Each Journal Activity contains several prompts (in the form of questions) to think about for your entry. Please ruminate over these prompts and choose one or more to think and write about. Keep your thoughts in the first-person singular “I”. A good journal entry will be at least 500 words, but they may be longer depending on the prompt and your writing. Most of the prompts relate to the required readings and subject of the week. Your journal will help you with the final presentation due at the end of week 8 which will present your philosophical journey in this course. (details on this presentation are found in week 8).
Example of a Journal Entry from the prompt “What does it mean to judge someone?”
I seem to belong to a highly judgmental species, and it is hard to refrain from judging and evaluating, praising and blaming. All around me, people are rating, reviewing, giving stars, thumbs up and down to films, hotels, household appliances, and life events. They write restaurant reviews that say ‘The fish was underdone and the staff were rude,’ as though the fish and the staff actually had those qualities, and they expect others to make use of the ‘information.’ They gossip about one another’s personal lives and decisions, admiring and disapproving of their friends’ actions. Human beings slap fines on one another and cart others of their species off to jail. They also award them medals, badges, and diplomas for achievements deemed meritorious. I find myself constantly judging my food and drink for its tastiness and value for money. I cannot seem to help judging some kinds of people for what I take to be their moral qualities, as well as for their non-moral qualities of being politically savvy or hilarious, or displaying athletic prowess or artistic ability.
Week Seven Journal Prompts:
- Write about one or more of these prompts for your journal entry this week.
- In what ways do I trust science to tell me the truth of reality?
- Is science important to me ethically?
- If I question science, am I questioning the nature of reality?
- If I am committed to strong scientific realism, what would happen if I questioned these commitments?
- Will science never find the truth of reality?