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Philosophy Magazine

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FC: the PhilosYOUpher | Because Everyone Should Be Their Own Philosopher | Why You Don't Need A Beard to Study Philosophy pg. 2 | Discovering Beauty with the band Lost in Trees pg. 10 | Its OKAY To Be Unsure! pg 8

1: In this Month's Addition | Monthly Introduction You Don't Have to Have a Beard to Study Philosophy pg 2 Editor's Personal Philosophy pg 4 Mailbag -Reader's Favourite Quotes pg 6 I Think; Therefore I Am pg 8 Philosophy in the 21st Century Walk Around The Lake - Interpreting Aesthetics pg 10 Gay Couples Don't Have Abortions pg 15 Listowel's Relay For Life pg 17 Philosophical Theory Philosopher's Corner with Martha Nussbaum and Judith Butler pg 21

2: The unexamined life is not worth living. -Socrates | 2

3: Philosophy is not a subject that can be taught from a textbook, nor does it have right or wrong answers. Philosophy does not depend on the memorization of formulas, and should not be consider a topic of conversation for strictly white haired men with long beards. Philosophy, the love of knowledge and wisdom, is a topic that is as diverse as the people on this planet. Many people will live their lives without ever stopping to ask the question “why?”. They live their lives in accordance to social norms, and accept the world around them for the surface value. A philosopher is a critic of the world they find themselves immersed in, constantly examines the choices they make, asks for the rational for the societal values that are readily accepted without question and tests the boundaries of capabilities of the human mind. When a six year old repeatedly asks their parents “but why?”, this is an example of a young philosopher hard at work. Their young minds are thirsting for explanations and refuse to be satisfied with the response “Because I said so.” Philosophy is not an abstract thought process that only scholars and a group of pretentious elite members study. Instead it should be considered a life style that all humans are allowed be engaged in. Young or old, big or small, white or black, all humans should be encouraged to critically examine the world around them and be brave enough to utter that scary three letter word, “why?”. | You Don't Have To Have a Beard To Study Philosophy | 3

4: “Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes.” George Carlin | Editor's Opinion | On Religion God, Buddha, Prophet Muhammad, Krishna, a divine spirit, an agnostic being or absolutely nothing, all describe various religions. Being raised a Catholic, I am very familiar with a strict Christian God, but I have learnt that religion is not something that can be taught from pulpit, it has to be discovered. I have chosen a belief system in which I do believe in a God, but my God is neither Christian nor Muslim, nor Buddhist, but rather I believe all supreme beings are the same being. Many doctrines preach the same principles but perhaps cultural differences have led to the different religions. Atheism still teaches the golden rule and condemns many actions that religions condemn, so I ask myself, are we really so different after all? | On Aesthetics Personally, I find aesthetics to be a very subjective area of philosophy. What one person considers beautiful, or their definition of art is strictly individual to them. I believe that all individuals have to right to classify something as beauty or art if they believe it to be. No one has the power to take that opinion away. | On Morality and Ethics Determining the origins of morals is something that intrigues me. An individual is part of a cultural, society and family. Within each layer of these environments lays a unique moral code. Many families will have an individual moral codes that may complement or contrast the universal morality of the country. Every individual will develop their own personal morality, which again may conflict or compliment the moral code of their family. As humans mature, the idea of right and wrong will also change. For society to function properly, it is essential that individuals think critically about their ethical positions and ensure that the decisions they make are as ethical as possible. | 4

5: On Free Will and Determinism I don’t believe in fate, or soul mates or destiny and I certainly don’t believe that my life is already planned out for me. The whole concept of determinism allows individuals to escape from taking responsibility for their actions. When failure descends on a career, many people will console the now unemployed saying everything happens for a reason and the job wasn’t meant to be. Instead this individual needs to take responsibilities for their mistakes and view the experience as a chance for personal growth rather than blaming fate. Believing in free will allows to me claim my victories and successes as my own but also requires me to accept my failures as a result of my actions. This allows me to learn from my mistakes and ignites my determination to prosper. | On Idols of the Mind Out of the four Idols of the Mind, the one that has affected me the most is Idols of the Theater. “Idols of the Theater” is the blind acceptance of any established system, whether it be a political, religious or scientific system. I realized that I was guilty for accepting these systems that constantly influence my life without questioning them. Although questioning something maybe yield all the answers, it is a step closer to improving the lives we lead and the world we live in. | On Social Philosophy If you ask any student in kindergarten what the golden rule is, I bet that you will get a response similar to “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. The concept is simple enough; if I am kind to you, then you will be kind to me. If students under the age of ten know this, how come so many adults do not? In today’s busy society it is easy to say that we caught up in our fast-paced 21st century lives, but isn’t that just an excuse? It takes very little extra effort to smile as you walk down that street, hold the door for the patron behind you and say thank you to the sales clerk. The fundamentals of living in a society rely on the fact that the members are engaged within the society. This doesn’t mean that you need to be director of the town’s fundraising committee; instead it means take an extra moment to be present where you are and practice the golden rule. | 5

6: Mailbag | This month we asked readers to submit their favourite philosophical quotation, and here are some of your responses! | “One cannot step twice in the same river.” – Heraclitus This quote by the monist, Heraclitus, reminds me to appreciate every moment. Even though today maybe be similar to tomorrow, this moment in time, is so unique and will never be experienced again. When I am commuting to work during rush hour the traffic is always terrible and it is so easy to find myself getting angry with everyone else on the road. But one day, it dawned on me, the connection was so clear. I was in the river that Heraclitus was referring too. My car was just one of thousands following down highway 401, the stream of life. And even though I drove the same road at the same time everyday, it was always different; different cars, different weather, different song on the radio, the list goes on. So now, thanks to Heraclitus, I have been inspired to find beauty and sanctity in every moment because that brief instant in time will only happen once. - Robert Grant | 6

7: Life is the ticket to the greatest show on earth! - Martin H. Fischer | Some more of your favourite quotes! | If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. - Napoleon Hill | “I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.” - Dudley Field Malone | ”I haven't failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas Edison | (Bacchetta, 2011) | 7

8: Five months ago, I thought of myself as a well-informed individual, with a rather diverse array of interests and a fairly well rounded life perspective. Over the duration of this course, I have learnt that I was absolutely and completely WRONG. My ignorant nineteen-year-old mind thought that I had already learnt enough about living to make well-informed life choices. I guess what they say is true; ignorance is bliss. Studying philosophy didn’t just teach me theoretical aspects, just as metaphysics, living life as a stoic, cynic or epicurean, or how René Descartes explained how consciousness was real (I think; Therefore I am), I have discovered one of the greatest epiphanies that I have ever experienced. I have realized that I do not have to have all the answers. I can be unsure of the solutions to some of life’s most significant questions. Prior to this pivotal realization, I believed in many ideals because I felt like I had to have a concrete answer for everything. I would ignore the gray areas of concern in my mind and answer with a black and white response. | I Think; Therefore I Am | Background Image Caption: My Trail of Discovery | 8

9: In class, when the debate of free will versus determinism became a focus, I knew exactly what side I was on. The idea that my future, my success, my failure, is all predetermined for me deeply bothers every cell in my body. Therefore it can be concluded that I am a strong believer in free will, but this conclusion landed me in a conflict with my religious beliefs. Before I took philosophy I would totally disregard this moral conflict. I would change neither my opinion on free will or question my idea of God. But now, I find it impossible to believe in conflicting ideals, so I have changed my belief system. I now believe in discovery. This means that I have promised myself that for my remaining days on Earth I will not confine myself to believing in something because I think I should, rather I will dedicate my life to discovering. I will discover more problems than I may never find answers, but as long as I am continuing to grow as a person and refuse to conform to society’s set of ideals because it is easier, I believe that I will be able to live in happiness. | 9

10: All it takes is a walk | 10

11: around the lake - Lost in Trees | 11

12: With a brush and ink I paint a lake Some times all it takes is a walk around the lake to ease your mind all it takes is a walk 'round the lake is a walk 'round the lake Late at night I'll stay up and write a book about my life... ...so no one would ever make all of my mistakes To ease your mind all it takes is a walk 'round the lake is a walk 'round the lake Well, I've made my loved ones cry right in front of my eyes and I've spent so long hurting in such a short life but I'm moving on My heart is grown I'm moving on Yes, I'm moving on My heart is grown I'm moving on Oh, and sometimes it's all it takes is a walk around the lake Oh, and sometimes it's all it takes is a walk 'round the lake | Walk Around the Lake By Lost in Trees | (Lyrics Mania, 2010) | 12

13: The song, Walk Around The Lake sang by the band Lost in Trees is a musical example of art. This combination of lyrics and musical harmonies may be aesthetically pleasing to some individuals, while others may be offended. The lyrics to the song, included on the left, can be used to artistically explain the landscape photograph on the previous page. The world that surrounds us is filled with beautiful examples of art, all taking different forms, provoking unique emotions while being distinct to each individual who experiences them. | photograph, a song or a sculpture. No form of art is more beautiful than the other one; rather each creation has an individual aura of beauty that it radiates. The song is depicting a tranquil lake in which the singer finds solace and serenity. At the same time, the photograph shows a small lake that has been created by winter's gradual and peaceful retreat, which in turn creates a fresh and new season. To me, the combination of the song and the image provokes a very emotionally | The artist begins the song with painting an image of a lake. Just as a painter creates a piece of fine art, the image of a lake can be encapsulated in many other ways such as a | Lost in Trees band members | 13

14: response. When the singer talks about pain, the ice in the photograph remains me of the cold and tight grasp of winter, and this also stimulates the remembrance of my own mistakes. Mistakes are very much like ice; cold, hard, sharp, both cause pain and yet are still very necessary. Ice melts into water, which is necessary for plants to grow. Mistakes morph into life lessons, which are necessary for me to grow. As I am writing this article, I am changing. I am realizing correlations that will affect me. Perhaps this change is temporary or it maybe long lasting, but it all started with a song and a photograph. To some readers, this image may not resonate and some may find the lyrics to be obsolete and therefore come to the conclusion that neither creations are works of art or aesthetically pleasing. But to me, they are beautiful. They have clearly motivated me to create abstract connections, think about my life critically and they certainly have had an impact. Art is something that has the ability to awaken deep emotions and therefore is something that is individual. There cannot be a list of requirements that needs to be met in order for something to be classified as art. If an individual believes it to be art, then to that person, it shall be considered so. | 14

15: Advertisements constantly bombard us, no matter where we look. They have taken over the television, magazines, the radio and now ads have even crept on to YouTube. Even though society may not be able to fight | advertisements, individuals equipped with the proper tools will not be fooled by the propaganda. The above image has a very bold message. The word “abortion” is usually regarded as a trigger for a negative response. | 15

16: When a word is used to ignite strong feelings, and consequently alter an individual's decision on an issue, it is called a “loaded word”. The use of loaded words is an example of a logical fallacy and is used on a regular basis. When politicians speak about their own party's platform they will use words with positive undertones such as prosperity, liberty, freedom, diverse, and improving. Meanwhile vocabulary with negative connotations will be used to describe the opposition. Examples of these words are irresponsible, decline, careless and untrustworthy. This technique maybe effective during elections, but there are dangers that accompany this fallacy. Philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) identified four different "idols" that affect an individual's ability to think critically. "Idols of the Marketplace" is the irresponsible use of words that have the ability to obstruct a human’s understanding of the | core issue. Take the above image for instance. The word “abortion” is assumed to have a negative association, i.e. the death of an unborn child, and therefore the reader is not truly informed of the issue that they instinctively agree with to avoid supporting abortion, i.e. same sex relationships. Although loaded words may provide an effective way to sway an audience's opinion it is essential that individuals are able to look past this logical fallacy, assess the core issue and then come to a conclusion based on unbiased facts. | Francis Bacon (1562-1626) | 16

17: By Andrew Smith Banner Staff LISTOWEL – The weather may have been cold and damp, but the luminaries and smiles continued to shine through the night for the seventh annual Relay for Life in North Perth. Event chair Kathleen Mack welcomed the crowd on Friday, June 8, to the Listowel fairgrounds during the opening ceremony for the cancer fundraising event. Mack said it doesn’t seem that long ago since the annual event launched in North Perth, and that it was amazing to see 32 teams registered for the fight against cancer. “Tonight our community will be supporting, remembering and fighting back,” Mack said. “We come together for many reasons, whether we are here to cheer on our survivors as they walk the first lap, or to remember loved ones we have lost, and to honour those who have survived.” Other dignitaries to speak during the opening ceremonies included Mayor Julie Behrns, and Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece. Pettapiece said there has been a lot of good work done by the community over the last seven years, leading to research providing a cure for some forms of cancer. “We have a long way to go with this disease, and it touches everybody,” he said. “Your efforts here tonight will certainly help.” | Listowel 7th Relay for Life surpasses $800,000 mark | 17

18: MP Gary Schellenberger stressed the importance of volunteers in making the event possible. “Volunteers help make this country run, and cancer can’t be beaten without all the help of you folks sitting out there tonight,” he said. Schellenberger said he participated in a previous Relay for Life event in Stratford, and purchased several luminaries to remember those in his life touched by cancer. “Every time I walked by those luminaries that night, I thought of those people,” Schellenberger said. “I hope when the luminaries are lit this evening, many people are remembered as you walk by them.” Guest speaker Stacey Ash shared her experience with cancer, a story she said should have ended 37 years ago when she was diagnosed with a tumour at the age of two and a half. “I’m here today in part because I had wonderful medical care, but mostly because I was really, really lucky,” Ash said. “Because of people like you, people diagnosed with cancer today don’t have to be as lucky.” Ash said researchers have learned so much since then because of funding provided by events like this, and that deaths from childhood cancer have been cut in half since 1985. Treatment also continues to be more focused and advanced. “Because of people like you, doctors have learned to do more with smaller, more targeted treatments,” she said. “Because of you, we’ve come so far, but the journey is far from over.” Weathering the rain and wind, the sun came up on Saturday morning with a fundraising total of $87,908, and a grand total of $803,040 over seven years. Top fundraising teams were Team Dynamite raising $7,063.71, and the Lax City Rollers, raising $5,660.49, earning them both bronze awards. | MP Gary Schellenberger stressed the importance of volunteers in making the event possible. “Volunteers help make this country run, and cancer can’t be beaten without all the help of you folks sitting out there tonight,” he said. Schellenberger said he participated in a previous Relay for Life event in Stratford, and purchased several luminaries to remember those in his life touched by cancer. “Every time I walked by those luminaries that night, I thought of those people,” Schellenberger said. “I hope when the luminaries are lit this evening, many people are remembered as you walk by them.” Guest speaker Stacey Ash shared her experience with cancer, a story she said should have ended 37 years ago when she was diagnosed with a tumour at the age of two and a half. “I’m here today in part because I had wonderful medical care, but mostly because I was really, really lucky,” Ash said. “Because of people like you, people diagnosed with cancer today don’t have to be as lucky.” Ash said researchers have learned so much since then because of funding provided by events like this, and that deaths from childhood cancer have been cut in half since 1985. Treatment also continues to be more focused and advanced. “Because of people like you, doctors have learned to do more with smaller, more targeted treatments,” she said. “Because of you, we’ve come so far, but the journey is far from over.” Weathering the rain and wind, the sun came up on Saturday morning with a fundraising total of $87,908, and a grand total of $803,040 over seven years. Top fundraising teams were Team Dynamite raising $7,063.71, and the Lax City Rollers, raising $5,660.49, earning them both bronze awards. (Smith, 2012) | 18

19: Ethics is a branch of philosophy that studies the moral principles that guide the behaviour of individuals and societies. In the provided article, the behaviour of the individuals whom participated in the annual Relay of Life is consider to be morally correct, or good. This conclusion is an example of applied ethics. Applied ethics is the practical use of ethics for the determination of right and wrong. But in order for the use of practical application of ethics to be effective, an individual must understand metaethics and normative ethics. Metaethics requires an individual to understand where their moral principles originate and the involvement or absence of a divine being in the discovery of these morals. Normative ethics explores the classification of actions as being right or wrong and how unique | perspectives can be explained by the differences in culture, age, time period and gender. When metaethics and normative ethics are understood then an individual can begin to judge whether an action or event is morally positive or negative. Many people, from various different cultures, age groups and genders would agree that raising money to help fight cancer is a constructive and correct behaviour. This fundraising has helped to increase the chances of survival of cancer victims as well as improve their quality of life. Both of these results would encourage individuals to approve the fundraising. Unfortunately, ethics also requires individuals to dig past the surface value and truly understand a topic prior to supporting it. | 19

20: To make a fully informed decision, one would have to research how an organization spends their money before donating or participating in an event. During this research, it is possible to discover that the organization may not be spending its donated funds as “ethically” as it should be. Does the unethical behaviour of the organization taint the ethical actions of the participants? This answer is neither straight forward nor the same for all people. | Ethics is an area of study that is very individual, but yet is used to create societal values. There is no easy explanation for many issues surrounding ethics, and it is very difficult to satisfy everyone’s definition of what is ethically correct. But as long as an individual fully understands their personal ethics, they will be able to make appropriate decisions for themselves. | Hundred of luminaries are purchased at the Rely for Life in honour of a cancer survivor or in memory of some one who has passed away from cancer. | 20

21: Philosopher's Corner With Martha Nussbaum and Judith Butler | Martha Nussbaum | Judith Butler | 21

22: Martha Nussbaum | Martha Nussabaum was born May 6th, 1947 and is considered to be one of America’s most influential philosophers in the 21st century. Martha received her BA from New York University and both her MA and PhD from Harvard. She has a glorious list of accomplishments, including various television appearances on PBS and the Discovery Channel, working for the United Nations Council and also having the opportunity to teach at the acclaimed universities of Harvard, Brown and Oxford. Martha Nussabaum refers to herself as a “lawyer for humanity”, using her philosophy as an intellectual tool to improve mankind. Her philosophy is based on the premise that all individuals have an inviolable freedom to choose how they live their lives (Schill, 2012). Martha seizes every opportunity she can in order open the minds of those around her. “ ‘Right now Ihave three colleagues who are federal judges – and when I sit down and talk with them, I hope I can change their views on some things, too.’ ” (Boynton, 1999). | This female is such an incredible role model. Under tough criticism, she refuses to back down and continues to prove that all individuals regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, or ethnicity have the power to take control of their own lives. Even though all individuals are not born with equal opportunities, ever human is born with the power and the right to make the life choices that affect them. This is one of the most important concepts that any one can learn. Once an individual realizes they have the power to take control of their lives, they will achieve greatness. | 22

23: Judith Butler | Judith Butler was born February 24th, 1956 and is a very outspoken, American post-structuralist philosopher. She received her BA PhD from Yale in 1984 and has received various awards for her contributions to the philosophical community. Judith has taught at Wesleyan University, George Washington Univeristy, Johns Hopkins University and is currently teaching at the University of California. Judith’s theories revolve around society’s influence on the behaviours of both males and females. Butler states that an individual’s performance is predetermined and socially dictated. These frames outlining behaviour based on gender allows for the categorization of performance as “normal” or “abnormal”. As soon as an individual enters a society, the gender roles immediately begin to influence their behaviour (Europeans Graduate School, 2012). For example, infant females are dressed in pink and lacey dresses. Meanwhile, infant males are clothed in blue outfits usually depicting images of vehicles or sports equipment. Society does depict images of an ideal male and female, but Judith Butler totally disregards an individual’s power to control their behaviour and consciously choose the life that they find best suited for them. | Bulter’s philosophy is cynically towards to society, in failing to recognize the progress of females over the course of history. Even though we live in a society that is still marked with “typical” gender roles, a gender shift, where women are no longer strictly bound to child rearing and a lack of education. The environment surrounding an individual influences every choice he or she makes, but in no way does this environment dictate or predetermine their actions. | 23

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25: References | Bacchetta, J. (2011). Top 100 inspirational quotes to live by. Lived.com. Retrieved from http://www.lifed.com/top-100-inspirational-quotes-to-live-by Boyton, R. (2010). Who needs philosophy?: a profile of Martha Nussbaum. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.robertboynton.com/articleDisplay.php?article_id=55 Butler, J. (1999). Gender trouble. Feminism and the subversion of identity. Taylor and Francis e-library. Retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yzQC9B-jCVQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=judith+butler+gender+trouble&ots=fKeQWxrubM&sig=SxkQ-7Uxf89QN2KjMuORjsbTmDw#v=onepage&q=judith%20butler%20gender%20trouble&f=false European Graduate School. (2012). Judith Butler biography. Retrieved from http://www.egs.edu/faculty/judith-butler/biography/ Lyrics Mania (2010). Walk around the lake lyrics. Retrieved from http://www.lyricsmania.com/walk_around_the_lake_lyrics_lost_in_the_trees.html Schill, M. (2012). Martha Nussbaum. The University of Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/nussbaum/ Smith, A. (2012). Listowel 7th relay of life surpasses $800,000 mark. Southwestern Ontario News. Retrieved from http://www.southwesternontario.ca/news/listowel-7th-relay-for-life-surpasses-800000-mark/ | 25

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