Causal Determinism

 Causal Determinism

What is causal determinism? 

People sometimes confuse determinism and fatalism, like I had, but they are two different things.  Determinism is events happening due to prior events, like getting a good score on the test, I get to choose somewhere to go for dinner  The same for procrastinating, I get stuck at home doing school work instead of going out and having fun. Fatalism is the outcome that happens no matter the prior event, like  Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark is a perfect example of fatalism; Without Jones’ interventions, the Nazi would have gotten the Medallion from Mirian without struggle, Belloch deciphers the gold, and would have taken the Ark to the deserted Island and died anyways.  With or without Jones, the Nazi would have died in the end. (idea from Amy Farrah Fowler in Big Bang Theory )

Would you feel any differently about your life in general—and your actions, thoughts, and feelings, in particular—if determinism were true?

If determinism were true, I don’t think I would feel any different about my life in general, as though if it were not existing.  I do not know how to explain my thoughts about determinism, really.  Life happens the way it does, there is no changing it.  Decisions, good and/or bad can lead to another good or bad decision.  It is how cause and effect works.

Why or why not?

I would not feel any different if determinism were to be real because as I had said before, life happens, the good and the bad. You can change the outcome, like actually study for the test instead of watching a crochet tutorial of how to make a plushie.  It is all based on the prior actions you have made, is what determines the outcome that will happen later in life.



Do you agree with Leonard’s statement that we all need mirrors to remind us who we are?

I do agree with Leonard’s statement that we need mirrors to remind us of who we are.  Without them, we have nothing to turn to when we need to remember something important.  The ability to not being able to create new memories and keep them for as long as you would like to is just horrible.

In the movie Leonard’s mirrors were his notes, the photographs, and tattoos. What has he become by relying upon them?

From his mirrors, Leonard has become this deranged man, out for blood revenge for his late wife, who he had no memory of being alive after his head got smashed into the bathroom mirror.  He had created this backstory for this Sammy guy, that has had the same problem Leonard has; not being able to keep his memories for more that a few minutes, not remember the conversation he had before, and when he gave his wife her medicine.  By being deceived by the undercover cop and the barmaid numerous times, Leonard created this world, or illusion, that the barmaid actually needs help and wants to help in return, and that the undercover cop is this “John G.” guy that killed his wife, although this cop already helped him capture the original John G.

What would you become without your own mirrors?

I believe I would become something else that I am not without my mirrors, even if they come out to not be true.  I would not have became this crocheting, animal loving girl if not for my mirrors.  I do not know what would become of me without these specific mirrors, but I do not think it would be good.

Hume- Of Personal Identity

Self is a thing?

Hume believes that the self is an illusion or a fiction. What is his argument?

Hume’s argument has to do something about perception, and that our minds cannot lose any type of perception unless we are sleeping or dead.  I am pretty sure that there is a connection to everything being said in the material, but I do not understand how, when it goes from perceptions, and how the only way there is none is by sleeping or when dead, to memory, where it does not affect a person’s identity in the end.

I always stumble on some particular or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure… When my perceptions are remov’d for any time, as by sound sleep; so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist.  And were all my perceptions remov’d by death, and cou’d I neither think, nor feel, nor see, no love, nor hate after the dissolution of my body, i shou’d be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is farther requisite to make me a perfect non-entity.” pg. 326, column 2

 Do you find it convincing?   Why or why not?

The quote above had caught my attention, and I want to say that, in my opinion, it seems to be connected to Hume’s claim that the self is just an illusion.  Unless we are awake, or alive, one person sees one thing to another person of the same scene.  I am not sure if I find this fully convincing, but it is very interesting.  Humes also said something about the mind not being able to live without the body, which clashes against “The body cannot live without the mind” by Trinity from the Matrix.  I think both go together, the body needs a mind in order to function, and the mind needs a body to just simply be there.

Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy- II

Of the Nature of the Human Mind; and that it is more easily known that the Body, pages 8-12

What does Descartes demonstrate with the wax example? 

Descartes uses the wax example to describe his perspective of what is “met with outside of [himself]” Med. 1-12.  He demonstrates the senses he has to determine what the wax is; sight for imagining the figure, touch for texture, sound of the way it is being tapped on, taste of the sweetness from the flowers it came from, and smell from also the fragrance of flowers (from class).  This fits into Descartes’ main argument by how he applies it to everything else, including himself.  “So if I judge that the wax exists from the fact that I touch it, the same thing will follow, to wit, that I am; and if I judge that my imagination, or some other cause, whatever it is, persuades me that the wax exists, I shall still conclude the same.” Med 1-12

How does it fit into his main argument?

The wax example fits into Descartes’ main argument by how the mind is separate from the body, that the mind is the only real thing because it can think for itself.  A wax, on the other hand, cannot think and just does what it is supposed to do without any internal force.  We rely on our senses to perceive what is going on in the world, but Descartes claims that we cannot obtain any information without intellect with sensory details.

Tolstoy “What Is Art?”

Tolstoy uses the test of infectiousness, not only as a descriptive measure for what should count as art, but also as a standard for good art (#28-32). What does he mean by this standard?

Tolstoy uses the test of infectiousness as a standard for good art to prove that it is real art, instead of the counterfeit ones.  “If a man is infected by the author’s condition of soul… then the object which has affected this is art”(#28), meaning that the more emotion the viewer has for an art, the more authentic the piece is.

How does he suggest we apply this test to evaluate art? Is this a useful proposal for evaluating the quality of art?

He suggests we apply this test to evaluate art by having a “clearness of expression”(#32) in the art, so the viewer would be more satisfied and more mingled with the author’s consciousness (32).  This is a useful proposal for evaluating the quality of art because having a clear expression in art does not make the viewer be deceived with a hidden emotion, but shows all emotions of the author.  It gives more spirit to the art if it is appreciated more that way

If you disagree with this proposal, how would you challenge it?

I do not disagree with Tolstoy’s proposal of how to authenticate an art.  Art should have some sort of feeling to be appreciated.  There is a movie called “Big Eyes” by Tim Burton set in the late 1950 to early 60s, and this lady’s art was so good.  She made the eyes of her art bigger than they should, because she says you can see the emotions in the eyes.  Add a little tear, with dark background, you feel sadness. Or a lollipop and a bright background, you feel enjoyment.

Image result for big eyes movie

Aristotle’s Poetics I

What kinds of imitation does Aristotle identify in poetry and tragedy?

Aristotle uses imitation in poetry and tragedy not in humans, but the actions of the humans in their life; their emotions (see link).  Aristotle believes that rhythm tune and meter aren’t used in unison, but rather a rotation. One at a time, but also one right after the other in tragedy.  In poetry, he believes that rhythm, rhyme, and meter are used in unison, but he feels that, in tragedy, they’re used in sequence. (in reading)
The words in poems are chosen specifically for the way they give a “feel” for the item they represent.

Does Aristotle convey a positive sense of the role of imitation in art?

Aristotle does conveys a positive sense of the role of imitation of art.  His sense puts it in a way to where we can connect art to our learning experience of life. He also mentioned something about we are programed to learn, even if the learning is bad for us.  Our experience and emotions connect to what is on a canvas, even if the picture’s residents has nothing to do with us as humans.

Do you think that his understanding of art in terms of imitation provide a useful way to understand what art is?

I do believe that Aristotle’s understanding of art in terms of imitation does provide a useful way to understand what art is.  As said before, connection to an art piece help us understand what the artist has or is going through.  We appreciate the art more if we connect with it.

eXistenZ & tranCendenZ

How does eXistenZ, the film, fit into Plato’s hierarchical scheme of reality? How does the game, tranCendenZ fit?

From my understand of Plato, is that he thinks that looking at a painting, or playing a fantasy game that has no way of happening, or watching a movie, even if it is based on a true story, can be deceptive.  To be honest, I do think that this is true, because a person cannot really know what the production is about, other than the artist who had created it.  Plus, with all the time we spend looking, watching or playing, we lose track of time, which can be, or is, a bad thing in your reality.

This also connects to “The Allegory of the Cave”, by how Allegra in eXistenZ reacts to coming out of her game, saying that it is better and safer in there, rather than her idea of the real world. That is how the prisoners in the Cave felt. When one of them was let go, he went out and experienced what the shadows were and tried to share that experience to the others. But he was rejected and ridiculed about it.

The movie eXistenZ fits into Plato’s hierarchical scheme of reality because of how “disconnected [a person can get from their] body” and  the game was the “most effective [deformity] of reality”, as Ted said, the longer you are not thinking about the actual reality.  The game within the movie ,tranCendenz, fit in with Plato’s claim as well because of the same reasons, even if it was a short amount of time.  The people that were in tranCendenZ were also in eXistenZ, and basically “saw” Allegra kill someone in the “real world” of tranCendenZ, which caused one of the original players in the supposedly reality out of tranCendenZ ask “are we still in the game?”.  Plus, the people in the building were acting very similar to those in the Chinese restaurant of eXistenZ, which is making me think that there is another game that is programmed to be tranCendenZ.

Plato, The Republic: Book X

What is the difference between “beds in the world” and “the idea of a bed?”

“Beds in the world” is the physical form of a bed that someone had the idea of.

“The idea of a bed” is as it says; it is an idea that someone had came up with. A bed changes shape, or style, in each person’s perspective of what a bed is.

(see link)

Where does “art” fit into his hierarchical scheme of reality?

“Art” fits into Plato’s hierarchical scheme of reality of how deceptive it can be to some people, depending what they see in the art.  A painting of a tree, all black and charred, the ground burnt with some whiff of smoke in the background, one person would see that as death, as another would see that as a sign of new life on the way.

Plato criticizes art for being “deceptive.” How does art deceive us, according to Plato?

Plato claims that art deceives us.  According to Plato, art deceives us by not showing it’s true nature the first time, or keep changing.  I remember something about a man panting a picture of a horse’s bit, and that he does not know what it looks like because he is not a horsemaster who actually knows what a bit feels and looks like

Do you agree with this criticism?

I think, to see art, it depends on the person, and of how they have experienced their life.

For example, the ever so famous Bunny/Duck image:

Image result for optical illusions

I can see both images.  I had once, and still am, falling victim to optical illusions.  It just depends on what the person wants to see

William Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

Reconstruct one of his arguments (not the ship captain example) in standard form.

Standard form

from page 2 of the link

-People of the island were starting to become suspicious of the new Professors teaching their children other than their traditional ways

-A group of islanders tried to create a commotion and accuse these new-comers so the Commission of the island will do something about it

-Finding no evidence, the Commission obtained the protesters, and the Professors were teaching again

C-Accusing others without sufficient evidence can lead that person to nowhere

Then evaluate that argument for soundness and validity.

The way i have this set up, it seems like to me that there is soundness and validity.  The soundness was that of a new group of people comes and teaches the kids not in the traditional way, a group tried to have the higher-ups deal with it, but were shot down and the newcomers were able to do what they pleased.  I’m not sure if I can see the validity on my own if there is one.

 What practical significance does Clifford’s thesis have?

The practical significance in Clifford’s thesis is to not always trust your own bias opinion of what is right or wrong in a serious situation.  It could lead you into the wrong without any actual evidence to support you claim, as it happened to the Islanders in the story. (got idea from link. his is really good)

Do you see any fallacies in Clifford’s reasoning?

From what I can process of this reading material, I have not seen any falsities in Clifford’s reasoning.  I just might not be looking hard enough.


Begging the Question
People are curious because it is in our nature to be curious

Ad Hominem
How would you know anything about the world. You’re just a kid

There is a hidden villiage in the mountian. I know the location of the villiage, so it is not hidden

Slippery Slope
Mom: *comes into room* do all your homework?
Me: nope
Mom: you know, you procrastinate, you fail your classes
Me: I know
Mom: then you won’t graduate
Me: I know
Mom: then you won’t get a good job
Me: I know
Mom: then stop the procrastination *leaves room*
Me: i will, once this video is done *never finishes homework that night*

Straw Man
I tell my sister that I do not like cooked or raw onions, only the flavor or batter covered, and she says that I am an onion hater

Tu Quoque
I told my friend to wear pants to work as I come in wearing shorts

there is a higher percent chance of dying in a car accident than an accident on a roller coaster

False Dichotomy
My mama used to ask me if I was a good brat or a bad brat

Argument from ignorance
I heard voices in my head. Aliens are starting to invade!

Red Herring
Mom: *talks about school*
Me: hey Mom? where’s my dog?

my choices

Four Terms
All feathers are light. All Lights are bright. So, all featers are bright

My cat is purring and rubbing against my leg. So, I know that he loves me