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I'm glad I have an easygoing teacher, and I'm hoping that means I'll get a good grade on the test. We had 31 objective questions and 1 essay question...and he didn't tell us how he would weight the sections of the test, so that's what we'll find out some time next week, I hope. I had lots of fun talking with my classmates after we were done with the test.=) Some of them were joking (but in a serious way) about their heads exploding. LOL!

One guy who's a security person at the school and is taking classes towards getting a Criminal Justice degree told a joke about Descartes. According to the joke, Descartes was at a bar and had had quite enough to drink, so when he was asked whether he wanted another drink, he said, "I think not," and disappeared. We all laughed and talked about how dead that joke would be with people who are not familiar with Descartes. Chris B. mentioned how much he thinks it kills jokes to have to explain them. But the really sad thing is...I started analyzing the joke (not out loud, mind you!), and decided that the joke's basis is illogical. Since Descartes could have conceived of disembodied existence, his disappearance wasn't really that funny. And saying I think not is a sign that he does think. Okay, that's totally over-analyzed and ignoring some aspects of the joke...but it was kind of funny.

Some of my classmates really aren't enthusiastic about philosophy, but I actually think it's kind of fun. For once in my life, I actually feel like logic is a guiding principle of what's being presented (at least by the teacher...the text is another story). Summer classes are interesting...five days a week, two hours a day, for five weeks. Chris said he's taking a weekend class, too, so he's also there on Saturdays. Good grief! I'm glad my second summer session will keep classes on weekdays. I have to have a break someday! I need time to reflect.

I love to study other things, so I like to have the time to do that. Monday, I borrowed a bunch of philosophy books from the library, but I haven't had time to read them yet. I started one by Francis Schaeffer this evening, but didn't get very far before I ended up deciding to sleep. Now I really should go to bed because there are things to do tomorrow, and a wedding we should be at by four in the afternoon. Speaking of weddings...oh, well, maybe later I'll talk about my theological debate with myself over something.=\

Okay, here's my trend...I seem to end many of my entries by saying that I should get to bed, but that "ending" hardly ever ends up being the end. Useless observation, I guess. But I should end even though I want to say other things.

Oh, at least I can say that I thought the philosophy test was pretty easy. But that's without knowing what grade the teacher will give me. I want 100%!=) We shall see, though.
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We'll see how I do. I need just over 88% average on the tests, I think, to get an A in the class...and there are five tests, so I should be in good shape even if I don't do perfectly on the tests. I'm kind of assuming that 15% of my grade is going to be pretty automatic because the teacher told us we could get it through three different ways of participation (even if we only really did one): involvement with the material as evidenced by doing well on tests, especially on the essay portions; participation in discussion; and attendance. I am not discussing, but I think I'll get the other two...

Anyway, I'm hoping tomorrow's exam goes well. I'm never quite sure if I've really studied enough for a test. But I need to stop now and just go to bed. I don't think I'll have much, if any, more time to study before I take the test...which is why I'm really serious about wondering if I'm ready. But I guess I'll find out tomorrow, so why worry about it tonight? I feel like we're doing mental gymnastics in my class because some of the people just don't get the concepts, so we end up talking about rather unrelated questions and the poor teacher tries to figure out how to relate them, I'm guessing so that the students don't look too stupid. Today, though, he finally stopped the discussion of something because it was too far from the important topic. Instead of saying that the students simply didn't get it, he said, "My brain hurts." LOL! Somehow, that's not what I had ever pictured a philosophy teacher (one with a doctorate in the subject, no less) saying.
songofjoy02: (Default)
Actually, I'm specifically wondering about Ryle's concept of a "category mistake" that Descartes (and others) made in their philosophy of the mind. Here's a sort of brief description, if you're not familiar with it. I think what confuses me is the whole "over and above" phrase. Is he saying that it's wrong to conclude that the mind is in a higher classification/categorization than the individual parts that make it up (or that it sums up what they are)...or that it is the correct way to view it? In other words, is he for or against the idea that the mind is the sum of the parts as well as a different categorization of them? Talking about this in class today, the instructor compared this idea to reducing mental processes to digestive processes. Of course, it seems (and the teacher noted this, of course) that the mental process involves far more complexity than does the digestive process...so the question was whether Ryle's analogy held or not. But I still don't think I get it...

Which is why I'm having so much difficulty explaining my question. Do any of you have any ideas? I have the test tomorrow. I like going to class everyday, but it does leave a lot less time for research and trying to absorb the material as much as I would like. =\ I really do think I've "got it" enough, but I'm still not 100% sure.=)

In other news, my mom and little sister left this morning. My oldest brother is in Europe. So we've only got seven people at home at the moment. It's just for six days, though. I'm glad for Memorial Day, because I'm really not sure how to juggle school and work along with trying to help at home while my mom is gone. My dad's going to work on Memorial Day, so I'll be at home alone with the five boys. I'll have lots of work for them to do!;-) We'll have to get the house clean and do lots of other fun things. LOL! I think going to school and work is easier.

Well, I'd better get back to studying for my test.
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From Go-Quiz.com

So...in philosophy, I have a crazy teacher (he's smart, though) teaching us about different theories about the relationship of the mind to the body. Amazingly, one girl was totally unacquainted with basic elements of Hinduism and she was totally horrified that anyone would have any desire to become a part of the World Soul and lose their individual identity as she understands it (not that it was ever explained in those terms). Sheltered, sheltered I've always been...but it's always interesting to me to meet people who've missed things like that. How could you live your life without ever encountering people with that mindset? A Hindu lady sits at the desk behind me and when the teacher asked her about her beliefs as far as the mind and body, she said that, yes, she believes that they are both an illusion and that the soul is the only reality.
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My teacher just got his doctoral dissertation published in the spring (I think) of 2003, so he's a new PhD...and I would never have guessed, since he's so unassuming about it. I think he's probably in his mid to late thirties. He said the law of non-contradiction is basic to meaningful philosophy, so we're off to a good start in that class.=) And Chris from Western Civ. is also in that class, along with a bunch of other younger people. I guess a lot of people are taking summer classes. It's going to be interesting to see the same people every weekday for five weeks!

Our computer was down Saturday and most of Sunday, so that's why I didn't post...not that it would have made much difference since I don't post often, but...

Anyway, my health is finally returning, for which I am VERY, VERY grateful!!! I was able to sing with the choir yesterday as we practiced for and then did a one-hour (or so) program. I did get breaks from singing, though, while I accompanied the children. LOL! Some breaks! Exercising fingers or voice...which is better? Sometimes I'm not sure.

I just picked up Lee Strobel's "Case for Faith" from the Christian bookstore. Excellent book...addresses all the common arguments from a philosophical and scientific perspective. Very pertinent not only to the issues in Francis Schaeffer's "The God Who Is There" (which we've been doing in Sunday school) but also to the stuff in my philosophy textbook.

So...time to go. I really should go to the store, the library, and the bank before I return home to do my philosophy homework for tomorrow.=) Bye!

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