Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blog #44 - Which of the six philosophers do you agree with?

In the article, "Philosophy 101," we surveyed five major philosophers and came up with some modern-day applications / examples of their ideas. What you should do with this blog is review their ideas and pick which one best suits your own personal outlook on life or views about the world.

I. Ancient Greece

A. Plato - he believed in the idea of the perfect form, that there is a perfect concept for everything (person, horse, chair, etc.) and that everything manmade or natural on Earth is an imperfect copy of that perfect form (In the picture to the left, you have a photo of a chair, a definition of a chair printed out, and an actual chair - each one is a chair but they each have different degrees of reality to them - the farther away from the ideal form they are, the less perfect they are).

- Plato felt that achieving this perfection would be impossible but it would be important to live a good life by striving for perfection.

B. Aristotle - Some of his ideas included deductive reasoning (that we might see in cop/mystery movies or forensics TV shows), the Golden Mean (choosing between two extremes), and the feelings of catharsis or an emotional cleansing. Aristotle was also one of the first true scientists of the ancient era who had the means to study and catalogue numerous plants and animals.

- With the Golden Mean, Aristotle might feel today that a balance should be struck somewhere between being totally in touch with one's friends through social networking and cutting one's self off completely.

- Here's an interesting website about a concept called the Overton Window - the points along the scale (if you mapped out the spots between one extreme and another) at which the public is willing to accept an option.

II. Modern Philosophy

C. Rene Descartes - He is the father of modern philosophy and started many snowballs rolling downhill, but the one we focused on here was the idea of dualism, the mind and body are separate and not linked. An example the article gave was that if you died in a dream, you wouldn't die in actuality. Movies like The Matrix and Inception deal fully with this mind / body dualism. Descartes is also known for the statement "I think, therefore I am" in which in order to exist, you must first think. Quite a concept! (See link for a further elaboration on different types of dualism).

D. David Hume - This Scottish philosopher improved upon some of Descares' ideas like skepticism (that we cannot truly ever be sure of something b/c it might not reoccur - the article uses the example of a bottle breaking when knocked off of a table). Part of the reason that this type of skepticism exists is b/c of the randomness of life and the infinite number of variables that play into it (later to be called the chaos theory in Jurassic Park or the butterfly effect). Lastly, there's the post hoc fallacy, or to believe that because we see two things occur together, one must have caused the other. Let us say that one morning I get up and turn my coffee machine on, but at the same time, the dishwasher starts up. Does that mean that X (turning coffee machine on) causes Y (dishwasher turns on)? No, not necessarily.

E. Immanuel Kant - One of his biggest ideas was the categorical imperative, or in other words, putting yourself to a moral test for each of your actions. You should consider what would happen if everyone followed your course of actions and how that would impact society. Applying this standard to all of your actions would be the key to living a righteous life.

- Also, perception matters, and it differs for everyone. We can never fully perceive what we perceive b/c we are not that object which we perceive.

F. Georg Hegel - Hegel had an idea that had been around for awhile but he refined it to something called absolute spirit - a network that connected every thing to ideas, people and other things around the universe. Hegel also came up with an idea called zeitgeist (German for time-spirit) where peoples' thoughts are guided by the political and cultural atmosphere of a specific time in history. For instance, our time period represented the angry Populist revolt of the Tea Party.

Your job: pick which of these six best fits your own personal philosophy at the beginning of our class. Explain why. You may find that your ideas come from a couple different guys, so include that.  Or, if some of your ideas don't fit with any of these guys, pick one and explain. 

200 words minimum. Due Thursday, December 9 before class begins.


  1. I think that I agree the most with the philosopher David Hume. His idea of skepticism is something I believe in because there is really no way to be sure of anything. Life just happens so randomly like science that you can never know what is real and what isn't. It seems so often that things are disproven. But, I do not agree with the idea of cause and effect by two things. I think that everything happens for a reason but just because two things occur together doesn't mean that they caused each other. I also agree with Hegel on the idea that people are often influenced by the time period and environment they are surrounded by. There are always trends and ways of life that people go through over the years, we don't look or act the same as older people such as our grandparents. Yet, I am not sure what my own personal philosophy on life is. I am still trying to figure it out why things happen and why people are the way that they are because it seems as though whenever I start to believe in something it either fails on me or it becomes disproven. So, I do agree on a couple of the same ideas as previous philosophers but not everything.
    -Natalie G

  2. One idea that fits best with my own personal philosophy is Aristotles Golden Mean. I always think a happy medium that fulfills both wants and needs is a good thing to have. Either of the extremes can be an unhealthy thing. As the example states, on one side of the spectrum is socializing with other people constantly and the other side is being a total recluse. If your completely focused on socializing and other people's stories, then you have no time to think about other things or yourself. But, if your a shut-in, then you don't get out in the world to experience people and places, and your social skills suffer. If there is a balance to two extremes, then you fulfill both needs with out mental or physical exhaustion.
    Also, I agree with Hume's idea about skepticism: the fact that its impossible to know anything (except for math) without complete proofs. I feel very skeptical about some things, but especially news. You never really know the true story unless you yourself are part of it. And some may say that's why we have reporters. But the reporters might not be reporting one side of the story, or may be disclosing some things, like how a political leader has governmental secrets. You are never sure what the truth is. Its the same thing with science. There are always new findings every year in that field.

    Ariel M.

  3. The philosopher that best fits my own personal philosophy would have to be Georg Hegel. Hegel’s ideas are absolute spirit and zeitgeist. I also think that people do revolve their lives around the fads of that time period. I personally have been guilty of revolving my life around these fads. I do admit that I tend to spend a lot of money on keeping up with what’s the “it” thing during that period. I think if it weren’t for zeitgeist most peoples lives would be a mess because they don’t know what to do for certain things. Those people do not really have a mind of their own and expect to have guidance for them. The absolute spirit theory I agree with because I think people and ideas are all connected by one huge contraption. I think knowledge is like a spirit because it has it own world of thought. This whole thing of absolute spirit is like a process because to obtain knowledge and ideas you have to go through a process to create it. The spirit is basically your mind so you control the absolute spirit in you. To me I think every has their own absolute spirit because people have their own minds and ideas.

    Anais. W

  4. I most agree with the philosopher Descartes. I am a firm believer that the only way one can know that they exist is through their own consciousness. However, because I do not know that others have consciousness, how can I know that they actually exist? While the belief known bubble theory has been scoffed at by many, it has not deterred me from exploring this philosophy as something to apply to my own life. How can I be certain that what I believe to be my physical body is real? How do I know it is not a figment of my consciousness? If I believe that my physical body is not a part of reality, than I must conclude that other’s physical bodies are not a part of reality either. If I accept this belief then, I have no proof that others have a consciousness. The only way one could express their consciousness is through word of mouth, a physical characteristic, which I have already deemed to be something I cannot trust. Because I believe that my mind and conscious are the only true parts of reality, I also believe that what is not in my “bubble” does not exist. In essence, before I was born, there was no such thing as existence. At the same time I believe that everything happens for a reason. Every experience I go through is meant to help lead me towards some unforeseeable goal. What this end goal is, I do not know. Last year, I had a brutal injury. I had a closed head injury due to soccer, resulting in a seizure on the field, three days in the hospital and a concussion lasting weeks. I made a full recovery. Against the odds, there was very little lasting damage to my body and none to my mind. I look at this experience as a clarification that my experiences in life are to teach me something.
    While many people look at bubble theory as a very egotistical and narrow minded point of view, I am able to just shrug this off; those critics don’t actually exist.
    Simon K.

  5. I would have to say that Aristotle's Golden Mean best fits in with my personal philosophy. I believe that one should avoid going to extremes, as they are of course, extreme (and not in a good way). For example, I would call myself a moderate as far as politics go. I do not think that the government should control everything, but at the same time I don't think that Anarchy is a good idea. Another example are my beliefs on studying and hanging out with friends. I do not party and rarely hang out with friends during the week, but instead study and do homework. I then spend the weekend hanging out with my friends. If one leads a balanced life and learns to use moderation, one's life will be easier and much happier. As Marcus Tullius Cicero once said; "Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide."
    I also agree with Hume's thoughts on skepticism, as I am a "realist". Though I would like to believe in the best of people, it's hard to do that when their are so many "bad" people in world.
    -Brian M.

  6. For me Plato definitely was the philosopher that best fits my personal world view. In today's society, it's a common theme to say that "bad is good" or that "doing bad is what the cool people do". Basically doing wrong things is the way to go in life to become happy, and that morality only makes life dry and miserable.
    For Plato this way of thinking would have been very distorted and straight out wrong. He knew that the road to true happiness goes through living a righteous life and having a high moral standard, as stated in his theory of "the good". As for me this corresponds perfectly with what I believe myself. "When we think of a thief that has gotten rich out of his wickedness and lives out his carnal nature in any way he can... Do we think of a happy person?"
    - ....

    Another theory of Plato's that I really agree with is his Theory of Forms. Something that is really peculiar about the world that we live in, is that we always complain about. People complain about that they are unhappy, that there is so much suffering in the world, and some even say that the world is just flat out weird. (I'm one of those). So when we think about it, something really seems to be wrong. It's almost as if... we're aliens in a world we were not meant to be in?
    To make an analogy: Let's say that there is a world where there is no light, hence no stars. The beings living there wouldn't have any eyes, so they could never look for light or even think about. - Because it's not a part of their world! In the same sense, if we were meant to be in this world, or even just happened to be here by coincidence (the theory of evolution), we would never have all these feelings that there is something wrong with it.
    So, in conclusion we apparently were not originally meant to be in this world. Therefore if you think about it, there should be another world somewhere, a world that we actually were meant to be in from the beginning and that are perfect. Therefore I agree with Plato's Theory of Forms!

    /Rasmus S

  7. While none of the six philosophers' ideals completely fit my personal outlook, I would have to concede that Aristotle's "Golden Mean" theory, as well as his quote, "Anything that we have to learn to do, we learn by the actual doing of it" mirror quite a few of my own thoughts regarding growth. I have found throughout my educational career that I have retained information (even in my weakest subjects) through continuous practice. I have also strongly implemented a immense sense of balance into my everyday. This balance has successfully kept me sane through the ubiquitous stresses that plague the American teenager. I have always attempted to maintain a healthy social life to compliment my educational successes and "not-so-successes". Therefore, Aristotle's "Golden Mean" theory has been an extremely important part of my life, even though I have been ignorant to its existence until the beginning of this philosophy class. Just because I do not utilize the beliefs of the other five philosopher's, does not mean that I do not agree with and respect their beliefs and theories. On the contrary, many of their opinions make a great deal of sense to me personally, including Plato's: "The only real ill-doing is the deprivation of knowledge" a theory which I strongly agree, and believe should be a vital component in society.

    Christopher R.

  8. When I look over all of the ideas of the philosophers we studied in class today, there wasn’t really only one philosopher whose ideals I think my life is most like. There were two writers, both of the classic philosophers whose ideas I like the most: Plato and Aristotle.
    I really like Plato’s idea about the “perfect form” of things, how, although actually unobtainable, true happiness is trying for that “perfect form”. I believe that if someone tries really hard and gives their full effort in something, it is o.k. if they don’t attain perfection. For example, when I play basketball, although I am not the most skilled player (the “perfect form” of a basketball player) I still play very hard, which makes me happy. I also find the idea of a platonic relationship interesting, but I feel that today’s lifestyles and media prevent them from really happening.
    I also like Aristotle’s idea of the “golden mean”. I try to live this in my life, because having a good balance in everything is good. I try to balance my time with friends and family, school, work and relaxation, and my diet. (a balanced diet). The one thing I’m not so sure about with Aristotle’s teachings is the feelings of catharsis. I just don’t really get what that is all about.

    ~Kyle A. "KG" Gray, 2nd hour

  9. Out of the six philosophers listed, I best identified with Rene Descartes. Coupled with George Berkley, I best resemble those philosophers. For years, I struggled with the turmoil of life and how each of us could exist in such a world. Religion offers answers, but hell, the guy on the corner of the street does as well. I began to think more and more that perhaps this all is happening inside my head. None of this is real and none of this will ever account for anything. I had written many times about this theory and I recall one journal entry of mine in particular some several months ago, “When you’re asleep, you don’t know you’re asleep. Even if you’re dreaming, the overwhelming majority of the time, you think the events are actually happening. The very same thing applies to death. After you’ve died, there’s no way to know that you’re dead,”

    Both men agreed with my position as this could very well just be a dream or some capacity of our imagination. Descartes put forth that one’s existence cannot be proven by mere residence in the three dimensional world. To imagine why and how you exist proves that you do, in fact, exist. Berkley established this dream world in which everything you interact with is a mere electrical impulse and everything you perceive is inside your mind. I spend far too much time pondering my own existence and playing out situations inside my head.

  10. After reading through all six philosophers several times, it was quite difficult to find just one who I related to. There were plenty of concepts from many of the philosophers that I agreed with, but there was only one that really stood out to me more than the others (and I feel a lot of students will agree with this one also). One of Aristotle's main beliefs was the golden mean. I can relate to this idea more than all the others because I find myself constantly trying to balance out everything in my life from homework, to piano lessons, to my social life, and (oh yes) taking care of my beta fish. Basically without a perfect medium, one or all of these things will suffer. Any teenager will tell you that it's not easy to maintain this sense of balance because I believe that we just weren't naturally programed to have the skills to easily do just that. It's something we must acquire and learn to do with practice. The other concept that Aristotle believed in that I agree with is deductive reasoning. I use this in every day life almost every where I go. When i'm faced with a problem/situation, such as a test, getting rid of the outside factors that aren't needed to solve whatever i'm trying to solve seems very logical. It lets me focus on what is actually needed to solve it.

    Jackie G

  11. After looking over the different philosophers and their ideas I would say the theories of Aristotle and Plato resemble me the most. One of Aristotle’s theories is the “Golden mean”, which I think describes me accurately. The idea of the “Golden Mean” consists of a balance between social life and cutting one’s self off completely. This correlates to me because I think it’s important to have a medium in which you allow yourself to have a social life, while balancing the demands of other things in life such as school work. If you are located at one of the extremes of the “Golden Mean” spectrum it’s not a particularly healthy style of life because you cut out other things that are necessary to be well rounded. I also agree with his theory of deductive reasoning to an extent. An example is using deductive reasoning on people. By knowing someone’s personality and qualities fairly well I can reason what things that person likes and enjoys doing. Although that may not be 100% true because each person has their own unique traits and cannot be specifically generalized into liking certain things.
    Plato’s idea of a perfect form also intrigues me. I do believe that there is a perfect way of doing things that we all strive to do. People are always looking for that perfect form of an object because as time goes on ideas and methods keep improving. With each improvement we get closer and closer to that perfect form. We always want to know what the most effective way to achieve something is and as we keep improving we follow Plato’s theory of striving for perfection.

    Brett G.

  12. Aristotle was the philosopher I found myself agreeing with most. The Golden Mean to me just makes so much sense. Having too much of anything, even something good, is bad. Finding the perfect balance can be hard to do but I also think it's extremely important. Like the article we read in class says, if you spend too much time hooked up to your cell phone or laptop, your relationship with family suffers. Balance is so important.

    I agree with the skepticism idea, but I agree more with the Golden Mean. If you take skepticism into the wrong context it seems too negative for me and I like to think of myself as pretty positive.
    -Ashley D.

  13. To be honest, I don’t know if I fit into any of these categories of philosophers. If I choose some of the ideas that best fit me and how I view life, it would have to be Aristotle and his golden mean, Immanuel Kant and how everyone perceives things differently, and George Hegel’s thoughts that everyone and everything is connected. I think Aristotle's golden mean is very important because there should be, and needs to be balance in peoples lives for them to be well rounded. In order to become a being who interacts with the world, you need to interact with the world around you and not only with technology like cell phones and social networks. Immanuel Kant idea that everyone perceives things differently really gets me thinking that what you see and what I see may not be the same thing. Its all the way we want to see it not necessarily whats actually there. George Hegel’s idea that everything and everyone are connected by some absolute spirit is connected to how I may view life. I don’t want to say we are necessarily all connected by a greater physical being, but perhaps some force that we do not fully understand or comprehend that’s links us all together.
    -Melanie E.

  14. Blog # 44

    In my opinion, I would have to say that my philosophies relate more closely to David Hume’s ideas of skepticism, empiricism and causation, although they are still different. I tend to strongly disagree with people that believe that all our experiences are just pigments of our imagination and that we have thoughts imbedded in our mind before we are born. Thus I strongly believe that as free willed, individuals, we make choices that gives us experiences thru consequences, and that allows us to learn and grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Because I am of the religious influences in my life, I’ve come to learn and accept the fact that when we were born, we lost all previous knowledge of our pre-mortal life; and the only way to achieve salvation is to learn thru be a skeptic, experiencing something thru emotion or our physical senses. For example, when I was a kid, I learned thru pain that it’s not a good idea to touch a cookie sheet freshly out of the oven. The feeling of having my skin being seared and the blisters that popped up after the original burn have taught me to not touch something out of the oven, at least without protection. Also, I tend to agree with causation in that you can never be completely sure of something happening. For example, in sports there is always going to be a team that’s more athletic, stronger, faster and smarter than you, but there is always the chance that you can beat that stronger team because of events that could occur in the game.
    -Braxton Allred
    Wickersham 2nd hr

  15. I do not believe I have a one philosophy on life. I live my life by a variety of philosophies. Out of the six philosophers, however, Immanuel Kant’s philosophies make the most sense to me. I strongly agree with Kant’s idea of categorical imperative. I try to live my life by “treating others as I would want to be treated”. I am very sensitive to others feelings and emotions always thinking of the impact I am making on another person. I agree that living a righteous life could make an impact on society. I also strongly agree that idea that perception matters. It makes sense that you cannot fully perceive something because you cannot be the object which you perceive.

    I also agree with Aristotle on the Golden Mean. I learned in Psychology that every person has an ID, Ego, and a Superego. The ID and Superego are the extremes, ID being the devil on your shoulder telling you what you want to do and Superego being the angel on your shoulder that tells you what you ought to do. The Ego is the Golden Mean. It finds a balance between self gratification and doing what is right. This in-between is important to living a safe and less stressful life. I make sure that I both study in school and have a social life outside of school. Perhaps as I study more about these philosophers their philosophies will make more sense to me and I will see how it may pertain to my own life.

    Rina (2nd hour)

  16. I tend to incorporate aspects of all the philosophers and reject others to fit my own nihilistic beliefs. I ascribe fundamentally to the central tenets of Platonic Ideal form with my belief that certain "Ideas" exist independently of human existence and await manifestation in the physical world - note, this does not mean that the ideas are perfect, only the pure form of themselves. I believe the Aristotle Golden Mean has merits, but no more merit than assuming an extreme. We won wars by screaming "Kill 'em All" not "I guess we can take a few casualties". I could go on for days about Cartesian dualism and its implications, however for the sake of time and avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome, I will simply say aspects of it have merit whereas other components extrapolate in fundamentally unimportant way and do little to get to a central truth. As a moral absolutist, I can accept the categorical imperative but I believe that one should adhere to morals because of the sincere absolutism which is in and of itself an admirable thing. Hume's skepticism is central to the nihilistic base of my philosophies and actually an extension of my personality. And I finally do accept Hegel's zeitgeist, it is a striking label for the phenomenon of fads, cults, and political upheavals.

    -Nasir S.

  17. Of all the philosophers we discussed in class I think I can relate the most to David Hume. Hume’s main idea was skepticism, which means it is impossible to know anything with complete certainty. I believe that there are certain things that humans will never have the answer too. Such as; is there an actual God? What is heaven like? Do we only live one life? Or do we die and come back? Some things people will never be certain of. Many of the questions above can be “answered”. Many people would say “we only live once”. Why is that? Is it because the bible says so? There is plenty of hardcore evidence that reincarnation does exist. But even with hardcore evidence and the bibles answer people will never truly know if reincarnation is possible. I, like Hume, tend to believe that simple questions ( 2+2=4) can be answered with complete certainty, but it is the large scale questions that cannot be answered with certainty. I also found myself agreeing with Aristotle’s theory of the “golden mean” I think it is very important to balance in life. My balance tends to be a balance of school, sports, and my social life. But I disagree with Aristotle’s theory of syllogism or deductive reasoning. I tend to believe that deductive reasoning cannot explain things and that is pointless.
    -K. Luyckx

  18. The philosophy that fits me the closest would have to be Descartes, primarily based on his famous expression “I think , therefore I am.” Periodically, while either day dreaming during class or lying in bed, I realize the abstract nature of my own existence. I begin to think how perplexing it is that I can see things, touch things, hear things, and think thoughts. It is difficult to describe the feeling, but I basically wonder how human perception came to be. Does the mind simply function as a facet of the body telling us when to eat, sleep, and how to survive? Or, is the mind a separate being that defines our existence? I choose to believe the latter.
    Also, I have played with Descartes’ idea that the mind and body are separate, otherwise know as “bubble theory.” It is true that the only thing I can be one hundred percent certain about is my own existence, however the concept of everyone and everything around being generated by my own subconscious is a little above me. Perhaps I don’t understand the concept fully, but doesn’t the mere fact that I am discussing this theory and weighing it as a possibility without gaining power to alter the so called ‘bubble’ I have created serve to disprove it?

    Michael S.

  19. Descartes’s philosophy on the separation of body and mind is the one I relate to the most. A body is mortal, it withers and fades like all else. But me? Just because my body disintegrates, do I? Is “I” my body? Does my brain generate my thoughts and therefore when it perishes, they do to? To think is to exist, so without thoughts; do I not fade into non-existent? What is non-existence? Dead is a state; dead is something. Non-existence is nothingness. For me, thoughts cannot simply cease to exist. Thoughts cannot be perceived, seen, proven, they are not material, so how can they disintegrate? For something to be decomposed it must first be composed of material things. My thoughts and ideas are not. Therefore, they cannot be decomposed. So my mind and body must be separate. When the body dies, the mind lives on. And I think after death we are more alive; freed from a body and senses that misguide us. We are free to create as we see fit, with no restrictions. I am not my body. It is something I wear for a while, but it is not me. I am my mind, my ideas, my imagination, my thoughts. My mind cannot be an inseparable part of my body because a though cannot be mortal. Therefore my mind, as an entity capable of thought, is separate from the body I use every day.
    As a side note, and I may be going out on a limb here, but perhaps dreams are our true selves, our minds, separating from our body’s restraints once in a while…

    Marie P.

  20. After re-reading some of the philosophers and their positions on life and other personal traits, as much as I don’t really connect with any of them, I will say that Georg Hegel is the one man I can relate to. His personal ideas of universal connections is pretty smart. If you look at the world through his way, it seems reasonable, people are attracted to other people. Ideas that are thrown out to the world are either picked up or thrown out . Absolute spirit doesn’t show that you have a force or a force in that action but it shows that you have something you going for. People who may believe in absolute spirit learn from mistakes and overcome them, and they also trigger a controlling force over others that have a single mind set.

    Zeitgeist proposition is very basic and I don’t think anyone could doubt that this is happening right now. It just means that everyone in the public is controlled by what ever the era throws at them. Whether it may be bad music, clothing, politics what ever, there is always a group of people maybe even a nation that will be under the affect of the era. Trying to stay close and be as identical as every body else (pretty boring to me and stupid)

    To crunch that up, people follow what ever is “in” and people with strong minds can great goals, if failed learn from failure and connect with people and erase boundaries. Still I will say that Georg Hegel’s ideas are some what related to me but I wouldn’t say I look at life around me through absolute spirit and the zeitgeist proposition , its to primitive.

    Nick M

  21. I agree with what Georgre Hegel used to explain. The idea of everything being connected to one greater whole makes sense to me. I think every mind with thought, and every body or object is connected to the things around them, basically just everything we live in. The nature of the earth and the things on the surface and above or below the surface is all for one thing. G.W.F. Hegel says it is called the Absolute spirit, which seems to be a good name for it. I like to think of it as one pattern that is spread out through everything connecting everything together, though at the same time everything is its own thing.

  22. I strongly identify with Immanuel Kant’s ideas of interpretation, transcendental idealism, and categorical imperative. I believe that everything we see is of our own interpretation. This means that what we see could be different to someone else. Therefore, we can never truly understand the object itself, but only what we make of it. Since this object isn’t consistent with everyone else’s reality, it is impossible to truly comprehend what it is. Also, although I don’t always do this, I agree that when questioning if something is good or bad, you should picture what the world would be like if everyone took part in that action. Take cheating for example, if everyone cheated, you would never be able to have a stable and trustworthy relationship with anyone. Therefore, you shouldn’t cheat. This concept is very simple and almost common sense, but it rarely ever used. People tend to act rashly, with little doubt, and don’t take time to question their actions before they happen. If we worked with Kant’s ideas, we could save others, and ourselves, a lot of problems.

    -Julia Chesbrough

  23. The philosophy of these people that fits me the best would be Plato and Aristotle. I couldn't pick between these two. I agree with Plato that perfection is something we should try for - but not something that we can truly obtain. Though I do not follow with what Plato believes as a "Platonic Relationship." I agree with Aristotle because of his idea of the golden mean and how you should find a happy middle between two extremes. This really works with me because I try to find a happy medium between two things. Though I am not very sure about Aristotle's idea of cartharsis. I am not sure about the emotional cleansing that he talks about.

    -Dan Reynolds

  24. The Philosopher that best fits my view of the world is Hegel. Even though his philosophy is one of the oldest in history, I thoroughly agree with his presumptions of the world- that we are all interconnected through this so called "absoulte spirit". I am not a very religious person at all, so this argument definitely explains my type of religious views.
    Being that I am agnostic, I dont really know what to believe, but I do believe that there is some sort of higher power controlling all of us, like a ten year old alien as you mentioned in class. I strongly agree with his zeitgist theory which said that people's thoughts are guided by a political and cultural atmoshere throughout history. This makes a lot of sense because we categorize generations by the events in which something took place during those years- baby boomer, generation 9/11 and so forth.

    Out of all of these philosophers, although Hegel connects with me the most, I do not necessarily follow these views; I mostly just keep them in the back of my head. I already knew about Hegel before this class, so it was easy for me to pick him.

    Becky Yuditsky

  25. If I had to choose a philosopher, I would probably pick David Hume. I liked his concepts the most, like skepticism. No one can ever be sure of anything, unless its math. I constantly catch myself questioning everything around me. Its like when I got sick from eating a certain food, how do I know it will happen again if I eat it? I, also agreed with his concept of people learning from experience. Now that I have experienced a car accident, I know what it will feel and be like the next time, I wouldn't know otherwise if I hadn't experienced that. Lastly, I think the causation makes sense too. Just because two things happen after each other one time, doesn't mean it will, like doing well on a test because I used a certain pen. I think his concepts make the most sense to my life and experiences. His philosophies are the best for me!

    Riam K.

  26. I agree the most with David Hume. From my personal experiences, I feel that, in any situation I am in, I always try to predict or assume what will happen. I know that I am never one hundred percent correct with my assumptions, as there is always some sort of unpredictable turn in events, even if it’s a minuscule change. Personally, science has been my passion, and over the past years I assumed that any type of science is purely factual. For example, it is easy to assume that your arteries are blocked you WILL have a heart attack. However, my dad, a doctor, has had cases that people have had extremely clogged arteries and not be affected by it. I realize now that there is now way to prove definite causation. Even though my impulsive habits don’t allow me to fully embrace Hume’s philosophy on the events of our lives, I long to be able to in the future. I believe Hume’s will allow people to fully embrace and pay attention to the present more than focusing on what comes next.

    Komal M.

  27. I think the philosopher I can most closely relate to is Plato. He believes in the idea of perfect form, and I’m not saying I believe everything must be perfect, but the fact that in an impossible world everything would be. I use that concept with a lot of the art that I do, its proven that when drawing human features enough times the brain will begin to put together the pieces without a reference, and I’d like to think that your own interpretation of perfection. I have a strong sense of what I consider perfect as well. small things like hand writing or the set up of photos on a wall will really drive me crazy if they aren’t in the place where I’ve imagined them I believe that everyone should have their own goals in life that are unique to them, and that they should strive to achieve them. One man’s poor may be another man’s perfect, but it shouldn’t matter whose is whose, as long as you get as close to your goal as possible.

    Lauren N.

  28. Out of the six philosophers that were presented to us I believe Immanuel Kant has ideologies and perspectives that were parallel to mine. I found that his thoughts and ideas on ethics and categorical imperative is something that plays a part in someone everyday life when one is trying to make the right decision and trying to be an example fro other people. Through Boys Scouts, church and other extra curricular activities I have had the chance to not only stand on the side lines and watch others try to lead by example but I have also had the opportunity to lead and act like someone who is supposed to be a “good person”. Kant said that one must have a will to perform actions that will change people’s opinions of you and I agree with that. He also said that we must not look down on people that don’t have the will to act accordingly. I watched many young men going through scouting and not really have the will to progress in rank. They eventually, after long arguments with their Dads usually, drop out and don’t attain the rank of eagle. These days I don’t look down on it as much but I always use to think it was kind of sluggish of them to fail to attain that rank; but I also look at in a positive way because the person had the will to say that they are not fond of scouting anymore and would rather use their time differently. My opinions have varied over the years but at where I am currently I think Kant has some pretty similar views to mine.
    -Tim M.

  29. From all philosophers I read about I must say I relate the Plato the most. He believed that there is a perfect form of everything. Being an orthodox christian and having strong faith I also believe there is a perfect form of everything. Jesus was the perfect human, and I try my best to follow in his footsteps. Trying to be perfect is although impossible but is a good way to live a rightoues life. Striving for perfection is a challenge but my faith in god keeps me going for it. PLato stated it is very important to live a rigteous life and he is right. When Jesus was alive he was the perfect human being. He did not commit sin. He did not give in to temptation when the devil tormented him. He forgave and loved his enemies. He spent his life serving others and gave his love out to everyone. Everything he did was perfect. He willing let the Romans torture him. He stated when you get hit turn the other cheek. This is what i aim for. Being perfect like Jesus. Jesus was pro.Plato was correct therefore making him pro.Follow in footsteps of perfection is the best thing one can do. Listen to Plato

  30. Of the six philosophers, my personal favorite is Plato because his perspective was both unique and thought provoking. One of the ideas I found most interesting was his idea that everything on earth is only a reflection of the “true” thing and that what we perceive as “beauty” or “wisdom” for instance, is only an image or reflection of the “true” beauty or “true” wisdom. Plato believed the ideal or permanent form of these things existed in the outer world, somewhere outside of our world and beyond our universe.
    I also agree with him on his ideas of striving to be your “best” self or most “perfect”, self, striving towards THE GOOD, in other words. He realized that people would never achieve true perfection, but that we could find true happiness by continually striving to become our best selves. I agree on this one hundred percent.
    I also liked Rene Descartes’ philosophy on life. He believed that the mind and thoughts are not really a part of the body even though they are housed within the physical brain. This seems true to me because even the physical aspects of the brain entail very little about the mind. The mind and thoughts are unique aspects of existence and they are far too complex to be limited to the “brain”. There must be something deeper behind it. Krista Dudley Honors Philosphy 2nd hour


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