May 20, 2011

Take this Team IPO

Frame arguments for these topics ...
  1. "Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt - particularly to doubt one's cherished beliefs, one's dogmas and one's axioms." -Will Durant
  2. "If space is, it will be in something; for everything that is is in something; and to be in something is to be in space, and so on (ad infinitum). Therefore space does not exist." -Zeno of Elea

May 19, 2011

Another assignment

Frame the author's argument and your counter-attack or support for the theme given below, send me a mail of it and then write an essay based on the same argument and counter-attack ...

Justice without force is powerless, force without justice is tyrannical. (Pascal) IPO 1997

May 18, 2011

Another Essay for Team IPO

Write an essay on the following theme
In short, the actions of man are never free; they are always the necessary consequence of the temperament, of the received ideas, and of the notions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness; of his opinions, strengthened by example, by education, and by daily experience. (Holbach, Paul-Henri Dietrich, System of Nature)

The author's argument and a possible counter argument
A1) Man acts according to his beliefs
R) Actions are necessary consequences of the temperament of
a) recieved ideas
b) self notions of happiness (truth not important)
c) opinions (reinforced by edu., exp. & eg)
Rx) Being forced may govern your actions
X1) interactions with the world translate into experiential beliefs which in turn help construct a belief system (temperament)
X2) Temperament helps frame new beliefs
X3) A1 + X2 -> Actions follow from R)
C1) Man's beliefs are not independant
C2) Man is not free to act
Counter Argument:
1) if some ideas are dependant then is your entire belief system (temperament) dependant???
2) Can your most initial thoughts be ever your own? ... does this mean that you cant think on your own?
3) How do you explain the development of human knowledge if there is no independant idea???
4) Man always can choose to accept a belief in its given form or to modify it ... thats what R claims ...
CC) The above, especially 4, imply that beliefs are independant to quite a degree.... Thus C1 & hence C2 is WRONG!!!

May 17, 2011

Yet again for Team IPO

Find the authors argument and your counter-argument
  1. Nothing is true, everything is permitted... (Nietzsche) IPO, 1996
  2. Should we start from the premise that one is totally forbidden to do injustice, or should we consider that under some circumstances that is permitted? (Plato) IPO, 1995
Shuvom's take on Nietzsche's argument

My take on Nietzsche ....
Nietszche's argument
A0) Truth is subjective
i.e. Everyone has their own version of truth
A1) Something may be true for someone OR Nothing is absolutely true for anybody
R1) Everyone thinks/acts as per what they think is true
R2) Therefore everyone would do whetever they please
C) Thus Everything is permitted
X1) R1 dictates that if the base of thought is removed, people would behave in whichever way they feel (which usually is without reason)
X2) Such behavior will be tested by nature and people will (usually) end up in suffering or trouble, endangering their lives and whetever they value in them
X3) Only a rational act/thought can survive ... thus rendering A0 untrue
X4) A0 needs to be changed ... Truth is objective / real / empirical / rational
XC) From X3 - Only the truth and thoughts/actions according to it are permitted

May 16, 2011

More assignments for team IPO 2011

Frame the argument of the author of the quote and your counter argument to it.

  1. The fundamental evil of government grants is the fact that men are forced to pay for the support of ideas diametrically opposed to their own. This is a profound violation of an individual’s integrity and conscience. It is viciously wrong to take the money of rational men for the support of B.F. Skinner—or vice versa. The Constitution forbids a governmental establishment of religion, properly regarding it as a violation of individual rights. Since a man’s beliefs are protected from the intrusion of force, the same principle should protect his reasoned convictions and forbid governmental establishments in the field of thought.
    “The Establishing of an Establishment," Philosophy: Who Needs It, 168
  2. In the whirling Heraclitean flux which is the pragmatist’s universe, there are no absolutes. There are no facts, no fixed laws of logic, no certainty, no objectivity.
    There are no facts, only provisional “hypotheses” which for the moment facilitate human action. There are no fixed laws of logic, only mutable “conventions,” without any basis in reality. (Aristotle’s logic, Dewey remarks, worked so well for earlier cultures that it is now overdue for a replacement.) There is no certainty—the very quest for it, says Dewey, is a fundamental aberration, a “perversion.” There is no objectivity—the object is created by the thought and action of the subject.
    Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 126

May 15, 2011

Essay assignment for Team 2011

  1. History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them. - B. R. Ambedkar
  2. “Science, at bottom, is really anti-intellectual. It always distrusts pure reason, and demands the production of objective fact.” - Henry Louis Mencken