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A bit of a problem with the liberal arts department

by Nano-Passion
Tags: arts, department, liberal
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Nano-Passion
#19
Feb18-12, 01:19 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by Deveno View Post
personally, i'd be inclined to do what i would do anyway, to the best of my ability. it comes down to: who do you want to be...the person you'd like to be, or the person you'd like other people to think you are?

for some, the outward image is everything: social standing and reputation mean more to them than any inward ideal. there's nothing wrong with this, but it is certainly a different path than being true to what you believe. but, in all fairness...that way (living your beliefs) is fraught with cost: for there will be many people who don't see things as you do, and may actively put obstacles in your way.

that said: there is something to be said for trying to put aside your own beliefs, and understand someone else's. there's a fine line between stubbornness, and pig-headedness. and, just because your professor may be prejudicial, doesn't make you right.

in other words: it's not just about how well-written your paper might have been. are you learning anything from the class? is that showing in what you've written? are you aware of the short-comings in your own belief system?

if the answer to all of the above is "yes", then it could be a case of simple injustice. life is like that, it's rather hard to avoid. don't worry, the class won't go on forever.
I'm learning, but I'm not aware of the short-comings of my own belief system. To me science is and just is. It is truth. Of course it is not the complete truth, and there are lots of holes to fill; but I would rank it higher then vague ideas of the soul etc. I'm going to visit my professor and learn as much as possible about his own ideas though. I will give it a chance.

[QUOTE=twofish-quant;3768939]B+ is good. [quote]
For an intro to philosophy class it is not good (to me).

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
The question then becomes can *you* constructively deal with people that have different philosophical beliefs. Also, can *you* think in the mindset of someone whose beliefs you fundamentally disagree with. If you can't, then I don't think you should get an A in the course.
I can deal with others with different philosophical beliefs, I'm a relativist at heart. But when I hear ideas that science is materialistic, and to resist mentioning science then my ears tend to slightly close. Using science as a guide to philosophy is almost a common sense to me. Science becomes a guideline in which you can thread, because it holds elements of truth. It keeps philosophy from straying too far. Philosophers use science unknowingly to an extent. You don't hear of philosophers saying "we are the most important beings in the universe because we are the center of the universe," simply because science says we aren't even the center of the solar system. Science is a guideline, it keeps philosophy from running wildly rampant away from reality. I realize that science has a lot of evolution to do, but its what we have now.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
(Also, personally, I think it is *extremely* unwise to make science the center of your life. Science is far, far too uncertain for that.)
Science is as certain as it gets. Science is based on more certainty than any liberal arts. It is certainly more certain than pseudo ideas of astrology and other who are not supported by science.

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
And you got a B+. If you are going to go into a tail spin because you got a B+, you are not going to do well in graduate school.
Well, its just the fact that it is an intro to philosophy class and because the grade was because of a philosophical difference--my paper being materialistic in his opinion. I thought different philosophical ideas were supposed to be accepted by the validity of their argument. And if you ask me, the validity of my arguments are much more than other pseudo-scientific ideas of the soul (whatever soul is supposed to mean anyways).

Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
The other thing is that I think it's more likely that my view of the world is closer to your professors than it is to yours. I think the statement that "science is the pursuit of truth, and philosophy through science is only stronger" is fundamentally wrong, and if you are getting a professor that is forcing you to question that statement (and I don't think he is being a jerk about it) that's good for you.
I can't see how it is fundamentally wrong. See my previous argument about this.

You are a very scientific- minded individual (or so it seems). I don't see how you would actually dismiss science and pursue other vague ideas.
Nano-Passion
#20
Feb18-12, 01:20 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by mege View Post
Think about it conversely: what if you wrote a paper about philosophy on your E&M midterm? Especially after the professor specifically told you 'numbers & symbols only' on your test? "What is EMF really? It's nothing more than our imagination..." I don't think will get you very far.

I think you should count yourself lucky that you got a B+ for doing something your instructor specifically said he didn't want (sounds like he wanted something purely metaphysical). Part of a liberal education is learning to think differently - or at least express yourself in different terms. Applying the same rhetoric to every paper/class/experience doesn't actually expand your personal context. Humanities classes are supposed to expand the horizons for STEM majors just as Science classes are supposed to expand the horizons for English majors.
But it was philosophy. It was my philosophy of the good life, verified by the idea of science of happiness. That doesn't compare to using electromagnetism verified by philosophy, because philosophy doesn't verify electromagnetism.

Also, he didn't say beforehand to avoid science. He only said it after he handed back our papers. I didn't go against his wished or anything. He asked for a philosophical paper, and I gave him one.

Quote Quote by mal4mac View Post
I've known professors, atheist or theist, who would have given me an F for totally ignoring their explicit demand. And actually rubbing his face in it with that title! The essay would have come back in shreds from some of those profs... Why not stretch your mind by trying to 'leave the science out'?
His demand was only noted after the paper was given back.

Quote Quote by sweetpotato View Post

EDIT: Plus, just because something is at the center of your belief system doesn't mean you must bring it up all the time. For example, I am Christian, but I once took a class in Existentialist Philosophy, much of which denies the value of Christianity or other religions. I did not feel the need to bring my personal beliefs into my essays. In fact, I am glad I took this class and was exposed to new ideas and beliefs that contradicted my own.


But I didn't bring any personal beliefs in. I simply noted the good life, and based it around happiness. Then, I supported it by what neuroscience and psychology has to say about happiness. How is that a personal belief? Its an impersonal and objective reality supported by hundreds of years of work.
Quote Quote by Mmm_Pasta View Post
I think they were using an example to undermine the claim that humanities professors are the only ones that grade based on they want to hear.

A B+ is still good, and you should be more concerned about learning that a grade. Your professor seems to really care about your learning and most likely wants you to think from a different perspective. I feel his personal beliefs have very little to do with how he graded you.

Thinking in a non-scientific perspective may be doing you a favour. There are times when I don't want to talk about science at all. Although I love physics, I do think I would get a little annoyed if the physics of cooking was mentioned frequently when I talk about my cooking. :P
I'll visit my professor his next office hours and will listen to his beliefs. I want to understand them as much as possible. I'll seek first to understand, then to speak. Then I'll adjust my following papers accordingly (to some extent).
920118
#21
Feb19-12, 06:29 AM
P: 31
Quote Quote by Nano-Passion View Post
[1]But it was philosophy. It was my philosophy of the good life, verified by the idea of science of happiness. That doesn't compare to using electromagnetism verified by philosophy, because philosophy doesn't verify electromagnetism.
[...]
[2] I'll visit my professor his next office hours and will listen to his beliefs. I want to understand them as much as possible. I'll seek first to understand, then to speak. Then I'll adjust my following papers accordingly (to some extent).
(bold added by me)

1. Would you mind telling what your thesis was, and how you went about to defend it? Based on your claim above it sounds, to me at least, as if you totally messed up.

2. Either your professor is an ***, and tweaking your essays according to his views is a good idea, or you're consistently missing the point. I for one have never had a professor give me a bad grade for disagreeing with him/her, and I've never met anyone who has either.
Jobrag
#22
Feb20-12, 06:09 AM
P: 478
"leave the science out of it, this is a philosophy paper," and "don't write about the chemistry of happiness."

Which bit of this sentence didn't you understand?
Nano-Passion
#23
Feb20-12, 12:10 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by Jobrag View Post
"leave the science out of it, this is a philosophy paper," and "don't write about the chemistry of happiness."

Which bit of this sentence didn't you understand?
Let me answer that question with a direct quote of my original post.
Quote Quote by Nano-Passion
Later, I figure out why I attained that grade. During class, the professor mentioned "leave the science out of it, this is a philosophy paper," and "don't write about the chemistry of happiness."
What bit of this sentence did you not understand? Later implies after. After what? After the test was handed back.
micromass
#24
Feb20-12, 12:13 PM
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Quote Quote by Nano-Passion View Post
Let me answer that question with a direct quote of my original post.


What bit of this sentence did you not understand? Later implies after. After what? After the test was handed back.
So if you figured it out, why are you still blaming the professor for your grade?? You know what was wrong now and how you should fix it.
Nano-Passion
#25
Feb20-12, 12:21 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
So if you figured it out, why are you still blaming the professor for your grade?? You know what was wrong now and how you should fix it.
But there is nothing wrong with the essay. Obviously there was a disagreement between his and my philosophy. He stated it himself when he said "science is materialistic." I realize that one should try to adapt to prejudice and bias with respect to grades but I don't see why so many on this thread are agreeing with him. I guess the only argument that will hold is whether my essay has many flaws or fulfills the criteria.

Quote Quote by 920118 View Post
(bold added by me)

1. Would you mind telling what your thesis was, and how you went about to defend it? Based on your claim above it sounds, to me at least, as if you totally messed up.

2. Either your professor is an ***, and tweaking your essays according to his views is a good idea, or you're consistently missing the point. I for one have never had a professor give me a bad grade for disagreeing with him/her, and I've never met anyone who has either.
1) The essay was to be written on your idea of a good life. My thesis was that the good life to me was happiness. I'll post my essay to see how I defended it. Though there isn't much to defend, it is a personal essay of what the good life to you is. Not what IS the good life. It was specifically stated by him many times.

2) Well that is pretty much what happened. My essay just didn't agree with his views, and he shunned my philosophy as materialistic. I'll post my essay in a few moments.
micromass
#26
Feb20-12, 12:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Nano-Passion View Post
But there is nothing wrong with the essay. Obviously there was a disagreement between his and my philosophy. He stated it himself when he said "science is materialistic." I realize that one should try to adapt to prejudice and bias with respect to grades but I don't see why so many on this thread are agreeing with him. I guess the only argument that will hold is whether my essay has many flaws or fulfills the criteria.
Uuuh, science by definition is materialistic... You better have very good arguments to argue the contrary.

I don't quite understand it anymore. Before you wrote your essay, didn't he say "no science"?? That implies that your grade is the result of not following his instructions and the grade would be entirely justified.
If he said "no science" after the essay was written and handed in, then you might have a point.
Nano-Passion
#27
Feb20-12, 12:52 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
Uuuh, science by definition is materialistic... You better have very good arguments to argue the contrary.

I don't quite understand it anymore. Before you wrote your essay, didn't he say "no science"?? That implies that your grade is the result of not following his instructions and the grade would be entirely justified.
If he said "no science" after the essay was written and handed in, then you might have a point.
Better to be materialistic than be superstitious. I don't see a problem with "materialistic." The way he said it held a negative connotation, as if he looked down upon it.

He said no science after the essay was written and handed in. Anyways, at the moment I'm trying to upload my essay on google document but I'm running into a bit of a problem. I'll upload it in a few moments.
Nano-Passion
#28
Feb20-12, 01:10 PM
P: 1,306
For the readers:

Format asked of:

2-3 pages (I gave him 5 pages but he didn't seem to mind, 2-3 was probably a minimum).
Clearly bold and underline your sections
Section 1: Introduction, briefly introduce your personal idea of a good life.
Section 2: Correlation, correlate it to another philosophy of a good life.
Section 3: Group Input, how did your group contribute/discuss your correlation
Section 4: Theory, name your theory and discuss it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My essay: https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/aSjbda
SophusLies
#29
Feb20-12, 02:14 PM
P: 222
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
So if you figured it out, why are you still blaming the professor for your grade?? You know what was wrong now and how you should fix it.
I agree.

To Nano-Passion: From the requirements stated earlier, it's very clear that you didn't follow them correctly. There comes a point when you have to accept that you did something wrong. I'm very bullheaded too but this is getting out of hand. Fix it and move on.
ModusPwnd
#30
Feb20-12, 02:21 PM
P: 1,100
Quote Quote by twofish-quant View Post
B+ is good.

Not in my experience. B+ is bad, its going to set your GPA back and make your grad application less competitive.
920118
#31
Feb20-12, 02:59 PM
P: 31
Quote Quote by Nano-Passion View Post
For the readers:

Format asked of:

2-3 pages (I gave him 5 pages but he didn't seem to mind, 2-3 was probably a minimum).
Clearly bold and underline your sections
Section 1: Introduction, briefly introduce your personal idea of a good life.
Section 2: Correlation, correlate it to another philosophy of a good life.
Section 3: Group Input, how did your group contribute/discuss your correlation
Section 4: Theory, name your theory and discuss it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My essay: https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/aSjbda
Wow. Never had an assignment like that... He's clearly crazy (I'm serious. Section 3 and 4 doesn't seem philosophically relevant at all). Do you mind if post eventual comments in this thread, or would you rather have them sent to you privately?

btw, did you write it in English originally, or did you translate it afterwards?
Nano-Passion
#32
Feb20-12, 04:15 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by SophusLies View Post
I agree.

To Nano-Passion: From the requirements stated earlier, it's very clear that you didn't follow them correctly. There comes a point when you have to accept that you did something wrong. I'm very bullheaded too but this is getting out of hand. Fix it and move on.
I'm not sure specifically what requirements you are talking about and I don't understand why you think its getting out of hand. This is just a thread about a belief prejudice that affects one's grade. Judging by the papers of my peers, I suspect that it was just that issue.

Your telling me to accept that I did something wrong. And I argue that there is nothing wrong with using science to guide your philosophy. *Read my argument in response to two-quant and others.* So with that said, there is two things we can do from here. 1) We can discuss our different points of view as per any dispute. Or 2) you can tell me that it is getting out of hand and judge me as very bullheaded. The latter is personally frustrating because I've made my argument and people seem to ignore its basis.

Read the paper and judge from there, I won't be offended if you tell me this is the worst paper ever created by mankind. I rather a criticism given from a good basis of information than one from a lack of one.
Nano-Passion
#33
Feb20-12, 04:17 PM
P: 1,306
Quote Quote by 920118 View Post
Wow. Never had an assignment like that... He's clearly crazy (I'm serious. Section 3 and 4 doesn't seem philosophically relevant at all). Do you mind if post eventual comments in this thread, or would you rather have them sent to you privately?
Any is fine.

btw, did you write it in English originally, or did you translate it afterwards?[/B]
That sounds a bit like a joke at my essay lol but at any rate it was originally written in English.
deluks917
#34
Feb20-12, 04:42 PM
P: 367
This is why I don't like Humanities classes. There is no way to decide if your professor is being unfair even if we could see the essay. I think this ambiguity makes Philosophy classes and the like fundamentally authoritarian and should be treated as such.
micromass
#35
Feb20-12, 04:54 PM
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P: 18,346
I didn't like the essay. Some remarks

1) Your references consist out of wikipedia and www.expertscolumn.com. These are not scholarly references. If you want to back your point up with science, at least provide a scientific references.

2) Your view of happiness is a little bit skewed. You see happiness as everything that makes you happy. Then what if I strap you to a chair and pump drugs in you that constantly make you happy. According to your philosophy, this would be the ultimate form of happiness. But I don't think many people would actively choose for this form of existence. There is something you're missing.

3) You say that the pursuit of intellect and wisdom is part of the pursuit of happiness. I did not see any argument why this might be true.

4) You suggest that good and evil are just the product of indoctrination in your childhood. I don't think this is backed up by science. I would rather say that good and evil are evolutionary byproducts. People with a severely undeveloped sense of evil get selected against. In any case, you should think more about this.

5) You fail to recognize that a human lives in a society and that the society has certain norms and ideals. Conformation to society is in most cases desirable as it will make you happier.
Choppy
#36
Feb20-12, 05:07 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,744
Hi Nano-Passion,

I had a quick look at the essay. I can't claim to be an expert in philosphy essays however I can't help, but wonder if you're interpreting general comments made by the professor as comments specifically directed towards your essay.

What you've posted above is not a "God's Gift of to Philosophy 101 Professors" of an essay. You're quoting from Wikipedia and Yahoo websites - that didn't even pass muster in high school for me.

Your postulate that happiness is defined through chemistry and thus is any good or pleasant feeling, is likely failing to address some of the key philosophical issues that the assignment was meant to cover.

Take for example an alcoholic who derives pleasure from drinking. Many alcoholics are not in any way happy with their behaviour. So, is happiness and thus the 'good life' an instantaneous quantity? Or is it a time-integrated quantity?

I'm not trying to start into a debate on the issue. Simply having taken the class, you're likely more well-read on the issue than I am. The point I'm trying to make is that it may not be just a conflict in viewpoint that resulted in a less-than perfect mark. Rather, it could have come from the fact that adopting that particular viewpoint puts you in a position that does not address some of the points of the assignment. Perhaps if you had adopted the same position, but addressed and sufficiently dissmissed those points, you would have gotten full marks.


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