For your philosopher you should complete the following:
Dates of life
Describe at least two important historical events that impacted the philosophy of this person (For example, was there a major war, disaster, political or social situation that was occurring in this time that may have impacted the philosophy?)
A brief (1 – 2 paragraphs) description of one or more of his/her philosophies (Caution: Do NOT just cut and paste. Read about this person and put their ideas into your own words.)
Write a well-supported description of whether you agree or disagree with the philosophy of this person.
Write a paragraph that explains how knowing about the philosopher of an era helps you to better understand that time and place.
Sample student submission:
Name: Noam Chomsky
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dates of life: 1928-present
Important historical events that impacted the philosophy of this person (For example, was there a major war, disaster, political or social situation that was occurring in this time that may have impacted the philosophy?): He was against America’s presence and participation in the Vietnam War, so his writings are influenced by very left-winged opinions and biases. That view has influenced much of his writing ever since.
At least two important people that the philosopher might have known, associated with or in some way impacted his/her thinking: Chomsky wrote a book with Edward S. Herman, a man who had similar left-leaning beliefs. They both refused to pay taxes because they thought that it would go towards the [Vietnam] war cause, which they were both against. I think that maybe the similarities between Chomsky and Herman’s views caused Chomsky’s views to be even more strengthened. Someone that Chomsky didn’t personally know (but blatantly supported) wasJill Stein who is currently running in the presidential campaign as the representative of the Green party. The Green party, who oppose war, have common interests and ideas that overlap with Chomsky’s, and I’m sure influenced him heavily in their indirect support of him through their platform.
A brief (1 – 2 paragraphs) description of one or more of his/her philosophies (Caution: Do NOT just cut and paste. Read about this person and put their ideas into your own words.): One of Chomsky’s beliefs was represented in his turning away from Aristotle’s [philosophic] view by saying that behavior and knowledge does NOT solely come from what we witness or experience on a day to day basis. It does not just come from what has been seen and real-life. There is some other source. Another philosophy (coinciding with the formerly mentioned one) was Chomsky invention of a new way to write or “speak;” analyzing the different emphasis on words in a sentence and being able to figure out more than just what the shallow meaning of a sentence is. He could tell about the person, and their beliefs. His new approach to linguistics offered a new source of insight into the human mind, and coincides with the “rebellion” against the empiricist view that had been popular up until the mid 1900’s.
A well supported description of whether you agree or disagree with the philosophy of this person : I do believe that Chomsky is onto something with his beliefs. I don’t believe that the physical world is all that influences you. Of course your surroundings are a huge part of who you become and how you act (If you grow up in the loud city you will become accustomed to living a certain way and not adapt to living in the country, you wouldn’t be as sheltered, etc.), but your mind influences you just on its own. For example, a schizophrenic person (born schizophrenic, not one who develops in their early twenties) is influenced by their mind. Their actions are influenced by it (they will act out from the disorder because that is what the brain is wired to do, wrong or not). It is important to look at what differs between the minds of people and examine how that can affect them.
2 – 3 sentences that explain how knowing about the philosopher of an era helps you to better understand that time and place: He is a relatively modern philosopher so his beliefs aren’t outdated or foreign to me. In this day and age that we live in, modern science has been experimenting and doing research on the human mind even more so than in the years before. It seems like people are fascinated with how it works, and how/why it influences how people act. Chomsky is no different in that, and goes along with the beliefs of the modern era.