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HZT 4U Philosophy: Questions & Theories
Instructor: Mr. R. D'Alessio   
 This course addresses three (or more) of the main areas of philosophy: metaphysics, logic, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics. Students will learn critical-thinking skills, the main ideas expressed by philosophers from a variety of the world's traditions, how to develop and explain their own philosophical ideas, and how to apply those ideas to contemporary social issues and personal experiences. The course will also help students refine skills used in researching and investigating topics in philosophy.
Is there a difference between an entertainer and an artist?
Gord Downie Canada 150 We Day July 2, 2017
DNA Connections
8 stages of Life acc2: Erikson
Erik Erikson and Eight Stages of Life
Transition: progress or change from one place, state, or condition to another
Each stage of Erikson's theory represents a challenge or conflict an individual is faced with. If the challenge is successfully resolved, the individual makes a healthy transition to the next stage having acquired experiences and understandings to help resolve the challenges of following stages. Failure to adequately deal with the challenges of a particular stage makes resolving the conflicts of following stages more difficult.
1. Infancy: Trust vs. Mistrust
2. Early childhood: Autonomy vs. Doubt and Shame
3. Play age: Initiative vs. Guilt
4. School age: Industry vs. Inferiority
5. Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion
6. Young adulthood: Intimacy vs. Isolation
7. Adulthood: Generativity vs. Stagnation
8. Mature adulthood: Integrity vs. Despair
To think about: What are some of the tasks adolescents must deal with to establish a clear, healthy identity?
Dr. Bob Wright:
three different types of happiness-- the hedonic (pleasure related), engaged happiness (activity related), and the highest level-- meaningful happiness (when a person has a sense of importance that what they are doing is contributing to others).
Dr. Bernard Beitman:
is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to attempt to systematize the study of coincidences and has developed a scale to measure coincidence sensitivity. He discussed the different types of coincidences, the meanings behind them, and who is more likely to have them. "A coincidence is the intersection of two independent life events that brings the person who observes that intersection some surprise and wonder. The surprise and wonder is usually generated by the low probability of those two events," he explained. According to his research, the most common type of coincidence is 'thought-environment-connection,' such as thinking of an idea and then seeing it on the Internet, TV or other media. The person experiencing a meaningful coincidence often has more to do with creating it than is generally recognized, and individuals who tend to be more spiritual or intuitive more easily connect thoughts in their minds with events around them, he explained. Beitman also related coincidences to what he calls the "psychosphere" a dynamic flux of energy information surrounding us, and "simulpathity" a kind of inner GPS capacity we use to find our our way to people, things, and ideas without knowing exactly how we got there.
Personality Type (Family Life)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most well known personality model in the world. Using four dichotomies (opposite pairings), the MBTI sorts individuals into 16 different personality types.
1) Extrovert vs. Introvert - Preferred focus of attention.
Extroverts prefer to focus on people and things. Introverts prefer to focus on inner thoughts and ideas.
2) Sensing vs. Intuition - Preferred way of gathering information.
Sensing individuals prefer concrete, factual information gathered through the five senses.
Intuitive individuals prefer abstract or theoretical information associated with 'hunches' or 'gut feelings.'
3) Thinking vs. Feeling - Preferred use of information in decision making.
Thinking individuals tend to be logical, analytical, decisive and very 'black and white' when making decisions. Feeling individuals tend to give greater consideration to the impact their decisions have on their relationships, and are more likely to make decisions based on their values and the greater good.
4) Judging vs. Perceiving - Preferred lifestyle or way of relating to the world.
Judging individuals prefer order, structure, and control.
Perceiving individuals tend to be flexible, adaptive, spontaneous, and prefer to 'wait and see.'
James Fowler's Six Stages of Faith Development
1) Imaginative faith (birth - 7 years)
- Positive images are healthy
- Negative or fearful images unhealthy

2) Literal faith (7 years - early teens)
- faith story believed as literally or historically true
- God viewed as rewarding and punishing behaviour
- Bargaining stage (e.g. I will pray seven Hail Marys if you let me pass this exam)

3) Group faith (late teens - early 20's)
- Group exerts strong influence
- Conformity to values and expectations of the group
- Limited questioning of group views
- Can discourage personal responsibility

4) Personal faith (mid 20's and older)
- Personal responsibility accepted for beliefs
- Likely a time of tension with friends, family and Church leaders while searching for truth
- Answers not always clear-cut (lots of gray areas)

5) Mystical faith (age no longer a factor)
- Communion with God
- Awareness of God's inner presence
- Recognition of community of all people
- Challenge and improve structure
- Belief that "God is with me at all times therefore life is intrinsically holy by nature"

6) Sacrificial faith
- Identification with truth and justice
- Radical commitment with no regard for personal status or security
- Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa
- Not many reached this stage but there may be traces of it in us, i.e. parental attitudes
Dyer's 6 Keys to the GOOD LIFE
Wayne Dyer: Essential principles for finding your way to an inspired life, these include:
1) Be independent of the good opinion of others
2) Be willing to accept the disapproval of others
3) Stay detached from outcomes
4) Know that we need nothing/no things to be inspired
5) Don’t die wondering
6) Remember that our desires won’t arrive on our schedule. (I’m reminded here of an old quote that goes, “If you really want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”)
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
Moral reasoning is the process of discerning right from wrong. Lawrence Kohlberg believed the mental capacity necessary for discerning right from wrong to be present around the age of thirteen, and that enviromental factors, such as parents, teachers, and peers played an important role in an individual's moral development.

Level one: Preconventional morality (focus on the self)
Stage 1: Punishment and obedience orientation
Rules are fixed and absolute. Obeying the rules is important to avoid punishment.
Stage 2: Personal usefulness or reward orientation
Good is determined by how one's own interests are met. This stage is marked by a "What's in it for me?" or "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" mentality.
Level two: Conventional morality (focus on group norms and rules)
Stage 3: Social conformity or pleasing others orientation
Good is what gains the approval of others.
Stage 4: Law and order orientation
The rules and laws of wider society are necessary for social order.
Level three: Post conventional morality (focus on what is right for everyone)
Stage 5: Social contract or civil disobedience
Awareness that the laws of society may occasionally be unjust for some individuals, and therefore require change.
Stage 6: Principled conscience
Individuals at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which apply to everyone, everywhere, at all times. Their principles are based upon the equality and worth of all human beings, and are therefore considered universal despite what the law may say.
The good life
Thoreau: "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
#TrendThink is our own class hashtag this semester for use in our discussion board and on Twitter to promote social commentary and class-inspired observations regarding social justice and potential paradigm shifts #paradigmshift
Happy Trails
Students: You have been a very thoughtful and wonderful group! Your efforts were impressive. Good luck on the rest of your exams and in your next and final semester. I look forward to seeing you at Prom & Grad. Be well.
The Home Stretch
During these last few days of the semester, you should begin studying for the final exam, scroll down to see the final exam review. We will review it in detail together in class on Thursday. You should also make sure you have most of the journals done by the end of the course. Please scroll down to see a list of all the journals. You also need to complete the following: 1. A 1 page blog on Courage. An example will be provided to you. You should create a fictional blog page where you state your philosophy on courage and have two or more fictional people reply on your page to your philosophy. They can agree and expand or disagree. 2. Pick a song. Print out the lyrics. Explain what you think the song is about and why you think it is philosophical. 3. Pick a famous philosopher. Write 4-5 paragraphs about this philosopher. Use at least one source besides your text book. 4. The final set of summative text work is:
p. 229-232 Who was William James?
p.233-234 #1-2
p.234-237 #3, 4, 8
p.242-244 #1-3
p.245-249 #1
p.246-261 #3, 4, 8
HZT4U Journals inventory:
  1. Wayne Dyer quote
  2. Rumi quote
  3. 2 wands
  4. “It’s the space between the bars…”
  5. “The Drunkard’s Walk”
  6. Thought experiment/Sept.15th journal
  7. Stress
  8. Text thought experiment
  9. Customer service
  10. The Tipping Point
  11. Happy v. rich
  12. What is cool?
  13. Person of Science, person of faith
  14. The Disappearance of the Universe
  15. What the Bleep Do We Know?
  16. Flat out insane?
  17. If you could help any charity in the world…
  18. If you could own any business…
  19. If you personally had a chance to go in and change your grade in the computer with the guaranteed knowledge you wouldn’t get caught….
  20. If you had 24 hours to live…
  21. Imagine that someone gives you a gift to someone but the recipient refuses to accept the gift…
  22. Bishop Sheen
  23. 2 out of 3 culminating task journals
  24. “Idiot Nation”*
  25. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelus”*
  26. Astro Theology*
  27. Noam Chomsky*
  28. Louise Hay*

*= after Jan.18th
HZT4U Final Exam Review:
For the exam:
Section 1 Short Answer--------------------------------------------/31 marks
Section II Long Answer-------------------------------------------/31 marks
Section III Definitions----------------------------------------------/23 marks
Section IV True or false-------------------------------------------/10 marks
Section V Essay Question ---------------------------------------/15 marks
Total------------------------------------------------------------------ /110
Exam questions based on journals, assigned text work, guest speakers, films, and lessons, and material that will be covered between Jan.18-22 (i.e., “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelus”, “Idiot Nation” (M.Moore) journal, astro-theology)

Section 1: Short Answer (31)
Example question:
1. Who said: “Epistemology, knowledge of truth is found only through divine help. Humans can know truth through reason or natural revelation and faith or supernatural revelation.” Was it St. James, St. Thomas Aquinas, or John Locke? (1)
What to study: journal, tests, chapter review & text questions, handouts, Friedrich Nietsche
positive psychology, Life of Pi, Lousie Hay, Gregg Bryden, the Turning Test, Sigmund Freud, metaphysics
Section II- Long Answer (31)
Example question: Describe in detail, Plato’s allegory of the cave.
Study: Thomas Hobbes paradigm shift, Einstein, Charles Darwin

Section III- definitions (22)
Study: Altruism, behaviourism, existentialism, Egoism, Essentialists, Buddhist, logic, deduction, premise
Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Joseph Butler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Robert Pirsig, Aristotle

Section IV True or False
Example: Taoists believe that the oneness of the Tao is expressed in nature in a twofold manner, in yin and yang. _____
Section V: Essay Question (15)
Be prepared to talk about one or more of the following: the metaphysical question, What is a person? Artificial intelligence, Materialism, Idealism, The Matrix, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”
There will be 2 bonus questions.
Review Note:
-positive psychology is the school of thought that positive thinking makes a difference in life. Key figures in this philosophy include: Norman Vincent Peale, Louise Hay (#1 best selling English non-fiction author who coined the term “positive affirmation”), Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopera, Echart Tolle, Gregg Braden (author of Fractal Time and Deep Truth) and Marianne Willamson. The premise= we have 60,000 thoughts a day. Over 90% of them are the same thoughts as the day before. Therefore, if more than half of them are negative, we will experience more “bad luck” and stress in life and if we can get to a point there 70% or more of our thoughts are positive, we will live life on a level that some people describe as “inner peace.” For example, in the case of the African Violet Lady, she was pathologically paranoid of going to Hell but when she changed her perspective by sharing her gift (green thumb with African violets) her fears went away and she was always happy. Wayne Dyer: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Plato pre-dates Socrates. Socrates was a student of Plato.
-The most important/meaningful line in Life of Pi, is when Pi (who was symbolized by Richard Parker) asks the reporter, “Which story do you prefer? To which the reply comes, “The one with the tiger.” And Pi says, “…And so it goes with God…”
-A major philosophical debate is what defines life. Therefore, it is very debatable whether or not artificial life is possible. The Turing Test coined by Alan Turing, set out to prove or disprove whether the “voice” you are communicating with is human or machine.
-In Lost Season 2, episode 1, “Man of science, man of Faith,” John is the “person of faith? Jack, however, who tries not to have faith, gets faith when his patient and future ex-wife can walk. The hatch is a metaphor for hope, since its discovery provides a flood of hope amoung the castaways.
-In the journal, “Idiot Nation” by Michael Moore, Moore is left of centre. The key quote =“If turning students into billboards isn’t enough, schools and corporations sometimes turn the school itself into one giant neon sign for corporate America.”
-A key journal in the class was: “How the end Begins”
-A key debate in class was: “there is a god” v. “there is not a god” St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the philosophers who tried to offer a philosophical argument for the existence of God.
-key terms/people: metaphysics, paradigm shift, altruism, behaviourism, existentialism, Egoism, Essentialists, logic, deduction, premise, “Socratic method”, Doomsday Clock,Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Joseph Butler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Robert Pirsig, Aristotle
-hint: Pick one: a) Define fallacies. b) What do you think has been the biggest war crime of the 21st century and explain.

-metaphysics unit arguments: Materialism, Idealism, Descartes' psycho-physical dualism, Determinism
John Counsell notes
Yesterday (Jan.5th), we welcomed John Counsell as a guest speaker. He is a pastor at Vanier Community and Capital City Bikers Church (Pentecostal). He is also the host of "Late Night Council" on CFRA 580AM each weeknight from 9-11PM. He has been in talk radio since 1982. He has been with CFRA since 1998. One of his favorite quotes is: "We don't see things the way they are, we see things the way we are." -Author unknown-
-political spectrums and the curve theory that the two ends of the spectrum are essentially the same thing.
-the Bible's take on being submissive to Caesar and then comparing it to today's world and how our leaders are not as ruthless as people like Nero (etc)
-"How are you?" Usually people do not answer this honestly. "How do you think I am?" would be an honest albeit rhetorical answer.
-Best indentifications = your actions (He is pegged Conservative but he says he is a follower of Christ more so than a conservative).
-Liberals are more left now then they were under Martin and Chretien.
-Promise Keepers Movement
-World is governed by pegged labelling
-follower of Christ does not equal right or left wing ("The bird died a long time ago.")
-Failure of Detroit (free homes (you can buy a home for $0.00 in Detroit if you assume the debt of the previous owner, still a lot cheaper than a house the same size in any other US/Canadian city)).
-Media left to right spectrum, from left to right: CBC, CTV, Global, CBS, ABC, CNN, SUN, CFRA, Fox.
  1. students finish their Life of Pi questions from Friday and hand in when done (these must be handed in by Wednesday).
  2. students do the following journal in their journal notebooks: “If you personally had an opportunity to go in and change your grade in the computer (either now in high school or picturing yourself in college or university), and you knew beyond any doubt that you would not get caught, would you change the grade? Why or why not? Is it unethical? Explain.
  3. Journal: If you knew you had 24 hours left to live, what you do and why?
  4. Journal: Imagine that someone gives a gift to someone but the recipient refuses to accept the gift. Who owns that gift?
  5. follow this journal up with: If you said that the person who offered the gift owns the gift, then comment on the following: if someone offers you anger (etc) and you don’t accept it, who owns it? Therefore, do we have control over ourselves?
  6. Students read p.137- 139 and answer #1-3 p.139
  7. Students read p.140, 147-149, and in their journals summarize the Turing Test or the Chinese Room, their own opinion of the value of the test and their opinion as to whether or not there will one day be artificial intelligence. Then they can answer #1-3 p.149.
  8. Work on Philosophical Cafe
Test Review
Test Review:
-guest speakers
-"There is no truth" Agree or disagree?
Term II under way
Today: -Journal: Is it valuable to learn about different cultures. Explain your opinion.
-Txt work: q’s p.117
-P.117-120: What do Taoists believe? What is a mystic? Have you ever had a mystical experience?
-#1-3 122
-Students hand in Matrix assignment if they have not done so already. This is a summative assignment and if a student is not done they have ‘till Sunday to e-mail it to me: Rob.D'
Next week: metaphysics, meditation, time to work on philosophical cafe.
Please note that today we watched The Matrix. This is one of two films we watch in the course (1 per term). If you were absent, please see teacher. Please also note that I will be away Monday and Tuesday on a field trip. Students will ​Finish watching The Matrix. Students will work on Matrix assignment (to be distributed Monday) as well as 2 journals + txt work: p.107 #4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Tuesdays With Morrie
Film: ​
Through the Worm Hole
Why do bad things happen?
Consider this: In Star Trek Voyager (Season 3), there is an episode where the Doctor (a holographic artificial intelligence) creates a holographic family, but B'elanna Torres thinks that the Doctor's simulation is too "nice" (in a "Leave It To beaver" sort of way). She introduces some alterations to the program to make the simulation more accurate to real life: a wife who often disagrees, a rebellious teenage son, and a daughter who is sure she knows better than her doting father. When his daughter, Belle, is critically injured, the Doctor must make a choice, run back to his Voyager life, or face the harsh "reality" of losing a loved one. The Doctor shuts down his family program. However, Lieutenant Tom Paris says to the Doctor, “I guess all of us would avoid that kind of pain if we could. But most people don't have that choice. To which the Doctor replies, “Well, fortunately I do.” Then, Paris asks, “Is it so fortunate? You created that program so you could experience what it's like to have a family. The good times and the bad. You can't have one without the other.” The Doctor says: “I fail to see why not.” Paris responds: “Think about what's happened to us here on Voyager. Everyone left people behind, and everyone suffered a loss. But... look how it's brought us all closer together. We found support here, and friendship, and we've become a family, in part because of the pain we shared. If you turn your back on this program, you'll always be stuck at this point. You'll never have the chance to say goodbye to your daughter. Or to be there for your wife and son when they need you. And you'll be cheating yourself of the chance to have their love and support. In the long run, you'll miss the whole point of what it means to have a family.”
Lucy quote
"Humans consider themselves unique so they've rooted there whole theory of existence on their uniqueness. One is their unit of measure, but it's not. All social systems we've put into place are a mere sketch. One plus one equals two. That's all we've learned, but one plus one has never equaled two. There are, in fact, no numbers and no letters. We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size to make it comprehensible. We've created a scale so that we can forget its unfathomable scale."
Philosophical Cafe
Today (Oct.6th), the Philosophical Cafe Project is being assigned* Please see handout distributed in class today.
Prof Reid
Prof. Reid from the Philosophy Dept. at Ottawa U will be speaking to the class on Nov.13th.*
this week's txt work
p. 42 #1 or 2 in pairs, #3; p.10 #2; p.22-23 #2-4; p.33 #3; p.42 #3. And a reminder of this week's journals: Tipping Point; p.55, stress, evil eye, customer service, and "cool".
Is the universe a hologram?
Follow-up to discussion on animals
General steps to following through on a project

2. Brainstorm ideas

3. Create Outline

4. Conduct Research

5. Revise Outline

6. Conduct more Research

7. Reference Research (

8. Write Rough Draft- turn your outline points into sentences

9. Proofread & Edit

10. Write Final Draft
Edgar A. Guest
“He started to sing as he tackled the thing that couldn’t be done, and he did it”.
Improve Your Mind (Bishop Sheen)
I too am American
"...But one plus one has never equaled two. They are in fact no numbers and no letters. We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size to make it comprehensible. We've created a scale so that we can forget its unfathomable scale."
Confidence quotes
Scrapbook & Song lyrics
FAQ: Some additional information as per popular demand, on the scrapbook and song lyric synopsis:
A) Scrapbook: Meant to be done over an 8 day period, please find at least 6 articles (you will need at least 12 for a 4+) that tie into course content (eg. Philosophical statements about current events (politics, justice, terrorism, religion), Mindfulness, mental health, bullying, brain research, paranormal theories/stories, sociology, spirituality, stress, the environment (etc)). You may use actual newspapers, Google News (old articles are OK), Psychology Today Magazine, Coast to Coast AM, Louise Hay, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Moore etc). *Can be hard copy or electronic.
Part I. 20 Points
  • Item Captions
  • Captions clear and descriptive
  • Attractive front cover and included back cover.
  • Meets requirements of the assignment Total ___________
Part II. 40 Points
Variety of items included; topics are relevant; you include a paragraph explaining your interpretation of an article of your choice or the scrapbook as a whole.
  • Full coverage of topics
  • Indicates an understanding of the topic
  • Appears to be well-researched
  • Works citied included Total____________
Part III 30 points
  • Neatly executed
  • Creative touches that enhance meaning
  • Visually appealing Total____________

B) Song Lyric: You may ask to see examplars. You must print out lyrics of a song of your choice. The song can't be just a literal ballad it must have indirect or direct symbolic value that denotes a philosophical view that you agree or disagree with. A song that is a political or social commentary or a song about human nature would work. Offer your interpretation. Cite your source for the lyrics and any other sources you use in the event that you make reference to others' interpretations as well as your own.
Poem: "Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters"
(Might this be the best poem ever about life?)
Chomsky, Bishop Sheen and J. Maxwell links

1. Bishop Sheen & Angels:
2. Astro-Theology & Jordan Maxwell:

other links from class
Noam Chomsky: &

John C. Parkin says: "The true philosopher doesn't fix a position and then argue for it or from it... the most common use of the word 'philosophy' is now when we say, 'Well, my philosophy is...' 'My philosophy is that you should always look before you leap.' We precede a statement of our fixed view with the suggestion that it's our philosophy.' Whereas philosophy is about simple questioning. I'm fascinated by how things work. But I don't (any longer) come in with a fixed idea of how I think they should work."
Plato quote
"And therefore, if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing."
December head's up
You will have one month to complete the following two tasks: 1. as some of you have done in English class, pick a song, print out the lyrics, write a one paragraph synopsis of the song and explain why you think it is philosophical. 2. Begin collecting news and/or magazine articles. Anything that touches on a philosophical issue or debate topic. Collect at least ten of these over the next couple weeks and for each article write at least one sentence stating why you think it is philosophical (at least in part) in nature. You may use class links to articles but at least five of your articles must be found on your own through newspaper(s), magazines, and websites. Cite your sources.
Did you know?
People who write about their problems gain a host of benefits including feeling happier, sleeping better, and even getting better grades.
Our Future in Space Exploration
Max Planck, the father of quantum theory quote
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and, therefore, part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance
It’s one of the weirdest findings in psychology. According to cognitive dissonance, it’s difficult to hold two contradicting beliefs and so we adjust to one unconsciously, so that it fits with the other. A study done on the same, found that a task is interesting to a student if they are paid less to take part. We reason that since money was not involved then the task must have been interesting for us to do it. A boring task will become interesting because it’s hard to explain the behavior. This theory is unsettling because our minds seem to be performing rationalizations like this many times without consciously knowing. So how can you be sure of what you really think?
Philosophical question of the week
Could living multiple lives in alternate realities cause false memories?
Famous Fear quote
Fear came knocking at the door, Love answered and nobody was there.
Old quote could apply to e-mails and texts now.
''The Moving* Fing*er writes and having* writ,
Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears blot out a word of it."
From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Quote of the week

“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero-

New class Links
1. As a follow up to the clips from the documentary Fahrenheit 911 Here is a link to the Bush speech that was delivered on the eve of the Iraq War:
2. As we conduct resilience surveys at the school, fittingly, we have a positive psychology unit. Positive Psy (law of attraction, mindfulness, positive thinking/aspects/affirmations/afformations, meditation, journey work, compassion-based philosophy, and the "Art of Allowing") Links:
-Deepak meditation:
-Dr. Wayne Dyer: Getting Into the Gap Lord's Prayer meditation:
-Wayne DYER talk:
-Are the World's great thinkers positive? And did Beacom make the list?
-Article: Can You Imagine cancer away?:
-Mindfulness video: Bruce Lipton & Wayne Dyer:
Marrianne Williamson:

On Coast to Coast AM last Thursday, Eldon Taylor, bestselling author, talked about Thanksgiving and the power of gratitude and positive thought. He explained that it's never too late to be happy and successful, and how being thankful is a major step toward moving forward and living a satisfying and fulfilling life. "The real power of gratitude comes from what we give-- when we're giving...we discover what gratitude means," he stated. He described turning things around with a suicidal patient, by instructing her to do one good deed every day, and write it down in a journal and reflect upon it.
Instead of focusing on negative ideations such as envy, one can adopt a "gratitude attitude," and by changing one's perception about a given situation they will change their reaction to it, he noted. Adopting a grateful stance improves one's karma and does away with self-pity, low self-esteem, and guilt, he continued. Further, if one focuses on gratitude for five minutes a day, they'll experience an increase in their well-being that's equivalent to a doubling of their income, Taylor suggested.
Key Term: Placebo Effect:
You are having a headache. You take some aspirin and a few seconds later, you are feeling so much better. Have you experienced this? Well, it can’t be as a result of the drug because the drug would need at least 15 minutes for it to kick in. This is what is called the Placebo effect. Since your mind knows you have taken a pill, you feel better. This effect is mostly strongest in medicine where pain is involved. A placebo of salty water (saline) would work just as powerfully as morphine would. The word Placebo is Latin for ‘I shall please’. In another study done, 80% improvement from taking drugs like Prozac was placebo. They could as well have taken the sugar pill. The placebo effect can be considered counter-intuitive because the body and mind are not separate. The Opposite is called the nocebo.
Famous Philosopher Biography Essay/ Philosophical Cafe
Length: 5 paragraphs
Pick a famous philosopher. Provide biographical information on him/her. What type of philosopher were they? What is your impression of the philosopher's view on life and humanity? What is one teaching of theirs that you either agree with or disagree with, explain? Include an introduction, a conclusion, and at least once source other than your text and Wikipedia (although you can also use your text and Wikipedia too).
Title page: /5
Mechanics: /10
Bibliography: /5
Essay: /25
"Philosophical Cafe". You will be given class time to work on this. Reminders:
-A philosophy cafe is like a science fair. You and your partner or two partners are to create a display and discuss with visitors to the class, philosophy in general and a very specific type of philosophy such as “Is there such a thing as evil” OR “Are humans bad?” OR "Is Life Fair?"
Creating Café brochures/display
Each person writing and handing in a 1 ½ page summary of what they learned
Each group will design and create a brochure/display (using original text and visual elements)
explaining to an audience unfamiliar with philosophy what philosophy is and the kind of
personal qualities (based on the group’s list) that one must possess in order to be an
effective philosopher. The brochure must also include a list of topics and questions that
are particularly suitable to philosophical discussion. Each group’s design must represent the
collaborative effort and abilities of the group.

Because this is a philosophy café, students will be permitted light refreshments
and coffee during the fair/discussion portion of the assignment.

Dr. Dyer's top 5 most motivational speeches ever list
Term 1 Checklist
p.22 (#2-4), p.28 (#1), p. 33 (#1-3), p.83/84/87 (#1-2), p. 42/44 (#1-2), p.59 (#3), p.54 (#1), p.57 (#1-3), p.59 (#1-2), p.63 (#1-3); Tribute; journals; skit; logic paragraph; Matrix assignment
Week 1
Paradym Shift? Marrianne Williamson: " In 1776, the USA was founded in repudiation of an aristocratic system. Some of those who risked their lives to sign the Declaration of Independence were themselves slaveowners, so from our earliest beginnings our work has been to close the gap between who we purported to be and how we actually behaved.

Over time, Americans have worked to do that -- every generation facing its own challenges and resistances to "creating a more perfect union." Today, we are challenged as ...much as any generation before us -- not by a specific institutional injustice such as slavery or lack of women's suffrage, so much as by an all-pervasive reversion to the very aristocratic mentality that we were founded to reject.

Today, this aristocracy is called "plutocracy" or "oligarchy." It doesn't matter what it's called, but it matters greatly how it operates. Through tax, trade and banking policies -- and particularly with permission granted it by the Supreme Court to flood our electoral system with so much money that it can, IF the citizens are not vigilant, drown out the voices of average citizens -- the new aristocracy now feasts on a system of legalized bribery and corruption."

Dr. Phil v. Abraham Hicks
Dr. Phil says “Time heals nothing” but… Abraham-Hicks says: “The buffer of time gives you the opportunity to get it right before it manifests, to take pleasure from the vision and from the molding it into place... Can you imagine if everything was manifesting instantly? You would manifest this, and then you would manifest it away. And then you'd manifest that, and then... It would be a difficult thing if you were instantly manifesting every whim or every misaligned thought. It's so much better that you have this buffer of time where you can feel it into perfection before it manifests into your experience.”
Logic skit
If your group has not yet performed their LOGIC/fallacy skit in class, please do so by Oct.29th.
Does Santa Exist
DOES SANTA EXIST BOOK: Comedy writer, producer, and philosopher Eric Kaplan addressed the question of whether Santa exists, and also shared stories about his work on the TV series, The Big Bang Theory. "If you believe in Santa, it lets you preserve certain ways of feeling, and certain ways of looking at the world which are valuable," he remarked. Belief in the spirit of Santa might be called by different names-- it can be an expression of any divine force, which allows for grace, generosity, and forgiveness, he explained.
Lyrics Synopsis Journal
Interpret one of the following songs: “Closing Time” by Leonard Cohen; “Have A Nice Day” Bon Jovi, “Dust in the Wind” Kansas, “Sound of Silence” Simon & Garfunkel, “The Logical Song” Supertamp
Write down an example of a)fact b)faith c)myth d)theory e) paradime shift
Fallacy Skits
Any group that has not performed their False Logic skit yet must do so on Monday*
Term 1
By the end of term 1, we will have done journal writing, thought experiments, the good life tribute assignment, and have covered some of the first 5 chapters of the txt and got into logic, metaphysics, and science philosophy. Our Philosophize Fridays will have been host to some outstanding discussion. We will have watched The Matrix, Lost (Season 2, ep.1 ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")) and What the Bleep Do We Know and have interpreted Plato's Allegory of the Cave and The Ones Who Walk Away From Omulus.
Wayne Dyer's philosophy

"My favorite definition of success, which I’ve cited on numerous occasions, was offered by Henry David Thoreau in the mid-19th century at Walden Pond: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” I’ve italicized two words in Thoreau’s definition of success—dreams and imagined. What Thoreau is saying is so important to you today. Be willing to dream, and imagine yourself becoming all that you wish to be. If you live from those imaginings, the universe will align with you in bringing all that you wish for—and even more than you imagined when you were living at an ordinary level of consciousness, or what Thoreau calls “common hours.” Keep in mind the basic axiom—all that now exists was once imagined. It follows then that what you want to exist for you in the future must now be imagined. You’ll see as you read through these foundations for fulfilling your wishes that using your imagination involves more intensity on your part than just imagining an occasional wishful thought. You must first unlearn some of the ways that you’ve been misusing or squandering the capacity your imagination has for providing you with an unlimited ability to manifest all that you desire. Thoreau called it advancing confidently in the direction of your own dreams. Unfortunately, most of us have learned to do the opposite with our imagination, and instead regularly use it to develop mental habits of advancing in precisely the reverse direction of our highest dreams for ourselves. In my book Wishes Fulfilled, I also address in depth how to utilize the I ams and live from your I am God awareness, beginning with your imagination. Recall that I am God doesn’t refer to your body in any way. It refers to the birthless, deathless, changeless spirit that remains in all the changing forms your body takes every moment of your temporary life here on Earth. It is important that you recognize a few of the imagination missteps that will block you from fulfilling your unique desires. Remember that your imagination is yours and yours alone. You have the inborn capacity to use it in any way that you choose. No one else is responsible for your imagination. Anything placed in your imagination and held there ultimately becomes your reality.Nikos Kazantzakis reinforces this idea by giving these words to his fanciful character Zorba (in his book Zorba the Greek), who always lived his life to the fullest: “By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” This is the power of your imagination when what you desire is imagined sufficiently to make it your reality. Don’t diminish this great gift by using it in a way that is antithetical to its I am God original nature. Perhaps the most common misuse of imagination is stressing what you don’t want for yourself. This is the largest category of misusing imagination. Start paying attention to general conversation, and you will be astounded at how incredibly prevalent it is. Imagining that finds expression in phrases like, I don’t deserve prosperity, I am always so unlucky, Things never work out for me, and I am unhealthy and cannot be healed, are the kind of ideas that may have been entertained since childhood. Highly functioning self-actualized people simply never imagine what it is that they don’t wish to have as their reality. Begin noticing and being careful about keeping your imagination free of thoughts that you do not wish to materialize. Instead, initiate a practice of filling your creative thoughts to overflow with ideas and wishes that you fully intend to manifest. Honor your imaginings regardless of others seeing them as crazy or impossible. Recall the words of Kazantzakis and passionately believe in that which is in your imagination and which does not yet exist on the physical plane.

Abraham Hicks teaching
Because others cannot vibrate in your experience, they cannot affect the outcome of your experience. They can hold their opinions, but unless their opinion affects your opinion, their opinion matters not at all. A million people could be pushing against you and it would not negatively affect you unless you push back. That million people pushing against you are affecting their millions of vibrations. They are affecting what happens in their experience. They are affecting their point of attraction, but it does not affect you unless you push against them. -Abraham Hicks-
Thought For The Day
“The glass is half full of what is.”
 “The sun never says to the earth,

'You owe me.'

Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.”

- Hafiz

Your body is the cage?
"A traveler from India went to Africa to acquire some local products and animals, and while in the jungle he saw thousands of beautiful multicolored talking parrots. He decided to capture a talking parrot and take it back as a pet. 

At home he kept his parrot in a cage and fed him wonderful seeds and honey, played music for his pet, and generally treated him well. When it was time for the man to return to Africa 2 years later, he asked his parrot if there was any message he could deliver to the parrot's friends back in the jungle. The parrot told his master to say that he was very happy in his cage and that he was enjoying each day and to convey his love. 

When the traveler arrived back in Africa he delivered the message to the parrots in the jungle. Just as he finished his story, a parrot with tears welling up in his eyes fell over dead. The man was alarmed and decided that the parrot must have been very close to the parrot in the cage and that was the reason for his sadness and demise. 

When the traveler returned to India, he told his pet what had happened. As he finished his story, the pet parrot's eyes welled up with tears and he kneeled over dead in his cage. The man was astounded, but figured that his pet died from the despair of hearing of the death of his close friend back in the jungle. 

The trader opened up the cage and tossed the dead bird outside onto the trash heap. Immediately his pet parrot flew up to a branch on the tree outside. 

The trader said to him, "So, you are not dead after all. Why did you do that?" 

The parrot answered, "Because that bird back in Africa sent me a very important message." 

"What was the message?" the trader inquired impatiently. 

"He told me that if you want to escape from your cage, you must die while you are alive."'
term: mindful parenting
Mindfulness-based parenting: Parenting while “paying attention, here and now, with kindness and curiosity”

(Dr. Amy Saltzman)

Poetry introduction
 From Dead Poets Society:
What's your take on this quote? Is it positive, negative? Do you agree? Disagree?
 "Punishment--A strange thing, our punishment! It does not cleanse the criminal, it is no atonement; on the contrary, it pollutes worse than the crime does." 
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn
Quote of the week
 Make sure your words are necessary, kind and truthful.

- Stefanie Gross

Philosophical Cafe
 The Philosophical Cafe Assignment is now posted and can be found by scrolling down to "Files"
More on dreams
 In the fall of 2013, on Coast to Coast AM,'s dream expert J.M. DeBord discussed the fundamentals of dreams, and dream analysis including how to use your dreams to benefit your life. He cited examples of how people use dreams to solve problems and get valuable information about various challenges. "Dreams are sort of like the holodeck on Star Trek where characters go to test themselves, to answer questions, to work through personal issues. Your dreams provide the same sort of simulations-- they present to you scenarios, and allow you to react to those scenarios," he commented, adding that your reactions can tell you a lot about how you might respond to a similar situation in your waking life. Dreams can be empowering and life-changing, and can connect you to your own source of inner wisdom. Everything you see in your dream is a kind of symbolism that relates to something in your waking life (typically something that has happened recently), though it may be exaggerated or blown up in order to make a point, he continued. DeBord shared his "1-2-3" approach to dream work-- "remember, interpret, and live your dream." He offered tips for remembering your dreams such as setting an alarm to wake up during the REM cycle, and noted that people are often the best judge of their dream's meaning, after they unlock their associations with the symbols. The idea of 'living your dream' has to do with making your dreams an active part of your daily life. "You look at what your dreams tell you and you apply it," such as in resolving a conflict, he explained, adding that dreams typically present a question or problem along with a coded resolution or answer. DeBord also touched on nightmares (the subconscious is trying to send a message that hasn't been understood in regular dreams), and shared dreams (a kind of mutual dream between two people). 
Positive Psychology and teachings of Dr. Ester Hicks
 "Since nothing matters to you other than your personal alignment with your individual goals or desires, then that is where our work is. We are not here to debate the rightness or the wrongness of what you, or anyone, chooses. We are not taking sides, for or against, anything. We are here to help you understand that your life can be as wonderful or as horrible as you allow it to be. It all depends upon the thoughts that you practice. And therein lies the basis of anyone's success: How much do I practice thoughts that bring me joy, and how much do I practice thoughts that bring me pain?" - Abraham

Speaking of pondering the endlessness of the stars...
Selfies at funerals
 Are 'selfies at funerals' progressive or indefensible?
Philosophy of Science: new link
A recently released image from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) appears to be a witch screaming out into space. The Witch Head Nebula, named after its resemblance to the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, is located hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation. According to astronomers, the billowy clouds of the nebula, being lit up by massive stars, are home to baby stars. More at
This Month
 This month we are learning about the philosophy of science and Political Philosophy whereby students will journal-write about where samples of writing fall on the political spectrum and we will take the time to discuss many of the different approaches to political philosophy as defended by some of the most famous and important political philosophers in the history of philosophy. For instance, discussing the political philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. In particular, we will learn that a central part of Plato's overall political theory was focused on outlining certain conditions that he believed would lead to what he viewed as the ideal state. Then we will look at the political theory of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Here we will discover that, rather than following Plato's goal of establishing the perfect state, what mattered more to Aristotle was the establishment of the proper function of the state for he viewed this as being the more important question. Next we will study the political theory of Thomas Hobbes. In particular, we will be introduced to the historical idea of the state of nature and will study exactly what the author of the famous idea had to say about it. As we will see, even today the concept of the state of nature is thought to provide the very reason why we should want government in our lives and why it is necessary and for this reason it is an imperative concept to study in any course in political philosophy. Then, in the next lesson we will go on to discuss the philosopher known as the father of liberalism, a theory which is easily said to be the most dominant political philosophy of the Western world, namely, John Locke. In particular, we will explore his ideas and learn how they are what provide the foundation of this massively influential political theory. Following that, we will discuss the philosopher regarded as the father of the important theory of conservatism, Edmund Burke. We will learn about some of Burke's main ideas and will see how they would become to be the founding principles within conservative thought. Then, we will discuss the philosopher who is the father of the major political theory known as Marxism, namely, Karl Marx. We will learn about the basic principles that Marx stood for and will come to understand how all of his ideas eventually became referred to under the general heading of Marxism. Finally, in the last lesson of the unit we will discuss the philosopher considered to be a key representative of the major and increasingly popular political theory known as libertarianism, namely, Robert Nozick. We will see how his ideas are deeply rooted in libertarian thought as well as how they are related to a particular form of anarchism, the theory that states that society can and should exist without government. The main aim of this unit will be to examine some of the most important political questions and theories as presented by some of the greatest political philosophers of all time. By studying each of the above seven philosophers you should be able to gain an understanding of their philosophy in general as well as how their philosophy relates to and addresses fundamental issues concerning the study of political philosophy.
The Rule of Opposites
 Rule of Opposites” (when we do what’s easy, life normally gets hard. When we do what’s hard, life gets easy.). 
Gandhi quote
 Slow down. One of Gandhi’s most illuminating observations reminds us that “there is more to life than increasing its speed.”
 Interpret the following Dr. Wayne Dyer quote:
Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.
Philosophers on Facebook

Philosophy app quote of the week
 "Happiness is a Swedish sunset; it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it." -Mark Twain. 
Quote of the day
About 2,300 years ago, Aristotle said this: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain 
a thought without accepting it." He is talking about awareness here, of course. Without it, every thought that arises has you in it's grip and determines what you feel, say and do. With awareness comes a depth, and you feel yourself to be the space in which the thought appears, rather than being the thought. And so not only do you become a more peaceful human being, your thinking becomes more inspired, too.
Read this
 After reading this status, you will realize that the the brain does not register the second "the." 
This month, we get into ethics. In the Ethics unit we will take the time to discuss some of the directions that philosophers can take within moral philosophy. For instance, the unit will begin by discussing the ethical theory of the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. In particular, we will learn about how his famous theory of the forms is related to the branch of ethics in particular as well as his important conception of the Form of the Good. Then we will look at the ethical theory of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Here we will discover that, rather than following Plato's theory of the forms, when it came to living ethically Aristotle was more concerned about our choices and actions in life as well as the specific notion of virtue. Next we will study the ethical theory of the third major philosopher to come out of ancient Greece, Epicurus. In particular, we will see how Epicurus' ethical theory is distinct from that of Plato's and Aristotle's and we will pay close attention to the notion of pleasure, the concept at the foundation of all Epicurean philosophy. Fourth, we will be introduced to the ethical theory of the Italian philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas. We will learn how his ethical views are related to the theory within philosophy known as objectivism and, in particular, we will examine the main idea behind natural law theory. Then we will go on to study the ethical theory of the English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham. In this section of the unit we will be presented with the famous theory within ethics known as utilitarianism and will discuss Bentham's founding role with respect the theory. We will then examine the ethical theory of the American philosopher, John Rawls. Here we will learn about the famous theory within ethics known as contractarianism and we will discuss the ways in which Rawls is understood to be a contractarian philosopher. Finally, we will end the unit by studying the ethical theory of the Canadian philosopher, G. A. Cohen. In this final section we will learn about the famous theory within ethics known as egalitarianism and we will learn about the ways in which Cohen is understood to be an egalitarian philosopher. The main aim of this unit will be to examine some important ethical theories as presented by some of the greatest moral philosophers of all time. By studying each of the above seven philosophers you should be able to gain an understanding of their philosophy in general as well as how their philosophy relates to and addresses fundamental questions concerning the study of ethics.
Einstein quote
 What do you think Einstein meant when he said...

“Imagination is more important than intellect.”  
Quote of the week
 Socrates: “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.”
"mechanics" refers to grammar and communicatin skills. When submitting work, remember that spelling and grammar do affect comprehension (and your mark!). Incerrek spulling and gramma often make riting un-derstand-ible! The Spell checker will help, but remember that it is not perfect! You will still need to proofread you work. (See? Spellchecker did not catch the you that should be "your" right there)... 
being added as a member of the webpage
 If you add yourself to be a member of the page to be able to participate and receive updates etc, please let me know if you do not receive a confirmation as there are often technical glitches when adding members. Thanks.
Submitting files
When submitting work, please make sure that you are using Microsoft Word, notepad, wordpad, or power point... I am unable to open other files such as Adobe/PTF or Word Perfect (etc)
force of likeability
On Coast to Coast AM last night, Professor of Global Marketing Rohit Bhargava talked about the force of likeability which influences our decisions from who we vote for, to who we befriend, to what companies we do business with. In a world where we often don't trust the organizations around us, we turn to the people behind them to build relationships with, he explained. Bhargava differentiated niceness from likeability, suggesting that nice people are afraid to tell you the truth, whereas likeable people start with a base of honesty. People such as (the late) Steve Jobs and Simon Cowell, who have been seen as not nice, tell you the truth to your face, and are often liked because of that, he continued. One tip he shared for increasing your likeability is to practice active listening, making sure you understand what is said, rather than just waiting for your turn to talk.
Malcolm Gladwell
Dreams- Coast to Coast
 As covered on Coast to Coast AM: Daniel Oldis talked about his research into lucid dreaming, and his recent work documenting inter-dream communication, where two individuals can send a message from one dreamer to another dreamer through the subconscious realm and the Internet. Explaining that lucid dreams can be observational as well as active, Oldis said that people can use these moments to work through issues such as conquering recurring nightmares.  One method for training to lucid dream, which Oldis shared, was "reality testing." This technique, he said, involves occasionally asking "is this real" while awake, which will become habitual, even when dreaming. As such, one will instinctively ask the question while in a dream state and then realize that they are in a non-reality.
media quote of the day
 ‎"A newspaper is a device incapable of distinguishing between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization" - George Will

Joke of the day
 Joke of the Day: What did the Zen Buddhist say to the hotdog vendor? "Make me “One” with everything."
Today's essay tip
Be careful with the use of the word "like" in formal essays. We usually use this word to compare one thing to another or as a simile. But it is too informal in an essay to say "...promising to not raise taxes is like promising jobs for everyone." It doesn't matter how logical or clear your point is, you should say: "...promising to raise taxes is comparable to promising jobs for everyone..." "Like" by defintion can only be used in its literal sense. Therefore, you can use it to say: "He likes pizza." "This dog likes cats." "Canadians like hockey." Etc. 
Quote of the day
 "When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Gord Downie quote
 I don't think you can throw over science and research for ideology and not expect there to be casualties.

Disclaimers and journal
Please note that we did an activity where students had to come up with examples of fact, faith, myth, and theory. This was/is to illustrate the disclaimer that in a philosophy class there are many beliefs that are based on one or more of these and that all of the key figures studied in the course present mostly theories as opposed to facts. Similarily, students wrote journals dealing with Epistemology. In epistemology studies, we take the time to learn about and focus our attention towards several areas of concern in the study of knowledge. For instance, describing the epistemological theories of the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. In this course, we will learn about his distinction between belief and knowledge and how it paved the way for all subsequent discussion regarding the mental and physical worlds or, more generally, the mind and body. Then we will look at the epistemological theories of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. In particular, we will discover that Aristotle is reluctant to totally reject the role of belief and will learn how this reluctance is ultimately related to his theory of sense perception. Third, we will study the epistemological theories of the medieval Italian philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas. By looking at Aquinas's defence of the mental quality known as the phantasm we will learn how this quality plays a prominent role in his theory of how we can attain knowledge. Fourth, we will be introduced to the epistemological theories of the French philosopher, Rene Descartes. In this section of the unit we will be presented with the famous theory within philosophy that argues that knowledge comes from reason, namely, rationalism. Then we will go on to study the epistemological theories of the English philosopher, John Locke. In particular, we will learn about the famous theory within philosophy that argues that knowledge comes from experience, namely, empiricism and will learn how it differs sharply from the theory of rationalism. We will then examine the epistemological theories of the Scottish philosopher, David Hume. Here we will learn about the theory of skepticism and how Hume is primarily skeptical of reason and the theory of rationalism. Finally, we will end the unit by studying the views of the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. In this final section we will learn about the high level of priority that Kant attaches to the role of reason and his consequent theory known as transcendental idealism. The main aim of this unit will be to examine some important epistemological theories as presented by some of the greatest philosophers of all time. By studying each of the above seven philosophers you should be able to gain an understanding of their philosophy in general as well as how their philosophy relates to and addresses fundamental questions concerning the study of knowledge.
From E-Sqauared
 When all is said and done , we’re down to 2,000 measly bits of information. Go ahead and take a bow, because even that’s pretty impressive. We’re talking 2,000 bits of information each and every second. But here’s the problem. What we choose to take in is only one-half of one-millionth of a percent of what’s out there. Let’s pretend that each dot of a pen point is one bit of information. I’ve been practicing, and the most dots I can reasonably make in one second is five. But let’s be generous and assume you’re a better pen dotter than I am— let’s pretend you can make ten dots per second. Again, we’re assuming each dot is a bit of information. To make as many dots as your brain processes in one second takes nearly three and a half minutes at your highly superior rate of ten dots per second . But if your brain were processing all the available information (400 billion dots), it would take 821 years!

 We cover metaphysics throughout the course. We do this by describing the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. We will learn about his famous theory of the Forms and how it paved the way for all subsequent discussion regarding the mental and physical worlds or, more generally, the mind and body. Then we will look at the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. In particular, we will learn about Aristotle's particular conception of what is real in the world and how it corresponds and relates to Plato's theory of the Forms. Third, we will study the medieval Italian philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas. By looking at Aquinas' ideas we can see how he takes some of the views of Plato and Aristotle and combines them into a theory which he believes best explains the relationship between the mind (or soul, as he calls it) and body. Fourth, we will be introduced to the French philosopher, Rene Descartes, who is known to be the father of modern philosophy. Here, we will see how Descartes believed that he solved the question of whether to accept the existence of the mind or the body by accepting both as well as the serious problem that results from this position. Fifth, we will then look at the Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza. Sixth, we will examine Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's ideas, the German philosopher known for his rather peculiar theory about what really exists in the world. We will learn about the unique entity that he defends in particular as well as its relation to the mind and body in general. We will study the views of the Irish philosopher, George Berkeley, another philosopher known for his bold and very abstract views. We will learn about the specific theory that he defends as well as how his views are explicitly different than the other philosophers studied. The main aim of all this unit will be to consider the metaphysical question of whether certain entities, such as the mind and body, really exist in the world. By studying each of the following seven philosophers, all of whom are widely regarded as the greatest philosophers of all time, you should be able to gain an understanding of both their theories in general as well as how their theories relate to and address this important metaphysical issue.
Unit 1
 We have begun Unit 1 in the text.  In this first unit of the course, we spend time looking at what truly makes a good philosopher. We will look at the elements of a definition, the various kinds of definitions that exist as well as the differences between these kinds of definitions. We will then look at arguments with the aim of understanding their structure as well as the two different kinds of arguments that exist. We will also look at ways to appraise an argument and, in particular, ways to discover faulty premises within an argument. We will then go on to look at the meaning of a fallacy and discuss various selected examples of fallacies and learn just why they are mistakes of reason. Finally, we will briefly look at the life of the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, the Socratic method as well as examining how the Socratic method might even be more useful to us today than it was thousands of years ago.
Week 1
-lesson/discussion: dreams
-Discussion: metaphysics (reality, God, self)
-Discussion: up, down, north, south, big, small, black, white, (etc)... what about a magnet? No matter how many time your cut it, no matter how thin you cut it there is always a north and a south/positive/negative or silence, you can't cut silence (etc).
-"John of God"
-journal: Camus (What would Camus say about Syria?)
-TXT: p.4: what is philosophy; p.11: Socratic method; p.13: Thought experiments; p.15 #1-3
-work on essay
-thought experiment: if your consciousness was transferred to a computer, the biological you v. the digital you.
Review from Day 3 & 4
 Essay assigned (choice of 3 topics: life, love, God); mysteries of the universe; Note: "The first recognized western philosophers were Greeks (in the sixth and fifth centuries (BC)). They were called pre-Socratics. They explored metaphysics (nature of reality); JAPPA v. Nihilism (the denial of all existence); Socrates, Plato, Aristotle (all Greek), Voltaire & Descartes (French) (Descartes was a skeptic); Plato Cave analogy; Journal: "Are you better suited to the study of philosophy or science? Why? Discussion: destiny? free will? thestic god?; thought experiment #1...
Review from Day 2
 Intro to course: what is philosophy; what is "truth"; journal: a) Is there such a thing as a selfless act b) interpret: "It has been said that it is the space between the bars that keeps the tiger in" (or: "it is the silence between the notes that makes the music."); allegory of the cave (Plato); being human; human nature/condition/the future of humans; life after death; what is logic; metaphysics; ethics; Matrix; beauty; nihilism 
Discussion Topics
Blog Entry Peace Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 8:41 AM Discuss
Blog Entry What Inspires you? Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM Discuss
Blog Entry OPEN LINE OPEN TOPIC Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM Discuss
Blog Entry FDA Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10:36 AM Discuss
Major Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
 Closing Time by Leonard Cohen.docx
Closing Time by Leonard Cohen
Why Ducks Quack and Eagles Fly (story)
Wayne Dyer's 12 Steps
Essay rubric
 Forget about those New Year.docx
New Years Resolutions (read this in February)
Fr. Paul guest speaker notes
Course Outline
Courage Blog Thread (Blog example and questions to be done in pairs or groups of 3)
Life of Pi study notes and questions
Lost Season 2, ep.1 Man of Science, Man of Faith notes...
Prof. Mark notes
Prof. Reid Notes
 Richard Rohr.docx
Catholic meditation (Richard Rohr)
Guest Stephen Whitely notes (updated Dec.2013)
 The Five P- pgs 98 to 150.pdf
The 5 People con't 3
 The Five P-pgs 1 to 46.pdf
The 5 People You Meet in Heaven
 The Five P-pgs 151 to 196.pdf
The 5 People con't 4
 The Five P-pgs 47 to 97.pdf
The 5 People con't 2
 The Logical Song by Supertramp.docx
The Logical Song lyrics
No "Homework" exist(s)
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