Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Kick Off for the New Semester

It is always exciting , the first class of the new semester. At an RL college you know at least that there will be a class, but in SL you never know, who will show up.

You hope to see old friends. You hope to see new faces. all are here. Before taking off with full throttle I'd like to discuss a few things, which help me to know in what direction we will fly this year.

At the moment we are following the chapters of the book "The Philosophy Gym", written by Stephen Law. He comes up with a number of interesting philosophical questions.

The first question after summerbreak is about Creationism. Still a hot issue in the US, it seems.

But first for who are new here and maybe a little for those who have been here before some information about The Philosophy Class.

Read it says Class. Those who participate in this class come here because it is a class, which means you come because you want to learn something about philosophy.

This is not a philosophical debating group like The Philosophy House, open for endless discussions on random subjects.

Neither is it the place to show how well educated you are and how much you know about a certain subject.

Every lecture is about a specific subject. The more you know about it already, the more valuable can be your contribution to the discussion. To make this work I have a few rules.

Most important advise is: open your Local Chat window, sothat you can keep an ey on alll that is said.

The Rules....

[shows rules]

As you can see we have arrived at question 11. I'll deal with it next Thursday. However, these questions are just a kind of 'capita selecta' of philosophy,

and to be honest, if you are looking for a more structured introduction in philosphy , such random questions arent that satisfying.

So I used my summerbreak to think about more structured programming and want to show you two proposals of future projects.


Modern Theories of Ethics

The first step:
- Cultural relativism
- Subjectivism
- Supernaturalism

A second step:
- Intuitionism
- Emotivism
- Prescriptivism

A step to justification:
- Moral claims
- The Golden Rule

A step to Normativity:
- Consequentionalism
- Nonconsequentionalism
- Distributive Justice
- Virtue


Philosophical Movements and Schools
of the 20th Century

Absolute Idealism

Critical realism
New realism

The Vienna Circle
Logical Positivism
Analytical Philosophy
Linguistic Philosophy

The Munich Circle
Philosophical antropology

TheFrankfurter Schule


Now we have to find answers to a few questions.

1.Shall we deal with all 25 questions of Law and then start a new project?

2. If not which four questions should we deal with at least?

3. Which proposed new project is the most interesting for us at the moment?

4. If you think this all sucks, what would be bestto deal with in the Philosophy Class in your opinion ?

Ok..who wants the floor?

The Discussion

[13:22] itsme Frederix: can I see the 2nd one once
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: I am open tho i was kind of hoping for the eastern philosophies
[13:23] Jillian Vayandar: great Gemma...I am well steeped in a few.
[13:23] herman Bergson: I have considered thata too
[13:24] herman Bergson: A series on 100 philosophers we forgot to mention :-)
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: well that is done
[13:24] ChatNoir Talon: I'd love to start with ethics
[13:24] herman Bergson: I prefer that one myself too
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: i think we should have some thinking time and let the others who are not hear consider also
[13:25] ChatNoir Talon: Frankly, it'd be great if we could do all of it! ^^
[13:25] herman Bergson: Sure lol
[13:25] Jillian Vayandar: oh
[13:25] Boudica Jarvinen: Demystification of all isms please in whatever order works for all
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: well we have years
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma...if you have a moment I do some copy/pasting to make a notecard...
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: you can do it later
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: no big ☆ ☆ ☆ Rushie ☆ ☆ ☆
[13:26] herman Bergson: Oh...I could add it as an attachment to a notification :-)
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: and send in a notice
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:26] Jillian Vayandar: should we discuss the meaning of ism?
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: exactly
[13:26] herman Bergson: I'll do that
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: But what about my four questions
[13:27] ChatNoir Talon: Truthfully I didn't fully understand them
[13:27] Jillian Vayandar: from the first board?
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: are you thrilled with Law????
[13:27] herman Bergson: No in chat
[13:28] ChatNoir Talon: Well, just the first one
[13:28] herman Bergson: 1.Shall we deal with all 25 questions of Law and then start a new project?
[13:28] Jillian Vayandar: Why is shifting awareness important in Philsophy?
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: it is up to you
[13:28] herman Bergson: Shift it to this first question then..:-)
[13:28] itsme Frederix: forget about law & order : anarchy is the thing
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: i find the book a little esoteric
[13:29] itsme Frederix: chaos
[13:29] herman Bergson: That is what is nagging me too Gemma
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: yes lol
[13:29] Jillian Vayandar: ah, I will need to get the book..
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: well
[13:29] herman Bergson: 2. If not which four questions should we deal with at least?
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: oh have to look at the book to see
[13:30] Jillian Vayandar: can we back up the board to the questions
[13:30] Jillian Vayandar: TY
[13:30] herman Bergson: Thursday will be on creationism
[13:30] ChatNoir Talon: Oh I hadn't seen these! No wonder I didn't get it :P
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: ok
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: the questions are back in chat
[13:31] ChatNoir Talon: Well my answer to 1. Is New project
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: I will wait to vote
[13:32] Jillian Vayandar: 16, 22, 25,24
[13:32] Jillian Vayandar: all sound good
[13:32] herman Bergson: Ok then you can think about this next question too
[13:32] Echo Shilova is Offline
[13:32] herman Bergson: 3. Which proposed new project is the most interesting for us at the moment?
[13:32] ChatNoir Talon: 15, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24
[13:32] itsme Frederix: wasn't it 42?
[13:33] Boudica Jarvinen: 19
[13:33] ChatNoir Talon: Ethics! ^.^
[13:33] herman Bergson: Ok ChatNoir,, that is a clear answer :-)
[13:33] Jillian Vayandar: well done!
[13:33] herman Bergson: ok...a final question then
[13:33] itsme Frederix: Ethics is oke
[13:33] herman Bergson: 4. If you think this all sucks, what would be bestto deal with in the Philosophy Class in your opinion ?
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: 20 seems a good start to ethics
[13:34] ChatNoir Talon: It doesn't suck. I'm aready excited about this new class term
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: lol yes
[13:34] itsme Frederix: Herman, best thing is to get things clear. I don't know which things but the method should do it!
[13:34] herman Bergson: thank you ChatNoir
[13:34] Boudica Jarvinen: Ethics is good
[13:35] herman Bergson: Ok....
[13:35] herman Bergson: then I suggest the next clear planning...
[13:35] itsme Frederix: Ethics is perfect, special because it might be a non issue
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: non issue??????
[13:35] herman Bergson: I pick a few questions ...max 4 and then will start the Ethics Project
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: ok good
[13:36] herman Bergson: non issue?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Explain Itsme
[13:37] herman Bergson: Just yelling some 'bon mot' isnt very philosophical :-)
[13:37] herman Bergson frowns at Itsme
[13:37] herman Bergson: Maybe he crashed :-)
[13:37] ChatNoir Talon: Anyway...
[13:38] itsme Frederix: Herman I just rememberred John Gray & strawdogs
[13:38] ChatNoir Talon: There he is
[13:38] herman Bergson: Gemma, what do you think?
[13:39] herman Bergson: People start to fall asleep, it seems...
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well ChatNoir, I guess all is clear then :-)
[13:39] ChatNoir Talon: It may be the classical music, it's very relaxing :P
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: still hoping others not here will get input
[13:39] ChatNoir Talon: It's all clear to me at least
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: b4 we vote
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: i did not know there was class starting today
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes I would hope so too Gema
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:40] itsme Frederix: why vote, democracy won't give you the truth
[[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: itsme you promised to be good lol
[13:40] herman Bergson: I will send a provisionairy planning to everyone
[13:40] itsme Frederix: Gemma thx, indeed, mea culpa
[13:40] Jillian Vayandar: ethics a system of measurment of an action and its effect?
[13:40] herman Bergson: It could be that Julian
[13:41] itsme Frederix: measurement and importance - & special intrinsick worth/glamour/thruth
[13:41] itsme Frederix: is ethics really a main thing or just another way to argument
[13:42] herman Bergson: you dont think it is a main thing Itsme?
[13:42] itsme Frederix: do only humans have "ethics"
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: I get the impression it is a main thing that most are ignoring today
[13:42] Jillian Vayandar: no, I feel its very real..its me!
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes only humans have ethics
[13:42] Boudica Jarvinen: Ethics are cultural?
[13:43] ChatNoir Talon: I feel it more important than most others aspects of philosophy because it's a very hands-on study
[13:43] Jillian Vayandar: as a human or not a human we all still subject to the same air
[13:43] itsme Frederix: mmmm some studies tell me other things, but thats for the next discussion if we hit it
[13:43] ChatNoir Talon: (more important to me, that is)
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: that was a question we still have about culture
[13:43] herman Bergson: I know what you mean Itsme..
[[13:43] itsme Frederix: I personaly think ethics is a SHOULD BE but hard to find and justify
[13:44] herman Bergson: If ethics is just a cultural thing you are already heading towards relativism
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:44] Jillian Vayandar: ethics are natural consquences
[13:44] ChatNoir Talon: Utilitarian, right here
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: i must leave for rl glad i got here
[13:45] Jillian Vayandar: not sure what I
[13:45] herman Bergson: Thanks for coming Gemma :-)
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: Bye
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: all
[13:45] itsme Frederix: Herman that might be but is no argument - unless you have your ideas about relativism it doesn't say anything
[13:45] ChatNoir Talon: Ciao Gemma!
[13:45] Jillian Vayandar: Byers
[13:45] Boudica Jarvinen: Are ethics beyond culture?
[13:46] ChatNoir Talon: I think so
[13:46] Jillian Vayandar: yes...
[13:46] ChatNoir Talon: But thats'a debatable
[13:46] herman Bergson: We have to figure that out...
[13:46] itsme Frederix: oke this is some ethics we better wait for the formal lecture I propose
[13:46] ChatNoir Talon agrees
[13:46] itsme Frederix: but I think it is of high importance for humans
[13:47] itsme Frederix: and personal life
[13:47] herman Bergson: There are so many aspects in this discussion, so many different approaches all related to spcific philosphical views on reality
[13:47] itsme Frederix: awk sorry
[13:47] herman Bergson: We need to study it step by step
[13:48] herman Bergson: otherwise we end up in those generalizing endless discussion
[13:48] Jillian Vayandar: yes, as I am finding it hard to think of ethic just a human thing
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon nods
[13:49] herman Bergson: you think animals have ethics too Jilian?
[13:49] Jillian Vayandar: yes, sir
[13:49] ChatNoir Talon: Ooh, please explain
[13:49] Jillian Vayandar: such as a mother cat going back into a fire to save her kittens
[13:49] Boudica Jarvinen: What about avatar ethis is that different?
[13:50] herman Bergson: this means that animals can make moral judgements..
[13:50] herman Bergson: that might be instinct
[13:50] ChatNoir Talon: Is it that different from hunting when hungry?
[[13:50] Jillian Vayandar: or the jack russel that saved the children from pitt bulls
[13:51] Boudica Jarvinen: Yes is non culturlly specific ethics just human instinct/animal instinct
[13:51] herman Bergson: if the jack russell saw the children as members of his pack, it would be instinct
[13:51] Boudica Jarvinen: sorry typos
[13:51] Jillian Vayandar: thinking about inherant qualities of sentience
[13:52] Jillian Vayandar: true
[13:53] herman Bergson: you see there already are a lot of interesting questions to answer
[13:53] Jillian Vayandar: yes, we see a quality of ascribed action that we as humans share
[13:53] Jillian Vayandar: :0)
[13:54] herman Bergson: May I thank you all for coming and your participation...
[13:54] herman Bergson: We'll meet again on Thursday and have a look at creationism
[13:54] herman Bergson: An interesting issue
[13:54] herman Bergson: Especially in the US
[13:54] ChatNoir Talon: :D
[13:54] ChatNoir Talon: Thank you, Herman. This is going to be an awesome class!
[13:55] herman Bergson: Thank you for your support ChatNoir :-)


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