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Segunda-feira, 09 / 03 / 20

What Is the Mind-Body Problem in the Philosophy of Mind?

What Is the Mind-Body Problem in the Philosophy of Mind?

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

March 7th, 2020.


 

 
The mind-body problem is one of the most famous issues within philosophical discussion. It has been a point of argument and deep interest for philosophers throughout history. The mind-body problem was addressed by Buddhism and the ancient Greeks, all the way through to Rene Descartes and beyond.
 
But why is this a matter of interest and why is it important? Here we will look at the answers to these questions, how it can make us think deeper about our existence, but also how this issue concerns us on a more personal level. However, firstly we must understand what the mind-body problem is.
 
What is the mind-body problem?
 
The fundamental premise of this problem is the idea of whether the mind and body are two separate entities, or whether they are the same and interconnected in some way. Should we treat them as the same thing or is one in charge of the other? More generally, it is the discussion between the relationship of the mind and the body, or the affiliation between mental attributes and physical attributes.
 
This, in turn, leads to many other questions that build on this issue. These questions are an integral part of philosophical discussion and concerns about our existence.
 
For example, what is the self and how is it related to the mind and the body? Are our bodies just housing our minds? What does it mean for a body to belong to a certain subject? Do mental states affect physical states and vice versa? Is our being composed of mental facets and physical facets, or are we just consciousness and nothing else?
 
As you can see, the mind-body problem isn’t a simple matter. No wonder philosophers have grappled with it throughout history. Many strands of thought and theories have tried to make sense of the relationship between the mind and the body. They each give their take on it.
 
Hence, there are many different ideas about what makes up our existence as a whole. Two approaches are the most common among those: Dualism and Monism.
 
Dualism and Monism
 
The main difference between these two theoretical approaches to the mind-body problem is that dualism holds a clear distinction between the two – between mental and the physical, between the immaterial and the material. At the same time, monism holds the idea that there is only one single reality to which everything can be explained – the two are indistinguishable, they are one entity.
 
But what does this mean? It will help to look at each idea in more detail:
 
Dualism
 
We can understand dualism when recognising humans being made up of two different parts: one nonphysical (the mind) and one physical (the body/brain). These two things exist separately. They are not one whole subject.
 
 
The theory posits that both the mental and physical realms exist. However, they cannot be integrated. They are two separate cogs in a machine. They can work together but nevertheless are two distinguishable, individual entities. Rene Descartes is among the most well-known to believe in such a position through what is called Cartesian dualism (but that’s for another time).
 
This is easy enough to understand. We can often recognise that our minds can act differently to our bodies.
 
This could be in an obvious sense where our bodies may be frail in old age, but our minds are still as sharp as they were many years ago. Our bodies may become ill, by no fault of our own, but our minds may be still healthy (and vice versa). Our body has its system that works on its own; it is involuntary, whereas our mind can initiate voluntary actions.
 
You get the idea. This hopefully demonstrates what the essence of dualism is. It is perhaps more concrete and black and white than its counterpart though, and it’s easy to see why.
 
Monism
 
Monism takes the opposite perspective. It tries to refute the existence and distinction of these two separate entities and treats them as one phenomenon. It is a concept of singleness. Mind and matter are not two different states; they are both part of one overriding form.
 
We can see this through two types of monism: materialism and idealism. Materialism expresses the belief that nothing exists except the physical world. This means nothing exists apart from physical matter (in this case the brain and the body). This also considers consciousness as simply something that the brain does (an action or a function).
 
Idealism says that nothing exists apart from the nonphysical world. Physical objects are derivable and are just a product of our mental capacities. Perhaps the most famous advocate of this is the philosopher George Berkley (or Bishop Berkley). He argued that everything we perceive in the physical world, including our bodies, is just a projection of our mind.
 
 
The distinction is clear enough. Either our minds and bodies are two separate things that act independently from one another, or they co-exist together in some capacity in one single entity(e.g. consciousness, if taking the monist stance). This demonstrates how varied philosophical thought is when arguing about the mind-body problem.
 
However, for those of us who aren’t philosophers, it perhaps isn’t the point to advocate a particular position or choose a certain side when considering this issue. Rather we should use it as a means to help us engage with philosophy and help us think about our existence on a deeper level.
 
Why is the mind-body problem important?
 
You might wonder what the importance of such an ambiguous concept might be, or what use it is to us to even ponder on a matter like this. It can do two things for us: help us generate discussion about our existence on a general level and can also affect how we judge ourselves on a personal level.
 
The mind-body problem can engage us with the most deeply held concerns within philosophy about what the nature of our existence is. Are we physical beings inhabiting a physical world? Or, do we exist on a mental level where our minds are the only true entities and everything else is just a projection of our consciousness?
 
This all may seem broad and convoluted. But at its root, it is a major pathway to trying to understand the reality and our place in it. Encouraging this endeavour can only be a positive thing for society and us.
 
Viewing this issue on a personal level can also put a different spin on the subject.
 
One of the major enigmas we face in life is the struggle to understand or handle the conflict between our minds and our bodies. Perhaps how people view us on the outside, by our appearance and our projected character, is starkly different from how we may feel inside our mind.
 
The way we look or how others perceive us may sadly and unwantedly become engrained in our identity. However, we are still unsettled in our psyche when we know this not to be true.
 
Should we view our minds and bodies as part of the same parcel? Or is it healthier to have the awareness that what is depicted in someone’s exterior may be false, with the true nature of our being lying in our minds and our thoughts?
 
These ideas are less of a theoretical approach to the issue and more of an emotional angle that concerns our well-being. Nevertheless, it just demonstrates further the different ways we can consider the mind-body problem. In whatever way or capacity we choose to do so, it can only be for the betterment and benefit of ourselves.
 
 

References:
  1. https://plato.stanford.edu
  2. https://www.iep.utm.edu
 

 

Alexander

 

 

 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

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publicado por achama às 01:45
Terça-feira, 31 / 12 / 19

Vincent Van Gogh Biography: The Sad Story of His Life and His Amazing Art

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

December 30th, 2019.


 
This article will be a brief Vincent Van Gogh biography that will tell the story of his life and his art. You will most likely have heard of Van Gogh as he is one of the most well-known, popular and influential figures in post-impressionist and modern art.
 
Nevertheless, he remained unknown and unappreciated in his lifetime but achieved massive success after his death. This biography of Vincent Van Gogh will cover these aspects as well as much more. Van Gogh’s life and story is as famous as his art, so what will we specifically examine in this biography of this great painter?
 
What We Will Explore in This Vincent Van Gogh Biography
 
Here you can read about Van Gogh’s early life, his various occupations up until deciding to become an artist, his difficult career as an artist, his health and mental and physical decline up until his death and his legacy thereafter.
 
Therefore, we will explore two key components of his life: firstly, his unsuccessful and unappreciated life and career tragically plagued with bouts of mental illness and loneliness, and secondly, the incredible rise to fame after his death and the influence and legacy he left behind.
 
It is a deeply sad, mournful, yet astonishing story of a man whose life and work has reverberated so intensely through the generations, and it’s easy to see why.
 
Early Life
 
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Zundert, The Netherlands, in 1853. He was the oldest son of a pastor, Reverend Theodorus Van Gogh, and had three sisters and two brothers. One brother, Theo, would prove to be an integral part of his career as an artist and in his life – this will be re-visited later on.
 
At age 15, he left school to work at an art dealership firm in The Hague due to his family’s financial struggles. This job allowed him to travel and took him to London and Paris, where he especially fell in love with English culture. However, after some time, he lost interest in his work and left, which lead him to find another occupation.
 
 
Self-portrait, 1887
 
He then became a teacher at a Methodists boys school in England and also as a preacher at the congregation. Van Gogh had after all come from a devoutly religious family, but it wasn’t until now that he considered having this as a career and dedicating his life to God. However, his ambition and attempts to pursue such a life proved short-lived.
 
He trained to become a minister but was denied entry to the School of Theology in Amsterdam after refusing to take the Latin exams, scuppering his chances of becoming a minister.
 
Soon after, he chose to volunteer in the poor mining community in Borinage, southern Belgium.
 
This is where he immersed himself in the culture and integrated with the people of the community. He preached and ministered to the impoverished and also drew pictures of the people who lived there. Yet, the evangelical committees disapproved of his conduct in this role despite what would seem to be noble work. As a result, he had to leave and find another occupation.
 
Then Van Gogh believed he had found his calling in life – to become a painter.
 
Career as an Artist
 
At the age of 27, in the year of 1880, he decided to become an artist. Theo, his younger brother, would provide him with financial support throughout his endeavours to become successful and respected in his field.
 
 
Portrait of Theo van Gogh, 1887
 
He moved around various locations, teaching himself the craft. He lived briefly in Drenthe and Nuenen painting the landscapes of these places, still life and depicting the lives of the people within them.
 
In 1886, he moved in with his brother in Paris. It was here where he became exposed to the full inspiration of modern and impressionist art with the work of many prominent painters of the time, for example, Claude Monet. This would prove to be very important to Van Gogh’s development as an artist and matured his style.
 
He then moved to Arles in southern France with his new-found inspiration and confidence about his choice of career. Over the next year, he produced many paintings, including the well-known series of ‘Sunflowers’. The subjects that he painted during this time; views of the town, the landscape, self-portraits, portraits, nature, and of course sunflowers, helped produce many of the famous and iconic artwork from Van Gogh that hangs in galleries and museums around the world.
 
Van Gogh would paint with great ferocity and speed in an attempt to map the mood and feelings he had on the canvas whilst he was feeling it.
 
The expressive, energetic and intense contours and colours of the paintings of this period demonstrate this. And it is not hard to recognise this when standing in front of one of these works – many of which are considered to be his masterpieces.
 
He had dreams that other artists would join him in Arles where they would live and work together. Part of this vision may have become to materialise when Paul Gaunguin, a post-impressionist painter, came to join him in October 1888. However, the relationship between the two was tense and became toxic. Van Gogh and Gaunguin argued all the time, partly because they had different and opposing ideas. One night, Gaunguin eventually walked out.
 
Enraged, and slipping into a psychotic episode, Van Gogh took hold of a razor and cut off his ear. This was one of the first explicit signs of his deteriorating mental health, something that would only become worse.
 
 
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889
 
Mental Health and Decline
 
He spent much of the remainder of his life hospitalised. After bouts of depression and hospitalisation, he was finally admitted to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in 1889. He would uncontrollably alternate between crushing depression and times of intense artistic activity. When he felt well enough, he would go outside and paint the surroundings. Thus, he reflected the eclectic and powerful mix of colours that he could see.
 
In 1890, Van Gogh moved to Auvers, north of Paris, to rent a room and become a patient of Dr. Paul Gachet. Van Gogh had been hopelessly unlucky in his love life. He experienced next to no success as an artist. Finally, he was incredibly lonely up until this point. Tragically, he was unable to overcome his crippling depression.
 
One morning, Van Gogh went out to paint carrying a pistol with him. He shot himself in the chest, was taken to hospital and died two days later in his brother’s arms.
 
Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh and What We Can Learn from His Biography
 
Theo was suffering from ill health and was also further weakened by his brother’s death. He also died six months later.
 
This biography shows the painful and grievous life that Vincent Van Gogh had to endure. This is made all the more tragic when considering that he was unknown during his lifetime. But his legacy now remains and we know him as one of the greatest artists of all time. So how did this legacy come about?
Theo’s wife, Johanna, was an admirer and an ardent supporter of his work.
 
She collected as many of his paintings as she could. Johanna arranged for 71 of Van Gogh’s paintings to be displayed at a show in Paris on March 17, 1901. As a result, his fame grew enormously and was finally hailed as an artistic genius. His legacy was now ensured.
 
Johanna also published the letters that were sent between Vincent and his brother Theo after his worldwide fame was established. These letters give words to Van Gogh’s story and charter his struggles as an artist whilst Theo financially aided him. They strikingly give an insight into Van Gogh’s thoughts and feelings throughout this period. These letters give a deeply personal look at the artist’s own beliefs, desires and struggles. Finally, they allow us to gain a profound understanding of the man behind the art.
 
 
Wheatfield with Crows, Van Gogh’s last painting, 1890
 
Van Gogh is widely considered to be a genius and created many masterpieces.
 
Still, the story of his tragic life may have fueled his reputation and propelled him to the revered and honoured status he has today.
 
 
Nevertheless, his work has undoubtedly influenced the field of expressionism in modern art. And of course, it has massively influenced modern art as a whole. Van Gogh’s work has sold for record-breaking amounts of money across the world. His artworks are featured in many major art galleries in many countries.
 
His unrecognition and his struggles with mental health (documented in the correspondence between him and his brother) depict him as the classic tortured artist that has become dramatised and mythologised in modern times. But this should not distract us from his masterful work. Knowledge of his life only heightens the impact of his art and contributes the accolade of being one of the greatest painters to have ever lived.
 
 
References:
  1. https://www.biography.com
  2. https://www.britannica.com

 
 
Alexander
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 06:26
Sexta-feira, 29 / 11 / 19

What Is Perennial Philosophy and How It Can Open Your Mind

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

November 27th, 2019.

 
 
 
 


 
Perennial philosophy is a strand of philosophical thought prevalent in culture since the Renaissance. It became popularised in the 20th century where these ideas became widespread across academia and society.
 
Perennial philosophy is a viewpoint that provides an interesting outlook on the practice of many religious faiths. It is a source of valuable insight for some, whether this is understanding or grappling with the varying religious teachings that inhabit our communities.
 
However, before we explore how this philosophy can influence our attitude towards these matters, we must first be clear on what exactly Perennial Philosophy is. Once we have done this, we will be able to examine what the criticisms of this theory may look like. Only then can we see how it may broaden our perspective on Religion and belief systems in society for the better.
 
What is Perennial Philosophy?
 
You might think that the phrase Perennial Philosophy is complex. However, it is relatively simple to understand. Perennial Philosophy is an idea that recognises all of the world’s religious, spiritual and wisdom traditions as sharing one singular universal truth and ideal.
 
All of these traditions are, in the end, premised upon this same foundational truth. They are all trying to make sense of the same thing.
 
These ideas started to emerge in the Renaissance. However, they became widespread in the 20th century by the English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley. Renaissance thinkers began the groundwork for these ideas after drawing upon Plato’s theory of forms. These minds used this Platonic theory to develop certain ideas:
  • There is an inherent, latent unity in the world.
  • This unity is found in many established practices.
  • It is not limited, nor is it unique to just one such tradition.
 
These Renaissance beliefs fully came to the fore in the 20th century through Aldous Huxley. Here the ideas became more developed, advanced and widespread within society. Huxley popularised the theory. In fact, he explains it in his book The Perennial Philosophy (1945):
 
“…the metaphysic that recognises a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal” Aldous Huxley.
 
 
But what do Huxley’s words mean? Huxley goes into more depth about the subject in his book. He posits that all religious traditions centre towards one same ‘divine reality‘. It is how we understand it and our place within it that is important.
 
It is true that religions and spiritual traditions can contrast greatly in their teachings and form. Yet, they are all attempting to decipher the purpose of human life. They are providing guidance for the same thing – the search for meaning in life.
 
Criticisms of Perennial Philosophy
 
It is now worth taking a look at the criticisms of these ideas. Then we can examine how these ideas can open our minds and influence our perspective on these matters.
 
Religions are in conflict with each other
 
There are some criticisms of Perennial Philosophy that claim that it is an unrealistic and unworkable theory. A primary concern is an argument that many world religions are in conflict and have been throughout history. How can religions share a universal truth if they are so at odds with each other?
 
Religious beliefs vary so much
 
Furthermore, many religions differ so greatly in their ethics, beliefs, principles and teachings. As a result, it may become increasingly difficult to see how they can all share one ‘divine’, universal and shared ideal. Therefore, Perennial Philosophy runs the risk of not receiving merit. Particularly if they are not consistent with each other in these teachings.
 
But do these differences and dissimilarities matter? It is surely inevitable that such practices will have glaring differences and distinctions. Consider the very varied cultures that they were born from? The historical factors that they play into their belief system? Not to mention the different spiritual teachings that they espouse to their followers.
 
These criticisms and the issues they expose indeed hold the potential to threaten the dismantling of this theory. However, it does not mean that we should write it off altogether.
 
Perhaps the universal truth shared by all religions still prevails even in the face of these conflicts and contrasting philosophies. It’s certainly possible that each belief system is premised on this singular reality. It could be that they just express it in varying ways or point towards it in a different manner.
 
Nevertheless, regardless of whether you are fully convinced by it or not, Perennial Philosophy does have some useful ideas. These ideas can not only broaden our perspective but can also be hugely beneficial to us in these perspectives.
 
How Perennial Philosophy can open our minds
 
This is the singular idea that all religions are based on the same universal truth. Moreover, they have all grown from this same truth. This is something that we can all use positively.
 
Religious Beliefs
 
Religion is an entity that provides moral and spiritual guidance to its followers to help them live their lives. They are essentially providing purpose to people’s lives or at least trying to navigate us towards some sort of purpose.
 
Perennial Philosophy helps to push past conflicting beliefs and the disharmony of separate religious doctrines. Consequently, it exposes a fundamental yearning that we all innately share – the search for meaning and purpose.
 
We Are All the Same
 
This allows us to perceive the world’s religions beyond warring factions pitted against each other as separate institutions. It edifies our minds to push past the boundaries that can separate us.
 
In effect, it provides some sort of reassurance that we are all fundamentally the same. We are all beings trying to answer the questions of our existence. Even though we may be taking different paths to find these answers.
 
Spiritual Paths
 
You can push the theory of Perennial Philosophy beyond Religion. Some of us may not choose to follow Religion. It may not be the source we look to for fulfilment. You may be an atheist and turn to other means of guidance.
 
There perhaps are multitudes of sources and doctrines that one may draw from. All in an attempt to garner the purpose that we all seek. A universal truth of being, purpose and meaning is surely something that can bind us all together.
 
It can be comforting to know, whatever we follow, we are all, perhaps unknowingly, all searching for the same thing. We all experience times of loneliness, unhappiness and confusion in our lives. This philosophy is an antidote for such states. The idea that essentially, we are all beings struggling to find the answers to the same questions.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Perennial Philosophy can open our minds to our shared existence and the commonalities that we have within it. It helps us to form a more optimistic vision of the world. And this may prove critical and liberating during hard times.
 
References:
 
Alexander
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 08:56
Domingo, 24 / 11 / 19

8 Types of Logical Fallacies and How They Distort Your Thinking

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

November 24th, 2019.


 
 
We often come across various types of logical fallacies when engaging in an argument or debate. These can slip into our reasoning when trying to argue a claim. Perhaps this is due to building a poor argument, for deliberate aims or simply through laziness.
 
However, what is meant by types of logical fallacies? For instance, we need to know what logical fallacies are before we can scrutinise some of the many forms they take.
 
What Is a Logical Fallacy?
 
A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. It is a point that is made that’s logically false. This renders the argument defective due to the plausible validity of it being undermined.
 
Sometimes they are easy to spot and sometimes they are much more subtle. This can depend on how they arise is an argument. As mentioned, someone may just have constructed a weak argument. As a result, these logical inconsistencies may begin to appear.
 
On the other hand, a seasoned rhetorician may use them in a more tactical way. They will purposely use them to dupe the audience to their way of thinking.
 
In whatever situation they may appear in, you should know and recognise the many types of logical fallacies in the most basic sense. Then you can benefit greatly in various different aspects of your life.
 
Notably, it will help you become more adept in your own reasoning. In addition, it can also equip you with means to deconstruct an opponent’s argument effectively.
 
In this article, we will explore many common types of logical fallacies that can crop up in a debate. We will discuss how you can spot them and recognise how they can manipulate debate and distort your thinking.
 
8 Types of Logical Fallacies and How to Spot Them
 
Logical fallacies come in many different types and forms. Here is a list of 8 of the most common that you may come across. Each one comes with an explanation so that you may be able to see them at work for yourself.
 
Ad Hominem Fallacy
 
An ad hominem is a personal attack. One would use a personal attack on their counterpart rather than using sound reasoning to advance their argument. This is usually done when someone is criticising or disagreeing with another person’s view.
 
However, they show this criticism and disagreement through personal insults. Moreover, these insults are not connected or applicable to the subject at hand.
 
Verbal attacks replace logical thinking. It proves nothing except a poorly built argument. Indeed, it does nothing to develop the debate.
 
Look out if someone starts to personally insult you in some way when engaging in an argument. Identifying the ad hominem will allow you to expose it. In turn, this might strengthen your position in the debate.
 
Strawman Fallacy/Argument
 
The strawman fallacy is a poor ploy to try and make your own position stronger. You achieve this by criticising a position that the opponent never held. You would not deal with the actual matter at hand. Instead, you would respond to a genuine stance that your opponent has taken.
 
For example, one would manipulate this position and attack a superficial stance that you have created for them. This position may seem similar to what they have argued but it is ultimately false and unequal.
 
Hence, you end up criticising a position that your opponent never wanted to argue for in the first place. The strawman fallacy cheaply manipulates the discourse to strengthen a position. Listen carefully for this. Scrutinising this immediately will allow you to uncover this weakness.
 
Appeal to Authority
 
Sometimes citing an authoritative figure or organisation to back up your argument can be an effective way of strengthening it. However, relying on this can make your position weak. Not to mention, it can steer the debate away from the real issues at hand.
 
The appeal to authority fallacy occurs when you wrongly apply authority to your argument. This is done to provide proof of what you are trying to say.
 
Appealing to authority can initially seem like a persuasive tool. However, often it needs additional support to really be effective. Otherwise, it can be just a cheap way of falsely making an argument look stronger.
 
Appealing to authority can be relatively easy to spot. What important is to evaluate it in the context of the subject of the debate. Only then can you see whether it is relevant or appropriate.
 
Bandwagon Fallacy
 
The bandwagon fallacy is another addition to this list of types of logical fallacies. It is also perhaps one of the easiest to deduce. Most people will be familiar with the phrase ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. The bandwagon fallacy is essentially this but using it as a means of gaining support and credibility.
 
This fallacy is judging something to be true just because many others believe it to be. Or, taking up a position, without any prior belief in it, because many others support it. To put it another way, deceitfully gaining support for a position and bolstering in the process.
 
Slippery Slope Fallacy
 
The slippery slope fallacy occurs with a reasonable proposition and then spirals into fanciful and extreme suggestions or consequences.
 
Someone may begin their reasonable proposition, then suggest something will happen as a consequence, and this relates to a chain of linked events. However, as the proposition unfolds it eventually ends in a highly improbable outcome.
 
This can be easy to spot. The ridiculous or inconceivable outcome has little to no evidence to suggest that it may actually come about.
 
Hasty Generalisation
 
A hasty generalisation is exactly as it sounds. Someone may hastily generalise their argument. Then they will reach their conclusion swiftly without any substantial evidence to back it up. This could be for several reasons:
  1. Rushing to a conclusion
  2. Making a sweeping assumption
  3. Making a wild exaggeration without any sort of credible proof
 
It is essentially jumping to a conclusion erratically without much thought and without enough evidence to support that conclusion. It can occur through a poorly structured argument.
 
If an opponent in a debate seems to have reached their conclusion quite quickly and without much evidence, then it’s probably a hasty generalisation.
 
Circular Argument
 
A circular argument is when someone arrives at a conclusion in which they just repeat what has already been established or assumed.
 
It is a type of logical fallacy doesn’t really prove anything new. Actually, all it does is repeat previous arguments in the same way. However, it insinuates a new conclusion is reached.
 
An example of this would be “the bible is true, therefore, you should accept the word of god”. We have no new conclusion after the original premise of assuming the bible is true. All we have is a conclusion that resembles the original premise.
 
Tu Quoque Fallacy
 
‘Tu Quoque’ is Latin for “you too”. This logical fallacy diverts attention from the argument at hand and the attention on yourself. Rather, it seeks to expose the hypocrisy in your opponent.
 
It works by taking away the criticism of yourself by throwing it back at your opponent. It does this effectively by either making a similar or the same accusation.
 
Imagine you are watching a political debate and ‘politician A’ accuses ‘politician B’ of lying to the electorate about a particular policy. A tu quoque fallacy would occur if politician B would just retaliate by pointing out that politician A has also lied in the past. They would make no attempt of defending that accusation put against them.
 
Focusing on an opponent’s hypocrisy is a false attempt to discredit them. This is because it does not further the argument in any way – it just answers criticism with criticism.
 
How Do These Types of Logical Fallacies Distort Your Thinking?
 
These types of logical fallacies have the potential to distort our thought process in a debate. This is due to the illogical and irrelevant stance that they may take. They can often throw us off course if confronted with them.
 
At the same time, they can divert the argument into another direction or weaken your own argument if you do not know how to recognise or expose these logical fallacies.
 
Final Thoughts
 
The first step to overcoming this and strengthening your debating and reasoning skills will be learning what these logical fallacies are and how to spot them. Once you understand what they are you can credibly present your argument.
 
References:
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.



About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


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publicado por achama às 16:27
Segunda-feira, 08 / 07 / 19

What Plato’s Philosophy of Education Can Teach Us Today ~ Alexander

What Plato’s Philosophy of Education Can Teach Us Today.

By Alexander

https://www.learning-mind.com/

July 7th, 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plato’s philosophy of education is a fascinating idea and one that Plato wanted to be implemented into Ancient Athenian society.
Scholars still study and discuss it today, but what’s interesting is how Plato’s theory of education has influenced many beliefs and principles that modern society holds. It is a model of education and culture that we have taken heed of in many ways, and that we can still learn much from today.
Yet, before we explore all this, it is useful to look at exactly what this theory is, and the structure of education in a society that Plato proposed.

What is Plato’s philosophy of education?

The philosophy of education according to Plato is a vast and detailed model of schooling for ancient Athens. It has many facets and aspects that could be discussed endlessly by scholars.
However, it has one simple goal, an idea that is congruent with Plato’s philosophy as a whole: for individuals and society to achieve the good, to reach a state of fulfilment or eudaimonia.
Plato believed we need education to learn how to live well. We should not just learn things like mathematics and science, but also how to be brave, rational and temperate. Individuals will then be able to live a fulfilled life and be better prepared for it. Furthermore, producing fulfilled and educated people would benefit society greatly.
He wanted to produce the best possible leaders so that society can flourish, and itself be geared towards the good. He proposed this through training individuals to become what he calls ‘guardians’ – individuals best suited to govern society (more commonly known as ‘philosopher kings’).
So, Plato wants individual fulfilment and improvement of society through his model of education. Both are a means of working toward a state of eudaimonia. But how does he propose to achieve this?
A good starting point is to recognise that Plato’s ideas are influenced in part by Sparta’s education system. It was state-controlled and Plato wanted Athens’ system to be state-controlled as well. Sparta was a society that focused its efforts to produce warriors to serve the state through rigorous physical education.
Plato admired this model but believed it was lacking literacy. He wanted to engage both the body and the mind through education.

The curriculum

A curriculum is suggested for this theory of education. This curriculum starts with very small children and can extend up until the age of 50 for some individuals. It is separated into two different sections: Elementary education and Higher education.

Elementary

Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom
Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom
Elementary education lasts up until the age of 20. Firstly, children should predominately have physical education. This should be the case up until the age of about 10 and is to ensure children are at peak bodily health for fitness and also to better fight illness and disease.
Then children should be introduced to art, literature and music, as Plato believed that these subjects would cultivate their character.
Art would act as a means to teach morality and virtue. More practical subjects were taught at the same time as this to give a balance of subject matter. These include mathematics, history and science for example.
Elementary education is an important time for a person’s development. This education should not be forced as this could restrict and mould a person a certain way that does not represent their character.
Children should be left so that their natural skills, qualities and interests can flourish without influence. This can give an indication of what occupation they would be best suited to in the future, and what sort of character they may become.

Higher Education

The next stage in the curriculum is higher education. An individual must take an examination at about the age of 20 to decide whether or not they should seek higher education.
One would then learn more advanced subjects like astronomy and geometry for the next 10 years until another test is taken. This will determine whether or not to progress into further learning, similar to the first test.
People still in education would constantly be learning new and more advanced subjects and are tested along the way. Those who fail to meet the standards at each test must drop out. This carries on until the age of about 50.
You are deemed successful, competent and measured enough take upon the most important task if you reach this stage. These people are allocated as the ‘guardians’ of the state. They are best suited to govern and uphold a just and moral society. They are the ‘philosopher kings’.
This curriculum shows Plato’s theory on how we should be educated in the right way in order to bring about the good in society.
Those who drop out at a certain stage will find other trades, jobs or crafts that best suit their skills. But they will still have attained an education that will help them to bring about a positive impact on society, and to help them reach a state of fulfilment.
Those who are guardians should strive to implement these ideas on a much larger scale for the good of the state.
Plato did put his philosophy of education into practice by setting up his own school: The Academy.

The Academy

The ancient Greek philosopher set up what is said to be the first ever institute of higher education. It was similar to what we would now recognise as a university. The Academy was an educational establishment set up by Plato to try and implement his vision of education in society.
Its purpose was to teach us how to live well, and to produce rulers for society. Nowadays it is seen depicted in art and often seen as a symbol for classical philosophy.
plato's philosophy lessons
Plato and Aristotle in “The School of Athens“, painting by Raphael
However, it was fundamentally a school organised to teach Plato’s philosophy. People would be taught all manner of subjects and be filtered out to find the most competent and worthy of managing a just and virtuous city-state.
We have now explored what Plato’s ideas were and how they were practically implemented in society. But what does it all mean? Why did Plato urge for education to be this way?

The theory explained

Plato’s philosophy of education strives to achieve all that Plato is concerned with: a functioning just state and eudaimonia. He believes education should be structured in a way so that it provides people and society the positive measures needed to flourish.
People will be better equipped to reach a state of fulfilment, and society will be better equipped to be the ideal, just state. Plato’s philosophy of education promotes and works towards the common and final good for everybody.
Some people will not make it through every stage of this structure of education, but this doesn’t matter. If someone does not make it past a certain stage, then it is an indication that they are best suited in a certain role in society. They can now direct their skills and efforts to fulfil this role and ultimately work towards a fulfilled life.
Those who become guardians of the state after progressing through each stage of education are effectively philosophers. They will be the wisest in society, the most rational and the most temperate.
Plato wanted to rid society of the current political leaders and replace them with those best suited to govern a just state, whilst being concerned for the common good for everyone. Only philosophers can do this in Plato’s eyes.

Why is Plato’s philosophy of education relevant to modern society?

modern education system
Plato’s ideas are relevant today because of his vision of an education that is inclusive of everyone, and its importance in creating a just and moral state. These are ideas that have recognisably influenced our society today, and there is much we can still learn from them as well.
The system of education is based on everyone having access to the same education. Its very basis is the equality of individuals.
It allows people to naturally flourish whilst also guiding them into a life that will produce a positive impact on society and hopefully guiding them to reach a state of fulfilment. It suggests everyone has liberty – this aspect arguably laid the groundwork for modern democracy.
Perhaps what we can learn more than anything from Plato’s philosophy of education is the overall intention of it; ensuring that society functions well in a just and moral way and that people live well and achieve the good life.
It is the duty of educators to implement this and to have profound care and concern for a learner’s wellbeing, and not just the knowledge they wish to instil.
It is also the guardians’ purpose to have profound care and concern for everyone in society. All of this is a guidance for people to reach a state of fulfilment, Plato’s ultimate goal.

Modern education and Plato’s philosophy

I don’t expect our political leaders to be replaced with trained philosophers and become the rulers of society any time soon, but the premise behind these ideas are important.
Modern education does a good job of preparing us for work and to be self-sustaining in the world. But we are ill prepared to face many inevitable difficulties in life. This causes us much struggle and suffering, often without much guidance as to how to deal with it. We all yearn for this guidance in dark times.
Education should be this guidance. We should learn how to live well and how to deal with suffering so we are prepared for much more than just work, so we can too become fulfilled individuals. Plato’s philosophy of education is a call for this, and we should listen to him.
References:
  1. https://plato.stanford.edu
  2. https://epublications.marquette.edu
  3. https://www.biography.com
  4. Featured image: Painting of a scene from Plato’s Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

About the Author: Alexander


I am an English and Philosophy graduate and freelance writer and blogger. I have always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy, and believe they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. My particular interests and passions include Film and ancient Greek philosophy.
 
 



Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 
 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


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publicado por achama às 06:22
Quinta-feira, 13 / 06 / 19

7 Profound Lessons Eastern Philosophy Teaches Us about Life ~ Alexander

7 Profound Lessons Eastern Philosophy Teaches Us about Life.

By Alexander

https://www.learning-mind.com/

June 12th, 2019.

 
 

 

Eastern philosophy does not differ from other philosophic teachings in its overall objective. This is to teach us to be wiser individuals and to ultimately provide guidance as to how to live well.
Therefore, Eastern philosophy is no different from Western philosophy is this sense. The distinction lies in how it suggests we can achieve these goals.
You may study the likes of PlatoAristotle, Descartes, Hume or Nietzsche to name a few across various academic disciplines. The teachings of such abide by the central doctrine of western philosophy. It’s about using reason and logic as a means to analyse, understand and think more deeply about our lives. But it can be useful to gain a different perspective to find the answers and guidance in life that we quietly yearn for.
Eastern philosophy places focus on the individual or the self and the individual’s role in society. It explores how to reach inner peace and our relationship with nature and the wider cosmos.
There are many branches of eastern philosophy. But as a whole, it asserts and presents general and useful ideas to us about how to live a good life on the basis of these themes.
These simple ideas have the potential to enlighten and enrich us when we grapple with some of the biggest questions in life that so often seem so elusive.

Here are 7 life lessons learned from eastern philosophy that are still relevant and useful to us today:

Life is full of pain and suffering

This Buddhist sentiment can seem incredibly bleak and dismal and you would only be sane if you were to have this reaction on first being told this. Yet, after a time, such a thought can begin to seem strangely paradoxically comforting to us.
Our lives are full of constant and reoccurring pain, worry and anxiety whether we wish to admit it or not. We may attempt to push away or forget about this fact by seeking happiness in material things. This is especially common in a modern, commercialised media-driven age.
However, not recognising and failing to face up to this fact can inadvertently heighten our sufferings. As a result, we become increasingly unequipped to deal with them.
The sooner we begin to realise this fact, the sooner we will be more prepared to deal with and understand the reality we have. Begin to comprehend the suffering that you are facing currently and the suffering you will inevitably face and you will become more content with your life.
This will allow you to truly appreciate the periods and moments of joy. It will also bring you important comfort in an all too difficult and arduous life. Finally, you will feel the contentment we all deeply ache to achieve.

Be humane

Confucianism teaches the importance to be humane to one another. We are all enduring the same existence. Everyone else has probably had their heart broken, been grief-stricken or been betrayed at some point down the line. We should be conscious of this fact.
Showing compassion to one another will enable us to partially alleviate the pain of our fellow human beings. This can also help us to maintain a moral character. Often, this doesn’t have to be more than a passing comment to both those we love and those we feel inclined to despise.
Confucius ultimately believed that being humane to one another is crucial for individual morality but also for an ethical society. The thought is that if individuals are ethical to one another, then this will provide a foundation for a moral society.

Let things happen

spiritual beliefs science
When things don’t go our way in life, we can frustratingly try to make things happen. We may also try to stop things from happening. Our attempts to try and force this could prove futile and create unnecessary harm in the process. Rather than trying to change or prevent inevitabilities, sometimes it is better to just ride the wave.
These ideas are prominent in Taoism and places emphasis on essentially letting nature run its course. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu believed in the importance of being in harmony with nature and the universe. This is an important trope of eastern philosophy.
We should accept our place in the cosmos and stop resisting the inevitable forces that come our way. Only then can we hope to reach a state of calm.
True fulfilment comes with accepting what is natural and inevitable. So just let things happen.

Life is a state of continuous change

Our lives are always changing in many different ways. We become older, we lose friends and family, we may be offered a job, we may lose a job, our relationships will end and new ones will begin.
Knowing that the past is unalterable and being aware that our lives will head off into differing directions can cause us distress.  We may regret our past actions or lament opportunities that we didn’t capitalise on.
Rather than despairing on these matters, we should perhaps gain a different perspective on them. Yes, our lives will scarily and quickly change and moments will pass. But this means our suffering and pain is also impermanent.
Just as the trees around us grow, the plants die and landscapes change, our lives are also constantly altering. We will still bemoan the good that is now in the past. But this change can mark the passing of dark times in our lives allowing us the space to rebuild and prepare for a more prosperous future.

The self is a state of continuous change

It is useful to realise that ‘the self’ is always altering just like life always is. We are often pressured to believe that we must ‘discover who we are’ or have other similar idioms inflicted on us in modern society. But facets of our individual selves can constantly change.
Our dream job can be something of continual development and discovery. The vision of our ideal partner can be subject to frequent amendments. Finally, our political convictions may change over time.
Sticking rigidly to self-imposed or socially imposed constraints can cause us frustration and distress. This happens when we know they will not ultimately provide us with the fulfilment we crave.
Don’t be afraid to embrace your changing ideas, convictions or beliefs. It is a sign that your individual self is constantly developing. It should be exciting to explore such changes and should provide you with the freedom to find true fulfilment in what you choose to do.

Always move forward

Signs You Have Found Your Path in Life
Confucius reminds us of the importance of ensuring that we are always moving forward. If you are dealing with a setback in your life or if you are struggling to achieve a goal, it is important to keep on moving in the right direction, however small the steps may be.
Perhaps you have been rejected for several jobs, feel unsatisfied with your personal life or feel stagnated as a result of a job that you are in. It is important not to feel as if you are retreating away from what you think will ultimately fulfil you.
If you appear to reach an impasse then actively change something about your life, however minimal or drastic. Sometimes making a change is what is necessary for your own well being; to ensure you are moving in the right direction towards fulfilment – whatever this may entail.

Gain strength from your suffering

As the Buddha said, and as we have already discussed about eastern philosophy, life is full of pain and suffering. There may be several moments in our existence when we may feel as if we are coming apart at the seams.
It is one of the most important facts about our lives that we should be aware of. But being aware of this fact is only part of the way we should deal with it.
We should not try to forget, disguise or quell our sufferings or failings. Instead, we should recognise, accept and learn from them. As a result, we will be better prepared in the future to rebuild our lives if we need to when they become inexplicably broken or damaged.
We are all deeply lonely and fractured beings. We are all struggling in some way or another, but we can all be healed and repaired. It is important not to fall into bitterness or angerabout what has happened to us or neglect the reality of our difficulties. This will only leave our wounds open and intensify the suffering we feel.
If you are resentful over a painful event or a betrayal then you will, of course, for a time, be in despair. Yet, despite our anger as a result of these events, or our deeply held convictions to those who have wronged us, we should accept, learn from the experience and learn to forgivehowever hard it may be.
Perhaps then we will be able to stitch our lives back up with stronger seams than before.

Why is eastern philosophy relevant to us?

buddha eastern philosophy
Eastern philosophy is relevant to us because it speaks of the fundamental truths in our lives that we would perhaps struggle to conceive of or even want to avoid. Yet, it can gently remind us and teach us of these facets of our existence in a reassuring and comforting way.
The issues that troubled eastern philosophers and the people of their time were very much the same issues that we are grappling with now. We are all suffering the same, facing the same frustrations and are all faced with difficult decisions.
Eastern philosophy helps to calmly and serenely ease our anxieties to help us get through these things through soothing imagery, poetic words and encouraging us to simply let ourselves run our course with nature.
It is an attractive alternative to western philosophy if we ever pine for a little bit of calm amongst the chaos of our lives.
References:
  1. https://plato.stanford.edu
  2. https://www.ancient.eu

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

About the Author: Alexander



I am an English and Philosophy graduate and freelance writer and blogger. I have always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy, and believe they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. My particular interests and passions include Film and ancient Greek philosophy.
 
 



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No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)

 

Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 


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publicado por achama às 02:49
Sábado, 25 / 05 / 19

8 Important Plato Quotes and What We Can Learn from Them Today ~ Alexander

8 Important Plato Quotes and What We Can Learn from Them Today.

By Alexander

https://www.learning-mind.com/

May 25th, 2019.

 
 

 

The following Plato Quotes are profound, important and representative of his philosophy as a whole. However, before we examine these quotes, let’s take a look at who Plato was and what his philosophy amounts to.

Who Was Plato?

Plato (428/427 BC or 424/424 – 348/347BC) was born and died in Ancient Greece. He is one of the most famous and influential philosophers in the western world, and is, along with Socrates, responsible for building the foundations of philosophy as we know it today.
His works are vast, entertaining, interesting but also very complex in some parts. Yet, they are profoundly important and relevant to us still because of the core aim in all of his writings: how to reach a state of eudaimonia or the good life.
This means reaching a state of or attaining fulfilment. He concerned much of his life to helping us to achieve this. This idea is representative of what philosophy has been over the last two millennia and still is now: a means to help us live well.
The form that his writings take is significant and interesting and makes his ideas and teachings much more vivid and engaging. But what form of writing is this?

Plato’s Dialogues

All of his works are dialogues and are always set out as a conversation between characters. Most of the time, we see Socrates having a conversationwith counterparts as they discuss all manner of things.
These dialogues cover many subjects such as politics, love, courage, wisdom, rhetoric, reality and much more. However, they are all concerning themselves with the same thing: working towards an understanding of the good.
Plato was a follower of Socrates, and much of Plato’s own thoughts are probably expressed through the character of Socrates in his dialogues.
The conversations are a demonstration of elenchus or The Socratic Method, whereby Socrates elicits the truth through a series of questions and answers with the other characters in the dialogue. These conversations can also be entertaining; as well as discussing deeply important and relevant issues about life and society.
Yet, if you don’t want to read whole dialogues, there are certain quotes by Plato that shed light on his main ideas. Moreover, they can prove to be important and helpful when analysing and questioning our own lives.

8 important and interesting Plato quotes that are helpful and relevant to us today

Plato’s dialogues eloquently provide us with theories and ideas about ultimately how to improve society and ourselves so we can become fulfilled beings. They demonstrate the need for reason and analysis in our lives; only then can we truly reach the good life.
These dialogues showcase this clearly as a whole, however, there are certain quotes that give succinct insight into Plato’s ideas.
You can still take something of great value and worth from these quotes, even if you don’t read the dialogues. Here are 8 important and interesting quotes by Plato that we can learn from today:

“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.” – The Republic

 
The Republic is one of Plato’s most popular and widely taught dialogues. It discusses topics such as justice and the city-state. It heavily comments on aspects of politics within ancient Athens.
Plato is deeply critical of democracy and offers a theory of a governing body of a city-state that would be best suited to achieving the good.
Plato says that ‘philosopher kings’ should be the leaders of society. If philosophers were our leaders, then society would be just and everyone would be better off for it. This is alluding to a society where democracy isn’t the political structure of our communities.
However, the idea can be transferred to our society. If our political leaders were also philosophers, then we would have strong guidance on how to attain fulfilment in our lives (or so Plato thinks).
Plato wants a unification of philosophy and politics at the helm of political power and our governing bodies. If our leaders were those who spend their life guiding us on how to live a good life, then maybe our society and our lives would improve.

“The inexperienced in wisdom and virtue, ever occupied with feasting and such, are carried downward, and there, as is fitting, they wander their whole life long, neither ever looking upward to the truth above them nor rising toward it, nor tasting pure and lasting pleasures.” – The Republic

 
Those who don’t make an effort to learn and become wise can never achieve fulfilment or realise how to live a good life. This refers to Plato’s Theory of Forms, whereby true knowledge is in the unintelligible realm.
We must learn and educate ourselves in the material world in order to gain an understanding of these forms, and then we can attain true knowledge of the good.
This theory is complex, so we do not need to dwell on it much now. However, the ideas are transferable to our own lives.
We cannot hope to progress and move forward in our lives, mend our troubles and anxieties if we do not make a personal effort to do so.
We must learn, seek advice and strive to be virtuous if we are to live a fulfilled life and minimise the suffering that we encounter.

“On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less.” – The Apology

 
The Apology is an account of Socrates’ defence when he was facing trial in Ancient Athens. Socrates was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth, and this dialogue allegedly recounts his own legal defence.
The famous line: “the unexamined life is not worth living” is attributed to Socrates. Indeed, it does reflect much of what Socrates appeared to believe when practising his philosophy. But we only learn of Socrates through Plato’s dialogues so we can say it reflects Plato’s philosophical thought as well.
We must examine and analyse the different aspects of our lives in order to work towards fulfilment. It is not worth living an unexamined life because you will not recognise how to change or improve your life for the better. An unexamined life can never reach a state of eudaimonia.

“Nor must one, when wronged, inflict wrong in return, as the majority believe, since one must never do wrong” – Crito

 
Socrates was sentenced to death after his trial, despite his defence. Crito is a dialogue where Socrates’ friend, Crito, offers to help Socrates escape from prison. The dialogue focuses on the subject of justice.
Crito believes that Socrates has been unjustly sentenced, but Socrates points out that escaping from prison would also be unjust.
When we are wronged, performing a wrong or immoral act will not resolve the matter, even though it may provide us with some fleeting satisfaction. There will inevitably be repercussions.
Plato echoes the popular idiom “two wrongs don’t make a right”. We must be reasonable and prudent in the face of injustice, and not act on impulse.

“For consider what good you will do yourself or your friends by breaking our agreements and committing such as wrong. It is pretty obvious that your friends will themselves be in danger of exile, disfranchisement, and loss of property.” Crito

 
The decisions we make can have an effect and repercussions on those around us. We must be wary of this.
We may feel we have been wronged, but we should be rational and restrained in these situations. Only then can you sensibly work past events that have caused you suffering, or else you may make matters worse.

“Rhetoric, it seems, is a producer of persuasion for belief, not for instruction in the matter of right and wrong … And so the rhetorician’s business is not to instruct a law court or a public meeting in matters of right and wrong, but only to make them believe.” Gorgias

 
Gorgias is dialogue that tells of a conversation between Socrates and a group of sophists. They discuss rhetoric and oratory and attempt to give definitions of what they are.
This extract says that a rhetorician (for example, a politician) or a public speaker is more concerned with persuading the audience than with what is actually true. We should use this as reference and guidance when listening to the rhetoricians of our own times.
Plato wants us to be careful of the information that we are being fed. Make an effort to educate yourself and come to your own conclusions rather than being consumed by entertaining and attractive speeches.
This feels achingly relevant considering current and recent political phenomena.

“I tell you that whoever is led by his teacher thus far in relation to love matters, and contemplates the various beautiful things in order and in the correct way, will come now towards the final goal of matters of love, and will suddenly catch sight of a beauty amazing in its nature” The Symposium

 
The Symposium tells of a conversation between several people at a dinner party as they all give their own definitions of what they think love is. They all come up with differing accounts, but Socrates’ speech appears most relevant to Plato’s own philosophical ideas.
Socrates tells of a conversation he has with the prophetess Diotima. What is explained is what is known as Plato’s Ladder of Love.
This is essentially the idea that love is a form of education and development of the self from the love of the physical to eventually the love of the form of beauty.
Love can begin as physical attraction, but the ultimate goal should be to use love to become wiser and more knowledgeable. This will allow for fulfilment and the living of a truly good life.
Love should not just be the companionship with and caring for another, but also a means of improving oneself. It can, for example, help you to deal with and understand past traumas, or encourage you to become a better person. It is a good thing if you change because of your lover.

“Knowledge is the food of the soul” – Protagoras

 
Protagoras is a dialogue concerned with the nature of sophistry – using clever but false arguments to persuade people in a discussion. Here, a strikingly succinct quote sums up Plato’s philosophy.
Knowledge is the fuel to become fulfilled individuals. Learning and striving for wisdom is the route towards living a good life. Thinking rationally about issues about our lives will allow us to deal with them better, and so will allow us to be more content with our lives.

Why these quotes by Plato are important and relevant

These Plato quotes are very relevant and helpful to our own lives and society today. We are all sensitive and troubled beings who long for contentment and happiness.
Plato dedicated his life to helping us understand how to achieve this. We must think rationally about issues in our lives and society, strive for wisdom and be willing to change in order to improve ourselves.
Only then can you hope to reach a state of eudaimonia. These Plato quotes shed light on how he believes we can do this.
These quotes are brief, and only partially represent Plato’s philosophical work as a whole. But the fact their relevance is tangible two and a half thousand years later demonstrates Plato’s lasting importance and impact on society, and our own individual lives.
References:
  1. https://www.biography.com
  2. https://www.ancient.eu
  3. Plato Complete Works, Ed. by John M. Cooper, Hackett Publishing Company
  4. Plato: Symposium, Edited and Translated by C.J. Rowe

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

About the Author: Alexander



I am an English and Philosophy graduate and freelance writer and blogger. I have always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy, and believe they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. My particular interests and passions include Film and ancient Greek philosophy.
 
 



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publicado por achama às 22:07
Sexta-feira, 26 / 04 / 19

Why Kant Philosophy Is Extremely Relevant to Modern Society ~ Alexander

Why Kant Philosophy Is Extremely Relevant to Modern Society.

By Alexander

https://www.learning-mind.com/

April 25th, 2019.

 
 

 

What can Kant philosophy offer to modern people? The answer is: surprisingly much.

Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia. Kant philosophy thrived during theenlightenment period. This was an intellectual and philosophical movement that swept across Europe in the 18th century. A major component of this movement was the gradual decline of religious belief, hence, the growth of secularism.
Kant recognised this developing phenomenon in society and sought to remedy it. For many centuries, religion was the source of guidance and instruction for people on how to live a good and moral life. With the decline in religious belief, where would people find this guidance? Kant attempted to answer this question and concluded that people would be able to replace religion with one thing: reason.
If we use our intelligence, rationale and exercise our critical faculties, Kant thought that we are capable to determine such things like what is right and what is wrong. In an increasingly secular society in the 21stcentury, Kant philosophy is very relevant to the modern day. We can apply Kant’s ideas to many aspects of our lives, especially when considering morality.

Moral philosophy

Kant’s moral philosophy is a theory of deontological ethics. This sounds much more complex than it is. But in short, it is a theory that determines the morality of an action. It is based on whether the action being carried out is in itself moral, not based on the nature of the consequences of that action. What you do should be the way of determining a moral act, not the outcome of the act.
How do we determine whether an action is moral? Kant philosophy tells us that it is reason. Human beings are free and conscious beings who have the capability to rationalise whether or not an action is right or wrong. We all have the ability to do this. Kant believed that this would not only make you a better person but would also add value to the world.
A lot of the time, we will have to choose between duty (our responsibility to fellow man) and desire (what we want). To act dutifully, nobly and in an honourable way is how to carry out a moral act. We must resist our selfish wants in order to achieve this. But how do we determine what our duty or our responsibility is? For this, Kant gives us a principle to refer to and follow called The Categorical Imperative.

The Categorical Imperative

The Categorical Imperative is a term first coined in Kant’s work, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). He summarises it in one phrase:
“Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”
We can paraphrase this with much more recognisable and simpler terminology. Treat others as you would like to be treated, or do to others what you would want to be done to you. A similar phrase even appears in The Bible: “love thy neighbour as thyself” as well as in the Confucian Golden Rule.
It should be thought of in a wider sense as well. What would happen to society if everyone acted in the way that I am? It instructs us to detach ourselves from our own self-interests. We should approach the situation in a completely unbiased perspective – to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
The Categorical Imperative is a rational and decisive principle that we need to follow in order to determine what our duty is. At the same time, we should also separate ourselves from our selfish and potentially destructive desires. We can act morally and selflessly once we recognise this, improving ourselves (and society) in the process.
This code of conduct requires us to exercise our rational and critical faculties. Only then we will be able to determine between the right and wrong action. This is integral to Kant philosophy.
In Kant’s eyes, to act in a rational way is to act in a moral way. If everyone adheres to this, it would mean that we could all work towards a universal principle. This principle allows for not just the betterment of ourselves but also society as a whole.
 

Examples of Using Kant Philosophy and The Categorical Imperative

 

You are sitting for an exam.

You consider cheating, as a good grade in this exam would secure a place at university. And you think it is ok because there is a slim chance that you will get caught out.
However, how would you feel if you sat the exam in accordance with the rules and someone else cheated, dishonestly achieving a good grade and you didn’t? It would be unfair. What if everyone cheated on the exam? If this happened, people would dishonestly achieve what they don’t deserve. Thus, schools and colleges at large would become unfair and wrongful institutions.

You lie to a friend, saying you are busy because you don’t want to attend a party.

How would you feel if you found out a friend had lied to you? You would feel disheartened and betrayed. If everyone started lying to each other, then our interpersonal relationships would crumble. As a result of this, our communities and societies would become totally corrupt.

Perhaps you are walking in the street and someone just ahead of you drops some money without noticing.

You pick it up because you are short of cash. They haven’t noticed that they have dropped it and won’t know you’ve taken it. So you think little harm will be done. Yet, if you were the one to drop the cash, you would expect that if a pedestrian noticed they would have the decency to alert you and give it to you back. If everyone started taking what isn’t theirs, then society would become chaotic.
These scenarios demonstrate The Categorical Imperative in play. Thinking through the situation rationally will allow us to perform an act morally. Our reasoning, regardless of what we personally desire or want to achieve, drives our moral behaviour.
Acting on our duty to our fellow human beings and to society rather than acting on our desires would mean abiding by The Categorical Imperative. Hence, acting in a moral way.

How Kant philosophy can make you a better person

Kant philosophy is relevant today because of the secular societies that we live in. These societies are without a religious authority and so may seem as if they lack guidance for a moral code of behaviourKant provides a solution to this.
Furthermore, he makes us aware of ourselves as intelligent beings who are capable of tackling difficult questions in life, and who are capable of individually recognising how to become honest, principled and ethical people.
Kant highlights the importance of acting in accordance with reason and in a universal way. By doing this, we improve ourselves as moral individuals but also contribute to a wider aim of moral social cohesion.
References:
 
 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

About the Author: Alexander



I am an English and Philosophy graduate and freelance writer and blogger. I have always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy, and believe they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. My particular interests and passions include Film and ancient Greek philosophy.
 
 



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publicado por achama às 21:13
Sábado, 13 / 04 / 19

6 Types of Moral Dilemmas in Life and How to Resolve Them ~ Alexander

6 Types of Moral Dilemmas in Life and How to Resolve Them.

By Alexander

https://www.learning-mind.com/

April 13th, 2019.

 
 

 

What are moral dilemmas?

Moral dilemmas are situations where an individual has to make a choicebetween two or more clashing options.
These options are often not pleasing to the individual and are usually not truly morally acceptable either. We can identify moral dilemmas by recognising that our actions in these given situations have moral and ethical consequences.
We must choose between which actions to take. However, we may not be happy with any choice, and none of them can be considered fully morally acceptable.
Our first point of order might be to consult any personal moral beliefs or societal ethical and lawful norms in order to resolve such difficulties. Yet, this is often not enough. It may not point towards the best action to take, and it may not even be sufficient in tackling the moral dilemma.
We must find ways of resolving these challenging situations in order to produce the least suffering possible. To do this, it is useful to identify the different types of moral dilemmas that we may find ourselves in.

6 Types of Moral Dilemmas

There are several categories of moral dilemmas within philosophical thought. They can seem complex, but learning the basics of them can help identify them and mould a solution for them:

Epistemic moral dilemmas

Epistemic’ means to do with the knowledge of something. This is what this dilemma is about.
The situation involves two moral choices that conflict, but the individual has no idea which choice is the most morally acceptable. They don’t know which is the most ethically viable. They need more information and knowledge surrounding the two options before making an informed decision.

Ontological moral dilemmas

Ontological’ means the nature of something or the relation between things. The options in this dilemma are equal in their moral consequences.
This means that neither of them supersedes the other. They are fundamentally on the same ethical level. Therefore, the individual cannot choose between the two.

Self-imposed moral dilemmas

A self-imposed dilemma is a situation that has been caused by the individual’s mistakes or misconduct. The moral dilemma is self-inflicted. This can cause a number of complications when attempting to make a decision.

World-imposed moral dilemmas

A world-imposed dilemma is a situation where events that we can’t controlhave created an unavoidable moral conflict.
An individual must resolve a moral dilemma, even though the cause of it is beyond his/her control. For example, this could be in times of war or a financial crash.

Obligation moral dilemmas

Obligation dilemmas are situations where we feel we are obliged to opt for more than one choice. We feel we are obliged to carry out an action from a moral or legal standpoint.
If there were just one option that is obligatory, then the choice would be easy. However, if an individual feels obliged to opt for several of the choices in front of them but can only choose one, which one should they choose?

Prohibition moral dilemmas

Prohibition dilemmas are the opposite of obligation dilemmas. The choices that are offered to us are all, on some level, morally reprehensible.
They can all be considered as wrong, but we must choose one. They could be illegal, or just plain immoral. An individual must choose between what would normally be considered as prohibited.
These are examples of some of the types of moral dilemmas that may arise. Our actions will affect not just ourselves, but many other people as well.
So, we should thoroughly consider the action before we carry it out. However, they are complex and problematic, and resolving them may seem an impossible task.

How to resolve them?

The largest struggle in trying to resolve a moral dilemma is recognising that whatever action you take, it will not be completely ethical. It will just be the most ethical in comparison with the other choices.
Philosophers have attempted to find solutions to moral dilemmas for centuries. They have discussed and attempted to find the best ways to resolve them, in order to help us live better and reduce the suffering that we may face.
Here are a few pieces of advice to help resolve moral dilemmas:

Be reasonable, not emotional

We have a greater chance of overcoming these struggles if we logically work through them. Analyse the aspects of the dilemma in order to better conclude what action is the greatest good. Emotion can cloud our judgment of what may be the best ethical outcome.

Choose the greater good or the lesser evil

Perhaps the soundest piece of advice is to conclude which choice allows for the greatest good, or the less evil. This isn’t simple and will take much consideration.
However, if there is an action that is on balance morally superior, despite other personal or social implications, then it is the best action to take.

Is there an alternative?

Analysing the situation in greater detail may reveal alternative options that were not immediately obvious. Is there an alternative choice or action that will resolve the dilemma better than the ones you have in front of you? Take time to recognise if there is.

What are the consequences?

Weighing up the positive and negative consequences of each action will give a clearer picture of the best choice to make. Each option may have a number of negative consequences, but if one has more positive consequences and less negative, then it is on the balance the right action to take.

What would a good person do?

Sometimes a useful thing to do would be to just simply askWhat would a good person do?
Imagine yourself as a truly virtuous and moral character and determine what they would do, regardless of your own character and the personal or social factors that may influence your decision.

Resolving moral dilemmas will not be easy

The dilemmas that we face will be complex and arduous. The advice given by philosophers will aid us when trying to resolve them.
However, it is not as straightforward as using one piece of advice to solve a single dilemma. Often, it will be a combination of many of them that will give us the best chance of taking the correct action. Most of the time, all of them will be relevant in every dilemma that we face.
But there is one thing that all of these methods of resolutions promote: the importance of reason. Moral dilemmas can seem so over-facing that our emotions can prevent us from making an informed decision. Or, they can misguide us into making the wrong decision.
Taking a step back to dissect and analyse the dilemma will allow for a better perspective on the situation. This allows you to see more clearly the consequences of each action, the goods and evils of each action and any alternatives that may present themselves.
However, perhaps the best piece of advice is just recognising that resolving moral dilemmas will not be easy. It will be difficult and may cause us deep anguish as we wrestle between conflicting moral options.
We are better equipped to face these dilemmas if we are aware of this. Thinking reasonably, and not being overwhelmed by the dilemma, will be a good start as well.
References:
  1. https://examples.yourdictionary.com/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/
 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

About the Author: Alexander



I am an English and Philosophy graduate and freelance writer and blogger. I have always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy, and believe they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. My particular interests and passions include Film and ancient Greek philosophy.
 
 



Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 

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Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.

 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 

 

No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)

 

Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 


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publicado por achama às 17:15
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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