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Unit1 Individual Philosophy/Metaphysics:

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Unit 1 Individual
Marion Nina Scuderi
AIU

Unit 1 Individual Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that studies existence. What is real? This is a question that really gets people thinking. How do you know what is real and what is not? Many people only believe what they can see or touch. They don’t believe if there isn’t written proof. So when we talk about whether there is a physical world more or less real than a spiritual or psychological world, I believe that each person has their own beliefs. Growing up many of us may have been taught about the spiritual world from our family. Therefore, strongly believing it is just a real as our psychological world.
Is there such a thing as a soul? Until recently, I can honestly say, I have never thought of the existence of a soul. However, my dad recently passed, due to cancer, and I was by his side until the very end, and his last breath. After watching my father die in front of me, after it hit me, where did my father go? I got the feeling when I was looking at him, as though his body was just an empty shell, it no longer resembled my father. I guess a part of me was hoping to see his soul, rise from him, as crazy as that sounds. You see, many people have always told me they can feel their dead loved one around them, but unfortunately I have never got to experience that presence. Perhaps all the talk about souls could be true and his will still be around. I was brought up to believe that our souls can go to either Heaven or Hell. I must admit though, it is so hard for me to believe in this. Something many people say when another person dies is how now they will be with whoever in the family has passed. For example my when my father was passing we said he would be joining his mother, cousin and my nephew. I’m not sure if this is just something we want to believe deep down in our hearts, or if it is actually possible. How many times have you heard someone referring to someone who has passed, as they are watching down on us? It is something we are taught young to believe in.
Do all people have free will, or are our lives determined by fate? I’m sure you have heard of the saying that everything happens for a reason. I pertain that to our fate. I believe we are all in control of about 50 percent of our life, the remaining is predetermined. For instance, my nephew was killed by a drunk driver. Therefore, my sister’s life had turned upside down in ways she never planned for. She was too depressed to work, she lost her home, and her two remaining boys were tragically devastated. She had to move in with me and take control of her life and children, and almost start over in life. In my eyes you can never prepare for something like that, which is why I insist that fate does have some control over our lives. The way she handled the changes were what I considered to be her free will. I believe our life is what we make out of it. However, certain circumstances such as death, sickness, and severe injuries can tend to put a kink in our destiny. It is then up to us to use our free will to continue our adventure of life and make the best of it.
Epistemology studies knowledge. This is what we know and how we know. How is anything known? What is the basis for our knowledge? I believe most of everything we know is learned through experience. This could include things our parents may have taught us, school, reading material etc. We have started learning at such a young age, things we learned from our schools and parents. I feel we learn as much as we absorb.
Is all knowledge subjective? I believe for the most part that knowledge is subjective. Since we are so different, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Therefore, this would cause us to have a different impression. We all base our assumptions due to what our perception is. I know that if you were to ask me and my neighbor about a topic, our views may be completely different. We may agree on the universal truths that do exist, however, our opinions would be very different. Universal truths, yes I do think there are many that exist. One example is we were all born and we will all die. This is one I can think of that even though we may have different options, it still remains true. To best describe the relationship between faith and reason, here is a brief definition of the two words. Reason in my own words; it is applying logic learned by experience. Faith is a belief that may come from a revelation or other religious materials. I would say that one uses reason to believe what you are taught about religion.
What artificial intelligence can teach people about knowledge? Artificial intelligence is basically a computer system which can think like a human; this is done through software which provides the human like abilities. Artificial intelligence is such an amazing topic. To see this field growing and expanding at such an incredible speed. The use of artificial intelligence is widely spread in today’s world; it is by the F.B.I., hospitals, labs, etc. What can artificial intelligence teach us about knowledge? I feel we can increase our knowledge by observing their concepts. When the artificial intelligence systems are implemented, they are unbiased. We can learn what a difference this makes in so many different settings. What are the limits of human understanding? When it comes to human understanding, I do not feel there is a limit. I remember when my daughter was younger, people would say, her mind is like a sponge, make sure you educate young. All the books I read stated the importance of how important it was to educate the babies at such a young age because the can absorb all the material. Even now in school each year the amount of knowledge they share with the children increases each year. As adults, we are never too old to learn. By saying that I mean, when we are learning something new, we are able to retain it. This may be information from our job, education, etc. This is why I don’t believe that there is a limitation of human understanding. I think our limits are as high as we allow ourselves, as long as we accept and obtain the information.
Ethics are standards of what we believe to be right or wrong. What is right thing to do? Ethics could come from what you were taught as you were growing up, about right and wrong. It could also be the laws of the states you follow. Each person may have a different idea of what is right and wrong, good or bad. However, we all may agree on some basics such as one should not steal or cheat. What does it mean to be a good person? To me being a good person knows the difference from right and wrong and obeys those rules. I follow a simple guideline of try to do what is right and don’t do anything that I would be ashamed of. Try always to be helpful to others and never be hurtful.
Does virtue lead to happiness? I do believe that virtue is a stepping stone to happiness. Without morals what would we have and how would you feel? Do you think the ends justify the means? Yes, in certain situations the ends can justify the means. This is considering that the outcome that the good outweighs the bad. How does living in a society affect morality? This to me refers to how when people are together they may act out differently, than if they were alone. For example, a teenager by himself may be quiet. Once in a group with others he may become loud and mouthy, and start trouble. I feel our society has shaped and affected our morals, for example we know it’s wrong to do drugs, yet look how many are into this scene every day. These people know what they are doing is wrong, however it has almost became acceptable. Is morality culturally based or individually based? Morality is shaped by all three. A person’s culture, as well as their individually plays a large role. First we start by our parents teaching us, and then from there we establish are individually. This will also include culture we may have learned or inherited from out parents, or education. Then finally, we use what I refer to as the universal morals which we may have learned through experience or prior knowledge.
Aesthetics: What is beautiful? Anything that delights the senses. Beauty can be in a person, a sunset, flowers etc. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone relates to beauty in a different way. What I find beautiful, others may disagree. We view beauty in our own desirable level. What is the purpose of art? Art is supposed to bring one enjoyment. Art comes in many forms; it could be paintings, music and much more. How can a piece of art be successful or valuable? The value comes from the demand of the piece of art, the artist, and the materials it is made of. How rare is the item? Is it collectable? Beauty doesn’t matter in my opinion when referring to art, because beauty to one person is very different for another. Sometimes art is used to make statements also.
Political Philosophy: What is the best kind of government? I would say it is democracy. How much power should the government have? The government should have a substantial amount of power, but yet we should be in control a little more as well. It would be nice if we could be more involved than we are allowed. What kind of people should be in power? I think only the people we can trust. People who do display good morals and judgment. I don’t believe a power hungry person should get the power though. I think it needs to be down to earth people who have their heads on their shoulders, who will not run amuck with everything. How involved should the common citizen be in government? If they are interested I think they should be more involved than we are actually allowed now. I think it would be nice to have an average citizen be more active and responsible with government decisions.
Social philosophy: How should humans behave in society? The way they behave should come from the way they were raised, taught and their morals. However, everyone interacts differently one out and about. Humans need to do what is right avoiding the wrong actions at all times. We are responsible for our own actions. Do people give up certain rights when they choose to live in a society? I don’t believe we have to give up any rights in our society; we are luck here in the United State. I am not so sure other countries have it as good or easy as us. How do social values affect individual beliefs? Do people behave differently in crowd than individually? I feel that the social values may hinder individual’s beliefs. People in a crown I think tend to act more aggressive. Here is an example, think of a sports game with fans in a stadium turning into a riot. If it was just one upset fan, little may happen. Since there is a group of upset people they “feed” off each other’s motions. The same scenario can happen on a street between two kids or a group. If it is just one kid facing another, one may have the smarts nit to get mouthy and avoid confliction. However, if there is a group, taunting may start, followed by loudness, and roughness, maybe leading to a fight. How does society affect language and other types of communication? Language is socially and culturally learned. The society influences how people speak, and how our language is changing today. Language was taught on traditional values, but has been changed by social surroundings. Communication is hard to do if there is language misunderstanding between cultures, it is important to try to communicate best we can.

References | |
Miller, David (1998). Political philosophy. E. Craig (Ed.). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Retrieved from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/
Dancy, Jonathan & Eenest Sosa (Ed.). 1993. A Companion to Epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell.…...

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