Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gettin all Intellectual on ya

I know, it's been two weeks since my last post and I feel really bad about it...really. But in my defense, not only has it been the holidays but, I have also been finishing up the last two classes for my Masters degree in Education from Framingham State College. Ohhh...Ahhh...impressed? Good, you should be, cuz these classes have been kicking my butt for the past two weeks nonstop. My cohort and I had Advanced Teaching Strategies and Research and Evaluation back to back, now talk about writing papers, holy hand cramps Batman, I think my right paw is going to be in traction for the next month. I have never written so many research papers and responses and reflections in both of my lifes combined.

Actually this has made me think of something, how about, just for kicks, I share with you a sample of some of the questions I had to answer before the Research and Evaluation course, just so you can see why I have wanted to give my writing brain a break for a few days.

So here we go, put your thinkin caps on cuz I'm about to pop open a can of intellectual whoop ass. But be forewarned, this is not going to be funny and some of you may think this is some of the most boring load of tripe you've ever read in a blog but others may find those thinking juices flowing and want write a response of your own to which I say "Bring it!".

Question #1:
Can you think of some other ways of knowing besides experience and reasoning? What are they? What, if any, are the limitations of these methods?

My Answer:
  1. I would argue that our emotions to some limited extent help us in our “knowing”. Though emotions can be and really are quite fickle I believe they can nevertheless help us in validating our knowledge of something. For example if we do something which has been agreed upon by humanity in general as wrong, like stealing something which doesn’t belong to us, then we feel guilt over that act then that helps us to verify that this is in fact something that is not right. Even without being conditioned to have ideas of right and wrong we as humans in our innermost beings typically know these things (as in the knowledge of good and evil, to use biblical terminology) and our emotions are the projection of this knowledge.
Question #2:
"While certainty is appealing, it is contradictory to a fundamental premise of science." What does this mean? Discuss.

My Answer:
  1. Well when I think back through the annals of science history we see that many times man has been “certain” of something only to find as the years pass and we advance in our knowledge that what had been deemed “fact” was in actuality complete fiction. Take the belief, or at the time the certainty, that the world was flat for an easy example. All the leading scientists of the time thought for certain that the world was indeed flat and that the sun revolved around the Earth. It certainly made plenty of sense based upon the world as man had always seen it, but of course, we found out later that it this was entirely wrong and we laugh at the utter ignorance of the so called scientists of the time. Only to miss the more important point that for all of our “advancements” in say 500 years what will cause men to look back at us and scoff at the ineptitude of our so called “scientists”?
Question #3:
Is there such a thing as private knowledge? If so, can you give an example?

My Answer:
  1. I believe there is such a thing as private knowledge, as in the knowledge we have about ourselves that no one else can obtain. This is simply because no matter how close someone has been with us they have never been there for every event of our life, and even if they were there they may have interpreted the event different than we did. I think it’s the kind of knowledge which we allude to when we say things like “be honest with yourself” or when we refer to looking into one’s innermost being. It’s the kind of knowledge that I and only I have about myself and how I view the world around me. But it also seems to be a knowledge that is not very often recognized or especially thought out, we just know. feel any smarter? I know I sure do...

Thinking Quote of the Day:

"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."
-Terry Pratchett

WHOA, OK, so hold up...before anyone tries to accuse me of suddenly taking this blog all high brow here's this:

"Philosophical cat admits he was only trying to think outside of the box"

Hmm...maybe thinking INSIDE the box is not always such a BAD thing...


bradinthesand said...

learn how to do a freakin cartwheel, bry-man! my girlfriend says you're a terrible tumbler. that goes double for tracy.

hope all's well,

Lewie Tenorio said...

Could it be that the cat poop actually exists in a superposition of states and if it weren't being observed would indeed exist both in and out of the box?

...just kidding. Why do you gotta go and show poop like that? Now I'm all hungry for a chewy granola bar.

Saipan Kat said...

Correction: Tracy was great with cartwheels but you, eh...
By the way, flipcup @ a bar... now that was thinking outside the box!

"Majic" said...

poor bryan...can't do a cartwheel to save his own life *sigh*

dude, still owe u a story! it's been getting better as the days go by, too. might just blog it, actually.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

So did you pass those writtens....or will you be reapplying next term? (:-))

What about vicarious knowing? I know as a result of Brad getting his ass whupped soundly by the big hairy wrestler that prudence dictates I give deference. That is not reasoning nor is it direct experience, thus 'vicarious knowing'.

Saipan Kat said...

Last night I went running at the path way and I felt like someone was chasing me (well there sorta' was) and I thought of you. "I only run in a life and death situation... like a big dog chasing me."

The Hiker said...

I hope you don't teach science! Your answer to the second question was one of the worst that I have read. Science as we practice it today did not exist 500 years ago. It has only existed since the 1700's. I do teach science and science is uncertain because it is based on probability and there is a limit to what we can know because of the limitations on our senses.

Bryan said...

Ummm...that was kinda my imagine how people 500 years from now will say "Science as we practice it today did not exist 500 years ago. It has only existed since the 2200's."

and uh...if you don't agree with me on something that's fine but there's no need to be nasty. Saying that something is the worst you've ever read...seems a bit harsh.

and i'll see if i can find that plant again next week.