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Reality, Art and Truth-intro to Philosophy

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The Self

As we learned in earlier weeks, there are two views on the self. The avocado view and the artichoke view. As we all know An avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with a rough leathery skin, smooth oily edible flesh, and a large stone. It is also defined as the tropical evergreen tree that bears the avocado. It is native to Central America and widely cultivated elsewhere. Now that we understand the making of an avocado, what about an artichoke? An artichoke is a tall, thistle like composite plant, cynara scolymus, native to the Mediterranean region, of which the numerous scale like braes and receptacle of the immature flower head are eaten as a vegetable. How can these two plants be an idea of self? Did you know that if an avocado seed is planted, a whole new avocado plant can grow? And once the plant is completely grown it has the ability to produce a whole new generation of avocado. Some philosophers argue that humans have an essential nature. But what does that have to do with an avocado? In an avocado, the seed is the center contains all essential information about what makes an avocado an avocado. As in humans, the essential part of humans, the part that makes us more human than animal is the avocado seed. The essential nature in humans is believe to be God. But how can we determine if humans have an essential nature.

Well that’s pretty simple. Since we know that the essential nature is God and reason, how are we all connected through God? If you believe in God or read the bible there is a verse that says “Let’s make man in Our image” we are all in the image of God the Father and God the Mother. And how are we all connected through reason. Well in that topic we have critical thinking and Socrates. Socrates asked what was the purpose of life? Many people have an answer to this and they are all different. But humans all have the mind of a kitten, what I mean by that is that we are always looking for answers somewhere. But what is the artichoke idea of self? Well, some philosophers disagree that humans have an essential nature. An artichoke has a spring layer that can be peeled off one by one. And when the last layer is gone there is nothing left? Why is that? Well, that is because the “heart” of the artichoke is actually the base of the flower. The heart however, does not contain the essence of the artichoke. In short, the artichoke is nothing but a bunch of layers. No part of an artichoke can produce another generation of artichokes.

The artichoke view says that we are capable of rational deduction and communication. But, it is also saying that people do not share the same fundamental logic. With the artichoke view, we are determined through our actions and not by god or the universe. According to the artichoke view, our engagement with our environment makes us who we are.How are the artichoke view and the avocado view connected? Well I know how they are different. As stated earlier, with the avocado view there is a non-changing core or essense after you peel the outer skin. This inner essence is not changed by life experiences, no matter how great or traumatic. This is because it is believed to be what defines the human nature. This inner essence is considered to be the soul. Then the artichoke view says that humans have no core, no essential nature and our actions and experiences defines who we are. However, due to the power given to human, one can get hold of the situation and develop a character that does not change despite of the life challenges. This is what gives artichoke at least one similarity with avocado.

Art and Philosophy

So now that we have discussed the artichoke and avocado view, what is art? What does art have to do with philosophy? How do it help discern what is truth and what is not? And who captures the avocado/modern idea that we have an essential, shared human nature and that the self and the world are distinct entities? Philosophers have approached the subject of what is considered beautiful or artistic-aesthetics-in much the same way as they have approached morality. Some have tried to define the properties of beauty and art, while others have suggested that appreciation of these qualities depends on culture, or is simply a matter of taste. Socrates once asked “what is beauty?” Do you believe that he was seeking the actual definition? No, he was trying to see if there is some specific property that makes a thing beautiful. Is there something that makes all things beautiful? Is the question that he was really asking. Plato argued that there is such a thing as ideal beauty, which exist in an ideal world of perfect forms. But some philosophers say that we define beauty from our experiences and our cultures. So why do people have very different views on beauty? Some believe that beauty is not an inherent quality of things; rather, it is “in the eye of the beholder”. Meaning that beauty is a matter of opinion. So once again, how is art connected to the avocado view? Well the avocado view says that we all have an essential nature. In the previous paragraphs I just stated that Plato argued that there is such a thing as ideal beauty, which exist in an ideal world. This means that we all would have the same thought on art and beauty. But how is it connected to the artichoke view? The artichoke view says that we are determined by our actions and experiences. Some philosophers believe that we define beauty from our experiences and our cultures. So why do people have very different views on beauty? Some believe that beauty is not an inherent quality of things; rather, it is “in the eye of the beholder”. Meaning that beauty is a matter of opinion. Sounds just like the avocado view of the self right?So the last question for this section of the paper is Who captures the avocado/modern idea that we have an essential, shared human nature and that the self and the world are distinct entities? I believe that no one in particular was able to capture the avocado view. From my understanding, Kant and Schelling definitely supported the artichoke view. But neglected or discredited the avocado view, solely from my opinion.

Truth and RealityWhat is truth? here are four truths in philosophy. But what is truth? Well, Empiricist believe that truth has something called an empirical warranty, which is consistent with the correspondence theory of truth and is based upon the assumption that there is an objectively present world of facts that exists beyond our perception of it. Basically they believe that it has a claim or believe that made it true. But even if a believe is not warranted it is not false. Empiricists, like most people, need evidence for a believe to be true. They need to see it to believe it. I am imagining that these individuals do not believe in God. For example, if I say that the house is on fire but there is no smoke in the room, the claim lack empirical warrantability. However, if I say that the house is on fire and there is black smoke in all the rooms then that claim has warrantability. Now that we know the truth, how do you find it. Well that is where truth test come in. There are four truth tests. A correspondence test, a coherent test, a pragmatic test and a creativity test. But what exactly are these tests? A correspondence test is a true proposition must correspond with a fact or state of affairs. A coherence test measures coherence and consistency among statements within a system. A pragmatic test is what is true is what works. A creativity test is what is true is what promotes life and growth, according to the Ewe. The coherence test gets us out of the egocentric predicament. This test requires that a belief is consistent with other accepted/persuasive beliefs that make up a cohesive accounts are of the world. The pragmatic test basically states if the belief works, then it is true. The Ewe creativity test is similar to the pragmatic test. However, it has one important difference, what is true is not only what is practical but, also what has the power to bring about a better human situation.

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