Archives for category: epistemology

Q1. Is languages more than words? Respond with reference to one of the activities completed in class in Week 1 or to AT LEAST two haiku.

Haiku can be found here (http://www.haiku-poetry.org/famous-haiku.html)

Q2. Consider Mark Pagel’s argument about the evolution of language. Do you agree/disagree? Why?

Mark Pagel’s TED talk can be found here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImQrUjlyHUg)

Q3. In your opinion, where does language come from? Is it innate or learned? Respond with reference to Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, and/or Daniel Everett.

Click through to find out more about Noam Chomsky (http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/capsules/outil_rouge06.html), Steven Pinker (http://bigthink.com/videos/how-children-learn-language), and Daniel Everett (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/mar/25/daniel-everett-human-language-piraha)

Q4. Evaluate the usefulness of Natural Semantic Metalanguage

Pages 464-469 in this resource will be helpful (http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/419064/Goddard_2010_OUP_Handbook_Ch18.pdf).

Q5. Does languages reflect or determine thought? Respond with reference to emotion or colour.

For more about colour, watch this documentary from 11:45 (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xl7czm_horizon-do-you-see-what-i-see-part-3-4_shortfilms). For more about emotion, read this journal article (http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/Courses/Spinoza/Texts/Human%20Emotions-Universal%20or%20Culture-Specific.pdf).

Q6. Does language express our identity or does it constitute it? Is our language just a reflection of who we are or does our language make us who we are? Respond with reference to endangered languages or translation.

Discover the magic of this website on endangered languages (http://travel.nationalgeographic.com.au/travel/enduring-voices/).

Q7. Edward Sapir said “Language is a symbolic guide to culture” and “Vocabulary is a very sensitive index of the culture of a people”. Do you agree/disagree? Why?

We’ve covered this pretty extensively in class, but consider all those words that are “not translatable”…

Q8. Should we fear or welcome netspeak? Why/why not?

For more information, click through to this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-483511/I-h8-txt-msgs-How-texting-wrecking-language.html) or this one (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116161/net-speak-because-making-english-warmer-language).

Q9. Must language always change? Can we “protect” it? Keep it “pure”?

To find out more about L’Academie Francaise, read this article (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/03/academie-francaise/). Alternatively, here’s a link through to an article about new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary (http://time.com/3109043/oxford-dictionaries-adds-hot-mess-side-boob-throw-shade/).

Q10. Does censorship change thoughts? Why/why not? Respond with reference to scandals about censoring books that children read.

For more information, click through to this article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11417672) or this one (http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/jan/05/censoring-mark-twain-n-word-unacceptable).

Q11. Can we “reclaim” words? Why/why not?

For more information, click through to this article (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2011/05/30/taking-slut-back-how-a-word-gets-reclaimed/) or this one (http://www.gender-focus.com/2012/07/25/gender-focus-panel-on-reclaiming-negative-words/)

Thank you everyone who participated in class today. Thank you also to all of you playing at home, following Theory of LTC in your own time.

This week’s focus question is:

Do schools teach students knowledge? Should they? What is the purpose of education?

Please leave a comment below with your answer. Don’t be afraid to respond to other people’s answers in your own.

Remember the two rules: Use your initials instead of your real name and enjoy the ride!

Here is Sir Ken Robinson’s speech illustrated by RSA to keep you thinking.

Thank you everyone who participated in class today. Thank you also to all of you playing at home, following Theory of LTC in your own time.

This week’s focus question is:

What is the use of logic? Why should we hope to be logical?

Please leave a comment below with your answer. Don’t be afraid to respond to other people’s answers in your own.

Remember the two rules: Use your initials instead of your real name and enjoy the ride!

Here’s a quote and a logic puzzle to get you started.

There are a thousand and one gates leading into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own gate. We must never make the mistake of wanting to enter the orchard by any gate but our own. To do this is dangerous for the one who enters and also for those who are already there.

– Elie Wiesel

A very special island is inhabited only by knights and knaves. Knights always tell the truth, and knaves always lie.

You meet two inhabitants: Zoey and Mel. Zoey tells you that Mel is a knave. Mel says, `Neither Zoey nor I are knaves.’

Can you determine who is a knight and who is a knave?

– from: http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/logic/knight.php

 

Thank you everyone who participated in class today. Thank you also to all of you playing at home, following Theory of LTC in your own time.

This week’s focus question is:

What is art? What is beauty? Why do they move us so?

Please leave a comment below with your answer. Don’t be afraid to respond to other people’s answers in your own.

Remember the two rules: Use your initials instead of your real name and enjoy the ride!

Here are a couple of quotes from two of my many favourite writers to get you started.

austere walls which students’ hands have arabesque with outsize capital writing and detailed graffiti, just as the cavemen felt the need to decorate the cold walls of their caves to become masters of the tormenting mineral alienness, to make them familiar, empty them into their own inner space, annex them to the physical reality of living.

– Italo Calvino

there is indeed a lack of a firm edge and defined target to what we do, however hard some may work to disguise the fact. Perhaps this is a scandal, perhaps it is a strength. But in either case it makes any attempt to characterize the field synoptically something of an exercise in special pleading

– Clifford Geertz

GREAT design, the management expert Gary Hamel once said, is like Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography — you know it when you see it. You want it, too: brain scan studies reveal that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/opinion/sunday/why-we-love-beautiful-things.html?_r=0

Yes, that’s true. It’s called Currency by Denis Beaubois, sold in 2011, and, the kicker? The $20000 worth of $100 bank notes was completely funded by the Australia Council. Yes, that’s right, the Australian Government’s arts funding body. 

Two questions . One that’s useless because it only has two answers (“yes” or “no”): “Is this a waste of taxpayer’s money?”.

The other’s much better because it has too many answers. I put it to you: “Is this art?”.

Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/visual-arts/cash-artwork-sells-for-21350/story-fn9d3avm-1226126777761.

Dear Wikipedia,

I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all.

Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-wikipedia.html