The Role Of A Philosophy Class On The Views And Beliefs Of A Student, A Very Reflective Piece That Refers To Many Ancient And Modern Thinkers.

1565 words - 6 pages

I remember when I first decided to take this course. I hoped it would allow me to see the world in a different light, a fresh perspective on old situations. I had a solid belief system in place, and admittedly was quite stubborn with it, although not above changing it if sufficient evidence presented itself. When first asked whether I would classify my beliefs as idealism, dualism, or materialism, I chose materialism. That has not changed. I have been unable to find a philosopher that we studied during the semester that supports my view however. This course has provided me with terminology to apply to my belief system. My opinions now have names.When I first took the belief survey, (and the second time as well) I could not answer all the questions. Some of them were too broad in scope and I could not answer them with a black and white, yes or no response. Also I interpreted some of the questions differently when I took the survey the second time. Some of them I answered just for the sake of answering them, and feeling corralled by the yes or no options, I thought I should at least put something down. The two surveys did have different answers for some of the questions, but inside my head there was no real contradiction in thought, but on paper the answers varied based on my interpretation at the time. I did not understand all the questions either, number 26 asks: "Everything in the world is in the world" and to this day I have no idea what that question is asking.In reading the assigned text in the course I have agreed and disagreed with many of the opinions presented by the assigned philosophers. This and the next paragraph will detail my disagreement and criticism with particular opinions held by two of the philosophers we studied and my reasoning for why. I'll start with Bertrand Russell. Russell makes an argument about how our senses mislead us when perceiving objects. He uses a table as an example and says how people perceive the table differently depending on a number of factors. (light, reflection, etc.) He compares our perceptions of the table using the naked eye versus using a microscope and says: "Which of these is the "real" table? We are naturally tempted to say that what we see through the microscope is more real, but that in turn would be changed by a still more powerful microscope. If then, we cannot trust what we see with the naked eye, why should we trust what we see through a microscope? Thus, again, the confidence in our senses with which we began deserts us." (Russell, 1912, p. 6) Here Russell is asking too much of the sense of vision. Why does he say that we are more inclined to accept the table as viewed by a microscope as more real? Is he implying that truth is proportional to the magnification of an object? Using this example and holding that one visual perception of the table as more real than the others is absurd. They are all "real" perceptions of the table and differ by external factors. Russell seems to want the...

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