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Does human perspective evolve and change, or is it largely the same as in the past, Philosophy homework help

introduction to philosophy

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I need help with a Philosophy question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

After studying with the lectures of "Shamanism, ancient Egyptian thought and ancient Indian thought," I need to take a position on this issue that is whether human perspective evolve and change, or it is largely the same as in the past, supporting or criticizing it. For example, my argument is that human perspective changes over time. This essay should have a clear argument, evidence and supports. I need to use example from my lectures(in the uploaded file), readings and life experience.

The following is what my professor says, "Essays should focus on a single idea or issue, clearly stating your position at the beginning and then using evidence and reasoning to support your position. You are welcome to use your own life experience, current events, historical examples, or examples from fiction, but make sure it is relevant to your argument. I am looking for creative and critical thinking, not a report summarizing the material we study."

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How to Write a Philosophy Essay To write a focused paper that argues for a particular point of view, we must pick an issue and take a position on that issue. While we could invent an issue and position out of the blue, if we pick an issue already discussed it is easier to stay focused and relevant to the subject matter. Let us say that a thinker or school of thought has taken a position on an issue, and we want to argue for or against this position. Let us assume that there are rival thinkers with opposite positions on the issue. Let us call the first position A, and the opposite position B. While A and B can agree on any unlimited number of points, they must disagree on at least one point. To begin an essay, we briefly state the two positions before we take a position ourselves. Example 1: Kant argues that morality is anchored in good beginnings (intent, morals, duty) Mill argues that morality is anchored in good ends (happiness, utility, consequences). Both Kant and Mill believe one should use rules and act for the good of society, but Kant believes that one should never break rules while Mill believes rules only serve as tools to achieve good consequences. Example 2: Mencius argues that human nature is essentially good, while Hsun Zi argues that human nature is essentially evil. Both agree that society is necessary for self improvement, but Mencius argues that society is rooted in human nature while Hsun Zi argues that society is corrective to human nature. Example 3: Hindus argue that the self/mind/soul is eternal, while Buddhists argue that the self/mind/soul is temporary/mortal. Both agree that karma determines rebirth, but Hindus argue that we always retain our particular individual self while Buddhists argue that extinction of the self and identity with the whole can be achieved through effort and practice. Now that we have stated the issue and the two opposite positions, we can take a position or stand on it ourselves. There are five possible positions to take between positions A and B. The first position is ‘All A, no B’. This is an ‘all and none’,‘absolute’, ‘categorical’, or ‘black and white’ position. The second position is ‘Mostly A, but also some B’. This is a ‘some and some not’, relative, ‘grey’ or ‘grey area’ position, yet it still gives dominance to one side versus the other. The third position is ‘Some A and also some B’. This is a ‘some/some not’, relative and ‘grey area’ position that gives dominance to neither side. The fourth position is ‘Mostly B and also some A’. It is the second position, but favors B. The fifth position is ‘All B, no A’. This is the first position, but entirely for B. If we examine the issue and find ourselves agreeing with position A, we need only consider the first three. We must choose one of the three based on how much we agree or disagree with the opposite position B. In a debate with an answering opponent, we must also judge based on how effectively and in what position our opponent will argue for B. If we believe that there is no argument or evidence for B, we can argue ‘All A, no B’. The advantage is that this is the most forceful and least conceding position to take. The disadvantage is that any effective argument for any B, even some little B, makes this position seem ignorant and overly generalizing. Ex: “Mill is entirely correct. Rules, morals and laws exist simply for the good of humanity.” If we believe that there is some argument or evidence for B, but there is more argument and evidence for A, we can argue ‘Mostly A but also some B’. The advantage is that any argument for B can be incorporated into our argument and the position still maintained. The disadvantage is that we must concede from the start to ‘some B’, which gives the opponent a foothold. We are still putting our money on A, but we are hedging our bets. Ex: “I side with Mill, but Kant also has a point. While rules, morals and laws exist for the good of humanity, it is also true that they must be upheld in many situations where there will be bad consequences.” If we believe that there is equal argument and evidence for A and B, we can argue ‘Some A and also some B’. The advantage of being on both sides is that any argument or evidence can be incorporated into our argument. The disadvantage is that this does not forcefully argue for any particular position, and our opponent can argue we are not taking a stand on the issue. The counter to this is we are taking all sides and viewing the issue as a whole. Ex: “Kant and Mill are two sides of the same coin. We should equally uphold rules, morals and laws while also questioning their effectiveness when we repeatedly fail to achieve good ends.” To write an effective essay, pick an issue from the material and argue for one side ‘all and none’ (position 1), for one side ‘some and some not’ (position 2) or both sides equally (position 3). Remember to use examples from the lectures, reading and your life experience, but also remember to focus on developing your own thought and argument rather than taking time and space repeating what has already been argued and written by others. The goal of the paper is not to simply take a position, but to take a position effectively. If you take positions 1 or 2, demonstrate why your are taking position A over B. If you take position 3, argue why neither A nor B is sufficient without its complimentary opposite. After studying with the lectures of "Shamanism, ancient Egyptian thought and ancient Indian thought," I need to take a position on this issue, supporting or criticizing it. For example, my argument is that human perspective changes over time. This essay should have a clear argument, evidence and supports. I need to use example from my lectures(in the uploaded file), readings and life experience. The following is what my professor says, "Essays should focus on a single idea or issue, clearly stating your position at the beginning and then using evidence and reasoning to support your position. You are welcome to use your own life experience, current events, historical examples, or examples from fiction, but make sure it is relevant to your argument. I am looking for creative and critical thinking, not a report summarizing the material we study." Intro Philosophy 1: Human Thought, Shamanism & Ancient Cosmology Before diving into the philosophers of ancient India, Greece and China, we must look at the early stages of human knowledge, wisdom and civilization to understand what philosophy is and where it comes from. First, we will consider the positives and negatives of human thought as a general frame for understanding philosophy and all systems/cultures of thought. Second, we will look at shamanism as the basic worldwide culture out of which all cultures emerged. Third, we will look at early city states (focusing on ancient Egypt and its wisdom) to see how cultures developed as they grouped together in the first empires. The Positives and Negatives of Human Thought Human thought, and thus the human world, is dominated by pairs of opposites. It is often useful to think of these opposites in terms of positive and negative. Good is positive, while bad is negative. Being is positive, while non-being is negative. Full is positive, while empty is negative. Note that “positive” does not always mean happy or good and “negative” does not always mean sad or bad. When we say “order” and “chaos”, closure (stability) sounds good and openness (instability) sounds bad. However, when we say “freedom” and “restraint”, openness (unconstrained) sounds good and closure (constrained) sounds bad. When we want stability or order, openness is bad (“chaos”). When we want to be free and unconstrained, openness is good (“freedom”). A person, place or thing can be positive in some ways and negative in others. It depends on context, position and location. In many ways, places and times, happiness and solidity are good and in others they are bad. No particular thing is perfectly good or completely solid. We judge the table (and the wheel, as Laozi the Daoist will explain soon) to be simply solid and the space around it to be simply empty, but no table is immortal or unbreakable, and no space is a perfect vacuum. Even outer space is full of dust, light and everything else in the universe. In the same way, particular things that are good or make us happy do not always make us happy and do not make everyone happy. Often, things that make one person happy continue to make another unhappy because they make the first person happy. Human belief/judgment has its own special pairs of opposites. The most basic is belief (positive) and doubt (negative). Belief is an answer or answering, and doubt is a question or questioning. In politics, conservatives lean towards believing and affirming the institution (often looking to the stability and consistency of the past) while progressives lean towards doubting and questioning the institution (often looking to the openness and change of the future). In systems of thought, dogmatists (also called positivists today) lean towards answers and affirming the truths of the system (“There are certain facts, morals and truths.”) while skeptics lean towards questions and doubting the truths of the system (“Are there certain facts, morals and truths?”). According to Hegel, one of my favorite philosophers, human thought is an endless battle between dogmatism and skepticism. This battle is also a symbiotic evolution requiring both sides. When we look at the history of human thought, from its origins in shamanism to its evolution and specialization with religion, philosophy, art and science, we can see that both dogmatism and skepticism play necessary roles. Without a base that is assumed and unquestioned, nothing new can be produced. However, without reaching for the new and questioning the old there is no growth to improve and fit new circumstances. The great thinkers in human thought, across all systems, incorporate the old while bringing us the new. Often they are called heretics in their time and only canonized after they are safely dead because they have to question the very system that they stand for. Many unfortunately believe that philosophy was born in ancient Greece, when in fact wisdom is universal to human kind even though it is difficult to achieve. The wise, though rarer than we would like, have been celebrated in all cultures, and their wisdom has similarity across all cultures even though their beliefs can differ widely. While the word ‘philosophy’ is an ancient Greek word, great thinkers and questioners can be called philosophers and sages in any culture. It should also be mentioned that philosophers were not welcome in ancient Greece as they questioned the ways of things (traditional polytheism) and as such Socrates was put to death for “inciting the youth to riot”, Aristotle fled Athens after the death of his student Alexander (a foreign Macedonian who conquered Athens by the sword, Aristotle being an unwelcome foreigner from Strageira in Athens himself), and Heraclitus, my favorite Greek philosopher, complains that his city state Ephesus exiled their best thinker for questioning things and it would be best if all Ephesians went and hanged themselves to leave the city in the abler hands of children. What is philosophy? Philosophy has been called “thinking about thinking”, questioning and answering the very process of questioning and answering itself. The ancient Greek philosophers (such as Heraclitus, Socrates and Plato, who we will study) critically examined their own thinking and their traditions of thought and brought new answers by questioning the human mind and society. While these Greek thinkers should be read and admired, they were not the first or only ancient thinkers to ask abstract questions about thought itself. The Greek word “philosophy” means “love of wisdom”. What is wisdom? The German philosopher Hegel tells us that there are dueling parts of our individual mind that fight and cooperate on the individual level just as dogmatism and skepticism fight and cooperate on the social level. These two parts are understanding and reason, and these correspond to knowledge and wisdom. Understanding tries to hold things set and steady (the conservative force) while reason tries to challenge and rearrange things (the progressive force). Knowledge is a set understanding, while wisdom is the ability to reason. All systems of thought use both understanding and reason to produce both knowledge and wisdom. The Greek philosophers were known for wisdom, for questioning the ways that individuals and societies can have knowledge, beliefs and answers. Were the Greeks the first or only ancient people to have philosophers? In Miguel Leon-Pontilla’s book Aztec Thought and Culture, he argues that the Aztec and Mayan poets questioned their societies and systems of knowledge, asking open ended questions such as “Do we know the gods exist?”, “Is there an afterlife, like the ancestors said there is?”, and “Can we ever know these things?”. Indeed, when we look at ancient cultures we find both questioning and answering, knowledge as well as wisdom, in ancient Greece and ancient everywhere else. No society would survive without pushing in both directions. Systems of thought are always sites of disagreement as much as they are of agreement. Only a few years ago, the Attorney General of Arizona crafted legislation against teachers who provide programs celebrating Latino culture as they are dangerously “antiWestern”, and pointed specifically to teaching that Aztecs and Mayans had philosophers as Leon-Portilla argues. Apparently, it is biased and thus un-Western to teach that concepts such as, “You are my other self” (much like Confucius, who we will study) and “Continue to investigate things endlessly” (much like Heraclitus, who we will study) is evidence that the Aztecs and Mayans had philosophy. It is perceived as a threat to American culture to equate the ancient Mayans with the ancient Greeks. It is not just the Attorney General who thinks this, but academics with PhDs who continue to provide the ground for this belief in their publications. The most primitive societies value individual achievement, which often becomes the subject of legend. It is difficult and frightening to oppose common opinion, but worth it. While many think that Western thought is more individual and free than other traditions, arguments over the meaning of common knowledge and traditions are found everywhere. In the logic class, we read a text by the famed anthropologist Malinowski who studied the tribes of Papua, New Guinea in the 1940s. He asks, “Are primitive people logical?”, and he argues that they are. Human language typically has words for ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘if-then’, and all the operations of ancient Greek, ancient Indian, and modern European logic. He gives an excellent example of a tribesman tripping and falling, accusing an evil spirit of causing it, and his fellow tribes-people rebuking him and saying that he is merely clumsy. Many reputable books state that the ancient Greeks were the first to understand things in terms of cause and effect, which is ludicrous. Demons and spirits were thought to cause things by the ancient Greeks and many ancient cultures long before them. It is also commonly held that the ancient Greeks such as Aristotle invented logic. Not only did ancient India have talented logicians in many schools of thought, but as Malinowski argues you can see people in the most primitive cultures arguing rationally, systematically and hypothetically (“If that were true…”). Consider the following argument: “Because all elevators play jazz music, jazz is the Devil’s playground, and one should avoid the Devil, elevators are to be avoided.” You can follow this argument because it is logical. As we learn early on in any modern logic course, an argument is logically valid if the conclusion follows from the premises, and it does not matter whether or not the premises are true. You can construct logical arguments that include the premise, “all puppies are green”, which is useful to show how logic works. The elevator argument is Aristotle’s first syllogism, and it does not appear that he invented the form but rather examined it critically. Tribal Shamans and Ecstatic Quests Before humanity settled down into civilizations, we lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers in tribes of dozens to hundreds of individuals. While beliefs vary between tribes, our ancestors shared similar beliefs about spirits as the invisible forces behind the visible in nature and ourselves, a system of thought known as animism. While many today believe that we modern and civilized people are beyond superstitious beliefs in invisible spirits, we could also consider the view that our species never got beyond animism, but rather the invisible spirits became more complicated along with our living arrangements. For the last thousand years, Christians and Muslims also claimed to be beyond the superstitions of nomadic tribes they encountered. From an evolutionary perspective, organized religion and institutionalized science are ancestors of animism. The French philosopher and anthropologist Bruno LaTour claims that it is we, the Tribe of the Moderns, who are the most superstitious and mythological people yet on the planet. Shaman is a Siberian word that means ‘one who knows’, the earliest authorities. Life is full of problems, and across cultures we consult experts to explain the forces behind things and then use the invisible forces of good against the forces of evil, such as using reason and wisdom to fight ignorance and stupidity in a philosophy class. Consider that a “scientist” is one who “sees” and “divides” in the Latin, and that philosophy and theology used to be the highest of the sciencias. The Shaman is the one who not only holds the traditions of knowledge but who seeks new answers to problems. The shaman is both the preserver of the old and the seeker of the new, the one who keeps the traditions but also searches for new answers when the old traditions do not work. In tribal culture, traditional knowledge and wisdom is often kept and passed on in the form of stories or narratives. These stories explain the world and help people with their problems. The wise elder can even tell a story they know to be fiction as if it were true to help others and be passed on to future generations as an answer to a common problem. There are, however, times when the stories do not help and a new answer must be sought for a problem. Guided by the traditions but seeking beyond it, experts and leaders must broaden their horizons and then often become celebrated by new legends. To do this, the shaman goes on quests, both physical and mental, for the solution and new knowledge needed to solve the problem. Often the shaman is selected by another shaman or shamans as a youth who has gone through a near death experience (sickness, struck by lightning, attacked but survives). The shaman is thought to have an affinity for seeking into the unknown because they are already experienced in the unknown. Near death experiences give new perspective. To quest for knowledge, the shaman employs techniques of ecstasy known to produce an ecstatic experience. “Ecstasy” comes from ancient Greek and means “standing outside” (exstasis) or “outstanding”. It is both a going beyond and going within, beyond common reality by getting deeper into reality. When one is in an ecstatic trance or having an ecstatic vision, one is standing outside normal reality and seeing it from a different place and context. Consider that shamans often go down into a cave or up on a mountain to ...
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Final Answer

Attached.

The Change in Human Perspective - Outline
Thesis Statement: Human perspective changes and evolves and the change can be attributed to
the establishment of new belief systems as well as discoveries in different areas of the society.
I. Introduction
II. Spiritualism
A. Shamanism
B. Transition from the traditional to the modern
C. Perception of the universe
III. Perception of other peoples
IV. Government systems
A. Loyalism
B. Democracies
V. Cognitive change
A. The theory of the heart
B. Civilization and critical thinking
C. Religious critique
VI. Conclusion


Running head: THE CHANGE IN HUMAN PERSPECTIVE

The Change in Human Perspective
Name
Institution

1

THE CHANGE IN HUMAN PERSPECTIVE

2

The Change in Human Perspective
Human perspective can be seen as the psychology of human behavior that emphasizes the
good in human behavior and the view of the world through empathy. It could be argued that
human perspective does not change and what is seen, as modernization is the application of the
same ancient ideas in a different state of the world. On the other hand, human perspective can be
seen as a changing aspect of the world with the formation of religions and evolving of thinking
processes over time. Human perspective changes and evolves and the change can be attributed to
the establishment of new belief systems as well as discoveries in different areas of the society.
Spiritualism
Shamanism in ancient history changed to organized religion in the modernized world. In
the study of Shamanism, it is evident that Shamans were knowledgeable and they did their work
while relying on the collection of information (Eliade, 1961). The organization of people’s
settlements was based on their localities and language. However, their dependence on the
Shamans as the source of guidance changed over time. The transition from Shamanism to
organized religion can be seen as a change in perspective. The reasoning behind that is the
realization that shamans were viewed as the only ones connecting to spiritualism. The
development of religions such as Buddhism as seen with Buddha was based on the connection of
every being with the divine world of spiritualism. The example shows the change of perspective
from the shamanism basis of belief in only the shamans accessing the spiritual world to a mo...

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