Tuesday, 18 August 2015

animated cave


Friday, 7 August 2015

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Parmenides' Argument

After marking about half the essays, it has come to my attention that people aren’t entirely clear on why Parmenides says that change does not occur.


Here is my interpretation of his argument:


1. Change = motion = destruction

2. In order for something to come into being, there has to be a time where it did not exist

3. Nothing comes from nothing (‘ex nihilo nihil fit’)

4. Therefore nothing ever does not exist

5. Therefore, as Parmenides says, only one thought makes sense, namely ‘it is’

6. Therefore, everything always exists

7. Therefore destruction does not happen (non-existence never comes to exist or occur)

8. Therefore if (1) is true, change does not happen, since change requires destruction or non-existence.


This argument is refuted by denying (1), since not all change involves destruction in the sense of annihilation; some changes merely involve rearrangement of parts without destruction of anything other than the original form of a thing. (1) Could only be true if changing a thing (rearranging it) constitutes destruction (of the form of the thing); which, in a sense, is true; however, the thing still exists (as a new thing).


By the way, it is “Yin Yang” not “ying yang”.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Interesting opinion piece

Please read. It discusses lots of current issues and mentions Logos, and other items in the course, including how philosophers take their morals from their current culture.


Friday, 6 March 2015

How to do Proper Online Research


On this page I list common errors people make in doing online research, that is, gathering data online for the purpose of ultimately writing a research document of some sort, e.g., an academic paper, a factual book, etc. I hope this page is helpful to you. If you think it needs some additional pointers mentioned on it, please let me know.

Please note this page contains the author's opinions only and may differ from the Rules and Regulations of the University. Please consult the University Rules, which overrule these.


Interpreting and Choosing Sources

The most important thing is to use reputable, recognised, accurate sources. There is a lot of information on Internet which is of questionable provenance. In particular, you should avoid making the following mistakes:

Correct English


Please note this page contains the author's opinions only and may differ from the Rules and Regulations of the University. Please consult the University Rules, which overrule these.

Nice page: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/3/8053521/25-maps-that-explain-english

On this page I list common errors people make in their usage of English, and provide the corrections. You'll notice that I can't make up my mind whether English is capitalised or not. I have the same problem with "earth." Anyone want to correct me?

PS If you don't think learning to spell is important, please consider the below:


Apostrophe, possessive and plural forms. This is used to indicate a missing letter which was historically present. Hence, the word "don't" contains an apostrophe because it is a contraction of "do not." the apostrophe replaces the O. Other examples are "let's", which is short for "let us", and "he's", which is short for "he has" or "he is". E.g., "He's got a car" means "he has got a car". Similarly, in the past, i.e., about 1000 years ago, English used -as for plural and -es for possessive (genitive). Since the loss of the vowel in these suffixes, we now use the apostrophe to denote the E in -es (genitive). e.g., John's apple's red colour—meaning, the red colour of the apple of John. If John has more than one apple, it would be apples (without an apostrophe) to indicate the presence of more than one apple, however, if we still want to talk about the red colour of John's apples, we have to add an apostrophe to indicate that we're not putting the -es of possessive form, but we know it should be there. So it would be: John's apples' red colour. American usage retains the second S, i.e., John's apples's red colour.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Missing Plato Exercises

Hi all

For some reason, the printers lost/didn't print the Plato Exercises.

Here they are.

Further Exercises: Plato

You can find all of Plato’s dialogues online.

1. Compare Plato’s cave analogy and Doctrine of the Forms to the metaphysical claims of Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Lao Tzu. Consider whether Plato means that all is illusion, and whether Heraclitus, Parmenides and Lao Tzu would agree. Bonus points if you know about Descartes and can work him into this. (Examinable).

2. Does Plato’s cave analogy explain social or political apathy? How or how not? Is it a coincidence that a metaphysical idea appears in the political work The Republic? Make reference to entertainment. Look up “Panem et Circenses” and say whether you think that there’s a modern parallel. (Examinable).

3. Explain how the Cave, the Line, and the Sun, all interrelate to the doctrine of the Forms. (Examinable).

4. Discuss the main arguments in the extract of the Theaetetus provided here (up to [187]). Who is Plato’s target? What refutations does he offer? Are they successful? What models of knowledge does Plato/Theaetetus offer? Are they successful? (Examinable).