THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2014 - Philosophy


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THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON 2014 - Philosophy

  1. 1. THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON - Philosophy Euthyphro - Socratic Irony Cartesian Doubt and Metaphysical Certainty 11 July 2014 There is irony throughout this piece by Plato (Euthyphro) exercised by Socrates, who cunningly has place himself physically at the porch of King Archon with the expectation of being question by Euthyphro. Socrates frequently practiced philosophy in public amongst the people of Athens particularly those whom could be influence or convince of his theories or logic. Euthyphro’s inquisitiveness allowed Socrates to meticulously engage in the conversation, in which Socrates made it seem was being initiated by Euthyphro. Socrates uses what can be perceived as irony methodology by voluntarily mentioning of Meletus. Going further by cleverly providing a physical description implanted another seed when Euthyphro mention he didn’t know him, Socrates very causally led Euthyphro into the conversation. By then than even omitting himself of being a “wiser man” in comparison to the known corruptors of the youth when speaking with Euthyphro in regards to Meletus sentiments, the irony is very apparent throughout the documented
  2. 2. Plato conversation. With intent Socrates is being very complimentary of Meletus bating Euthyphro as if he was being quizzed, the mention Euthyphro compiled even further by expressing his personal sentiments of his fear regarding the probable leadership in the future of Meletus. And a very crafty Socrates initiates more conversation by simply baiting Euthyphro by listening, as Euthyphro obliges speaking about the unwavering unison when speaking of the judges and courts. Without a verbal admission or request by Socrates to do so at all Euthyphro has made it apparent he will support Socrates, and at the risk of continuing to be viewed as an eccentric by the courts. The verbal irony I thought was strategically deployed here by Socrates, who brilliantly then uses Euthyphro’s own words suggesting that jealousy exist base on the earlier statement by Euthyphro “but they are jealous of us all; and we must be brave and go at them”. Socrates even suggested they’re laughing might be directed at Euthyphro but cleverly encouraging optimism when repeating Euthyphro’s earlier statement about jealousy, Euthyphro became almost defensive. But the genius of the entire discussion is in it’s ending when Socrates proposes the question to Euthyphro “ are you the purser of the defendant?” embedding a seed into Euthyphro which will be implanted throughout Athens judging by Euthyphro’s willingness to engage as well offer sentiments without justification or reason. It’s to the benefit of the philosopher who engages in philosophical themes or concepts using irony it unfortunately today is utilized more so by politicians. It provides a front and rear entry of being accountability, there’s not a direct target, a superficial subject and
  3. 3. methodology wise a topic can be easily exploited or even manipulated by the best speakers as Socrates confirms in this assignment with Euthyphro, masterfully I might ad. I personally feel that being philosopher Rene Descartes didn’t actually write anything until almost 20 years after the infamous night of his 3 dreams, it may have impeded his productivity. Subjecting his theories to ridicule maybe because particularly nothing written by Descartes a young scientist or philosopher until writing the “Discourse of the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for the Truth in Science” the rules being quite controversial when speaking in regards to empiricism and all human knowledge comes from 5 senses. Descartes theory then was revolutionary and unorthodox base on the premise giving credible or validity to the “point of view of someone who know but is trying by the use of his intelligence to discover something”. Oppose to that of an individual of certified expertise, which at this time was highly debated and contested by philosophers. Descartes first rule brought analytical thinking and skepticism to philosophy by asserting the methodology and theory “accept nothing that is not certain”.
  4. 4. Reference: Plato. Euthyphro Descartes, R. Discourse of the Method.
  5. 5. THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON - Philosophy Rene Descartes - Meditation I 11 July 2014 Rene Descartes methodology is base on the metaphysical which basically questions the nature of the mind, but in his writings Meditation I it’s leaves one uncertain being Descartes logic isn’t at this particularly time a scientific fact and as mention unorthodox. Personally I myself have read Meditation I over and over as well listen to the audio it can be perceived to be more biographical than rational thinking in my opinion, almost seemingly at times a confession. The one analogy he used in Meditation II when he mention (at this time) the questionable methodology consciously comparing, associating it with educated academia mentioning it with Archimedes, Descartes philosophical purpose in this writing seems to be more self initiated.
  6. 6. His questioning and logic can be assumed as powerful but when not in a state of consciousness – how can this be determined? I find myself personally even reassessing the abilities that many of are taught in society from adolescence to relegate our thinking. And with these thinks being critiqued I would have to say Descartes does succeed in his unorthodox rational where the curiosity will intuitively seek more definitive reasoning. With myself included I am still currently trying to find and for these reasons Rene Descartes is surely a mystery extensive reading and research would ever thoroughly or properly analyze.
  7. 7. Reference: Stanford Encyclopedia on Philosophy. (2008)
  8. 8. THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON – Philosophy The Morality in Reality 5 August 2014 The philosopher and methodology of John Stuart Mill’s and Immanuel Kant I personally found to be very intriguing. And interestingly immediately I decided to address Duty vs. Consequences when choosing between the elective topic options. I believe it’s necessary to take a brief overview on what may have contributed to the reasoning or irrational stances some may feel that both philosophers have been credited to be synonymous to have. John Stuart Mill’s methodology in his adolescence can be of course attributed to his youth being the son of the James Mill
  9. 9. one who adapted radical philosophical methodology in his thinking. And utilitarianism was adapted by a close friend of James Mill a philosopher name Jeremy Bentham, the doctrine being that “actions are right if they are useful or to the benefit of a majority of people”. John Stuart Mill’s stance after various emotional crisis which occurred in his twenties changing to eclectic synthesizer…his viewpoint became more liberal. Mill’s (John Stuart) was also influence in my personal opinion because of his relationship with Mrs. Harriet Taylor, which made him sensitive to issues like discrimination against women. On the other hand Immanuel Kant’s was initially a privatdozent being paid not by the university which hired him, generating his salary by the amount of engagements he lectured and of course the more money he made. He was recognized as an ethical theorist and known for his writings in physics, metaphysics and astronomy. Kant’s greatest works came after a period over a decade long where he had published nothing eventually revolutionizing philosophy with a series of works. In comparison to John Stuart Mill’s background Immanuel Kant’s was one where he seem more connected quite possibly to what he rationalize or reasoned with being there was a struggle during his journey. Although mental disorder is definitely something I take very serious I believe Mill’s life was more of privilege and the pressures of living up to expectation may have had an adverse effect on much of what he attempted to reason with personally, which may have contributed to his strong admiration of Harriet Taylor…possibly being more of a dependency, just my opinion. And with some of the analogies I have personally concluded in my introduction I can comfortably take more of a personal philosophical motivated approach towards speaking about Duty vs. Consequences.
  10. 10. Doctrine wise John Stuart Mill’s past is in my opinion is very difficult to disconnect in what some might perceive as his flip-­‐flopping in philosophies as well as questionable. For weeks in class I would find it extremely difficult to correlate what philosophers had contributed in regards to methodology or logic? In my opinion it didn’t always have a descriptive process or structured process for centuries. The definition provided for the word duty in Merriam-­‐Webster’s dictionary, “something that is done as part of a job” and goes on further by saying…”something that you must do because it is morally right or because the law requires it”. The contrast between the mention words definition to that of the word consequences, must be thoroughly evaluated in order to speak of or address anything on a level of logic or philosophical. The word consequences -­‐ is defined in Merriam-­‐Webster’s dictionary as “something that happens as a result of a particular action or a set of conditions”. The interpretation could be perceived as duty being more objective and consequences to be more subjective in the opinion of most although both are basically elective when thoroughly analyzed in my personal opinion. And Kant’s theories regarding rational agents and what he spoke of in categorical imperative seem to have more of a rational approach in direct correlation to the groundwork he established in his belief that “persons are ends-­‐in-­‐themselves”. Not to discredit John Stuart Mill who’s contributions became more significant in years to come but theory wise and rationally Immanuel Kant presented a variety of factors to support his stance. But in the same breathe many would have found opposition to Kant due to his willingness to voice things about prejudices and discrimination which may have
  11. 11. changed society forever, due to the indifferences we continue to have as a collective nation today. Is there Morality in Reality? Here’s an example I like to use regarding duty vs. consequence: First scenario -­‐ imagine a university being in the process of searching for a professor to replace a newly retired male professor of tenure. The university reputation through the years has been considered to be very sexist and with majority of tenured personnel all being majority male professors. A very highly qualified female professor who has recently relocated from the east coast to the west coast, and with prior experience heading the same department at the prior university where she was tenured excels during her interview. But she’s battling against a professor with less experience and tenured years but he’s a personal friend of the entire selection panel making the final determination about the decision who’ll be hired for the position? Incentive wise would it be safe to assume Mill would probably the females because of her gender? I believe he would but the real question would then be…would the hire be considered ethical? If it was decided through gender, friendship and not because qualifications a hire was made? But is it safe to assume that because of ones impeccable resume and education n that they’ll be adequately equip to cohesively facilitate every responsibility that had been handled by the retired professor? Take into consideration the retired professor was a favorite at the university and the professor currently tenured at the university with less qualifications worked very closely within the department with him…duty vs consequences?
  12. 12. Is there Morality of Reality? The Second scenario – image being in the position years ago of many in the era of the war in Vietnam and coming from a family where 5 generations including your father and grandfather served their country. Your family tradition wasn’t to wait for a draft it was to voluntarily enter service which you didn’t, then your drafted…still with reservations. Knowing you family will be proud of “if” you proudly serve your country, which you’d now like to do to honor your family tradition after having regrets not volunteering. But your best friend already refused enlistment because of a pact you made with him, what do you do…duty vs consequences? Being a huge cinema fan I enjoyed a movie starring Will Smith called Enemy of the States [Scott, T. 1998] the movie was primarily based on deception and perception. Ethically not all we perceive to be morally right is and the dilemma that Smith had in this thriller was making a decision based on duty vs consequences and the danger that may even persist on both sides of the decision that would effect him and well his family. And quite ironically another movie that was also directed by the same person [Scott, T. 2001] (didn’t realize until doing the research) is Spy Games starring Brad Pitt and Robert Redford. The story line is two CIA operatives one retiring (Redford) has a protégé he personally trained (Pitt) who was captured in another country on the day of his retirement. Then he’s face with the dilemma and making the decision between duty vs consequences…is there morality in reality at all? And ethically would it be considered ethical to turn your back on an individual you’ve personally trained and also developed a personal relationship with…most important would he leave you for dead?
  13. 13. THE WHEEL SPEAKS ON – Philosophy Sam Harris & Free Will 5 August 2014 The one lecture that intrigued me personally more than any was Sam Harris and this important issue was brought to our attention in regards to morality, and sometimes the difficulty to choose a particular side especially when speaking regarding morality or determinism. Do we act of our free will or even have free will? Are we responsible for our own actions from a morality standpoint? All interesting questions brought up in the Sam Harris lecture a few weeks ago. In the book About Philosophy [Wolf, R. 2011] Kant believes “a rational agent is the person who is capable of moving him self or her self to act by reason”…but the question in this scenario in my opinion would be, what would be considered in Kant’s analysis as…acting by reason? I respectfully allude to this because much of what was analyze and challenge and at times was confusing to me, and particularly when researching information on my topic duty vs consequences. Honestly the philosopher who although was a bit questionable himself that at least seem to consciously be on the right track when it came down to a structure practice being deployed by all philosophers was Thomas
  14. 14. Kuhn the topic of paradigm and Scientific Revolution [Wolf, R. 2011]. At least seemingly at the time attempted to introduce a structured process towards addressing a particular study in my opinion. Especially when also speaking reading about the paradigm shifts that occur during the process based on findings of the past or future being introduced. Finally verbiage was introduced into its terminology that others would recognize. On a personal I find myself being more susceptible to the Millian credo of John Stuart Mill, being his objective more liberal view in regards to diversity and discrimination of particularly women, at that time. It’s almost impossible to take a firm assertive stance on what many of especially the philosophers of the past have structure much of there findings theory and methodology on (especially the mention two in this exercise) because of their wavering stances that have been documented. The utilitarianism rule was to make as many people happy as possible and for these reasons I think Mill would be more subjective to acting in the best interest in the long run…being he’d been strongly influence and inspired by a women. And the deal breaker for me personally is Kant saw morality in the same manner as Puritans and Protestants…as an individual struggle. In the opinion of many it’s more of an at large struggle of a collective society. I’ve enjoyed this exercise and especially the entire 4 weeks and feel enlightened on a variety of different issues that in the past I’d question for years and I intend to continue my pursuit for addition information. But the question I’ll have to ask myself personally now would be is my pursuit more because of duty vs consequences? And is there truly morality associated with the reality of what life has generally become?
  15. 15. Reference: Wolff, P. R. About Philosophy Eleventh Edition. 2011 Marconi , D. Scott, T. Enemy of the State. 1998 Beckner, M. Scott, T. Spy Games. 2001 Harris, S. Sam Harris on Free Will: