the population and also to deprive the bourgeoisie from subjugating the labour of any individual by means of appropriating the products of society (Engels & Marx, 1848). Marx looks to a world in which class distinctions disappear and the proletariats, in becoming the ruling class, sweep away the ’old conditions of production‘and with it ’the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.244). In short, in place of a bourgeois society would exist a society in which the ’free development of each is the condition for the free development of all‘ (Engels & Marx, 1848, p.244).

Certain specifics within and surrounding this text must be appreciated in the appropriate context in order to fully comprehend their relevance and true meaning. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx makes known the fact that the proletariat have only their labour, as this is all they can sell and their only means of survival (Engels & Marx, 1848), presumably this meant that the necessity of obtaining a wage helped to keep the working class under the control of and dependent on bourgeois industry. The true nature of this assertion simply cannot be comprehended without empathising with the working man of Marx’s age, especially in the context of an Englishman living in a democratic society boasting a National Health Service and a Welfare system. Without engaging with the historical context and thinking outside the confines of a modern Western civilisation, we fail to identify the significance and vitality of Marx’s political philosophy. In not acknowledging the desperation of the proletariat, our interpretation of his work lies in jeopardy.

Let us, for a moment, do away with context completely: Let us take out of consideration the facts that Marx was expelled from France and Belgium for his political activism(Singer, 1980) and that the polarisation between proletariats and the bourgeoisie was so stark. Let us forget that this was a desperate period in history, characterised by violent revolutions in a Paris and Berlin, juxtaposed with the actions of an authoritarian Prussian Monarchy who enforced undemocratic restrictions on political expression (Singer, 1980). The resulting perception is surely that Marx’s work is gratuitously tenacious, vitriolic and paranoid. A reading such as this should surely result in a dismissal of his work on behalf of any serious modern political thinker. In short, to dismiss historical context, is to dismiss Marx.

Hobbes and the Leviathan

When turning to the work of Thomas Hobbes, widely considered as one of the founders of political philosophy in Europe, we are confronted with what is believed to be one of the most compelling cases for the importance of a working knowledge of the historical context of a political text. Here, too, we are granted the opportunity to consider even more so the detrimental effect to the interpretation of a political philosophy that a lack of consideration for historical context can lead.

Hobbes is best known for his 1651 work, Leviathan, which was an attempt to provide a complete explanation of ’the matter, form and power of a commonwealth‘ as the document’s subtitle explicates (Hobbes, 1651). He dissented against the Aristotelian view that man tended towards the good and instead believed that humans in their natural state are barbaric and condemned to a short existence (Ryan, 1996). He further disagreed with Aristotle’s assertion that society and politics came naturally to man and that the hierarchies created by man could too be observed in nature. Rather, he asserted that man created society and politics as an artificial means of ensuring universal peace motivated by a fear of death (Ryan, 1996).

Hobbes believed that, rather than being forced in our natural state into contact with one another without an authority to keep us in check, we enter into a social contract in which we covenant with one another to give up our natural rights in the Sovereign’s favour (Ryan, 1996). Hobbes asserted that an absolute authority should be imposed on the society for its own good, preferably a Monarch, to keep humans in awe (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006). The Sovereign’s complete authority over us was, for Hobbes, beneficial to mankind as it was the only alternative to a short and brutish existence, hence man’s willingness to be subservient to such an authority (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006).

In Leviathan, Hobbes established his political philosophy explicitly and clearly, yet the conclusions a modern day reader is likely to draw from a shallow, non-contextualised reading of the work, are deceptively conflicting. For example, Hobbes champions the notion of equality by espousing that every man has an equal right to self-preservation, while simultaneously endorsing the absolute authority of the Sovereign (Hobbes, 1651). Having barely given a moment to address the apparent paradox which has arisen, one be further perplexed to learn that Hobbes, while preaching absolutism, stated that in some circumstances rebellion against this absolute authority could well be desirable (Hobbes, 1651). In the event of simply identifying the sentiments laid bare within Leviathan and taking them at face-value with no effort to apply a knowledge of Hobbes’ historical context, we may be forced to conclude that his political philosophy is problematic at best and at worst, incoherent.

However, if we proceed by applying a little historical context to the text, we are able to discern the information essential to understanding Hobbes’ political philosophy. Hobbes formed his political philosophy at a time of great unrest – during the English Civil War (Oakeshott, 2001). This accounts for his bleak view of human behaviour and his conclusion that humans tend towards warfare and barbarianism. He believed that what he had witnessed was a taste of the ’war of every one against every one’ that would surely ensue if the artificial institution of society was notmaintained, and the social contract of which he spoke not honoured (Hobbes, 1651). He felt that the only way to avoid this barbarianism was in the installation of a Monarch and so chose to endorse this system as opposed to one of violence and barbarianism (Ryan, 1996). In our time, we have infinitely more options in terms of political parties and systems from which to choose but for Hobbes’ era, it was a matter of chaos or the Monarchy.

What, though, of the oxymoronic notion of the right to rebel against absolute authority to which we must surely succumbRespecting this, our conclusion must be that Hobbes encouraged a kind of temporary adherence to absolutism as long as the Monarch was behaving in a manner beneficial to its people and was representing them in the correct, Hobbesian fashion by ensuring political and societal peace. Should the Monarch fail, rebellion may be desirable (Hoelzl & Ward, 2006). We should think of this ’absolutism‘that which Hobbes speaks as a kind of temporary doctrine and functional adjective. In Hobbes’ point of view, it is useful for citizens to behave as if living under an absolute authority, as long as that authority is representative of the people’s needs. This cannot, of course, be considered true absolutism, but rather more of an authoritative tool, and so the contradiction disappears. The doing away with this contradiction, however, is only possible when the historical context is considered. In fact, the only two options as far as Hobbes’ experiences were concerned consisted of absolutism and wanton destruction (Ryan, 1996). Were Hobbes forming his political philosophy today, he may be presented with, or may find conviction in other viable and demonstrable political alternatives such as Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism. However, he lived within the confines of a time in which order had been equated with the Monarchy and chaos had been equated with its opponents (Ryan, 1996).

Conclusion

We have observed, then, two instances in which knowledge of historical context is essential. In the first instance, as evidenced by Marx and Engel’s readings, it was established that knowledge about the work’s historical context is key to the comprehension of a political philosophy. And in the second example, looking at Hobbes’ work show how a lack of contextualisation can cause severe damage to interpretation and mislead the reader into finding discrepancy where there is none – which may result in total misinterpretation of the text. Therefore, it can be concluded that knowledge of historical context is nothing short of essential when attempting to interpret political philosophy in a proper manner.

References:

Carver, T., 1991.Reading Marx: Life and Works. In: T.Carver, ed. 1991. The Cambridge Companion To Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.1.

Engels, F. and Marx, K., 1848.The Communist Manifesto.Translated by S. Moore., 1888. 2nd ed. London: Penguin Books.

Hobbes, T., 1651.Leviathan.3rd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Hoelzl, M. and Ward, G., 2006.Religion and Political Thought.London: Continuum.

Oakenshott, M., 2000.Hobbes on Civil Association.Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

Ryan, A., 1996. Hobbes’s Political Philosophy. In: T. Sorell, ed. 1996. The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.9.

Singer, P., 1980. Marx. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Love and Logic Philosophy

Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) defines love and logic as a philosophy concerned with raising children in such a way that makes both the teachers and students more satisfied and contented, empowered, skilled and able to relate in a mutually beneficial manner that allows for the students to learn in a free environment.  The philosophy ensures that, adults demonstrate enough love to children which in turn makes the children to feel freer and at ease in the learning process.  This is very important to a learning environment. Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) notes that, a learning environment should be devoid of barriers such as noise barrier, communication barriers and also psychological barriers such as the negative relations between teachers and children.

The incidences of disruptive behaviour from school children has been on the increase for the past few decades yet the education system has either been unresponsive to the emerging challenges or the educators and policy makers have been totally aloof to the situation.  This has led to a lot of children dropping out of schools and therefore disrupting their lives.  This has had other far reaching consequences such as that; the children who discontinue studies may end up engaging in criminal activities.  For the teachers, the above trends have led to special challenges in that, the public expects them to deliver oblivious of the unique classroom difficulties. As Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) notes, indiscipline negatively affects the learning environment and therefore an undisciplined class is more likely to perform poorly than a disciplined class.

According to (Cline, & Fay, 1990), America has experienced a significant increase in disruptive behaviour in school going children such as; violence, intolerable behavior, as well as substance misuse.  In a study carried out by (Benson, Galbraith, & Espelland, 1995), it was found out that punishment, does not actually reduce cases of classroom indiscipline but on the contrary, it causes an increase in indiscipline incidences.  All the above led to combined efforts to find a solution for the increasing cases of indiscipline and ultimately resulted in the experimentation of the love and logic philosophy which was rather correctional approach as opposed to a punitive one (Finn, 1989).  The love and logic philosophy holds that, children can succeed in the classroom for as long as the teacher shows compassion, demonstrates tolerance. This leads to the children to connect compassion and love to logical consequences (Finn, 1989).

In a study of 270,000 students carried out by  Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) found out that criminal behaviour, academic failure and substance abuse are easily avoidable by applying the principles of love and logic. Such principles include, supportive and loving family and school environment, a positive relationship between children and adults, high achievement and motivation, good communication between parents and children as well as decision making skills and optimism about the world and the children’s future.  All the above are developmental concerns which a teacher can address in the classroom.

In another study by (Weir, 1997) which involved the implementation of love and logic program in an elementary level, the results overwhelmingly pointed to the effectiveness of the love and logic philosophy.  After implementation teachers were required to give feedback on some variables.  It was reported that, 87% of teachers experienced an improvement in student behavior, 84% noted experiencing improved relationships with students, 68% reported that as a result of the love and logic program, student disruptions had significantly decreased, 71% noted getting time for more teaching as a result of decreased disruptions, while 82% noted that, discipline had improved and they felt that they were in charge of the classroom.

When adults demonstrate love, the children feel less threatened and are therefore more likely to learn in unthreatening environment whereby the children are not afraid of making mistakes (Cline, & Fay, 1990).  Through logic, children are empowered to accept the consequences of their actions as well as decisions and are therefore more likely to cope with consequences arising out of the choices the children make.

According to (Cline, & Fay, 1990), love and logic are a prerequisite for a working relationship amongst teachers, children and parents in which the parents and teachers take control over the children and their actions.  Love and logic are very important to teachers in that, they give the teacher the necessary control needed in classroom environment for learning to take place effectively.  The logic and love philosophy instills in children a sense of responsibility which is crucial especially when it comes to learning activities which teachers assign to children such as assignments and homework.

With a more disciplined class, the teacher is more likely to gain control over the class and therefore become more efficient in delivery of the subject content.  Love and logic, are important for teachers in that, besides passing knowledge, teachers act as caregivers and are mandated to ensure that the students learn life’s skills such as social skills and decision making which are important in bringing up responsible and disciplined children.

This goes a long way in making sure that, when the children come out of school, they do not have difficulties in coping with the outside world.  (Benson, Galbraith, & Espelland, 1995) notes that, logic and love is a good alternative for counselling with the added advantages such as the fact that; logic and love approaches are realistic, simple and easy for the children to learn (Bandura, 1977).  Logic and love has been noted as one of the few philosophies which do not depend on age in that, children of all ages can learn important life skills even at a very tender age.

Therefore teaching using the logic and love approach allows a learner to gain in the maximum way possible due to the usually close ties with the teacher. The teachers as well benefit mutually in that, the self direction the student demonstrates is an empowerment in the classroom and it allows the learner to grow up into better citizen ready to face the future challenges which lie ahead of the students once they leave the classrooms.

Love and logic takes into consideration teacher and student relations by encouraging the two parties to connect easily. By enforcing the concept of self, shared control, shared thinking as well as empathy and consequences, logic and love as a philosophical approach of teaching results into a well rounded child who proceed to the outside world ready to meet the numerous challenges and able are to overcome (Bandura, 1977).

Love and logic, results into a classroom environment in which the culture is that of; self determination, self dedication, self discipline as well as self empowerment for the children.  On the other side, the teachers are able to execute their professional duties with zeal and in total confidence that the objectives and goals of learning will be achieved.

Conclusion

Love and logic philosophy is grounded in the belief that every child has positive traits and has the potential to grow and develop into useful and resourceful members of the society.  The children learn in a non-confrontational environment and are able to relate well to the teacher.  It saves time which otherwise goes into solving indiscipline cases.

For the school, logic and love saves valuable time and it is easy for the school to improve on performance.  Love and logic is a very effective approach in dealing with disruptive students who threaten the smooth learning in the classroom.  When such children are shown love, care, concern and patience, they easily transform and are capable of reforming and are very likely to become some of the best and cooperative students in the classroom.

Reference

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice-Hall.

Benson, P, Galbraith, J, & Espelland, P. (1995). What kids need to succeed: Proven, practical

ways to raise good kids? Minneapolis, MN. Free Spirit Publishing.

Cline, F & Fay, J (1990). Parenting with love and logic. Colorado Springs, CO: Pirion Press.

Finn, J (1989).  Withdrawing from school. Review of educational research, 59.

Weir, B (1997). An evaluation of the effects of love and logic at McCullough Elementary School.

Unpublished outcome study.

 

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Mind or Body Philosophy Paper

Alexandra Williams Philosophy 1100 The Mind and/or Body Argument For thousands of years philosophers have acknowledged a boundary between or physical selves and our mental selves. However with the passing of time and the advancements of science whether we are governed by our minds or just our bodies has been debated more and more. There are a long line of ancient thinkers who contemplated the mind-body relationship issue starting with Plato and Aristotle (Waller, 2011). Without knowing what we are run by we can never truly reach our full potential because we may be limited by our physical or mental selves.

The mind or body argument consists of arguments for the existence of only the mind, the body, and a combination of the two. Many philosophers put faith in the idea that our bodies are separate entities than our minds. Because they are absolutely certain that we do think they feel they can be sure that we are our minds. Bodies just happen to be our anchors and we can surely live without them. Rene Descartes once stated “I exist as a thinking thing. What then is it that I am? A thinking thing. What is a thinking thing?

Is it a thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, wills, abstains from willing, that also can be aware of images and sensations? … It is certain that I am truly distinct from my body, and I can exist without it. ” (Dr. Bob Zunjic, University of Rhode Island). The idea of our existence truly being only our minds we could very well leave our own bodies and without needing to feed our bodies or be weighed down by the frailty of them who knows how long we could live or how much we could learn?

While materialist believe that everything is made of matter Aristotle had an argument against this “if the intellect were material then it could not receive all of the forms. If the intellect were a specific material organ (or part of one) then it would be restricted to receiving only certain kinds of information, as the eye is restricted to receiving visual data and the ear is restricted to receiving auditory data. Since the intellect is capable of receiving and reflecting on all forms of data, then it must not be a physical organ and, hence, it must be immaterial” (Waller, 2011).

While many philosophers believe that the mind is the ultimate power house others believe that the body is. For the last hundred years or so materialism has been the dominant theory in metaphysics. With the rapid advances of science the ideas that our existence is merely physical have been more prominent. Materialism or physicalism is the idea that everything that exists is no more extensive than it’s physical properties, meaning that there is nothing that exists that isn’t tangible.

Because scientists have been able to explain things that many accounted to the work of a higher power before many have come to believe that existence is simpler to explain than it was previously. The idea of Ockham’s razor is used to argue against arguments of the mind. Ockham’s razor basically says that simple explanations are typically the best (Waller,2011). Why try to argue that God made the planets orbit the earth with no proof when it is easier to say and prove that all planets revolve around the sun? Materialists believe that we can only be sure of the things that we can touch or see so there is only one substance in the world: matter.

Many people have an issue with materialism and the argument of body over mind however because it leads to moral issues. If the only things that exist are physical, things that we can see, touch, etc. then how can there be religion? We cannot see God therefore, in a materialist’s opinion, he cannot exist. There are obviously philosophers that believe in both mind by itself or matter by itself, but there are those who believe in a combination of the two as well. While some philosophers choose to believe that either the mind or the body is superior to the other many philosophers believe that both mind and body are what we are made of.

According to Bertrand Russell “the stuff of which the world of our experience is composed is, in my belief, neither mind nor matter, but something more primitive than either. Both mind and matter seem to be composite, and the stuff of which they are compounded lies in a sense between the two, in a sense above them both, like a common ancestor. ” (The Analysis of Mind, 1921) To philosophers who believe this, beings are a combination of their physical and mental actions and abilities.

Rene Descartes is closely associated with the idea of dualism, which is the idea that mental occurrences are non-physical and that the mind and the body are distinct. He associated the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and differentiated it from the physical brain of a person. Descartes is known as the first philosopher to note the difference between the mind and body. Dualists make their points with such examples as when they body is injured it causes pain to the mind and that at times, even when they body is hurt the mind postpones pain in the form of shock.

If the body or the mind simply existed by themselves then we wouldn’t feel pain because it’s a physical action with a mental response. You need both in the equation to get pain as the result. Dualism also has an advantage because it is consistent with our experiences. When we have ideas or feelings we don’t think of them in concepts of size, weight, color, shaper, etc. We think of them in terms of good, bad, wise, immature, or otherwise. It also helps explain certain things like human abilities. Things like the ideas of freedom, morality, ethics, and other things that make us discernibly human.

Now on top of dualism, Descartes proposed a theory called interactionism, believing that the body and the mind had an actual point where one began and the other ended. He believed it to be where the pineal gland is because at the time they didn’t know what it did. However with the explanation of the pineal gland’s real purpose came the expulsion of interactionism (Waller, 2011). Also dualism came under skepticism because of it’s tendency to be a more complex explanation of things than was needed. Metaphysical issues such as the mind or body dispute are one of the most debated subjects in the philosophical world.

So many great minds have been stumped by this issue. To label existence as purely physical means the dismissal of the idea of a higher power. To say that life is purely mental fails to explain how radically different realities interact, such as sensations like pain. Even the idea that both interact together can be challenged because there is no way to fully explain how the two connect and are translated into each other. Sadly this is a question unlikely to have a solution ever, or at least no time in the near future.

This can almost be frightening because until we have an answer to these inquiries we won’t be able to truly know ourselves or the things around us. In agreement with Thomas Nagel ”What is needed is something we do not have: a theory of conscious organisms as physical systems composed of chemical elements and occupying space, which also have an individual perspective on the world, and in some cases a capacity for self-awareness as well. In some way that we do not now understand, our minds as well as our bodies come into being when these materials are suitably combined and organized.

The strange truth seems to be that certain complex, biologically generated physical systems, of which each of us is an example, have rich non-physical properties. An integrated theory of reality must account for this, and I believe that if and when it arrives, probably not for centuries, it will alter our conception of the universe as radically as anything has to date. ”(The View From Nowhere, 1989). Works Cited Nagel, Thomas. The View From Nowhere. N. p. : n. p. , 1989. Print. Waller, Bruce N. Consider Philosophy. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. , 2011. Print. Zunjic, Bob. University of Rhode Island. N. p. , n. d. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.

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My Philosophy of Education Summary

In most of today’s classrooms we the students are seated in rows of desks. We are forced to sit and listen to the teacher, be it in biology, math, English, and memorize line after line of information. We are “receptacles” to be “filled” by the teachers. We have attained “knowledge” as an absolute if we complete the course with a %100. As society is seeing today, students being given the stamp of approval aren’t really ready to enter today’s world. If you’re going to school to be a biologist, it isn’t just enough to know that water enters and exits the cell through a process called osmosis. You need to know why! You need to be able to see all of this information on a much broader scope than it has been presented to you. Students need to be taught to absorb this knowledge rather than to memorize it. The main problem of today’s educational system is that it most of the times does not teach how to think critically. I propose a system of education in which teachers are not just depositing information in students, in which students are not just passive observers in an active world and in which knowledge is not just an absolute.

The first thing that needs to be done to achieve my system (philosophy) of education is to change the way teachers are teaching all together. How many times do students talking amongst themselves outside the classroom about how good their teachers are. They go to class and interact with one teacher, and are taught everything from that one teacher’s perspective. In order to give the students a much broader perspective, two or maybe even three teachers, depending on the subject, should be placed in a class room. Each teacher would then present the information to the class. The students would then have a much broader spectrum of information to learn from. I am not implying that these teachers should tag-team forcing information down the student’s throat, but take different approaches in helping them absorb the information through problem posing. The teachers are not placed in this system to stand high up on their pedestals throwing assignments at the students, but are to be working hand in hand with them. They would be learning from the students almost as much as they would be teaching them.

In an educational environment such as this one, the students should be able to stand in the teachers place and teach the teachers and their fellow students as well. The students are active participants here. They should be learning as much from their peers as their teachers, if not more. This system could create a lot more “work” for the students, but not as much of the “busy work” we receive, and tire of, today. For example, students could be asked to do reflective writings, in which they would share what they have learned in the lessons. Student lead discussions would also take up a large portion of the time in these classroom environments. What better test of one’s knowledge than being put in a position where you are required to teach your fellow student? After each session both the student and the teach will go home feeling not stuffed with information, but a new view on some things that they would ponder as they head out into the rest of their daily routines.

The basis of this system isn’t what the teachers are teaching, or what the students are learning. It is how we perceive this thing we call knowledge. In this world knowledge isn’t something tangible. It is not viewed as an absolute. Knowledge is an ongoing process that will never have a climax or an end. It is something that will continue to grow and change through the timeline of our people. Knowledge is not what the students are learning, or what the teachers are teaching. It is the process of self-discovery. A teacher could tell a student that when you mix chemical A and chemical B they make chemical C. That isn’t the knowledge. The student can then actually mix chemical A and chemical B and watch them make chemical C. That isn’t knowledge. Knowledge is that individual’s learning of how those to things interact and why when they mix they form chemical C. Knowledge is the process of education through self-discovery.

This system I have shown you would change the way education is viewed in this world. If we had teachers that actually “taught”, and students that questioned the answers they were given, we’d be much better off as a whole. If we keep going the way we’re going… where are all the creative minds going to be coming from in the next few years? If students continue saying that A + B = C, what are we going to do when the world poses us more complex problems that require ingenuity, creativity and drive to solve? We just need to understand that knowledge is not just some gold star, or trophy each of us can achieve, but a method of learning and understanding that our society needs t

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My Personal Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

Belief Statement

The home and the early childhood education center happen to be the most important places for the socialization of the child.  As a matter fact, both the home and the early childhood education center are responsible for developing the child – a complete individual.  The child represents the future of my nation and the world at large.  What I want children to be is therefore identical to my vision of an ideal society.  As an early childhood educator, I want to provide the best possible education for my students so they would create the ideal society we all have collectively envisioned.

Philosophical Statement

All students are capable of learning.  Even so, every child is an individual with learning needs that differ from the needs of his or her peers.  As an early childhood educator it is important to me to teach children with respect to their developmental stage.  At the same time, however, I do not overlook the fact that some of my students could be slower than the rest, while a few may even be gifted.  Nonetheless I would like all my students to get to love learning as much as I do.  For this reason I believe that educators must continue to conduct research on the art and science of teaching, and develop themselves so as to help their students learn as effectively as possible.

I further believe that hands-on learning in early childhood education centers is crucial to the development of children.  Human beings learn by doing.  All the same, certain children seem to need more time to reflect on the activities that are assigned in the classroom.  I do not discourage individuality in the classroom, even as I realize that hands-on activities help most students with their social and linguistic skills.

In my classroom there are 28 students and the room is not big enough to accommodate center areas.  However, we have made adjustments.  Centers are done at their tables.  Every day, each table does a new center.  (I create 5 per week).  I also have other activities for my students, such as white boards, phonics puzzles, ABC’s on cookie sheets, and activities that are exclusively available in dishpans that we refer to as buckets.  When students are done with assigned activities, they get a bucket and find a spot on the floor.  It seems to be working well, as they are learning.

I additionally trust the fact that young students need to learn by watching.  I model for my students before we can practice together, after which they complete the activities on their own.  It amazes me how quickly most children are able to learn by watching.  Moreover, it empowers me as an early childhood educator seeing as I am able to influence their thinking in profound ways.  This is the very reason why ethics play a vital role in early childhood education.  Indeed, the early childhood educator must be careful to teach the young only that which he or she would like to experience in the outside world.

Raw minds of little children must be nurtured with great gentleness and care.  I consider this a significant issue to discuss with the parents of my students.  After all, early childhood education cannot be complete without the environment that the child is exposed to outside the classroom.  Thus, I am confident that the advice and support of parents helps to make early childhood education more effective.

 

 

 

 

 

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Philosophy Life Examination

My Life Examination First of all, my previous essay was a part of my life examination. I am glad you caught me on plagiarizing because now I really know that you read all of our essays. Unfortunately a few of my classmates and I did have doubts about it. Also, I feel like I can argue a lot for plagiarizing, but that is not what this assignment is about. Even though I agree with Sergey Trufanov’s ideas about life in general, I do not feel like I can explore them further and simply reciting them would also be considered as plagiarism.

But I do have my own conclusions about life examination, disappointments, and death. I cannot say that I am a philosopher, just like I cannot say that I can speak English. In order to claim that, a person needs to be comfortable using his tools to be considered a professional, which unfortunately, I am not, but I do believe that my ideas deserve to exist and to be explored in philosophical ways. Life examination. To examine life you need to test it, challenge it. Everyone knows that you won’t know till you try, but for some reason not everyone does it.

In my opinion it is better to do something and regret it than not do anything and regret not even trying. It refers even to the smallest things, like a new flavor of ice-cream. How would you know that you do not like it unless you taste it? Trying things is the only way to figure them out. I have so much of personal experience about trying new things, and it proved itself every single time. Like when I came to United States five years ago; I did not speak a word of English, I did not know how to drive, I was scared beyond belief, but trying new things got me to where I am.

It is okay to be scared, but it is not okay not to challenge your fears and examine life in every way possible with everything that raises questions. Here I agree with Socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living. ” Disappointments. Disappointments are worthless. They are based on our expectations of results. If you do not want to be disappointed, stop waiting for things and people to meet your expectations. We all are our own people. We do not live to please everyone around us. Why expect everyone around me to please me, if I am not doing it for everyone else?

Why expect a sunny day and get disappointed if it rains? I am not the center of the universe, so why should it be sunny for me? We are causing things to upset us and at the same time we are blaming everyone and everything else. Of course people are selfish, it is just a human nature, but if we are selfish, why do we let things ruin our lives simply by expecting good things to happen? Everyone is trying to do whatever makes them happy and feels good. Why get disappointed if it upsets us. People are so controversial. Death.

I agree with Arthur Schopenhauer on the subject of death. Crying for dead is like crying for someone who was never born. Why we are so scared of death? We all know that we are going to die, so I believe that being ready for it is more important than being scared of it. But how can we be ready? Well, examining life to its fullest would do the trick. Doing new things, answering questions, exploring the unknown, all of that makes death just one of the projects. Possibly one the last ones, but we do not know, till we try.

We are scared of death because we do not know what is waiting for us after we leave this world and this life. But exploring everything here and now makes it easier and simpler to move on and accept the fact that we are done. Thinking that after we die the world will not be the same is just another example of human selfishness. How many people have died before us? How many will die after? And the universe is still here, it is still growing, it is still alive. One death is just one drop in the ocean; it will not change the world.

And Schopenhauer’s quote “Matter, which now lies before you as dust and ashes now, dissolved in water, will settle as crystal, will shine in a metal, scatter electric sparks in a galvanic voltage show the power, that by expanding the strongest connection, turn the earth mass into metal; and not only that: by itself it will embody in plant and animal, from its mysterious womb will produce the very life, the loss of which you are so afraid of in your narrow-mindedness” shows that we never die completely, therefore being afraid of death thinking that without us the world will not be the same is very much silly.

As you can see, in this essay I did not use any philosophical terms, but this is My Life Examination, in my life I do not use terms, I use simple language because like Einstein said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. ”

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Moral Philosophy

In my opinion, David Hume’s moral philosophy is the best suited for business and decision-making process because it proclaims the principles justice, charity, benevolence, and patience. Moreover, Hume argues that ethics should play important role in decision-making process as it gives thinkers an opportunity to make such a decision won’t oppose anybody’s suggestions or preferences.

He says that moral agent is motivated by character traits which nature is either virtuous or vicious. If a person is willing to donate money or things for charity, his actions are motivated by virtuous traits. In business decision-making, he notes, such traits should be natural and instinctive, and only in such person will make really ethical decisions. Hume’s moral philosophy is distinct and exact. (Fieser 2006)

For example, Hume clearly divides qualities into virtuous and vice. The natural virtues are meekness, generosity, charity and benevolence, whereas artificial or vice virtues are chastity, greediness, dishonesty, and keeping promises. It seems that Hume places qualities needed for a well-ordered states as artificial. I think that in such a way he wants to show that business and decision-making should natural and instinctive.

Agents are provided with psychological roles, though in certain situation a person may refer to more than entrusted role. (Fieser 2006) David Hume concludes that there are four categories of qualities necessary for moral business running and decision-making:

1.      Qualities useful for others: charity, fidelity, meekness, and benevolence;

2.      Qualities useful for oneself: patience and perseverance;

3.      Qualities agreeable to others: cleanliness, eloquence, and wit;

4.      Qualities agreeable to oneself: pride, humor, and self-esteem.

Actually, David Hume discusses all the qualities which are considered the core of adequate business running. It is necessary to mention that to make really ethical decision means to use trained sensitivity to ethical issues. (Fieser 2006)

References

Fieser, Jame. (2006). Hume’s Moral Theory. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/h/humemora.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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Moral Philosophy

I think that moral philosophy of Jeremy Bentham is the best suited for business and decision-making. Bentham’s philosophy is based on three principles of the greatest happiness, universal egoism and artificial identification of one’s interests. His philosophy is also referred to as utilitarianism. For example, Bentham argues: “By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question: or, what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness”.

I think that in our tough and often hostile business environment it is better to be universal egoism because in such a way you remain strong and steadfast defending your positions at the market place. The principle of greatest happiness can be interpreted in the way that company’s success makes leadership happy. Actually, Bentham philosophy is rational and logical, therefore, it is the best suited for our rational world. Bentham emphasizes the usefulness of things and actions meaning that everything should have its own place and purpose because it will lead to general happiness.

Bentham approach is naturalistic as he promotes universal hedonism. He assumes that the primary motivators are pleasure and pain. The same is in business – when pain is felt, leadership and team do their best to cure the pain. Bentham also argues that humans are always seeking for the greatest happiness because their interests are interrelated with interests of other humans. Bentham’s moral philosophy held the advantage as the principle of utility is very popular. Compared to other principles, the principle of utility is very velar and enables decisions to be made where there is a need to solve the conflict of legitimate interests. Bentham’s philosophy is a fundamental commitment to human equality. Bentham’s principle of utility suggests that “one man is worth just the same as another man”.

References

Jeremy Bentham. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/b/bentham.htm#H4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moral philosophy

In the film entitled ‘Liar Liar’ scripted by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur, there several charaters who feature. These include such people as Fletcher Reede’s acting as Jimmy Carey, Justin cooper acting as Max, Maura Tierney as Reed’s estranged wife, and Jenniffer Tilly among others (www.totalfilm.com ).

The movie is about smooth-talking attorney and habitual liar, manipulating his way to the helm of his job a local law company through winning great challenging cases. In the course of the film we find his son celebrating his fifth birthday. The son is seen at one time trying to encourage his father to lies.   This is because it is portrayed that this main character has lived and earned his career through lies.

It is not clear whether that he will be able to win a case involving a character by the name Samantha Cole whose cases is on infidelity. The main character is also faced with the challenge of stopping his ex-wife taking his son to live with her in Boston. Through the application of lies Carrey survives in his career without the web of lies on which his career depends.

In the movie Liar Liar, though clouded in comic laughter, there are several incidences whereby some acts are portrayed as immoral. The main character in this film in his endeavors to push his career up, he did some things which proved to be immoral. He pursued his cases based on a web of lies which worked wonders for. Though to him this was a success the acts were in themselves immoral.

Based on Kant’s moral philosophy which states that an action is immoral not by virtue of its consequences but by the actual intentions of the actions. Kant further argued that moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality which he describes as “Categorical Imperative” (CI). In this case immorality will entail a violation of the categorical imperative and is therefore not rational (http://www.uchile.cl/bioetica/doc/honesty.htm).

To be straight to the point, it is clear that we are commanded to exercise our wills in a particular manner and not to do some actions or others. It is therefore categorical in the course of applying to us unreservedly, or merely because we possesses rational wills. This is true because without indication to any ends that we might or might not have (http://www.uchile.cl/bioetica/doc/honesty.htm).

Like his predecessors, Kant argues that moral requirements are based on standards of rationality which are either desire-based instrumental principles of rationality or based on pother rational intuitions.

According to the film the main character acts against his duty of being honest to his clients and the public. This is against his duty to which he is called to. According to Kant, this is the only moral motive. In order to act morally people should to what is right guided by a sense of duty (www.answerbag.co.uk/q_view/398707).

To conclude the movie gives us a picture of how people behave during their day to day life. During such times they go about doing things which to them are perceived as moral yet in actual sense do not constitute morality. The philosopher in this case i.e. Kant gives the true picture of what is moral and not moral.

Works cited

Truth and true professional, available at:

 http://www.uchile.cl/bioetica/doc/honesty.htm, assessed on April 6, 2008

Kant: the moral order, available at:

http://www.uchile.cl/bioetica/doc/honesty.htm, assessed on April 6, 2008

What is the basis of your moral philosophy?, available at:

www.answerbag.co.uk/q_view/398707 – 65k – assessed on April 6, 2008

Liar Liar – film review, available at:

www.totalfilm.com, assessed on April 6, 2008

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Moral and Social Philosophy

Moral philosophy is focused on the habits, customs, and values of a certain individual (Wikipedia, 2007). It has the following sub-categories: meta-ethics; normative ethics; as well as, applied ethics (Wikipedia, 2007).

One of the major contributors of this school of thought is Immanuel Kant who said that “deontology” holds that an act is considered to be right if it goes with the moral rule or principle (Ethical.., 2001). For example, parents will have to decide whether or not to have their children immunized. Since it is required by the law then the parents will have to allow their children to be immunized; it is the right thing to do because it goes along with the moral rule or principle (Ethical.., 2007).

Social Philosophy

Social philosophy is technically defined as a study which addresses dilemmas concerning social/human behaviors (Wikipedia, 2007). It covers the following areas: effects of culture, effects of science, revolution, social contract, etc (Wikipedia, 2007). Simply put, social philosophy concerns itself with moral principles as applied to problems of equality, freedom, as well as, justice (Wikipedia, 2007).

One of the major contributors of social philosophy is John Locke who stated that: men are equal, free, as well as independent; thus, they possess the faculty of reason, which gives them the right to preserve their property including their life, liberty, as well as, estates (Bennagen, 2000).

In addition to that, he believes that the state of nature is one that is in a state of perfect equality, freedom, liberty, and rationality but it is possible to turn into a state of war especially in cases where there exists the absence of a common judge (Bennagen, 2000). Thus, for him, entering into social contract is necessitated so as not to go through anything that is similar to the state of war (Bennagen, 2000). Last but not least, he also believes that the people have the right to resist a government that tyrannical in nature (Bennagen, 2000).

Subjectivism

Subjectivism is the act of making moral judgments, however, based on an individual’s emotion (Ethics.., n.d.). For example, in judging if something is “nice”, an individual has to have a positive emotions about it otherwise it should not be labeled or declared as something “nice” (Ethics.., n.d.).

Advocates of subjectivism claim that since moral judgments are decided upon subjectively or basing on emotions, then individuals are fully rational during such a period (Ethics.., n.d.).

The major problem with subjectivism, however, is that, since it is based on emotions, the person may all the more arrive at wrong decisions or judgments, for example, dating a nice and handsome young but married man may feel nice but that doesn’t mean it is moral to do so (Ethics.., n.d.).

One kind of subjectivism is known as metaphysical subjectivism and one of the major contributors of the aforementioned school of thought is Descartes (Wikipedia, 2007).

Egoism

Ethical egoism or simply egoism is doing something to fulfill an individual’s own interest whether it may be good or harmful to other people (Wikipedia, 2007). Egoism does not take into consideration the well-being of others nor does it do anything to be of assistance or help to others (Wikipedia, 2007).

One of the contributors of this particular school of thought is Thomas Hobbes who advocated that self-interests should be pursued and practiced so that freedom may be equal to everybody (Wikipedia, 2007). He also believes that even if there is self-interest, it is impossible that an individual may be harmed because humans are typically the same when it comes to their wants and needs (Wikipedia, 2007).

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics is where Aristotle’s moral theory is taken into consideration (Ethical.., 2001). Here, it is said that “an act is right if it is what a virtuous agent would do in the circumstances” (Ethical.., 2001). Let’s take for instance, the case on immunization, currently, there is a dilemma with regards to having every child immunized before going to school, utilizing virtue ethics in critical thinking, parents may decide that they will allow their children to be immunized because it is not only good for their children, but it will benefit all the others as well (Ethical.., 2001).

Ethical Relativism

Ethical relativism is where social, personal, historical, as well as, cultural considerations are the basis of one’s judgment or decision (Wikipedia, 2007).

A contributor to this school of thought named Jean-Paul Sartre in fact claims that somebody’s morals, if any, will be proven only if the person follows certain social norms (Wikipedia, 2007).

Utilitarianism

John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism is built on the concept or principles of utility, which he believes is the foundation of morals (Bennagen, 2000). It holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness (Bennagen, 2000). Happiness, according to John Stuart Mill, is equated to pleasure and the absence of pain, while unhappiness, for him, refers to pain and the privation of pleasure (Bennagen, 2000).

Categorical Imperative

This rationally dictates a course of action independent of whatever goals the agent

may have (Encarta, 2007). By this, Immanuel Kant also meant that the moral law is categorical or that it applies to all situations, and by imperative, he meant, it is commanding, thus making it absolutely authoritative (Gaarder, 1991).

Immanuel Kant stated the Categorical Imperative in two key formulations: 1) Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a general natural law (Encarta, 2007), meaning, that it should apply to all people in all societies at all times (Gaarder, 1991); and 2) Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only (Encarta, 2007). By this statement, he meant, we should not exploit others to our own advantage (Gaarder, 1991).

References

Bennagen, Pia. (2000). Social, Economic and Political Thought. Quezon City: University

of the Philippines Press.

Encarta. (2005). Immanuel Kant. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from http://www.encarta.com.

Ethical Theories Compared. (2001). Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://www.trinity.edu.

Ethics 02 – Subjectivism. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://www.jcu.edu/philosophy/gensler/et/et-02-00.htm

Gaarder, Jostein. (1991). Sophie’s World. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc.,

Wikipedia. (2007). Cogito Ergo Sum. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_Ergo_Sum

Wikipedia. (2007). Egoism. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_egoism

Wikipedia. (2007). Ethical Relativism. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_relativism

Wikipedia. (2007). Moral Philosophy. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_philosophy

Wikipedia. (2007). Social Philosophy. Retrieved May 26, 2007 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_philosophy

 

 

 

 

 

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Philosophy of Nursing

Personal Values and Philosophy of Nursing A nurse has to be able to integrate multiple aspects of care in order to build a healthy atmosphere fit for their patients. In order to do this, a nurse must have a strong understanding of their personal philosophy of nursing will all metaparadigm components of person, environment, health and nursing. Without one of these, I believe a nurse will not be able to give their very best to their patient. According to EdD Anne Bishop (1997), nursing is “at all times an artful practice and applied science that are integrally woven into the fabric of the practice of caring” (p. ). This statement about the components of nursing I agree with. I believe that nursing is not singly a science, practice or art, but it is a combination of all three. Nursing is part of the medical field; its science is knowledge that’s attained through research, development and analysis. With regards to art, nurses must be creative with their knowledge of caring for patients. Every patient’s case is different and not always “a text book case” so nurses have to be ready and resourceful with thinking of solutions. The main focus of a nurse’s practice is caring.

It involves concern and empathy, and a commitment to the client’s lived experience of human health and the relationships among wellness, illness, and disease (Mitchell, 2000). I believe that one day when I become a nurse, to do my job and duties for my patients I must efficiently combine practice, art and science of nursing. Health is a very broad topic involving many different aspects of nursing. Health is defined as a state of wellbeing, in which, one has the ability to function and take care of themselves independently while free from stress and illness (McEwen, 2010).

This statement is very important because it is the whole reason why a nurse has their job. If there were no sick people then there would be no need for nurses. Nurses deal with patients that have some sort of an illness; it can be acute or chronic. Patients trust nurses in their time of need. All the sick patient wants is to get better, whether it is a virus or a deadly disease. The nurse is there to help improve the quality of life of their patients, which could be completely healing them or even just getting rid of the pain.

As nurses we must keep in mind the degrees of health can vary from patient to patient and we must always be good supporters no matter what the circumstances. Having a healthy work environment is vital in the medical field and working as a nurse. It is imperative for the health of, not only the patient, but also the nurse and the recruitment and retention of new nurses. Mark Alderson (2006), a nurse from University of New Hampshire, states that “the environment is both internal and external” (p. 1). This concept I feel to be very true.

The internal environment incorporates factors like biological, spiritual, physiological and cultural. This part of the environment helps construct the person’s beliefs and views on the world that assists in making decisions. This can go for the patient and the nurse. When looking at the psychological aspects of treating patients, the nurse must be aware of the environment because it can alter behavior, responses and healing. On the other hand, the external environment includes social, cultural and community circumstances. An example for this is how the nurse is responsible for treating all patients the same.

No matter what background the patient comes from, the nurse has a responsibility to create an environment that is the same for every person they come across. Persons are not only the individuals that are being treated for an illness but also the families and communities. I believe that the patients are strongly tied to their family and people that surround them. A lot of the time patients need the support and love of the people around them in order to get through whatever they are going through. As a nurse, you may need to coach a parent on how to help their child get through a traumatic injury.

Yes the patient is your main concern, but you are also there for the entire network of support. For me I do not know exactly what area I want to specialize in, all I know is I want to be a nurse. I want to help people when they are most vulnerable. I value the relationship a nurse has with a patient, how trust is put on the nurse and it is the nurse’s responsibility to honor that trust and help them to their best of their abilities. I do know I want to start in the emergency room because this is when people need direct care for an immediate injury or concern.

I would be able to be there for the patient in their time of need. References Alderson, M. (2006). Nursing Metaparadigm. Retrieved November 20, 2012, from http://msrn. wordpress. com/nursing-metaparadigm/ Bishop, A. H. (1997). Nursing as a Practice Rather Than an Art or a Science. McEwen, M. (2010). Nursing Philosophy. Retrieved November 20, 2012, from http://kweller99. wordpress. com/nursing-philosophy/ Mitchell, S. (2000). Metaparadigm Concepts. Retrieved November 20, 2012, from http://nursing. pages. tcnj. edu/about/mission-philosophy/metaparadigm-concepts/

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Mission and philosophy of an organization

1. The “mission statement describes an organization’s basic purpose, while the vision is a short, succinct, and inspiring statement of what the organization intends to become and to achieve at some point in the future, often stated in competitive terms” (Hannagan, 1998, pp. 125-26). Our organizational mission echoed a commitment of somewhat a wholisitic health care service as it includes the healing not of the body only but of the mind and spirit. It transcends beyond the usual kind of service provided by other healthcare professionals and organizations. The commitment of healing the spirit is beyond the realm of professional knowledge and experience of health care professionals and providers. Health care providers may be of help in healing the spirit of the patient but cannot directly provide the service and the process.

The vision statement on the other hand does not support this purpose of the organization evident by its emphasis on compassionate and excellent service – skills which can be learned and developed by most health care professionals through proper professional training and schooling. The vision statement anchored its commitment on the core competencies and professional capabilities of the people in the organization.

On the aspect of the similarities of the mission and vision statements, both echoed a commitment to serve the community. Both echoed a quality of healthcare service that is anchored on commitment and cooperation. The mission and vision statement also reflected the unity of the people in the organization to serve the community and its patients. Also, both the mission and vision statement further showed the failure to recognize the contribution and importance of the people in the organization in relation to the attainment of the mission and vision of the company.

The organizational mission statement is just merely descriptive of what the community can expect from the health care service of the organization, thus it does not function to inspire or guide the people in the organization. The vision statement too does not reflect something that would inspire and make people look forward to their future in the organization. Both failed to really articulate a statement according to its intended purpose.

2. The mission and vision statement has influenced my practice as a nurse as it raised my awareness of the goal of the organization to deliver compassionate and excellent health care service to help improve the health of the community. The mission statement made me realized that our responsibility of healing is not just on the physical aspect of the patient but including the mental and spiritual aspects of the patient in order that we can help improve our community’s health. Guided by these goals, I was able to view responsibilities to my patient beyond their physical aspect, however, it also made me concerned if I could be of help in restoring the soundness of the spirit of the person.

I may have all the professional training and knowledge in my job but this does not guarantee that if applied it can also help heal the spirit of the patient. This goal put me into quandary on the ethical considerations if faced with a situation where my own personal beliefs might interfere in the healing process of the spirit of the person. The process of helping heal the spirit of the patient might make me subjective rather than objective in my job.  Also, as an employee both the mission and vision statement negatively impacted on my view of my future in the organization because both do not reflect organizational aspirations for the people which I considered very important..

I am aware of my responsibility to the community and to the organization I am serving, but the organization should also be aware of the needs and aspirations of the people who will make the organization mission and vision possible. The content of the mission and vision statements of the organization must inspire and guide people.

3. Our organization’s vision (philosophy) statement falls short on some important aspect of its function. Accordingly, the vision of the organization refers to the category of intentions that are broad, all-intrusive and forward-thinking. The organizational vision statement describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends. Our organization’s vision does not clearly reflect and define the future to stimulate.

Our organizational vision defined the character and identity of the people in the organization however, the way the organizational vision is stated does not reflect on what the organization aspires to become, to achieve, to create – something that will require significant change that will challenge people to attain progress and professional advancement. It does not provide encouragement to grow with the organization. The organizational vision only state the present being and identity but it does not so much reflect where it is going to be in the next years to come.

A dynamic organization should reflect aspirations to improve and change according to the demands of the ever-changing environment. Above all, the organizational vision should also be consistent with the organizational mission as the latter dictates the courses of action in the organization while the former identifies the strategies to take to attain the organization’s purpose (mission).

4.  My suggestion is to state the mission and vision statement in a manner consistent with each other and should reflect on the core competencies of the organization and the people in the organization. On this manner the people in the organization will be able to really deliver a quality of service that shows highest degree of professionalism, compassion, and excellence.

The organization can also strengthen its competitive edge by capitalizing on the professional skills and competencies of its people. Through this approach a brand of service that is second to none in professionalism, integrity, dignity and excellence will be achieved and people are likewise provided the opportunity to apply their skills and fullest potential to the organization and the community.

Reference List

Hannagan, T. (2000). Management: Concepts and practices (2nd ed). Great Britain: Pearson

Education Limited.

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On philosophy

Virginia Held, in her article Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory, claims that the historical groundings of the precepts of philosophy, including the sets of ethical theories and positions, and philosophy in general have been erected from the viewpoints of men and that the ideas involved are not entirely “gender-neutral” as they appear to claim themselves (Held). One can observe that throughout the stretch of the time that encompassed the early stages of philosophy up to the time of the industrial revolution and the onset of the age of globalization, men have dominated the field of philosophy.

Women in the past societies in particular were given very minimal role in social activities and endeavors inasmuch as most of these women were simply confined to their homes and their tasks were greatly deprived of social participation (Claassen and Joyce). This observation leads us to the assumption that, because of these deterring factors on the very presence of women in the society, women have also played very little part in the development of philosophy in general and the number of philosophical discussions all-over the world. The rise of feminism alongside and the shift in the patriarchal patterns that loomed over societies, however, have appeared to dissolve one by one the barriers that isolate women from having a part in the philosophical plane.

One can further analyze that Virginia appears to argue that what the philosophy we know of today is the product of the past philosophizing done in large part by men. Richard Brandt, for this matter, has principally endorsed in some of his works the idea of overcoming bias and prejudice in the very precepts of morality (Stevenson). This observation appears to relieve Brandt of the accusations hurled by Virginia towards the evolution of philosophy throughout the decades that humanity has dwelled on its rough, intricate, and oftentimes bewildering edges.

Brandt argues that passion should not be allowed to intervene whenever we are to delve into matters that concern morality for it blurs the capacity of our reason and thinking on equally significant moral issues (Brandt). If this is the case, indeed Brandt may have already swung himself off the reaches of Virginia’s accusations with regards to traditional philosophy for the reason that traditional philosophy has been seen to be relished with all sorts of manly traces. The suggestion being offered by Brandt is one that relieves philosophy of any bias towards a specific gender in any working context, one that seeks to salvage the philosophy we know today from the dregs of traditional philosophy.

However, there remains the contention that even if Brandt is arguing for an objective quest, at least in terms of the moral precepts and moral traditions that humanity has strongly held through time, the very fact that Brandt sees his world from a man’s point of view can be a point of contention. This taunts one to pose questions of uncertainty and credibility with regards to his claim of a rationalizing empty of passion and bias. If Virginia Held is aptly precise and right with her argument, it appears, then, that Brandt’s perception on philosophy and that of morality is not thoroughly empty of bias for the reason that the latter sees the world from the understanding and vision of man whereas women might have a differing view with regards to what they know of about the world they both live in.

This leads us to the assumption that, granted Virginia’s arguments are strongly founded, Brandt’s ideas and the rest of his arguments cannot entirely be empty of bias given the fact that he is a man and that a woman thinks rather differently to those of males. And there has indeed been numerous interpretations that separates from traditional philosophy, especially from a feminist approach where women are treated as individuals who also share roles in the society in general.

Capital punishment and killings in war

Capital punishment is typically utilized in order to put unlawful people before the justice system of societies and put an end to their unlawful means—and to their lives—thereby removing further instances of committing heinous crimes by the same criminal. War killings, on the other hand, are primarily taken to be understood as killings in the battlefield, especially in times of war wherein combatants or armies from the opposing sides are granted by their authorities to obtain their mission through every possible means—such as gunning down the enemy—in order to not only deter the enemy from advancing further but also to finally put an end to the enemy’s existence.

From a Kantian perspective, both capital punishment and killings in war are immoral acts in the sense that both of these essentially take away the lives of men which is, on the other hand, strictly against the moral imperatives. Basically, Kant suggests that taking away the life of another individual cannot be justified because it is not the right thing to do at whatever given situation.

Utilitarianism, on the other hand, provides us with another view that implies that both capital punishment and war killings can be morally justified given that both of these promote the general good or the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. That is, taking away the life of another individual can be justified in the ethical issues given that the basis for the action is justifiable. And this moral theory asserts that actions can indeed be justified, specifically in the context of the measurement of happiness and its consequent effects on the welfare and happiness of the greatest number of individuals.

However, the strand of rule utilitarianism splits from this claim because it argues that rules should not be bent just for the attainment of general happiness which, in this case, is taken to mean that moral precepts and legal rules concerning life should never be flexed in order to fit the situation. Quite on the contrary, the very situations of capital punishment and killings in war should be critically analyzed based on these precepts and rules in order to arrive at the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

William Godwin

William Godwin is not inclined towards prejudice and thought it as the source of much that is wrong in the world as he also stressed the significant role of impartiality. The value of human life should be taken as a central part of the analysis of Godwin’s claim primarily because in order for the individual to be able to arrive at a sound judgment the individual should nevertheless take a look into the course of the years that have molded the life that he or she possesses (Monro).

Prejudice, on the contrary, creates the notion of selectivity wherein the individual may be inclined to prefer this from that or, in another context, this person from another person for a number of reasons pegged on the selective attitude of the person. Without a concern for the value of human life, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at an impartial attitude towards others primarily because without having a universal sense of benevolence towards mankind in general impartiality can hardly be attained. Hence, in order for one to be able to embrace the idea that prejudice is the source of much that is wrong in the world, one ought to be impartial both in deeds and in thoughts.

With a firm consideration on the value of human life among all of humanity, one cannot easily stray away from the holds of an impartial treatment towards other people and that one cannot straightforwardly resort to prejudice. Without having a sense of attachment towards the primacy and value of human life, it would be quite difficult as well, if not more, to act truthfully as a benevolent individual empty of prejudice in thought and deed or to at least pretend to be like an impartial individual.

Kant and Singer’s animal rights

Kant says that duty is the inevitability or necessity of functioning out of a strict observation for laws that are universal. Consequently, the worth or value of the action done by the individual in terms of moral contexts is essentially drawn from the intention of the action. Moreover, Kant’s treatment of a maxim can be briefly summarized as a given principle upon which one acts such that its nature is based on the manner in the expression of the intention.

Thus, the content of the actions in terms of intent have an important role in Kantian ethics. This content can be further expressed in two manners. The first states that there are maxims or imperatives which stipulate that there are acts based on the desires of the individual. This is what Kant calls the hypothetical imperative. On the other hand, those which are based on reason and not merely dependent on one’s desires belong to the categorical imperative. The latter type deals with what ought to be done.

All these can be roughly transposed and summarized into Kant’s conception of the practical imperative which claims that one ought to act to treat human beings as ends in themselves and never merely as a means to any given end, whether the individual is the self or another person.

Peter Singer argues that ethical precepts should be extended so that it will encompass animals as well. If this is the case, and if we are to place this in the context of Kant’s proposition, then we are to arrive at the idea that, after ethical precepts have been made to be understood to encompass animals, no one is to treat any animal as means in order to arrive at certain ends but rather as the very ends themselves. Kant would disagree with Singer in the sense that the former’s theory is anchored on the rationality of human beings whereas animals are empty of rational capacity. Singer, on the other hand, would disagree with Kant in this notion primarily because animals also have rights and that these rights should be also recognized within the ethical sphere.

References

Arthur, John. Morality and Moral Controversies: Readings in Moral, Social and Political Philosophy. 7th ed: Prentice Hall, 2004.

Brandt, Richard B. “A Motivational Theory of Excuses in the Criminal Law.”  Morality, Utilitarianism, and Rights. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. 252.

Claassen, Cheryl, and Rosemary A. Joyce. “Women in Prehistory.” American Antiquity 63.1 (1998): 175.

Held, Virginia. “Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50.Supplement (1990): 321.

Monro, D. H. “Godwin’s Moral Philosophy: An Interpretation of William Godwin.” Ethics 64.2 (1954): 134.

Stevenson, Charles L. “Brandt’s Questions About Emotive Ethics.” The Philosophical Review 59.4 (1950): 529.

 

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Wittgenstein and Modern Philosophy: A Review

JUSTUS HARTNACK, Wittgenstein and Modern Philosophy (trans: Maurice Cranston, New York: Anchor Books, 1965) pp. (x+142). Paper. The book Wittgenstein and Modern Philosophy, written by Professor Justus Hartnack, was first published in Danish. Later this book was translated to English by Maurice Cranston who was the author of Freedom, What are Human Rights? , Jean-Paul Sartre and the standard biography of John Locke. Hartnack is also famous for his book Philosophical Problems. The book Wittgenstein and Modern Philosophy deals with the philosophy of the most famous contemporary philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

This book covers over one hundred and forty two pages. It begins with a preface by the author. This book, having five chapters, is the interpretation of Wittgenstein’s philosophical works. The first chapter, under the title ‘Biographical Introduction’, dealt with the life history of Ludwig Wittgenstein—the most renowned figure of the time. He was a great philosopher who dedicated himself to the growth of philosophy. “…philosophy was his life” (p. 3). Though he made lectures on British universities, he was not at all English, but an Austrian Jew, living and working in England.

He was born in Vienna in 1889, the son of a rich engineer. Initially he had a taste to engineering; but later, it transformed to mathematics and he became a disciple of Bertrand Russell in Cambridge University. At the outbreak of the First World War, he contributed a few years in the Austrian army. His first and the most famous book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was published in 1922. Indeed the language of the book is elusive, “it has had an enormous influence among philosophers” (p. 6). Its influence was particularly marked in the logical positivism that became so fashionable in the years between the wars.

But the later teachings of Wittgenstein were contrasting to the former teachings. His The Philosophical Investigations (1953), which published only after his death marked a new beginning in the world of philosophy. Besides the above books, he was also the author of the book, The Blue and Brown Books (1958). His writings paved a place for Wittgenstein in the history of philosophy. The second chapter named ‘The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’ gives out a brief summary of Wittgenstein’s eighty pages book—Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

The author begins with the traditional notion of language—“consists of words and each word possesses meaning insofar as it stands for something” (p. 13). It is the search for the problem of philosophical assertions that brings out the serious errors in using the language. So, Russell in his Principia Mathematica comes up with the need of constructing a new language preserving the logical form. It was the beginning of symbolic logic. But Wittgenstein was not satisfied with this new language because “he did not think there was any need to construct a new language because he held that there is only one language” (p. 6). His book Tractatus shares this idea. The author expresses the content of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in nine parts in this chapter. The world, thought and propositions nave the same logical form—world is represented by thought and it is expressed in words as propositions. So, according to Wittgenstein, “the world is the totality of facts, not of things” (p. 18). A thing is not itself a fact even the thing is bound up with the notion of a fact. The author uses the example: “It is a fact that my watch is lying on the table, but neither the watch nor the table is a fact” (p. 25).

The thought and propositions serve as pictures of facts. This is known as ‘Picture Theory of Language’—language is a picture or model of facts. Pictures are models of reality and these are made up of elements that represent objects. The combination of objects in the picture represents the combination of objects in reality. So the function of the language is to represent the state of affairs in the world. But the proposition does not give a spatial representation of the fact; it is only a logical picture of the state of affairs. Then, Hartnack points out Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘mystical’.

There are some facts “that would be nonsensical to discuss, describe or even to think, because language cannot logically be employed about it” (p. 40). He included all the ethical and spiritual values in the realm of mystical. It is something that is transcendental. The third chapter ‘The Tractatus and Logical Positivism’ says about the influence of Tractatus over logical positivism. The author divided this chapter into four parts. The first part comments on logical positivist’s conception of philosophy. For them, “the task of philosophy …is simply to clarify the meaning of such [philosophical] problems and propositions” (p. 6). It has nothing to do in providing information about reality. A better understanding of the meaning of propositions can be ascertained through ‘verification principle’—one understands the meaning of a proposition only of one knows how it could be verified. For example, the statement ‘It is raining’ can be verified. But there are some other propositions that can’t be verified and it is called as ‘pseudo propositions’ similar to Wittgenstein’s ‘mystical’. In the following parts of the third chapter, the author discusses how the logical positivism differs from the ideas of Wittgenstein.

It is believed by the positivist that Wittgenstein was the first one who had proposed the verification principle. Wittgenstein accepted the mystical propositions as genuine along with the empirical propositions. But positivists denied the assumption that mystical propositions are genuine for they cannot accept anything other than that is empirical. “…what cannot be said, and therefore cannot be thought, is not an expression of the limits of language. The reason for being silent is that there is nothing to speak about” (p. 55). The fourth chapter holds the same title, ‘The Philosophical Investigations’, of his second known book.

This chapter speaks on the summary of Wittgenstein’s Investigations. This book is not a continuation of his own ‘Tractatus’; rather it is the repudiation of his views in ‘Tractatus’. The author explains its importance as: What gives the importance is that it contains the mature philosophy of Wittgenstein. It introduces a new chapter in the history of philosophy. It is not just a continuation or development of the thought of others. It is something wholly original (p. 62-63). The Investigations had a reference to St. Augustine’s Confessions. “St.

Augustine fancied, according to Wittgenstein, that he had discovered what was essential to all languages, namely that all words should have a meaning and that the meaning of each was what it stood for” (p. 65). Augustine conceived of it as a ‘naming-game’, that is, as a language mastered by learning the names of different things. But Wittgenstein couldn’t approve this ‘naming-game’ and with a slight difference he introduced ‘language-game’ which had its foundation on the sense that the meaning of a word is its use in the language. He thought that in language we are playing with words.

As we can’t find any resemblance in different games though they possess some similarities and relationships, we can’t find resemblance in our multiple ways of language use. Hartnack discusses: Language, no longer a picture of reality, is now seen as a tool…with variety of uses. Different words are like different tools in the toolbox. And just as there is no one use which is the essential use of all tools, there is no one essential use for words and sentences. (p. 75) Different language-games show a family resemblance as like the members of a family share many similar features, such as eye colour, hair, facial structure, etc,.

However, there will be no one particular feature that they all share in common. So the different language-games are related to one another in many different ways. In Investigations, Wittgenstein made a gradual transition on the aim of philosophy. With a new view, philosophy aims at complete clarity. “[And] this complete clarity does not lead to the solution of problem, but to its disappearance” (p. 82). Why is to say that the problem disappear? It is because the origin of the philosophical perplexity is an error, or rather a misunderstanding—a misunderstanding of the logical grammar of the sentences concerned.

When it has been healed, the source of the problem has not been ‘solved’, it has vanished. The role of philosophy is to show the path of liberation to the fly trapped in the fly bottle. In the last chapter ‘Contemporary Philosophical Investigations’, Hartnack says something about the philosophers who were very much influenced by Wittgenstein. He also tried to give a brief note on the papers and books published by those philosophers. Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind is the first book to be dealt with.

It was published in 1949, four years before the Investigations, and it is not Wittgenstein in style, although there is no conflict on essential points; “but it is typically Wittgensteinian in that it treats philosophical problems as the consequence of the misunderstanding of the logic of concepts” (p. 119). Besides giving a short description, the author has not tried to go deep into the text. Following Ryle’s The Concept of Mind, Hartnack makes a brief study on Peter Strawson’s paper ‘On Referring’, where Strawson is attacking what he believes to be a mistaken conception of meaning. Strawson’s paper is Wittgensteinian in the sense that it argues that the meaning of a sentence is not what it refers to, but the rules for its correct use” (p. 121). He rejected Russell’s claim that every sentence must be true or false or meaningless. For Strawson, “a sentence is meaningful if there are rules for its use as an assertion” (p. 126). In the following two parts of the last chapter, author summarises ‘The Ascription of Responsibility and Rights’, the defense paper of Professor H. L. A. Hart and ‘On Grading’, the paper presented by the Oxford philosopher J.

O. Urmson. The former is dealt with morality and jurisprudence. Here Hart made some similarities of the problems in philosophy and legal concepts. The latter studies the use of sentences that function as evaluations. Urmson works from the simple and homely example of grading apples. An apple can be graded either as good or as bad, based on its empirical properties. But “the logical structure of the sentence ‘This is good’ is quite distinct from any question about the validity or relevance of any criterion that may be invoked in support of it” (p. 42). The validity of the statement is not proved in this kind of evaluations. The book Wittgenstein and Modern Philosophy is really an excellent interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophical works—Tractatus and Investigations. Hartnack had made a genuine effort to make this book marvelous. Though this book contributes nothing new to the world of philosophy, it shows a great honour to Wittgenstein. Hartnack was successful in giving appropriate footnotes in places where the reader needs clarifications.

But it is sorry to say that this book lacks index and the last chapter of this book is so vague. The author would have to pay a little more attention to these drawbacks. Excluding these drawbacks, this book is an awesome work. This book will be very useful to the philosophy students especially those who are making study exclusively on Wittgenstein. Even the translator re-produced the book in a simple and eloquent language. This book review will be incomplete unless I mention that the author showed justice to the works of Wittgenstein and even to the readers.

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Heraclitus v Parmenides

The heavily studied philosophical debate that has been carried for centuries on the nature of being and the perception of it, displays the vast differences between the two philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides. One which believed in a singularity of things, while one differs and carries the philosophy of a duality of reality. One that believes that the changes in perception are deceitful, while the other displays a philosophical view that our perceptions essentially relative and always changing based one of nature.

One believes that reality and nature is constant , while the other believes that everything is constantly changing , and that even the flowing river that one may step his foot in will not be the same river the next time around. Heraclitus believed things were ever-changing, and that may be true. Science and physics( which is an arm of philosophy tells us that when force is applied to things there is the possibility of a change in the molecular make up of the item. It is like a formless matter.

Once the matter has been molded into a particular form it is more than likely to lose atoms during the process. I believe the example of the flowing river is a pretty clever one. Being that the river is ever flowing there is constant erosion occurring as the constant (the bed of the river) interacts with the moving (the flow of the water). In actuality even the small acts such as shaking hands involves the exchange of atoms and molecules. Parmenides presented a conflicting philosophical opinion to that of Heraclitus.

Parmenides presented the view that the state of being in nature is constant. It does not change and that our perception of reality may at times be very deceitful. While I do not agree with this in regards to the state of being and nature I do think this argument would hold much weight and would be considered a solid truth in terms of psychology. A person’s psychological makeup could very well affect the way a person views reality, and could present falsehoods.

One of Parmenides’ most popular argument of that something that is not cannot be feasibly proven as it is not in a state of being. I would argue that it could simply as the inverse of something that is. While both have left a longing impression on the western philosophy and we are still arguing the same debate that they did today, I would have to agree with the argument of Heraclitus on the topic of the status of being. Things are always changing; we live with gravity which in itself causes us to change, without it we would not age nearly as quickly as we do.

I find the difference in the argument in the duality and constant being of nature to be one of a matter from a modern perspective as looking at things from a macro and micro perspective. On the macro side things look the same and unchanged as it takes drastic force or influence to change things, but on the micro level even the small of acts cause for a strong movement of atoms. I would have to agree with Heraclitus, although Parmenides does present a very valid argument when placed in proper context.

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Marx Philosophy and the End of History

Karl Marx is, without a doubt one of the most influential thinkers to emerge in the nineteenth century, and the theories he proposed, have influenced various regimes in different parts of the world. His success is the result of the flexibility present in his theories to adapt themselves to the times. In his mid twenties Marx, turned away from philosophy and concentrated his attention more towards the economic and political aspects of the society. It was in the light of economics that he viewed the problems in society and sought to provide a remedy to it.

He viewed society not as an independent entity. Contrarily, he saw, society as a reflection of the progress made by History. The progress made by history always left behind a legacy in its trail. This legacy had a profound impact in the shaping of society. The validity of this statement can be proven, by citing the example of the poverty in the Africa Americans as the legacy of their history as slave labourers. However the direction of History was uncertain and could not be predicted. It was dictated by the economic factors present in society. The only certainty was that an, ‘end of history’ was inevitable.

In his theory on Historical Materialism, Marx carefully analyses the various factors influencing the different stages in the growth of society from slavery to modern day capitalism.

Thus the views of Marx can be summed up under, four basic principles. Firstly, he believed that society followed a straight law of motion and underwent various phases in order to get to the final stage of Communism. Secondly, the laws governing the society were purely economic in nature, for the only thing that shapes society are the ‘material tools of production. Thirdly, he believed that these laws would continue to be in force until the end of History. Fourthly, the classes and the State would perish with the end of History. However this end would be brought about by a bitter struggle of one class against another.

It must be mentioned in this context, that Marx borrowed the concept of a dialectical history, with a cognate beginning, middle and end from Hegel.

Marx’s main concern was the ‘State’, which he viewed as the main tool of exploitation. It is the State and its various institutions that are utilised by the dominant class to wield their power. He advocated that the State was the most powerful tool of exploitation, whose sole purpose was to represent the interests of the ruling class.

He chose to study the State through the annals of History.

To him only ‘History’, could reveal the secrets at work behind the evolution of the state and determine its future shape. However, Marx did not consider History to be an open-ended process. Instead he saw a definite ‘end in history’. This end would result in the downfall of Capitalism and ensue the coming of a new era of Communism.

An end in History did not signify an end to human life, it simply meant that there would no longer be any changes in the underlying principles or institutions for all the major problems had been solved and man’s major needs fulfilled.

Before we can elaborate on the ‘end of history’, as predicted by Marx, it is essential that we know what history is all about.

Marx claims that History has not progressed in a straight line. The coherent development of human societies through the ages has been a result of the various regimes that it has undergone. Marx thus traces the evolutionary process from, tribal based societies which were dependant on slavery and agriculture for subsistence, to theocracies, monarchies, feudal aristocracies, modern liberal democracies and finally to the technologically driven Capitalism.

In his study Marx points out that the fundamental element present in all these different societies is the ‘class’ system and the ‘means of production,’ which determined which class would be dominant in the society. The ‘Class’ and the subsequent ‘class struggle’ were the sine qua non of Marx’s theory.

History showed that the class who controlled the means of production was the dominant class in society. It is the tools of ruthless dominance and exploitation used by the dominant class to maintain their authority that would one day turn against them and spearhead the inevitable revolutions.

History has shown that every revolution brought about a change in the social structure. This change did not bring about an egalitarian order it simply replaced the old dominant class with a new one. The unequal social structure continued to exist. Every revolution just changed the composition of the oppressor and the oppressed.

The day that the society became classless would be the day that History came to an end.

This end was possible with the rise of Communalism. While proclaiming the advent of Communalism, Marx refused to give a cognate shape to his ideal society.

He claimed that the final shape of Communism would be the result of the different historical processes that society underwent. It was not a realisation of a predetermined moral idea.

When it came to classes, Marx outlined two major segments into which society was divided. They were the oppressed or the ‘Proletariat’ as he called them and the oppressor or the ‘Bourgeoisie’. When the levels of oppression reached its penultimate point the oppressed class rose in rebellion and the outcome of this rebellion was a new society. Thus Marx stated, “The history of all hitherto existing societies has been the history of class struggle.” The day history ceases to exist; classes shall also cease to exist.

Marx in his theories always stressed on the Historical aspect and asserted that every society contained within itself the forces of contradiction, known as the ‘Thesis’ and ‘Anti Thesis’. When these two contradictory forces clashed against one another, a class struggle emerged that sought to change the shape of society and replace the existing dominant class with a new one. This change was not permanent but would cease with the end of history, and there would finally emerge a classless society where each person enjoyed the fruits of his own labour.

In his theory on History Marx, points out that in a divided society the tools of production are owned by the dominant section of society who exploit the weaker classes in order to amass more wealth and gain strength. But, there would come a time, when the levels of consciousness would rise among the oppressed class and they would unite in a struggle against the oppressors.

History is replete with such examples. The slave society was replaced by the feudal society and the feudal society by the Industrialists or the Bourgeoisie. The coming of the Industrialist Revolution brought a boom in the industry and a new class emerged as the dominant section. They were the Capitalist class who owned the means of production.

Like its predecessors the Capitalist society also contained within itself the seeds of dissent. The Capitalists became the dominant class who usurped the means of production and relentlessly exploited the working class or the proletariat. It resulted in the alienation of the worker. The working class was denied of the fruits of its labour and while the rich grew richer the poor grew poorer. The chasm continued to widen with the increase in wealth in the hands of the Capitalists.

Despite the contradictions in the Capitalist regime, the ‘Communist Manifesto’ begins by praising the Capitalist system. It says that the Capitalist system has played a revolutionary role in History. It has shown what man’s endeavours can achieve. It has accomplished wonders, which surpasses the wonders of the world. It has conducted exoduses, which have overshadowed all past crusades in the world.

Having praised the Capitalist system they go on to say that Capitalism by nature is based on ‘competition’ and the ‘market’. The same dynamics that propel capitalism will also be the reason of its downfall. When there are no more markets left to explore and exploit, the entire buying and selling cycle would collapse. Capitalism would   suffer from the phenomenon of ‘overproduction’ and  would be brought down to its knees.

Harping on the ills of Capitalism, the Marxian philosophy, states that the Capitalist system would soon displace the smaller and individual producers. Marx went to the extent of saying that History would witness the replacement of indigenous farming with industrial and mechanised farming. Once this level of exploitation was reached the end of history would not be far away.

This exploitation would unleash an era of unemployment and misery among the working class. When living under such miserable conditions became unbearable, history would witness a revolution spearheaded by the working class. Thus what Capitalism produces above all is its own ‘gravediggers’.

It is the working class that would lead the final revolution to successfully remove the yoke of Capitalism. But the end of History or Communism as Marx viewed it was not to be achieved easily. The intermediate stage between Capitalism and Communism was the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’. It was in this stage that the proletariat had complete control over the means of production as well as over the various institutions. The downfall of Capitalism, Marx claimed, would bring about the end of History.

The phrase ‘end of history’ indicates a society based on Communism. It is a classless and egalitarian society where every man has full right over the fruits of his labour. From the ‘end of history’ there would emerge the final shape of the society. It would no longer undergo any more transformations, since all the major ills plaguing its predecessors had been removed. It was a society where man attained true economic freedom.

Keeping in mind the fact that Marxism has a great deal of supporters it cannot be overlooked that the society Marx depicted in the end was more of a utopia rather than a reality. Though Marx’s philosophy has stood the test of times his views on the ‘end of History’ is yet to materialise.

If we study the history of the world carefully we can see instances when the Marxian theory has borne fruit, but there have also been instances when the theory failed miserably.

The theory of Marx was put to the test with the Russian Revolution. The theory defended itself by proclaiming that Russian society had not passed through the necessary stages in order to qualify as a successful communist society. Though the country was growing rapidly the society was predominantly feudal in nature. It had not been through the phase of Capitalism.

The Soviet Union that was the glowing example of the success of Communism also faced failure. The downfall of the Soviet Union exposed the inherent corruption, inefficiency and irrationality present in the society. This picture of a communist society seemed to be absolutely contradictory to the egalitarian and classless society in a Communist Regime envisaged by Marx.

The most important fact is that the ‘end of history’ is yet to manifest itself. With the ongoing scenario in the world Capitalism seems to have gained an even stronger foothold. Rather than an impending doom, capitalism is on a rise. The State that was supposed to wither away with the end of history is a far cry away.

The State seems to be playing an even more important role today. It is far more intervening in the ways of man than predicted by man. Instead of being a tool of oppression the State has helped in maintaining stability, law and order in society.

The end of history as envisaged by Marx is not easy to implement in practice. While envisaging an equal society Marx placed complete faith on the just and truthful nature of man. But man is by nature greedy. His wants keep increasing and to meet these wants he needs to amass resources. Thus, to think that man would be happy in his own little share would be a folly. It is inevitable that a man or a group of men would want to take over the reigns of power. Such a situation would lead to nothing but anarchy and chaos.

It is because of the above reasons that the end of history seems such a far-fetched thought.

The Marxian theory was not about right or wrong it was simply a theory of history. It followed the trends that had occurred in the past and on the basis of those sought to predict the future trends that would ensue.

In so far that the theory acknowledged the presence of exploitation and domination in history it stands fully justified. It is only when it comes to predicting an end to Capitalism that the theory seems to falter. It seeks to attain the unattainable.

In view of the above mentioned arguments, and in the light of the real world scenario, we can safely say, that, even though the political, economic and social institutions proposed By Marx are dead or dying away, his theory and influence on the world continue to exist.

Works Cited

Marx, . Karl,  Fredrick  Engels  and  David  Mclellan  ed,  The  Communist  Manifesto,  Oxford  World’s  Classics  1848

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Sir Francis Bacon

A selected annotated bibliography on the personal rights apposing authority Michael Taylor. The Secret Bard. Washington Square Press, 1961. The author’s informative personal views make it understandable that the truth can never be reached by listening to the voice of authority. A stand reflecting Bacon’s views are that laws are made to protect the rights of the people, not to feed the lawyers. For instance, he lead many acts towards helping the state’s individualism through the people and not the laws.

A good example the author explains about is how Francis pushed for his way in Parliament for union with the people from Scotland to strengthen England against threats from the continent, and pushed for expansion of colonization in America, mainly Newfoundland and Virginia.

DePaul University graduate and philosophical researcher David Simpson informs the general public of Bacon’s development of new arts and inventions, whose ultimate goal would be the production of practical knowledge for “the use and benefit of men” and the relief of the human condition. Simpson showed the many attributes of Bacon’s reasoning for life revolving around knowledge. Bacon states “Knowledge is power, and when embodied in the form of new technical inventions and mechanical discoveries it is the force that drives history. ” This Article explains the motto he lived his life by.

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Heraclitus

The one of the Renaissance’s greatest master painter, Raphael was the one who created the masterpiece, ‘The school of Athens’. It was a great fresco that was painted between from 1510 to 1511. The painting contained famous professionals such as mathematician, philosopher, scientist, and many other professionals including Raphael himself. Raphael of course admired all the people in the painting that he drew himself. For me when I see the drawing I admire these three people: Heraclitus, Alexander the Great, and Pythagoras the most.

I also believe that Raphael himself had admired these people like me because of many reasons. Heraclitus was a great man who was considered to be known as one of Greek’s principle philosophers. However, he is more known to be a great scientist who has created a foundation of modern physics. His philosophy or his way of thinking has changed the view of European world completely. His theory was called “Logos” or being more specific it was an important word that he used to explain his philosophy, which became an important in subjects such as philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion.

The term “Logos” has been used by many famous people other than Heraclitus, but what is it that makes this person special? The answer to this question I believe has lead Raphael who drew Heraclitus to admire him. Heraclitus was a new kind or type of thinking man in his age, since his view of the world was totally different from the others. He used the word “Logos” in explaining his philosophy and defined it as opposite things like water and fire being one together.

It is very hard to understand and even Heraclitus himself has said that the term “Logos” could not be defined completely accurate by us human beings even though it is always with us in the present. As I have said before this philosophy made by Heraclitus however changed the view point of the Europeans and Raphael, who was known have the mind of the humanist could have also been affected by this. The opposites are suppose to be one whole thing, but we humans who see these things are the ones who perceive differently than what the reality tells us.

A person who was known to be one of the greatest warriors of whole time, Alexander the Great was drawn on the painting by Raphael. Being a king and also being a student of a famous philosopher, Aristotle, Alexander the Great was a famous person. His philosophy if said it would match the one by Aristotle, since he did learn from Aristotle. However, Alexander aside from his master’s philosophy had a logical way of thinking and one example of that was adapting his empire to the Hellenic culture(Greek culture), which was more reasonable and logical by any means in life.

For example, the education, government, and many other things including art and philosophy of the Greek culture was much better in most of aspects. This part of the Alexander was what I believe Raphael idolized the most. There are of course more aspects about him that are considered good and bad. The good parts would mostly have been his aspect about the culture, especially the art and the philosophy of other countries. On the other hand the bad parts would have been about him being very violent and impulsive nature.

Overall, he is considered to be a great warrior now days and must have also been acknowledged by Raphael, since Raphael drew Alexander on the painting. Finally the person who was known to be a philosopher, scientist, and most of all famous for being one of the greatest mathematicians is Pythagoras. He was a very knowledgeable man and the reason was because he spent about half of his life learning and traveling to many different countries. Pythagoras learned many things and part of the learning was about religion, which made him to believe in transmigration, or should I say the rebirth of a soul over and over until it becomes immortal.

He was also in religion worshipped as a god or a supernatural figure that could travel between time and space. This situation in a way allowed him to create his own school that was religious and secretive. Of course beside from this kind of achievement he created the “Pythagorean Theorem”, which now days is very important part of math. The theory in summary is stating that in right angled triangle the square of a hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the left over sides. This theory indeed affected a lot of things in math, but Pythagoras’ influence didn’t stop at this point.

Instead, the influence got bigger until he influenced most of other subjects such as music, science, and religion. This great influence on the education must have been what Raphael idolized because Pythagoras was also acknowledged by other famous philosophers like Aristotle and Plato for his powerful influence. Heraclitus, Alexander the Great, and Pythagoras are three people that I most admire when I see the “School of Athens” are also the same people who must have been idolized by the creator, Raphael.

The influences of all three of them were very powerful in many ways, for example, Heraclitus’ philosophy became the base of physics, Alexander the Great changed the culture of many countries, and Pythagoras’ math theorem became important part in our math today. There are of course many other great and famous professionals who are inside the picture and they in many ways have been admired by Raphael like the three I most idolize. However, in my opinion I do think that Raphael himself should be acknowledged as well, since compare to the people in the picture, he also has achieved great things like them.

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Mencius

Philosophy Response – Mencius Throughout Mencius, there is continual debate amongst the people regarding human nature; is it, by nature, good or bad? Every option is discussed by Mencius himself, ranging from whether all are born good, born evil, born with both or born with neither. Overall, Mencius succeeds in his description of all possibilities of whether human nature is good or bad. The main permutation discussed by Mencius is that all humans are born good. In Book 2, Part A, Section 6, Mencius describes a child falling down a well.

If a human were to see this child fall down the well, they would not just stand there doing and feeling nothing, because they have a heart. Any human with a heart would feel sorrow and sadness for the child that just fell down the well. For anyone without a heart, this would mean that they would feel nothing and their human nature is ultimately evil. In the same part, Mencius describes the “4 Shoots” of human nature. These four shoots, when accepted and learned by humans, ultimately lead to good human nature for the rest of their lives.

The four shoots are “the heart of compassion, benevolence; the heart of shame, dutifulness; the heart of courtesy and modesty, observance of rites; and the heart of right and wrong, wisdom” (2A6). These four shoots, throughout the book, show how they apply more to humans with a good nature rather than a bad nature. Benevolence, as described by Mencius, is a primary part of the four shoots of human nature. In one section, Mencius states “One who puts benevolence into effect through the transformation influence of morality will become a true king, and his success will not depend on the size of his state” (2A3).

This means that the human with a good nature that uses benevolence correctly will ultimately end up with the best in life, as shown in this example by showing how a normal person will become a king over the people. Also, this shows that no matter what you have will not matter because you have shown a good nature, and everyone will respect you for what you have already. However, there still is the evil side of human nature. As Mencius says, “Benevolence brings honour, cruelty, and disgrace.

Now people who dwell in cruelty while disliking disgrace are like those who are content to dwell in a low-lying place while disliking dampness” (2A4). This excerpt shows that those with an evil human nature will end up drawing the wrong things from benevolence, such as cruelty. Those who draw cruelty will end up living a very dark and depressed life, and their evil human nature will continue to hinder their true abilities as humans. Mencius successfully shows the difference between benevolence in good human nature and benevolence in evil human nature.

By showing how good benevolence will lead you to being as high as a king, against bad benevolence will lead you to a sad and depressed life, shows the reader and listener that good benevolence will always lead to a better life for anyone. Dutifulness is another part of the four shoots, and just as important to human nature as any of the other parts. Mencius alleged, “Life is what I want; dutifulness is also what I want. If I cannot have both, I would choose dutifulness rather than life” (6A10).

This shows how dedicated to the four shoots Mencius is, because he would rather die than have to break away from dutifulness. This leads back to the example of the bear claw and fish story. In his story, Mencius compares the fish to life, and bear claws to dutifulness. Mencius would rather take the bear claw than the fish because Mencius already has life, but dutifulness is much harder to come by. When given the opportunity, Mencius would rather take the bear claw / dutifulness, so he can get as much dutifulness as he can.

That is the good human nature because the person that truly has a good human nature would rather take dutifulness over life so they can continue having a good human nature. However, those who have an evil human nature would rather break the rules of the 4 shoots just so they can continue to live their life. This also shows how the person is scared of death, because they would rather break a barrier of honestly and truth rather than die knowing they lived a truly good life.

This is also a successful comparison from Mencius because he shows how those who would give up their life to continue a life of good nature would truly live on forever, while those who are afraid of dying would rather continue on in their life of misfortune and evil. Observing the Rites is another important part of the four shoots, due to the fact they are rules that are set in stone, and by breaking these rules, much punishment and anguish is headed your way. In one part, it is said “According to the rites, when summoned by one’s father, one should not answer ‘I am coming’.

When summoned by one’s prince, one should not wait for the carriages to arrive” (2B2). This shows that, for example, if called by your father, you shouldn’t just say that you are coming, because there is always the chance that you would not come, and therefore you are disrespectful to your father, who is your elder. To continue living your life with a good human nature, you should always do as you’re told, no matter what is told to you by an elder. This is a matter of respect and a matter of respecting and observing the rites laid out.

However, those who just expect things to happen or say things to make people happy are being selfish. By just saying things and not following through with them shows disrespect to anyone you are talking about or talking to. Therefore, you are breaking the rites and you are having an evil human nature. This is also successfully examined by Mencius because this shows how much following the rules and respecting your elders counts in society. Without respect and rules, there would never be any good human nature, and the world would be a dark and sad place to live.

Wisdom, or the heart of right and wrong, is the last of the four shoots, but without this part there would be no decision making in society ever. Going back to the example of the girl falling into the well, if one were to see this happen and not act properly on it, this would be an example of evil or bad human nature. If one were to just walk away or stand around and do nothing would be devoid of a heart, because if you were to help in some way to help the girl get out of the well, your wisdom would improve and your human nature would remain good, maybe even improve.

Those who would find a way to help the girl out of the well, or alert other people so that they may help too, would have a good human nature, due to the fact they are doing something positive to help society instead of limiting society to something so sad and negative by leaving the girl in the well. Mencius successfully describes this because he shows how those who are devoid of a heart would make the wrong choice, while those with a heart would make the better decision and help out the girl.

As Mencius states, “Human nature is good just as water seeks low ground. There is no man who is not good; there is no water that does not flow downwards” (6A2). Mencius believes that all humans are born good, and although many try to disprove this theory, Mencius ultimately comes up with better arguments than them all. Mencius successfully defends his claim that all humans are born good, and by doing this, shows how all people can have a good human nature.

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Lao-Tzu, Machiavelli, and the American Government

Lao-Tzu’s “Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching” and Machiavelli’s “The Qualities of a Prince” both have the ultimate goal of making better leaders. The tactics that each writer chooses to present as a guide for the leader are almost opposite of each other. Today’s American government would benefit from a combination of the two extreme ideas. Lao-Tzu’s laissez-faire attitude towards the economy, as well as his small scale, home defense military is appealing to a liberal person.

Machiavelli’s attitude towards miserliness and lower taxes, while being always prepared for war, would appeal to a conservative person. The writers are in agreement on some issues, such as taxes, but other ideas, such as government involvement in the everyday lives of citizens are completely opposed to one another. Lao-Tzu believes in moderation and small government. He states that a leader should stay within his country and govern his people only. Lao-tzu and Machiavelli are political philosophers writing in two different lands and two different times.

Lao-tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher from 6th century BC, the author of Tao-te Ching, and Machiavelli was an Italian philosopher who lived 2000 years after Lao-tzu’s time, author of Prince. They are both philosophers but have totally different perspective on how to be a good leader. While both philosopher’s writing is instructive. Lao-tzu’s advice issues from detached view of a universal ruler; Machiavelli’s advice is very personal perhaps demanding.

Both philosophers’ idea will not work for today’s world, because that modern world is not as perfect as Lao-tzu described in Tao-te Ching, and not as chaotic as Machiavelli illustrated in Prince. In comparing and contrasting the governmental philosophies of the great thinkers Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli, I have found a pleasant mix of both of their ideas would be the best for America today. Lao-Tzu’s laisse-faire attitude towards the economy, as well as his small scale military is appealing to my liberal side, while Machiavelli’s attitude towards miserliness which causes low taxes appeals to the right wing.

These great thinkers contradict the popular saying “all great thinkers think alike. ” They have several ideas, such as taxes, that are the same, while other ideas, like the involvement of government in citizens’ everyday lives are totally opposite. I shall start with the ideas of Machiavelli, then move on to Lao-Tzu’s, and finally a comparison and application into American life. Niccolo Machiavelli believes in a strong government. The leader should be strong and feared. I believe he gets this idea from the fear of God.

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Philosophy Plato& Personal Opinion

Philosophy Providing Answers for Questions & Questions for Answers Kristen Riso 5250378 PHIL 1F91 Professor: Dr. Lightbody TA: David Corman Word Count: 1941 The Apology written by Plato’s is an excellent piece of philosophical literature that can teach us many things. Most importantly this fine literature gives us the utmost insight into the philosophy of Socrates’. As well it teaches us the idea of asking questions and probing for answers when we don’t understand so we can uncover the truth and learn rather than thinking we know and being ignorant.

The intention here is to describe the philosophy of Socrates’ and use what I’ve learned from his ideas to present my own beliefs on what philosophy is and relate it to my personal life. The start of the essay will be devoted to deciphering the ethics and ideals of Socrates’ philosophy and describing the three key components being Socratic method, irony and ethos as well as how they are engrained with Socrates’ belief that, “the unexamined life is not worth living. During the second portion of the essay I will discuss my belief that philosophy is the process of consistently asking questions to gain understanding and insight to life’s mysteries and challenges. Similar to Rauhut I would describe philosophy as open questions but I would conclude that definition to be incomplete. Philosophy needs constant discussion and revision, yes it does begin with a simple belief or question but the whole purpose is discussion and explanation to gain further comprehension and understanding of the subject in question.

In Plato’s The Apology Socrates’ uses the Socratic method as a way to prove his innocence and show the misconceptions of others. The Socratic method is a process of debate between individuals with contradictory beliefs. The debate is used to promote critical thinking and cause the individuals to consistently prove their hypothesis. In attempts to prove their beliefs they are in turn constantly trying to disprove and eliminate the ideas of anyone opposing them.

To defend your opinion, questioning can be used to cause deep thought by the opposition about their beliefs and force them to provide supporting evidence to verify their perspective. Socrates’ constantly uses this technique by forcing people to explain what they think they know and by asking the right questions he is able to show the flaws in their ideas. These questions can lead a defendant to contradict himself therefore strengthening the ideas of the opposition. “And yet, I know that my plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but proof that I am speaking the truth? (Plato, 24a-24b). This method creates a much greater chance for a successful and applicable hypothesis and analyzes and dissects ideas to see how they fit or contradict with other beliefs. Socratic Irony is a tool used in the Socratic method in attempts to get the opposition to expose their deficiency of understanding or an error in their rationality. The process uses very specific questions in which the person who is questioning pretends that they lack knowledge on something that they actually know.

This is displayed when Socrates’ questions Meletus and causes Meletus to bring up facts which contradict his accusations against Socrates’, “… if a man with whom I have to live is corrupted by me, I am very likely to be harmed by him; and yet I corrupt him, and intentionally, too – so you say,” (Plato, 25e-26a). With this technique the person asking the question knows the answer all along and therefore when the opposition supplies an answer that is incorrect or flawed they are able to clearly illustrate the mistake that is made thus proving their point without any doubt or contradiction. But either I do not corrupt them, or I corrupt them unintentionally; and on either view of the case you lie. ” (Plato, 25e-26a). This process is very effective due to the sole reason that you can make your opponent prove your point for you. The irony of this technique therefore lies in the simple fact that by pretending to display your own ignorance on a subject you con your opponents into openly presenting their own ignorance, therefore causing them to work against themselves to your advantage. Socrates’ displays the Socratic method and clearly illustrates the ffectiveness of Socratic irony when he defends himself and his ethos to the court and jurors. Ethos being the Greek word for character depicts the defining ethics, principles and views of the person or group in question. When discussing the philosophical beliefs of Socrates, “… a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong – acting the part of a good man or of a bad. ” (Plato, 28b-28c) it is evident that he is ethically, academically and politically opposed to the majority of the population of Athens during his life.

Socrates’ does not fear death and therefore he would not change his opinions or who he is even when he is put on trial with a possible death sentence. He believes in honesty and cares about enriching the lives of others, “I did not go where I would do no good to you or to myself; but where I would do the greatest good privately to every one of you, thither I went, and sought to persuade every man among you that he must look to himself, and seek virtue and wisdom before he looks at his private interests. ” (Plato, 36c-36d). Socrates’ is said to be very wise and yet he always claims to have no knowledge. I am better off than he is for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I nether know nor think that I know. ” (Plato, 21d-21e). This brings forth the idea of ignorance and how false overconfidence combined with some knowledge can lead to less wisdom than no knowledge at all. When Socrates interacts with the Artisans he finds that they have knowledge about life that he does not know and thought that they would be wiser than him. He later found that they overshadowed their wisdom with the idea that they knew more than they actually did. … Therefore I asked myself on behalf of the oracle, whether I would like to be as I was, neither having their knowledge nor their ignorance, or like them in both; and I made answer to myself and to the oracle that I was better off as I was. ” (Plato, 22d-22e). The idea presented by the oracle portrays the concept that men who are not overconfident and believe that they know nothing would therefore ask questions and be the most willing to learn thus giving them the advantage to become wiser and not miss out on opportunities that life presents.

This implies that Socrates’ is not in fact the wisest man but that anyone who is open to new ideas and asks questions in attempts to understand is wiser than anyone who believes that they are more knowledgeable than the rest and are thus ignorant to knowledge. I would say that knowledge is a very broad term that encompasses a great deal of different skills that can be absorbed through either experience or education and can be either practically or theoretically applied. In philosophy the study of knowledge is known as epistemology.

Philosophers in this area try to define knowledge and gain understanding of how it is obtained as well as connecting it to our own beliefs through explanation and rationalization. I would say that Rauhut’s claim that philosophy is the study of open questions does have some validity but it only convers part of what I would describe as philosophy. Philosophy needs to have verbal debate between many individuals to ensure that thought provoking questions are asked to probe at the brains of people causing them to really think and have to support their theories with valid evidence and reasoning.

It is not just about answering what something is but also why and how it happens. I would say that everyone uses philosophy in their everyday life, whenever we analyze something and ask others and ourselves questions we are philosophizing by forcing ourselves to search for answers that are unknown to us. Philosophy thrives on logical rational thinking and being able to verbally justify and clarify your ideas while enlightening others.

A personal experience in my life, which I would directly relate to philosophy, would be the time that my best friend and I watched Inception. The movie was extremely thought provoking and had a particularly interesting concept. After the movie was finished my friend and myself were immediately diving into a conversation about perception and reality. The idea of dreams is very philosophical in my own opinion, which is why the discussion that this movie instigated was perfect.

Originally we conversed about the idea of whether or not he was still in the dream and to back up our ideas we provided evidence. Information such as the fact that at the end of the movie the spinning top started to wobble which never happened in the dream world would provide support to the idea that he had managed to escape from the dream world and make it back to his family. On the other hand looking at the fact that his children still looked the same and were in the backyard in the same position reinforced the idea that he was still in the dream world.

By asking questions and seeking answers we were being philosophical and therefore gaining knowledge and understanding by asking how and why and providing rational reasoning for our explanations. This then lead us into a discussion about dreams and reality and how we can determine the truth. It made us ask questions such as, how do we know what is real? This brought up the possibility of us being in a dream world and the idea that maybe only one of us was real and the other person was a figment of imagination created by the mind of the real person to create questions and drive for deeper thinking and increasing intellect.

I would conclude that discussion as being an enlightening and philosophical experience in my life due to the nature of its content as well as the thought provoking questions asked. In my mind that is philosophy and to put it elegantly, “I think therefore I am” (Rene Descartes, 1596-1650). Philosophy is all about thought; one must think to create idea and to make connections between anything. The mind must be constantly analyzing the world and asking question to obtain knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

If you close your mind you give yourself up to ignorance and choose to live in a world and false beliefs and misconceptions unaware and the beautiful depth of philosophy. The idea that ignorance is bliss I would have to disagree with in a philosophical sense due to the fact that analyzing and questioning the aspects of our world to further your comprehension of anything that interests you has got to be one of the most important and enriching aspects of life, as we know it.

If we did not ask questions and search for answers we would never grow and advance. Questioning is the key to understanding and that is a tremendous factor in expanding, developing and progressing the world as we know it. Philosophy is the study of open questions such as what, why and how as well as the process of gaining answers through rational thought, deliberation and verification. References The Apology by Plato

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Leadership Philosophy

Eisenhower said once said, “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well”.  (http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/awc/ns/electives/sld/sldsy.htm)

Any deliberation about leadership must begin with the recognition of the fact that people want to be led. It is obvious to a great extent in the face of a calamity they find comfort and inspiration from their leaders. This is also true on a day-to-day basis. People tend to need and seek out guidance from strong leaders. “Leaders organize people—whether in a multinational corporation, a civic or charitable enterprise, a family business, or a high school.” (Ashby and Miles, 2002)

According to Fairholm (1998), “one of the fundamental characteristics of leadership philosophy is its emphasis on a few values held in common by group members”. These values are summed up in a vision of what the group and its members are and can become. “In the United States, the vision typically integrates values described first by the founding fathers.

These values include personal liberty, respect for life, justice, unity and happiness. These are widespread values that are essentially held and to the achievement of which most people dedicate their energies. Unless leaders tap these energizing values, they risk not being able to lead”. (Fairholm, 1998)

A Policeman’s life is riddled with high standards of selfless service. They have to have integrity and it is widely known that they have worked hard without waver since their inception.

A question which arises often is “How do you lead men in such a way that they will put their life on the line for you in an encounter situation in times of danger, and work twenty hours a day for weeks and sometimes months to resolve a crisis?” Of course this can be achieved through perpetual torture and extreme fear of the leading officer but Constables and Lieutenants under such a Captain will not give their job a 100 percent and the direct negative outcome of that will be that the team will not be functioning at full capacity. Firstly a leader must illustrate devotion and commitment to a life of service.

Secondly, it is of vital importance that a leader must be considerate and concerned about his people. (Puryear, Jr.) These tie in with the principle of observation of a role model. A leader’s subordinates have to see that their leader is entirely dedicated to his job and doesn’t only treat it as a job or simple tasks which have to be performed out of duty. A leader must display his love of the occupation so that his subordinates have a role model to follow. However, they will not follow him without question if he doesn’t demonstrate affection for those under him. There is no need for physical forms of affection.

The kind of affection needed can simply be demonstrated by thoughtfulness from a leader. A leader needs to be genuinely concerned about the safety of those under him. In a job such a police officer’s this is particularly important. An officer’s subordinates need to know without any doubt they their lives are in the hands of someone who cares. Brilliant examples of concern for staff have been littered through the US military history, “Gen. Vandenberg invited a colonel to sit in on a conference with the legendary Macarthur. Gen. Twining gave up his Christmas vacation to permit Quesada to catch up on his flight training. General John P. Ryan took coffee to mechanics working late at night.

General Brown allowed a crewman to release his frustration by putting on his cowboy hat and boots. He also provided flights home during temporary duty for his officers and men, and he saw to it that enlisted personnel living in barracks could have a leisurely breakfast on Sundays.” (Fairholm, 1998) With such an amazing array of leadership in our country’s history, one should take a leaf out of their book. Some may think that all leaders would comprehend and be aware of the significance of looking out for those underneath your authority, yet such is not always the case.

A primary principle which policemen follow is to develop a sense of responsibility among their subordinates. General Marshall would say throughout his career to his subordinate officers, “Fix the problem, not the blame”.

At times, a leader has to rely on himself and more imperatively, on his workforce to see him through the storm or bad weather. (Barber, 2004) It is of vital importance that the subordinates discover that they are capable of achieving more, the subordinates assessment of what constitutes of difficult is a direct consequence of their frame of reference.

This problem can be solved with mentorship. Part of mentoring someone involves placing a subordinate in contact with people at the top who are making the toughest decisions. As Murphy and Riggio (2003) put it, “Opportunities such as observing another’s leadership and management skills in action or gaining self-awareness through another’s perspective are just a few of the benefits of mentoring”.

Using Gen. Shy Meyer’s definition, a mentor is someone who provides “guidance, counseling, advice, and teaching” and, with that, “door opening” -meaning opportunity. “The result of door opening and mentorship is that with progress in rank and responsibility one gets the toughest jobs, the longest hours, and the greatest sacrifices in family life.”  (Puryear Jr., 2000)

Unfortunately many leaders have developed the “one-size-fits-all” mentality. This blunder is the outcome of an ironic combination of overconfidence and under confidence in the value of an old, recognized and formerly victorious plan and under confidence in being able to master or develop an original but new and so strange plan.  Sometimes Police officers want to get fast results and so get impatient and apply this theory their operations.

One’s previous knowledge is always an advantage and it is a huge part of any operation but it must only come into play in the context of the present circumstances. Some may attribute the habit of to a lack of ability to comprehend or even mental laziness. Inductive reasoning is required to avoid such am error.  This entails the skill to look at and understand the bigger picture. Of course this may require the investigation of hundreds or thousands of concrete facts and observations, then set aside those which are insignificant and of no great consequence and finally amalgamate the remainder of it into tiny basic conclusions and standards.

The final question has to be “What does this all add up to?” This can be done through two ways; Inductive reasoning and Deductive reasoning.  Inductive reasoning is based on simplification prioritizing. It involves turning complexity into simplicity by imposing order on seeming chaos and identifying what has to be done before any other outcomes can be achieved. What is a fundamental need to be considered and this fundamental feature is what everything else will rely on and function upon.

Deductive reasoning works in another manner. It involves integrating what has been discovered with prior knowledge and then applying it to the current situation. Some may find the level of complexity required too great. So they bluster and make demands on subordinates and use familiar strategies, but they never get to the real heart of the problem because they do not know what it is. There may be a lack of creative imagination as well. All of this is very hard mental work and requires intelligence and logical thinking; a policeman’s work is not only restricted to physical activities!

A few leaders often do not know that they cannot handle the job properly. More often than the foundation of their self-esteem is always being right and always being in control of things. They would feel humiliated and degraded if they admit that they cannot complete a task correctly. They lie to themselves by convincing themselves that they can do it and fall into a whirlwind of desperate, inept measures.

None of them could be right but that point they stop thinking. They replace thinking with clumsy actions. When things begin to go bitter, they lash out at their subordinates and then segregate themselves so that they will not have to hear the bad news. All this makes them progressively less able to fix what is really wrong with the operation. (Murphy and Riggio, 2003)

Henry L. Stimson, the secretary of War through 1990 and 1911 once said, “I had been accustomed throughout my life to classify all public servants into one or the other of two general categories: one, the men who were thinking what they could do for their job; the other, the men who were thinking what the job could do for them.” (Puryear, 2009) True leaders who others follow without any doubts or questions even in the worse of circumstances are those who do the former.

References

Barber, E. Brace. (2004) No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army’s Elite Rangers. Hoboken, NJ. Wiley.

Fairholm, W. Gilbert. (1998). Perspectives on Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart. Westport, CT. Quorum Books.

Murphy, E. Susan & Riggio, E. Ronald. (2003). The Future of Leadership Development. Mahwah, NJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Puryear, F. Edgar, Jr.(2000) American Generalship: Character Is Everything The Art of Command. Presidio

Miles, A. Stephen & Ashby, D. Meredith (2002) Leaders Talk Leadership: Top Executives Speak Their Minds. New York Oxford University Press.

AWC Elective: Strategic Leader Development

http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/awc/ns/electives/sld/sldsy.htm Accessed January 5, 2007

 

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The Philosophy of Morality

There is restriction on freedom everywhere. This is a derived idea from the argument of Immanuel Kant in his work, An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?” This restriction is the reason why humans behave as they are: they need a harmonious environment within themselves as a pursuit of individual community of well-being, freedom and safety. Humans are not ultimately free as they could be because their actions have consequences. We may call these consequences, according to Kant, “imperatives for actions”. The reason “why certain acts ought to be done is because they ought to be done” (Stratton-Lake, 2000).

Generally, a rational human being would do an action consciously for practical reasons, which is considered as hypothetically imperative. It demands that a person does such action for the sake of a purpose that he has in mind. Why Man should not  break promises, why should not tell lies, why and should not commit suicide? This is because Man ought not do these acts.  According to Kant, the reason why Man should keep his promises because of his “obligation to be consistent and the injunction against using others (i.e., against treating them only as means)” (Nasr, 2008). This is a concrete example of Kant’s Ought priciple of ethics.

“Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only”(Kant, 1785). A true ethical person would not use people to further his own end and he treats other  people with respect to a value of dignity and not a value of price because a person with a value of dignity cannot be replaced and their value is priceless. An object with a value of price, as what the hypothetically imperative person believes, can be exchanged and used as a means to achieve an end.

To Kant,  this principle of humanity “is the supreme limiting condition on the freedom of action of each man,” and argues that the principle is not founded on experience but rather seated in the footholds of a priori reasoning, reasoning that comes before experience. Indeed, Man’s actions are limited and the “ theoretical Ought of our judgments about facts, like the practical Ought of Ethics, is after all definable only in terms of what Kant called the Autonomy of Will” (Royce, 1901).

In fact, not only Kant recognized the limitations of the freedom of human Will and the actions that their will impose upon them and why Man obeys. Another philosopher who made a discourse on this ethical issue is Jonathan Edwards. He noted that there are “ethics or the rules” (Tappan 1839), which are, in fact, not compelled to be obeyed by everyone but impose a strong power upon the conscience of the majority, especially those who believes in an Almighty being and those who do not want to feel the uneasiness of the evil and the persecuting nature of the Man.

Disobedience to these manly imposed rules are considered as a “state of sinfulness” (Tappan 1839) or the corruption of human sensitivity disposed to violate the harmony and fitness of the spiritual constitution. This is another binding factor that makes man perform the hypothetically imperative actions.

Does morality purely exist? Morality is something that is not strongly defined, yet it is considered as the ultimate commandment of reason and this is the guiding source for Man’s duties and obligations. Even Kant  argues  in his Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals that “it is only a pure philosophy that we can look for the moral law in its purity and genuineness.” Human beings have moral obligations to each other, and, as previously mentioned, because of reasons that they need and not because of their pure will to do such obligations. Man, to be good to each other without qualification would be a conceived as having a “good will” (Kant, 1785) and it must be understood, however, that humans do not have the autonomous will.

They have the morally good will to attain the practical ends that they wish to have. Moral philosophies follow the “laws of human will” as affected by nature and when applied to man, it does not borrow the least thing from the knowledge of man himself (anthropology), but gives laws a priori to him as a rational being. Moral laws require human judgment that has been sharpened through time and experience in order for them to be properly applied and for these laws to access the will of the man and “effectual influence on conduct”(Kant, 1785). The virtuous person does not only conform and obeys the moral law.

He also act for the sake of the moral law itself. Man’s actions are morally right as determined by the virtue of their motives, derived not from Man’s inclinations but from Man’s duty. A virtuous person, who makes a morally right action, is determined to act in accordance with his duty and this duty overcomes that person’s self-interests and hidden desires. And for Kant, the Ought of Ethics is the defining factor for morality: “ the sense in which the conduct of moral aget is to be judged as  good or evil according as it does or does not conform to the standard of the Ought” (Royce, 1901)

As Kant have further argued in his philosophies, the ultimate moral law principle was abstractly conceived to guide man to the right action in life’s circumstances. However, if man is immature enough to acknowledge this guidance, enlightenment would never be achieved. Moreover, it is not only the lack of maturity that deter man and give him obstacles from being enlightened but also laziness, superstitious and dogmatic beliefs or fanaticism. “Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless gladly remain immature for life” (Kant, 1784).

Enlightenment would result to freedom, and, if man is still of prejudices and dogmatic beliefs, Man would be nothing but an unthinking and leashed controlled being. Dogmas “are the ball and chain of His permanent immaturity.” (Kant, 1784) If Man stays immature and an obedient being without reason, he would be an object without dignity, a mere machine.

Works Cited

Kant, Immanuel; translated by James W. Ellington [1785] (1993). Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals 3rd ed.

Royce, Josiah. The World and the Individual: Gifford Lectures Delivered before the University of Aberdeen. 2d Series: Nature, Man, and the Moral Order. New York: Macmillan, 1901.

Stratton-Lake, Philip. Kant, Duty, and Moral Worth. London: Routledge, 2000.

Tappan, Henry Philip.  A Review of Edwards’s “Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will. New York: J.S Taylor, 1839.

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The Philosophy of Man

The Philosophy of Man “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? ” (NASB1995) This verse is taken from Psalm 8:4, I cited this verse on the account of my wonder and curiosity on what really is man? I guess this question has already been brought up years ago by scribes, teachers, politicians, scientist and even philosophers. Even David, the man after God’s own heart has also asked on what is on this man that even the God of universe is so fond of him. With all reasons, judgments, questions has been clashed, I have no better answer than other great philosophers.

But let me try to expound my idea on this notion truthfully. There are many definitions of man. Some says that man is a rational animal. Others would say that man is a being and has a special place in the universe on the account of their abilities and level of reasoning. While others argued that one thing to observe that humans are but a tiny aspect of the universe and even of life on our own planet. Whatever their justifications may be, I hold unto this one truth that I believe in, Man is created in the image and likeness of God.

I’m not saying this because I am a Christian but because I have learned not to depend solely on the knowledge of this world but on the wisdom from God. By simply understanding that man is created in the image and likeness of God, then surely man has a great value. Therefore, every human being is bestowed with dignity and his sense of being. I believe that we are all equal here; sinners or saints, rich or poor are all given by dignity. Thus, one cannot say that I am better off with the others. Man is a spiritual being because of the spiritual acts that he does.

This includes intellection and reasoning. Indeed, man is a rational animal. Man is formed as the highest creation since being rational, he can think more, he is free to choose and decide, he can explore, and he can do all things according to his goal that will lead him to happiness as well as to see the good. Moreover, by its uniqueness, soul is the source of the things of man can do what other cannot do. Each one is unique and thus each one can be distinguished by each soul that describe who you are. Taking up Philosophy of Man subject has been subject to my queries before.

Why do we have to take up this when our field is on medical and nursing. It was later then that I realized that this course subject is vital because it gives us a thorough understanding on our patients especially the dignity of humans. Astounding as it was, I found this subject to be a challenging one because it harnessed the way we think and reason out. It taught us to examine ourselves, to look beyond one perspective and to dug deeper. Another essential attribute of man is his freewill. Freewill is the capacity to choose.

If by the word “free” one means that people have the ability to make certain choices on their own free from compulsion, force, or coercion then the answer is “yes. ” For example, people have the ability to choose to go to the store or stay home, to buy a newspaper or not, to eat beef or to eat fish, etc. such choices are within the natural capacity of human beings. People are free to act according to their nature. We humans are moved not by instinct but ideas. I think that this is one of the greatest attribute in man.

We are not robots controlled by any manual operations or animals driven by instinct. Yes, we are creations but our creator never imposed on us but give us freewill. I have also pondered out that man is a seeker of happiness. We are all different but we also have something in common and that is our pursuit of happiness. We study hard, get a decent job, find a partner, start our own family, these are all means to gain happiness. Happiness, we all know, comes with the possession of some good; but where, or, in the possession of what good is perfect happiness to be found.

However, there’s one thing that I’ve realized, no matter how happy we could be in this world, we would not be content because we are made for something eternal. To be loved is to be known and to be known is to be loved. Man is called to love and communion. I guess this is the basis of our morality everything which is governed by love. Man is not made to be alone. That is why Eve was created for Adam. I truly believed that there is no greater joy to love and be loved in return. Love enables a person to be good and self-giving which creates the good of persons and of communities.

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Philosophy with Logic

Philosophy with Logic What is philosophy? Philosophy has many questions- Asking the right questions… From Greek word PHILO (Love) & SOPHIA (Wisdom) which means lover of wisdom * PHYTAGORAS, a Greek Philosopher, was the first to use the term Philosophy. * He noted that there are three types of man: a. lover of pleasure b. lover of success c. lover of wisdom * the last, according to him, is the SUPERIOR TYPE. * Wisdom here deals with the principles of things, the first cause of all beings.

It deals with an understanding on the meaning of one’s existence and the importance of things around her/ him (Socio, 2007) The chief goal of wisdom is a fundamental understanding of reality as it relates to living a good life. * We might say then, that wisdom is good judgement about complex situations. Consequently, wisdom involves reflection, insight, a capacity to learn from experience and some plausible conception of the human condition (Buenaflor, 2009). Philosophy is a search for meaning and therefore intended only for the rational beings.

He who has the why of things can bear almost any how…- Victor Frankyl Philosophy uses reason to attain its object. Whatever is one’s state in life, whenever she is and whatever she does she will always be left philosophizing. Therefore philosophy is always present. Philosophy- The science of all things by their first causes as known by the light of reason Philosophy covered all aspects of human knowledge. The early philosophers believed that philosophy is the foundation of all learning in the possibility of a total world picture and in the unity of all truths- whether scientific, ethical, religious or aesthetic.

Philosophy as subject sought to provide if not all the answers the, the answers to at least the most ultimate and fundamental questions. Why study Philosophy? The study of Philosophy is very important because it offers students a chance to explore the fundamental questions about human existence and to see exactly what thinkers in different periods have had about the essence of human being. Philosophy can help clarify our thoughts. The clearer a person thinks the more she/he expresses himself/herself and more accurate way of examining and making decisions about life.

It is philosophy that digs into the root causes of man’s problems and discovers the true solutions and remedies to human ills. Plato- The Philosopher King Why study Philosophy? Philosophy is one of the best ways of enriching your life, even as it prepares you for life. Philosophy’s critical skills offer the best defense against foolishness and falsehoods. Philosophy is one of the most practical subjects in college. Logic helps the students in the following areas: * Interpretation ; Analysis * Abstract Reasoning * Research ; Synthesis * Communications Branches of Philosophy Logic- the science of correct reasoning * Epistemology- it deals with the origin and validity of human knowledge * Metaphysics- it deals with the study of beings and the origin of things. * Theodicy- the study of God in the light of natural reason. (Philosophy of Religion) * Cosmology- the study of the universe from a philosophical viewpoint * Philosophical or Rational Psychology- the study of man not only as a thinking or sensing being but as compose of body and soul * Ethics- a philosophical study that deals with how life should be lived and the means of attaining a meaningful existence. *

Aesthetics or Philosophy of Arts- deals with the philosophical study of arts and beauty. It answers the question like What is beauty? Philosophy can also be divided into the following branches called Philosophies of Discipline * Philosophy of Persons- it deals with the study about the dignity of man, truth, freedom, justice, love, death and his relationship with others and with God. * Social Philosophy- it deals with the philosophical study of a society and its institutions. It is concerned in determining the features of the best society as it deals with the study of relationships of the human person. Philosophy of Science- This deals with the justification and objectivity of scientific knowledge. * Philosophy of mathematics- The aim of philosophy of mathematics is to provide an account of the nature and methodology of mathematics and its importance. * Philosophy of Law- This branch of philosophy deals with the why’s of the law. It also aims to guide people’s actions in political community and thereby protect basic interests or rights. * Philosophy of Education- This branch of philosophy provides a philosophical understanding of the issues in education.

It deals with the different methods of education and its effects in the learning of the human person. * Philosophy of Psychology- it deals with everyday reflections on ones thoughts and deeds and on the behavior of others * Philosophy of Religion- Study of God from a philosophical viewpoint * Philosophy of History- This branch of Philosophy is an attempt to answer substantive questions dealing with such matters as the significance or possible purpose of the historical processes and the factors fundamentally responsible for historical development and change. Philosophy of Love- this branch deals with the meaning and value of love in the human person. * Philosophy of Culture- This is the philosophical study of all aspects of human life. Its aim is to interpret and transmit to future generations the system of values. * Philosophy of Women- This is also called philosophy of feminism, which refers to the study of the legal and political rights of women, as well as the relationship between the sexes in terms of inequality, subordination, or oppression. What is the basic requirement of becoming a Philosopher? – The faculty of wonder philosophy asks the question WHY? Where did Philosophy originates? West- Greece East- China and India Factors that contribute to the development of Philosophy in Greece * Geography * Invention of Games * Invention of coins * Myths Logic Etymologically, Logic is deduced from the Greek word Logike denoting a treatise on matters pertaining to thought. The term was coined by Zeno the Stoic. St. Thomas Aquinas defines Logic as the art that directs the reasoning process so that man may attain knowledge of truth in an orderly way, with ease and without error.

As art, Logic is the tool of all sciences. The Scholastics considered it as “the art of all other arts” because it is used in every science and in every practical endeavor. As science, Logic studies the logical properties involved in the act of knowledge such as the logic of notions or concepts, the logic of judgement, the logic of reasoning and the logic of science. As science, Logic is a systematized body of logical truths and principles governing the habit of critical thinking and reasoning. History of Logic Zeno the Stoic coined the actual name Logic.

He established the rules of argumentation to clarify the nature of concepts by using the Prior and Posterior analytics of Aristotle’s logical works. This endeavor degenerated because of the clever rhetoric and subtle persuasion of the Sophists. Socrates refuted the error by vindicating the value concepts in knowing reality. Plato, the most distinguished student of Socrates, philosophized that truth is the same as the ultimate, ideal reality. Aristotle corrected this error. He wrote six treatises on Logic known as the “Organon” He stated that ideas are mental operations that exist only in the mind.

He is considered as the founder of science. Porphyrius wrote the categories of Aristotle known as “Isagoge’ Boethius translated Aristotle’s Organon and wrote commentaries on the Isagoge. Avicenna and Averroes wrote commentaries of Aristotle’s Organon Thomas Aquinas wrote commentaries on the logical works of Aristotle Francis Bacon wrote the “Novum Organon”. He introduced the Theory of Induction. John Stuart Mill developed Bacon’s “Novum Organon” Recently, George Boole founded the New Symbolic Logic . Because of its limited scope of application its popularity declined. Methods of Reasoning Inductive method- where we can obtain universal knowledge by considering the particular ex. Repeated experience of seeing falling bodies towards the ground. We may induce that this is common to all bodies. * Deductive- When we proceed from universal knowledge to particular cases ex. Logic is divided according to the three acts of the mind. * Apprehension * Judgement * Reasoning Simple Apprehension It is the basic operation of the mind or “the mental processes by which we grasp the general meaning of the thing without affirming or denying anything about it. It is the basic operation of the mind that leads to a concept; ex. man” “dog” Judgment It is the act of the mind by which we compare two concepts, either they agree or not. If we put concepts together, the end result is called judgement or proposition. Ex. Man Laughs Reasoning It is the act of the mind by which we derive new truths from previously assumed truth. The mind combines several judgments or propositions in order to arrive at a previously unknown judgment; it is called syllogism. Ex. All men are walking Cyrus is a man. Therefore Cyrus is walking. Mental Act External Sign Apprehension Term Judgement Proposition Reasoning Syllogism

Terms The term deduced from the Latin “terminus” is the extramental symbol of an idea. A term is an external expression of an idea. Ideas are mental expressions of external objects. Logical properties of terms * Comprehension of a term- It is the sum total of all the qualities / elements that comprise the meaning of the term; A manifestation of the essence of the object. It is also known as connotation. The comprehension of animal is “sentient living material substance”. * The Extension of a Term- It is the sum total of the particulars to which the comprehension of a term can be applied.

It is also known as denotation e. g. The extension of the comprehension “sentient living material substance(animal) is birds, mammals, reptiles, birds, mammals etc.. The comprehension and extension of terms are inversely related. The greater the comprehension the lesser the extension and vice-versa | Comprehension| Extension| Substance| substance| Spirits, minerals, plants, brutes,men| Body| Material substance| Minerals, plants, brutes, men| Organism| Living material substance| plants, brutes, men| Animal| Sentient living material substance| brutes, men| Man| Rational sentient living material substance| Men|

Classification of Terms I. According to Extension Extension of Terms- is defined as property of a term by which such a term is applied to other things. Terms have three extensions namely Singular, Particular and Universal * Singular Term is an extension of term that stands for a single definite individual or group. It is used to specify the individual or group. It is quantified by: * Demonstrative pronouns- This, That e. g. this book, that boy * The article “the” connotes a single idea e. g. the cup, the umbrella * Personal Pronouns- I, You, He, my, yours , he ,she Collective nouns- flock, clan, team * Particular Terms-stand for a definite part of the absolute extension. This is applied to a given part of a given group. Particular terms have the following quantifiers 1. ) Indefinite Pronouns and Adjectives- Some, few, many, most, several, not all, etc. e. g. some people, most roads 2. ) Use of Numbers- seven candidates 3. ) Articles “A” and “AN” give a particular idea e. g. a saucer, an umbrella Universal terms- stands for every subject signified. This is when meaning is extended to each and every member of the group. The signs of universality are: 1. Universal Expression/Quantifiers- all, every, each, whatever, whoever, which ever, without exception, everything, no, no one etc. e. g. Ex. No man is an island; All students of Rogationist College will wear their uniform 2. ) Universal Ideas- e. g. Tomorrow is a new day; Dogs are not cats 3. ) Articles in the Universal idea- e. g. The book has pages; A snake is a dangerous creature II. According to Meaning * Univocal- it signifies the same concept or essence, in (at least) two occurrences of the term e. g. Gloria Arroyo became the President of the Republic of the Philippines; Benigno Aquino jr. s the president of the Republic of the Philippines * Equivocal Term- The term is outwardly or apparently the same but it signifies different concepts or essences. E. g. left (left hand); left ( gone); right (right hand) right (correct) * Analogous term- it expresses partly the same and partly different in meanings ex. Head does not have the same meaning in head of the family and head of a man. III. According to Quality * Positive in form, positive in meaning e. g. life, justice, truth, * Positive in form, negative in meaning e. g. murder, massacre, famine * Negative in form, negative in meaning e. g. mmature, incompetent, dishonest * Negative in form, positive in meaning e. g. immortal, unblemished IV. According to Relation * Compatible- those that can co- exist in a subject examples: wise and good; beauty and brain; rich and famous; tall, dark and handsome; * Incompatible- those that cannot co-exist in a subject. They exclude each other. There are four kinds of incompatible Ideas: * Contradictory- those that express a positive and negative concept. Contradictories are mutually exclusive such that the affirmation of one is the denial of the other. Between them, there is no third (middle) possibility.

Examples: legal-illegal; patient-impatient; literate-illiterate; valid-invalid * Contrary- those that express extremes belonging to the same class. Between these ideas, there is a third (middle) ground. Examples: rich-poor; hot-cold; kind-cruel; high-low; beautiful-ugly * Privative- two opposed ideas, one of which expresses perfection, and the other its lack which ought to be possessed. Examples: sight-blindness; truth-error; hearing-deafness; good-evil * Correlative- two opposed ideas that bear mutual relation to one another such that one can’t be understood without the other.

They imply each other because one depends the other. Examples: cause-effect; whole-part; husband wife; parent-child According to Object 1. ) Real- it expresses something that has existential actuality, whether positive or negative. Examples: clarity, temperance, scandal, unemployment, chair, table 2. ) Logical- it is used as a conceptual device to facilitate learning. Examples: subject, predicate, classification, division, phyla, genera 3. ) Imaginary- it has no correspondence in reality but is merely a concoction of the mind.

Examples: Spider man, flying carpet, darna, talking tree According to Comprehension * Concrete- the term is used to express concrete concepts such as those perceivable by the senses or whose referent is tangible. Example: ball, desk, table,brilliant lawyer * Abstract- The term is used to express abstract concepts such as those understood by the mind or whose referent is intangible. The term denotes being, quality, quantity or relationship. It denotes the property of a thing regarded as an entity by itself. Examples: humanity, dullness. Kindness

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Philosophy Study Questions

PHI 101C HW6 10/18/2012 Qiansongzi Chen 1. How might the constructive nature of your perceptions play a role in what you experience while you’re walking at night through a graveyard said to be visited by spirits of the dead? Constructive perception is in part something that our minds manufacture. Thus what we perceive is determined, not only by what our eyes and ears and other senses detect, but also by what we know, what we expect, what we believe, and what our physiological state is.

Just because something seems or feels real doesn’t mean that it is real. 2. What are some of the factors that could influence the accuracy of your memory of an event that happened three years ago? Our memories are also constructive and easily influenced by all sorts of factors: stress, expectation, belief, and the introduction of new information. Added to all this is the selectivity of memory. We selectively remember certain things and ignore others, setting up a recall bias. No wonder the recall of eyewitness is often unreliable. 3.

Let’s say that an incredible coincidence occurs in your life, and your friend argues that the odds against the occurrences are so astronomical that the only explanation must be a paranormal one. What is wrong with this argument? Just because something seems not so realistic, doesn’t mean it can only be explained by paranormal reasons. It’s an example of the appeal to ignorance. Just because you can’t show that the supernatural or paranormal explanation is false doesn’t mean that it is true. Unfortunately, although this reasoning is logically fallacious, it is psychologically compelling. 4.

How is it possible for the prophecies of Nostradamus to appear to be highly accurate and yet not be? Prophecies of Nostradamus can be highly accurate when they predict very general and broad things, when they predict a specific thing, it usually fails to be accurate. Also, people tent to only notice the things prophecies predict and turn out to be true, and ignore the things turn out to be false. 5. What is the principle that explains how much trust we should put in personal experience as reliable evidence? It’s reasonable to accept personal experience as reliable evidence only if there’s no reason to doubt its reliability.

Personal experience alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt. 6. What is confirmation bias? How does it affect our thinking? Not only do we have a tendency to ignore and misinterpret evidence that conflicts with our own views; we also have tendency to look for and recognize only evidence that confirms them. We tend to look for confirming rather than disconfirming evidence, even though the latter can often be far more revealing. 7. What is the availability error? How does it affect our thinking?

The availability error occurs when people base their judgments on evidence that’s vivid or memorable instead of reliable or trustworthy. 8. How do confirmation bias and the availability error lead to superstitious beliefs? The availability error not only leads us to ignore the relevant evidence, it also leads us to ignore relevant hypotheses. For any set of data, it is, in principle, possible to construct any number of different hypotheses to account for the data. In practice, however, it is often difficult to come up with many different hypotheses.

As a result, we often end up choosing among only those hypotheses that come to mind, that are available. In the case of unusual phenomena, the only explanations that come to mind are often supernatural or paranormal ones. Many people take the inability to come up with a natural or normal explanation for something as proof that it is supernatural or paranormal. “How else can you explain it? ” they often ask. 9. What is the argument from unnecessary restrictions? How can it be used to undercut supernatural or paranormal claims?

Unnecessary restriction also called unwarranted design, because the phenomena observed are more limited or restricted than one would expect if the hypothesis were true. To be acceptable, a hypothesis must fit the data: this means not only that the hypothesis must explain tha data, but also that the data explained must be consistent with what the hypothesis predicts. If the hypothesis makes predictions that are not borne out by the data, there is reason to doubt the hypothesis. 10. What is the representativeness heuristic? How does it affect our thinking?

We sometimes led astray by the representative heuristic, the rule of thumb that like goes with like. And we are generally poor judges of probabilities and randomness, which leads us to erroneously believe that an event could not possibly be a mere coincidence. 11. Why can’t personal experience alone establish the effectiveness of a treatment? Case studies alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt. The reality is that personal experience alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt, but controlled scientific studies. 2. What is the placebo effect? A peculiar fact about people is that sometimes even if they are given a treatment that’s inactive or bogus, they’ll respond with an improvement in the way they feel. This response , called the placebo effect, is not all in the mind, it can involve both psychological and physiological changes. What exactly is behind this effect isn’t clear, but many experts say it depends on suggestibility, operant conditioning (previous experience with healing act), expectation, and other factors.

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Philosophy- Locke Hume and Kafka

1. Explain how Locke and Hume view personal identity, or the “Self”. How do you see Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” as exemplifying these philosophical themes? You may choose Locke or Hume or both, or argue why you see neither of their theories as showing up in Kafka’s work. Locke’s theory of personal identity does not rely on substance to explain personal identity. Locke’s theory is person one at time two is the same person as person two at time one if and only if person one and person two are both persons and person one can remember at time two (his doing) what person two did or felt or what have you at time one.

Hume’s theory of the self-held that the self is nothing but a bundle of experiences or perceptions linked by the relations of causation and resemblance; or, more accurately, that the empirically warranted idea of the self is just the idea of such a bundle. In “Metamorphosis” Kafka takes on Locke’s view of the self. Kafka illustrates that Gregor Samsa is the same person as he was when he was human even though he has changed into a bug.

Kafka does this by showing that Gregor still has the same thoughts, memories, and tries to continue the same routine even though he has become a bug. Gregor stills tries to wake up and catch the train for work, he still knows how his sister, parents, and boss will act, and he still has the same feelings and emotions towards his life and the people who are in it. All of these explain go along with Locke’s view of the self verses Hume’s theory.

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Hume Philosophy Paper

David Hume was an early 18th century philosopher that is best known for covering a variety of theories. He covered that reason alone cannot be a motive to the will, moral distinctions are not derived from reason and moral distinctions are direct from the moral sentiments [Treatise of Human Nature, 11]. “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them” [T 2. 3. 3 p. 414] in his work A Treatise of Human Nature.

Reason alone cannot motivate or oppose passion. “Reason is perfectly inert and can never either prevent or produce any action or affection” [Book 2, 265]; moral distinctions are not derived from reasons. Reason does not by itself constitute grounds for an action of desire. Reason only “intervenes to explain passion’s impulses to actions proceedings” and thus connecting between two elements [Book 3, pg. 296]. Passion can influence or even disregard reason on purpose to serve goals behind actions.

Moral distinctions are “derived from feelings of pleasure and pain and not from reason”. Reason itself “cannot produce or prevent any action or affection and morals concern actions” and affections and therefore cannot be based on reason [Book 3, pg. 301]. Due to the idea that distinctions are not based on reason, Hume states that they are based on sentiments that are felt by moral sense This can be related to the study of how we are motivated to act morally and the role of practical reason in moral motivation.

The role of reason is only to find out which means help achieve a given goal. Our goals are set by what Hume calls the passion and what today is mostly called desires. Reason is the “slave of passion” in the sense that it practical reason alone cannot give rise to moral motivation, but dependent on motivational force. Hume claims that “passions do not refer to external things” [Book 3 pg. 336], but that they are an original existence. In other words, passions are the very substance of the self.

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Medieval Philosophy St. Anselm, an Archbishop of Canterbury

Born in Aosta, in a town off Lombardy, St. Anselm grew up with his mother and father. His mother spoke of the greatness and power of God often. She would describe him with very high regards and Anselm assumed he lived somewhere nearby considering they lived in the mountains already. St. Anselm believed that he witness the greatness of God. He dreamt of his servants and a feast of bread with the King. The servants consisted of women and worked just as servants do. As they were all off gathering the harvest he and the Lord ate a meal of bread together. When St. Anselm woke from his dream he told everyone that he sat with the lord and how immense it was. This sparked his interest in God even more.

As a young child he was a quick learner (Eadmer, 1972). When he reached his teenage years St. Anselm was loved by many; even those that opposed authority, He was also still hungry for wisdom. He attempted to join the missionary and become a priest but was denied. The monk would not let him in because they did not think his father would approve. St. Anselm’s mother died some time afterwards. His father was a very strict man and was hard on him. He was so tough on St Anselm that the boy decided to set out on a journey of his own. He looked to learn and he found it in a teacher near Avranches. St. Anselm was a devoted scholar who later became Archbishop and doctor of his church.

To the claim: To me God does not yet exist; but there is a creative force constantly struggling to evolve godlike knowledge and power, every man and woman born is a fresh attempt to achieve omnipotence and omniscience.

This bluntly means that no current God exist. That everyman and woman is a mold attempt to attain total power and knowledge in an image imitating what he or she believes to be of God. The creative force that is being described is used as a synonym to what God’s power would be in this sentence. Considering that the statement is one without belief then the power and knowledge of a superior is describing a goal man is trying to reach when reproducing him or herself. He has not yet achieved it; therefore he continues to reproduce. Man attempt to create the ultimate human being by mating with those that offer the most beneficial offspring. That is the natural instinct of man; to create flawless images of him; to duplicate his positive qualities into another being.

With this being said St Anselm would disagree with the statement that God didn’t exist. God existed in the days of Medieval without question. Philosophers just knew he existed and St. Anselm used the Ontological argument as his own translation. The main problem in the eleventh century was not only if God existence was real, it was proving the theory. Many felt that it was just something in the Bible and others felt there was more answers, St. Anselm being one of them.

St Anselm felt that a fool says there is no God. When he or she thinks of this image they contradict themselves. They perceive something that is not real to them. He believes it is possible to be because man is created in the image of him and no other. There is no other animal or being that replicates the image of God. St. Anselm considers that we can imagine things but only those that are true will be defined. The definition of God is one being superb to all; he is thought to be just that, even by the imagination of nonbelievers.

St Anselm was a philosopher that wanted to analyze the words of the Bible and put proof behind them. His definition of the relationship between man and God requires that you have a somewhat religious background and or belief. (2002). He feels that there is one great thing or many that is created through that one. One thing that is greater than all things.

There is a being that is good and that creates and receives goodness through itself. He feels that all things that are good receive their good either through themselves or through another. At the highest level all things are either identical or one thing is significantly different than the rest, giving it distinct God-like qualities and making it superior to all else.

St. Anselm believes that God does exist in reality. All things that are real exist in reality and all things that are not exist in dreams. Dreams are not reality and all things through God go beyond man’s dreams. St. Anselm would change his opinion to make no one happy but won the hearts of many. He stood behind what he believed. His Ontological argument says that the existence of God can be proven through intuition and reason alone and no physical evidence is necessary.

Although many philosophers have disagreed with this argument, St. Anselm insists that if a person can conceive of God, then God does exist. He argues that if someone states “God does not exist” then he or she is contradictory of his or her self. Since they are made in what he thinks to be the image of God himself.

Many theorist and philosophers felt that God was a being that common man was incapable of communicating with. They felt that he had given them the knowledge to learn of him but not to go beyond that. Meaning that we will only know what he wants us to know and we will only learn of him what he allows us to. Some felt that they were not going to ever talk with God or get the answers that lead to his existence.

St. Anselm believed “ sin has so darkened our minds that we cannot hope to reach the truth unless God graciously leads us to it. He does so by offering us the truth through revelation and by inspiring us to accept that revelation in faith. Once we accept the truth on that basis, however, we can hope to reason out proofs for what we have already accepted through faith. God is rational, and what he does is rational, and we ourselves are blessed with reason. Thus we should be able to discover the rationality of God’s actions, at least to some extent. We are like students who, unable to solve a mathematical problem, are given the answer to it and then discover they can reason out why that answer is correct (1996).” With this belief strongly embedded into St. Anselm’s way of thinking he would change the way that we look at religion today.

This theory is still in existence today. Theologians that studied later on after St. Anselm found it hard to accept this wisdom from such a young philosopher. St. Anselm felt that God spoke to him very clearly. He was taught of this God as a child and as he got older he studied this God. As a man he became to know this God and have an intimate relationship with him. He learned that while in the struggles of life’s journey that God was the not only a philosophy but he was also a reality. God was of concrete power and understanding while all others were temporary. His relationship with his father and many peers were not solid and caused him great grief. The encounters with God were reality to him and they were permanent. He realized that God controlled all that was. St Anselm intriguingly realized that his life was apart of God’s plan, a part of his story.

History in this case defines God’s story. It included St. Anselm’s life plan. He wanted to learn as much as possible about God. St. Anselm was a very wise young man for seeking the wisdom of God and that is why he was given the gift of knowledge.

His gift was the ability to spread the word of God and his faith in him. He believed in a mighty God that from his testimonies gave him all that he needed. He was hungry for the knowledge that others may have feared. He was not afraid to die on his deathbed because he was sure that he would go to be with God. He was rumored to have asked the Lord if he could stay long enough to find out where our souls started and their purpose. He felt that after him there would be no one else so competent to do his work.

St. Anselm was not only a miracle of his time but ours as well. He proved that nothing could stand in the way of knowledge by not allowing his challenges to lower his power to believe. Believe in what he knew to be. He made history not just for his argument but also mostly for his courageous journey through discovery with his own beliefs.

Reference:

Eadmer and translated by R.W. Southern. May 1, 1972.

The Life of St. Anselm: Archbishop of Canterbury. New York. Oxford University Press.

Paul Halsall (Jan 1996). Anselm on God’s Existence. Medieval Source Book. April 26, 2006. http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/source/anselm.asp

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My Nursing Philosophy

As I sit here pondering how I would communicate my values and beliefs, I think of my current job as a personal trainer, similar to nursing, on a daily basis I help individuals with their personal health both inside and out. In my job there is no room for my values or beliefs, just facts, education and being a good listener. I believe the day I become a nurse the only “values and beliefs” that I will need are those contained in the oath I take the day I become a nurse, and those legally expressed in my Nurse Practice Act. Injecting my beliefs into my practice as a nurse will most likely violate my oath and responsibilities to my patients

My Nursing Philosophy By Christina Rivera Professional Issues NU 116 Maria Prior As I sit here pondering how I would communicate my values and beliefs, I think of my current job as a personal trainer, similar to nursing, on a daily basis I help individuals with their personal health both inside and out. In my job there is no room for my values or beliefs, just facts, education and being a good listener. I believe the day I become a nurse the only “values and beliefs” that I will need are those contained in the oath I take the day I become a nurse, and those legally expressed in my Nurse Practice Act.

Injecting my beliefs into my practice as a nurse will most likely violate my oath and responsibilities to my patients. While I hold true to my values and beliefs when it comes to nursing, I strongly believe that putting peoples basic needs at the top the priority list when it comes to nursing is what separates good nurses from great nurses. I believe that a nurse should always act in a professional manner and act in accordance within the scope of practice. Nurses should possess qualities such as; Empathy and being able to identify with others; be caring, compassionate and committed. A urse should be ethical and non-judgmental, be honest, confident and trustworthy. Being physically fit is important, as the job is very demanding. Last but not least a good nurse should also be an advocate for their patients and have their best interests at heart, be a good listener and communicator. My personal definitions of client, health, environment and nursing are: A client is a person with needs, whether it is medical, physical, psychological, or self-esteem. It is a nurse’s duty to make sure each person feels they have received the best health care and feel like a human being.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the definition of health “ is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. To me health is all relative to the well being of the body. This not only includes the physical but the mental as well. Health is not only when you are sick, but also having your physical and mental health being is a good stable condition. My definition of environment does not just describe the physical area where a person lives; it also includes the individual emotions and thoughts.

It will be my duty as a nurse to be positive with all services, and to include family and friends whom are close to the individual regarding their health. Nursing is someone who cares for people who are sick in every way and sometimes all a person needs is someone to talk to. A nurse does not only help individuals, they also help families achieve health and prevent disease. A scientific definition of nursing is “observes, assesses, and records symptoms, reactions and progress of patients”. My personal nursing philosophy is I believe it is beneficial to the patient to be treated as an uman being rather than just another patient. Allowing the patient to feel that the nurse really care about their feelings and overall health. People are at their most vulnerable state when in a hospital or nursing home, this is the time for the nurse to be reassuring and make the individual feel as comfortable as possible is one the most important aspects of nursing. References Definition of World Health Organization, Retrieved Feb 06, 2012 from http://apps. who. int/aboutwho/en/definition. html. Scientific definition of Nursing from Wiki pedia, Retrieved Feb 06, 2012 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/nursing