(3 Continued)Kant criticized Plato for doing such, calling him a "little white dove."
1>>Connect Buddhism, Schopenhauer and Epicurus. Argument: A bird flies and feels the air resistance on its wings. It thinks to itself
1. All three said that moderation is important in all things. Buddhism extols that it would be much easier to fly without all the air getting in the way. It may 6>>Using texts and philosophies covered in our class, make an argument for
the virtues of the middle way in which a person does not live a life of luxury seem easier, cleaner, purer to work strictly with reason/logic but we end up living a compassionate life.
and does not live a life of self-denial. Epicurus taught that moderation is best, going nowhere - even Descartes' Cogito ergo sum relies on the experience of U
he thought that passion and being passionate about certain things could thinking. G
Greatest good for the greatest amount of people
eventually lead to suffering and unpleasant consequence. Epicurus believed Critique of Practical Reason: Knowledge from experience alone is impossible. The more people that gain pleasure, the more you can feel better about yourself
that overindulgence would lead to unhappiness, therefore it is important to Nothing would be certain because the rules upon which the understanding of a
and your decisions
have everything in moderation. Schopenhauer's take on life was somewhat the experience was based would itself be subject to rules derived Knowing you helped others makes you feel compassionate and have a sense of
different. He believed that no desire could be fulfilled. He believed that
craving causes suffering and pain, so desire is futile.
from experience. The way we interpret experience would be the result of how c
completing a responsibility
we interpreted earlier experiences.
2. Schopenhauer came up with the idea of collective consciousness. Everyone You can always go farther back trying to find the root of our knowledge. Before When making decisions, put the Greatest Happiness Principle into consideration
has motivations inside him or her. Schopenhauer referred to them as "will," Kant people believed that all synthetical judgements were a posteriori based,
the basic desires. These desires could be determined by society and reason. (
(aka felicific calculus)
requiring experience. Kant used the example of addition to prove synthetical the Greatest Happiness Principle includes:
In a way, Epicurus did much of the same thing. He did not believe that the judgements could be a priori. Kant said that it was possible to be an empiricist
gods were capable of controlling human action and yet he encouraged other 1. Intensity: How strong is the pleasure?
and a rationalist simultaneously because each requires the other; morality is 2. Duration: How long will the pleasure last?
people to believe in them because he believed that they were an example of based in reason because experience cannot teach you right from wrong,
a pleasant life. 3. Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will
experience cannot determine morality because of the categorical imperative. occur?
3. These philosophers and systems all strongly emphasize compassion.
Buddha believes human beings experience suffering, so it is not right to inflict 4. Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the pleasure occur?
that on any creature. He believes in karma. Epicurus thought that pleasure is 4>>What is the Prometheus myth, how is it used in books we’ve read, 5. Fecundity: The probability that the action will be followed by sensations of the
the absence of suffering. Purpose: attain a happy tranquil life without pain and why does this myth resonate (or how is it useful)? same kind.
and surrounded by friends. No success without golden rule. Schopenhauer Prometheus steals fire from the gods and gives it to man, creating a 6. Purity: The probability that it will not be followed by sensations of the opposite
believed that there are three primary moral incentives: compassion, malice starting point for humanity. Zeus then punishes Prometheus by binding kind.
and egoism. Compassion is the motivator to moral expression and malice and him to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver everyday only to have it 7. Extent: How many people will be affected?
egoism are the corrupt alternatives. grow back over night. • Dr Frankenstein tries and succeeds in creating If one puts all principles into consideration when making decisions, one will live a
life. Just like Prometheus he builds a figure of a man and sparks life into compassionate life.
it. Afterwards, just like Prometheus, he is punished for his Buddhism:
2>>What is the sublime, and what is its purpose in Frankenstein and Moby
accomplishment. Comparison of two beings that over-reach and end up The greatest achievement in Buddhist philosophy is self-awareness. Buddhists
Dick? What does Moby Dick suggest its use might be in life itself, and which
leading themselves to disaster. The monster, like Prometheus, tries his believe that through self awareness we discover that we are all essentially the
philosophical system might support this idea best (and how)?
best to strive for knowledge, intellect, and civilization but these goals same. Through this understanding of ourselves as equal to others, compassion
Part 1) 1. In his book, Critique of Judgment, Immanuel Kant separates
along with the good deeds he performs are only rewarded with pain. naturally arises. So, if one lives to be aware of themselves and others they will be
sublime experiences into two unique categories: the mathematically
•Dorian is locked in his present self. He doesn’t change. Life becomes compassionate. It is said that to generate genuine compassion, one needs to
sublime (large) and the dynamically sublime (Powerful). 2. Kant continues
routine because there is nothing ahead of him. His eternal life situation realize that oneself is suffering, that an end to suffering is possible, and that
by stating that both dynamically and mathematically sublime occurrences
is the same as Prometheus and his punishment. Analyze how Dorian’s other beings similarly want to be free from suffering. Another way to look at this
are initially painful and that these human feelings are attributed to a
situation is a punishment? Why doesn’t Prometheus tell Zeus the is that we look at people and lament their selfishness, without realizing that we
failure on our part. 3. In a sense, our inability to grasp these vast concepts
prophecy of his dethroning in exchange for his freedom. • Zeus creates are just the same. We lament their hating this and wanting that, without realizing
allow for the ocean to appear infinitely large and for the hurricane to
the trap of Pandora’s Box for Prometheus. The box is opened by his that we are just the same. Therefore, compassion and love arise from this
appear infinitely powerful. Our feelings of pain and despair are directly
brother Epimetheus unleashing all the evils of the world on man (work, awareness of our self as equal to others, as it pulls us all together as human
attributed to our feelings of insignificance and lack of imaginational
age, pain, suffering, etc). Dorian is able to escape the affects of these beings. Compassion is said as wanting others to be free from suffering.
control. As humans, we are satisfied in acknowledging that we cannot
comprehend the sheer force or vast size of sublimities (Kant 136). evils…•Prometheus is gifted with foresight (can see future). If he can 7>>What are three different philosophical approaches to life, what is the
Understanding what is notunderstandable, in a sense, soothes us. could tell how things would work out why does he not perform them reasoning behind each, and how do they seem to critique each other?
Part 2) 1. In Moby Dick, Ishmael is perplexed by the overwhelming terror differently? Ishmael along with the rest of the Pequod crew starts to Approaches/meanings to life:
that the white whale instills in him (Melville 210). Ishmael’s evaluation on realize how the hunt for Moby Dick will end. Why don’t they do things 1. utilitarianism - happiness, greatest good for greatest number of people
the whiteness of the whale undoubtedly draws parallels with Kant’s differently? •Ahab is seeking to reach to god. He is over-reaching the 2. hedonism - pleasure vs pain (swinish vs noble pleasures)
categorization of both the mathematically and the dynamically sublime. 2. limits on humanity and ends up dying. Same situation is presented in 3. Kant - follow will
Apart from Moby Dick’s size and strength, is his white color. In Melville’s Prometheus. • The town in The Plague is in constant routine. Once 4. Schopenhauer - contentment, accepting life as it is
own words, the whiteness is the “intensifying agent” in the terrible thing plague strikes the people are stuck in the same horrible situation day 5. aristotle - flourishing society, certainty of knowledge
that makes him seem infinitely large and powerful (Melville 213). 3. Using after day. The same situation is seen after Prometheus is chained to the 6. Nietzsche - nobility, advancement of mankind,breaking habit (existentialism)
Kant’s reasoning, this experience brought on by Moby Dick is specifically rock. Are these continuous situations bad? What lessons can they teach 7. Rousseau - Preservation of mankind, social contract
what is needed to transform the feelings of fear into an aesthetic us? Why do we choose to endure them, or why do we choose to break Reasoning:
experience of the sublime. Sublimity viewing often requires perspective. 4. them? 1. utilitarianism - ingrained within our actions is the will to happiness, therefore
Perhaps Captain Ahab, who can be seen as Ishmael’s polar opposite, does our decisions are in the interest of happiness
not view the whale as sublime, because of his experiences. 2. hedonism - we seek most pleasure points as possible
Part 3) Immanuel Kant’s theory on the sublime is analogous to Ishmael’s 3. Kant - we must follow our will because there are a priori pre-established
5>>What are three different examples from three different texts of “the truths, we are governed by morality, and the only thing that is valid is good will
analysis of whiteness and the impact it has on his emotions. In a way, Ishmael
fiend within” and what do they have in common from which we can 4. Schopenhauer - life has a pre-set design, the world is not meant for human
and Ahab represent fundamental characters in humanity. Ishmael is
learn? happiness so the best we can do is contentment
respectful of the forces beyond his control and Ahab strives to push the
Fiends 6. Nietzsche - our morality and societal system is invalid, useless and debilitating
natural limits and question the higher powers. The Kantian perspective,
Victor Frankenstein 7. Rousseau - restrictions bind man to social contract, we must engage in it
related to the sublimities in Moby Dick, relates to existentialism. A
· Feels bad for himself (which we do) because we are concerned with the preservation of mankind
fundamental concept of existentialism is “subjective truth,” meaning that the
· His goal in life is to kill his creation Relationships:
only true meaning and reality comes from our own personal experiences.
· Ends up destroying his own life accidentally 1. Utilitarianism vs. Hedonism - we as men have higher faculties to fulfill than
Facts, public notions, and science are objective and therefore invalid.
· Corrupted by his own thirst for knowledge (rage and passion to create empty pleasures
Additionally, existentialism deems everyone as completely free with their
and push the boundaries and limits of knowledge) 2. Rousseau vs. Existentialism - man is free, but for preservation we must commit
actions. Complete freedom, however, entails complete responsibility for
· His motivation is destroying the monster, but he destroys himself in the to society with general will, yet this hinders man and if we broke out we could be
one’s actions. It can be argued whether or not Ahab and other characters
consider themselves free and whether they took full responsibility for their
The Frankenstein Monster
actions in the book.
· Good intentions
Pain, Pleasure, and Sublimity (Edmund Burke) Pain, pleasure, and 8>>To what extent are we free? Using examples from our class, make an
· Also feels bad for himself
indifference are three separate and independent things; although most of the argument.
· Goal in life to destroy his creators' life and sanity
time one is present while the other 2 are absent, that is not always true. Nietzsche
· Corrupted by society rejecting him
Sublimity is a radical feeling on either the pain or pleasure side of the - humans don't have complete free will; we don't create ourselves, we can't be
· Commits suicide
spectrum, meaning you cannot feel sublimity to the indifference. Because as responsible for everything that could affect us, we're bound to be ourselves. But,
· Ruled by desire
Human being we define pleasure and pain differently, so must the sublime be humans can choose their own morality, we have the freedom to escape "slave
· Sought love, sympathy, compassion
different from person to person. Edmund Burke believes that images that morality" (praises the weak and oppresses the poor). We have the freedom to
· Product of his environment- people think and assume he is
are presented in front of us are the same for every person, so the difference choose "master morality" (realizing our potential and "will to power").
must come in the way that we order and perceive what is set in front of us. The Plague - Existentialism
The way that we perceive the things that we see is affected by past - Humans are free to create their own meaning, can be seen as free because the
· Goal in life: live forever and experience as much pleasure as
experiences. Individually we use what we know, and our feelings to make cosmos is indifferent to humans, therefore doesn't influence our lives. Rieux:
possible, as long as he is beautiful
opinions on what is presented to us. creates own meaning by fighting a losing battle
· Originally not a bad person, was corrupted by Lord Henry Wotton
Frankenstein and the Sublime Moby Dick
· Destroys himself accidentally
The sublime’s purpose in Frankenstein: - Humans are creatures of fate; entire journey, Ahab was manipulated by Fate
· Forgets about his sins because they don't reflect on him
The monster in Frankenstein represents the Sublime. Victor claims he has to (fedallah?) disguised as his perseverent drive to kill Moby
· Follows emotion rather than reason and rationality
make the monster big to make him easier to work on. Shelly actually made Moby Dick, the whale, is Jesus.
· Corrupted by Lord Henry's witticisms and Hedonistic attitude
the monster big to make him more astonishing. When someone is astonished a. Moby Dick (aka Jesus) is inscrutable, which is also divine.
nothing else can enter their thought. This is a kin to the monomania that b. Everyone in the book is a-whaling. Which means that everyone is looking for
· Wanted an alter ego, Corrupted his own soul
Victor experienced while creating the monster. Mary Shelly uses the sublime whales because whales provide them with a way to live. Or, looking for Jesus. The
· Good guy on one side, bad stomping guy on the other
as a warning to us. There are certain things that we humans shouldn’t know inscrutable. The divine. The thing that will save us all, provide for our livelihoods,
· Goal in life: step outside the confines of society
because we don’t have the capacity to use the knowledge responsibly. etc (says Christianity/Bible, and the majority of the whalers) c. Then, when the
humans get too close to Moby, he destroys them, which means: humans need to
3>>Cogito ergo sum versus Tabula rasa: What, according to the empiricist · Monomaniac (Wanted to kill a whale)
accept human condition, that we can't know all secrets, there is a force bigger
epistemologists, is wrong with rationalist epistemology, and what is their · Whale injured him and he was corrupted
than humans. fate, jesus, moby, etc.
evidence? What is wrong with empiricism according to the rationalists? How does · Destroys himself and his entire crew-1 because of his own goals
Jean Paul Sartre & Existentialism
Kant bridge this divide? · Persistently (and knowingly?) pursued the unattainable
- In his work "The Transcendence of the Ego", Sartre says that there is no way for
TERMINOLOGY · Doesn't leave things to fate
the reflective consciousness (attempts to rationalize, historicize, understand
A posteriori - reason based on empirical (experience) evidence. A priori - reason · Hard versus Soft Determinism
previous events) to exist without the pre-reflective consciousness (experience of
independent of experience. Things in common
a current event in question). This predisposes humans to anxiety and
Analytic proposition: "All bachelors are unmarried," or, "All spheres are round." Violent tendencies, Own goals lead to the characters doom
contemplation when decision making, IE the human condition.
Analysis only breaks down. They were all good people at some point but were corrupted by
-Sartre said the essence of human is directly correlated with what happened
Synthetic proposition: "All bachelors are happy," or, "All spheres roll." Synthesis something (the fiend within?) Everyone has a destructive side
builds. Goals and desires are self-centered
-Even though the things Sartre said seem to prove determinism, when asked how
RATIONALIST EPISTEMOLOGY Emotions take control, Pursuing unattainable goals
a man can be happy in such a situation with no control he responded: If objects,
The world should be understood purely through reason (We are able to gain Narrow-minded perspectives, Immoral
events and truths are determined, we may arrange these objects, events and
knowledge independent of sense experience). Multiple Personalities
truths within our lives as we please.
Example: Rene Descartes' Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am.) – a priori What we can learn
-This statement means we have a pseudo-free will, or a limited free will.
Descartes says that we cannot trust our senses, so we cannot trust our experiences The path to hell is paved with good intentions
-Others will argue that although Sartre's statement is correct, we will choose to
to give us knowledge. Plato says that the information we know through reason or Human nature is good, but corrupted by society
arrange them in a determined way because of our previous experiences.
intuition is in higher level than a posteriori knowledge. Corrupted by their own monsters
-Aestheticism, a strong motif in "The Picture of Dorian Gray", says outward image
EMPIRICIST EPISTEMOLOGY "Fiend within" lies within one person but it is reflected in others
is all. Oscar Wilde implies throughout the novel that aestheticism is merely an
The world should be analyzed through experience (Sense experience is our ultimate Plato - moral decisions should not be based on emotion
absurd abstraction that disillusions the true concept of beauty.
source of knowledge). Tabula Rasa: Humans at birth have no mental content. -Kant said enlightenment is when one becomes able to think independently of
Everything a person thinks or knows is from experience. external authority.
Kant believed both empiricism and rationalism were necessary. Critique of Pure
Reason Knowledge purely from reason is foolish.