The Power Of Ideas – Philosophy Writing Sample

  1. According to Heraclitus, everything is ceaselessly changing. In his argument, Heraclitus says, “all is fire”, which means that the only reality that exists is the reality of change. He argues that permanence does not exist, but it is an illusion. By using the phrase “all is fire”, the philosopher attempts to show that everything takes the nature of fire, which is the root substance of the world (Moore & Bruder, 2012). From this argument, one can derive some meaning when applying Heraclitus theory to the real world. Heraclitus’ theory of ceaseless change raises the problem of identity. For instance, his argument that nothing (including people) remains the same over time attempts to imply that an object is different from what it was yesterday.
  2. Empedocles considered two aspects of things- the whole object and the basic particles (fire, earth, water and air) that make the objects. This argument is relatively acceptable in the philosophy of science and nature because it takes into account the fact that things, including humans, are made up of small particles and cells that may not change over time.
  3. Anaximander thought that the basic substance out of which all other objects originates is ageless, indeterminate as well as boundless. The current scientific knowledge holds that the solar system and the universe are under the control of physical powers that hold objects in place.
  4. Parmenides sought to achieve his theory of reality by assuming basic principles and using them to deduce the nature of true being. In his conclusion, Parmenides argues that ‘being does not change’, which means that change does not exist or change is not possible. This is in contrast to Heraclitus theory that states that everything experiences ceaseless change.
  5. According to Protagoras, there is no absolute knowledge because the view of a person about nature and the world is valid and has an equal validity to that of another person. In his argument, Protagoras says that man is the measure of everything in the world. If Protagoras’ view is correct, then a person who thinks that finding a cure for HIV/AIDS is wrong because it promotes immorality is as correct as the person who discovers the drug.
  6. Pythagoras believed in numbers and quantities. According to his view, things exist in form of numbers- the same way a line is made of dots, surfaces make solids and solids make bodies. Pythagoras meant that things exist as things, with a beginning and an end, and can be enumerated. A thing can be distinguished from another thing because it exists in its own form, which can be calculated or enumerated.
  7. In his philosophy, Protagoras argues that objects are made of particles that experience change. Therefore, changes in objects of experience result from changes in these particles. Each object has its own kind of particles, but each object has all types of particles. Scientific knowledge has proved that matter is made of atoms. However, it is wrong for Anaxagoras to say that everything is infinitely divisible because once atoms are divided into their sub-atoms; they reach a point where they turn into energy and cannot be subdivide any more. This is relatively true because human mind holds knowledge acquired from the five senses and processes this information, yet the knowledge itself is not material thing.
  8. Although the ancient Greek philosophers developed several theories based on their perceptions of nature, it is worth applying the modern philosophy of science to determine their degree of truthfulness in relation to the nature of reality. This theory is correct because information is immaterial and is stored in neurons.
  9. The tripartite theory of soul states that soul is made of three parts- logical, high-spirited and appetitive. According to the theory, these three parts of the soul represent three broad classes within the society. Justice is the state of the whole in which each of the three parts functions devoid of interference from other functions. The function of the appetitive part is to produce or cause human pleasure. In fact, it is associated with the desire to gain material wealth. On the other hand, the “high-spirited” part is under the control of the logical part. However, it functions by defending the entire soul from internal and external forces.
  10. Derived from Socrates’ ideas, Plato’s theory of forms indicates that people can know forms because they exist in the world of forms for a long time even before they were born. Nevertheless, Plato fails to consider the argument that everything studied in science has form- he considers substance as the only thing that has form.
  11. Aristotle used his theory of the four causes to examine the causes of existence of something. In this theory, the first cause is known as “material cause”, which represents the state of movement of change. The second cause is known as “The Formal cause” and represents change or motion on an objecting resulting from the object’s aspects such as shape, nature or arrangement. Thirdly, efficient cause is the moving cause, which implies to agents of change or movement of an object. Finally, the final cause refers to the purpose or aim of an event such as change or movement.
  12. The ‘ten categories of being’ refer to other ways through which humans think about their world and nature. These categories help humans make judgments in regards to the quantity, place, relationships, quality, posture, time, activity, passivity and constitution of a substance. They are the basic classifications under which attributes to things are subsumed. It is evident that these ways or categories define how humans perceive objects and explain their nature or forms. In this case, humans define things according to what they see and tend to believe that the reality of nature exists in that form.
  13. According to this argument, forms are “universals” rather than circularity. They are something that more than one object can become. For example, different things of different types can assume many forms such as largeness, circularity or being blue. However, only one thing can be a person, which means that individuals are “particulars” rather than “universals”. In this case, it is worth noting that the argument is effective in showing the weaknesses of Plato’s theory of forms. Nevertheless, it does not explain the existence of things or the true nature of universals and forms. Therefore, he does not explain the nature of reality.
  14. Plato’s theory suggests the existence of two realms- the realms of particular and sensible things that do change and the realm of external things that are fixed and do not change. On the other hand, Aristotle says that ‘forms’ exist in ‘particular things only’, which are formed by ‘matter and Form’ (Moore & Bruder, 2012).
  15. Aristotle seems to argue that every event that produces or leads to the existence of an object must result from another event. In this case, it is worth arguing that the existence of every object or thing is an event influenced by another event. Thus, existence is not a paradox.

Reference

Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2012). Philosophy: The power of ideas. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Web.

Literature Analysis Of Hamlet’s Soliloquies

Check out our Hamlet’s soliloquies analysis sample! Get more ideas and insights about the famous “To Be or Not To Be” quote for your Hamlet soliloquy essay.

Hamlet Soliloquy Essay Introduction

In his many conversations, Hamlet reminds the people around him and especially his mother that she does not know the real ‘Hamlet’. To Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he insinuates that they cannot fathom what he knows. This aspect leads to his many soliloquies, which expose his disparate characters. This paper analyses Hamlet’s beliefs, fears, wants, talents, and flaws solely based on his soliloquies.

Beliefs

The first soliloquy comes early in Act 1, scene 2 where Hamlet muses, “O that this too solid flesh would melt” (Shakespeare 1.2). This monologue exposes Hamlet’s beliefs and it becomes clear that he is religious due to his take on suicide.

From this monologue, it becomes clear that Hamlet is suicidal. He longs for his flesh to melt – in other words, he wishes to die, but he acknowledges that such a move would be sinful, which underscores why he laments why God had “fix’d His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter” (Shakespeare 1.2). He strongly believes in the existence of an all-powerful God and this assertion explains why he keeps on thinking about God and heaven.

Hamlet believes in love. In the first soliloquy, he expresses his love for his mother when he makes it clear that he would not even let the “winds of heaven visit her face too roughly” (Shakespeare 1.2). His loving nature also comes out in the way he mourns his befallen father. He is also a mature man as at the end of the first soliloquy; he notes that he must show deportment and keep silent despite his worries concerning his mother marrying a wicked man.

He also believes that humankind is “noble in reason…infinite in faculties” (Shakespeare 2.2). In his monologue in Act 4 scene 4, he muses “Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not that capability and godlike reason, to fust in us unus’d’ (Shakespeare 4.4). This instance paints him as a logical person. He thinks first before he acts.

Fears

Hamlet’s greatest fear is the repercussion of doing what is wrong. Even though he knows who killed his father, he does not fall into the trap of unjustified vengeance. At one point, Hamlet finds Claudius on his knees deep in prayer. By this time, Hamlet knows that Claudius killed his father and so he has every reason and means to revenge. He pulls his sword, ready to strike, but something holds him back.

The fear of the implication of his actions illuminates his mind, and he starts to ponder on what might happen. He mulls, “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying, and now I’ll do, and so he goes to heaven, and so am I revenged…A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” (Shakespeare 3.3).

On one side, killing Claudius would avenge the death of Hamlet’s father; however, on the other side, it would promote the villain to glory. Such an act would send Claudius to heaven and so after much thinking, Hamlet concludes, “O, this is hire and salary, not revenge” (Shakespeare 3.3). The logical side of Hamlet tells him that killing Claudius would be senseless, especially while purging his soul.

Even though Hamlet postpones his vengeance to perhaps a time when Claudius is drunk or asleep, he never executes his plans. This aspect is a clear indication that his greatest fear is the damnation that comes with sinning. Also, Hamlet fears mistakes.

He wants to be sure of what he does, which explains why he has to investigate everything before he acts. In the example given above, the fear of mistakenly killing Claudius without enough ‘reason’ that he killed the Old Hamlet prevents hamlet from acting.

What Hamlet wants

Hamlet’s ultimate goal is justified revenge. He believes in revenge, but he also acknowledges that unjustified revenge is sinful, and it would attract God’s wrath. Unfortunately, Hamlet is confused on the best way to carry out his justice, and thus he resorts to self-condemnation. He wonders whether he is a coward.

He thinks, “Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing; no, not for a king, upon whose property and the dearest life, a damn’d defeat was made, am I a coward? (Shakespeare 2.2). In this soliloquy, it becomes clear that all Hamlet wants is justice; he just does not know how to execute it. He notes, “Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be” (Shakespeare 2.2).

He affirms to himself that he should take charge and avenge his father’s killing for the murderer cannot be allowed to continue living, as that would amount to injustice. In a bid to assert his quest for vengeance, he does not give up, but he comes up with a plan. He decides to stage up a play with the theme of murder and invite his uncle to the staging. He would then observe his father’s alleged murderer and see how he behaves after seeing staged killing.

He thinks, “I’ll have these players play something like the murder of my father before mine uncle, I’ll observe his looks, I’ll tent him to the quick, if he but blench, I know my course” (Shakespeare 2.2). In plotting this play, Hamlet seeks only one thing, viz. justified revenge, which underscores what he wants in the entire play.

Talents

Hamlet is richly talented with critical thinking. In all his soliloquies, he probes everything before acting. Even in the face of obvious facts, he still investigates everything. When he finds Claudius on his knees, praying, he goes into a monologue to understand two things. First, he questions whether Claudius is the killer of his father. Second, even if Claudius were the killer, would it be worth to kill him while purging his soul.

Hamlet’s talent to think critically comes out clearly, as the soliloquy in Act 3 opens. He ponders, “Now might I do it pat” (Shakespeare 3.3). For a normal person lacking in this talent, the question to kill Claudius would not be ‘if’ but ‘when’.

However, Hamlet exercises his talent and decides to wait for another time when Claudius is perhaps merrymaking or cursing, and kill him. Due to his talent to think critically, Hamlet concludes that when one is killed while purging his soul, s/he goes to heaven directly. However, if one is killed while cursing, s/he would go to hell as at such a time, “his soul may be as damn’d and black” (Shakespeare 3.3).

Flaws

For a character with multifaceted traits like Hamlet, it becomes tricky to pinpoint a flaw for in one instance what appears as a virtue may turn out to be a flaw in another case. For instance, Hamlet restrains from killing Claudius, which comes out as a virtue, but then he kills Polonius, which stands out as a flaw. However, the most outstanding Hamlet’s flaws are indecision and procrastination.

In all his soliloquies, he portrays deep-seated indecision and procrastination in his ever self-analysis way of approaching issues. In the first monologue in Act 1 scene 2, he cannot simply tell his mother not to marry Claudius. While he spends the entire monologue lamenting how the marriage would not materialize, he does not speak up. On the contrary, he concludes, “With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not nor it cannot come to good but break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue” (Shakespeare 1.2). He should speak up instead of harboring something that would do him no good but hurt. As discussed earlier in this paper, Hamlet’s ultimate objective is to revenge his father’s brutal killing, and thus anyone would expect him to achieve this end after an opportunity presents itself when he encounters Claudius on his knees.

To the chagrin of the audience, when the chance comes, Hamlet resorts to his over-analysis traits, and he wonders, “And now I’ll do, and so he goes to heaven” (Shakespeare 3.3). This eternal flaw keeps Hamlet from achieving his goals, and he appears as a loser because, in essence, he only thinks without acting. Perhaps he has forgotten the maxim that an unexecuted idea never conquers.

Hamlet Soliloquies Analysis Conclusion

Hamlet’s characters stand out clearly through his soliloquies. He is a religious person, as he believes in God and love. His greatest fear is the damnation that comes with one’s wrongful actions, and his goal is to achieve justified revenge. He is a talented critical thinker; unfortunately, his greatest flaws lie in his talent.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, Williams. “Hamlet.” The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 8th edn. Eds. Sarah Lawall, James Heather and Lee Patterson. vol. 1. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005. 2409-2499. Print.

Food Culture: Doughnut’s History, Marketing And Sociology

A doughnut, or as it is often called donut, is a kind of fried dough baked or pastry meal. The doughnut has become well-known and beloved in numerous countries and cooked in an assorted model. This sugary and delicious snack could be made at home; however, the most prominent favored type of doughnuts acquired in confectioneries, shops of cooking and pastry businesses, shopping centers, food stalls, and authorized specialty markets. Doughnuts are customarily deep-fried and covered with powder dough, and commonly either have a form of a torus or are without a hole in the middle.

Moreover, mostly all donuts contain different fillings and toppings. Donuts have rather contradicted records; moreover, there are several theories about its creation. One of the hypotheses implies that the doughnuts were devised by the Dutch colonists in North America; this theory could be confirmed by the referring to donuts as “one kind of oliekoek (a Dutch word meaning ‘oil cake’), a ‘sweetened cake fried in fat’” (Mullins 31).

This explains the extreme popularity of donuts and its value for the American nation. According to Paul Mullins and his book ‘Glazed America – A History of a Doughnut’, the first donut commented in a handbook for housewives appeared in 1803 and was added to the recipes of the United States as an added material at the end of the book. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the donut completely resembled modern dessert not only in shape but taste as well and was considered to be a distinctive food of the Unites States.

The most consumed doughnuts in the United States are produced and sold by Dunkin’ Donuts; the name of this company has already become a proper name. America Is a nation of fast food and coffee, which is why most of the working class prefers to eat something fast and cheap while going to work or during the coffee break. Moreover, the United States is a nation of independence, freedom, and admission; for this reason, the Dunkin’ Donuts have got a privilege to offer a wide variety of doughnuts for the Americans in agreement with their needs and desires.

“Age group can be analyzed as subculture because they often have distinctive values and behaviors. American teenage population has been gaining affluence and fluctuating in size” (Ogden 810). The doughnuts are extremely popular among the teenagers because of its low financial value and high-quality ratio. Moreover, the teenage group favors donuts because of its easy availability, commodity, and the ability to give a feeling of fullness. Furthermore, in the nowadays lifestyle, teenagers tend to eat more outside the house because of the parents’ business at their workplace, and donuts meet their financial situation and limited budget.

Another class of people, which are expected to consume dunkin’ donuts, was already mentioned above: it is the class of working people. As the American nation regard itself as an active and restless country, most likely Americans will prefer their meals during the working day to be fast, timely, accessible and in the low price range. Americans like thing that are fast and easy, requiring minimal personal or economic sacrifice, regardless of whether they buy it at supermarket or fast food franchise (Crandall 190). Dunkin’ donuts allow the workers to consume doughnuts on their way to the office, in the car, or even in the subway, in their pursuit of the fast lifestyle.

Despite the fact that the marketing approach towards junk food is very much alike for the assorted chains of fast food and the production of doughnuts is often facing a lot of challenges and competitions, it still and all stands at the top of the rate of the most consumed fast food in the United States.

Social aspect. The research of the people who consume donuts has revealed the following results. The proportion of the consumers from upper class makes fourteen percent from all; the quantity of donuts consumed by the middle class makes thirty-two per cent; people from the working class make almost thirty-eight percent, and the last group – the lower class – makes a little over sixteen percent of all consumers of doughnuts. To be precise, working class contains Americans who are contingent densely on their family in order to receive financial and moral encouragement (Ritzer 47).

Doughnuts represent a type of food that could be consumed in motion, so the people are able to conserve time and power in order to accomplish more in their work and acts. Moreover, as it was said before, doughnuts present an image of an excessive excellence but the low expense of pastry, which is produced in order to draw the attention of the fast-living crowd to it. As a result, every person that belongs to any social class of the United States is able to buy it.

The impact on the health of donuts’ consumers received a general recognition as severe and almost irreversible. One donut usually consists of a lot of sugar, fats and various other harmful components, which could contain more than three hundred calories in a single piece of pastry. As a result, a person who consumes doughnuts on a daily basis could face such problems as weight gain, heart conditions, high blood sugar, and lack of nutrients. “According to a 2008 report published by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, doughnuts have more trans fats than chocolate, peanut butter chocolate bars and even chips. A single doughnut will meet a maximum allowance for trans fats for the whole day, and the truth is that people rarely eat just one doughnut.

Trans fats can increase the cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase a risk of heart disease” (Ogden 811). This is one of the causes why the American nation is exposed to the problem of obesity and the health problems connected to it.

The donuts are distributed through the little shops, “every location of which is strategically placed and designed with these customers’ preferences in mind. Because these purchases are so convenience driven, the locations can be placed close together without cannibalizing business” (Malhorta 21). However, if the doughnut shop would be placed in the urban districts of different areas, the time the consumer is willing to spend on walking towards the shop varies greatly.

For example, this time probably will be quite contrasting in San Francisco and Miami. For this reason, doughnuts are distributed massively throughout the country in order to meet the interests of the consumers; thus leading to causing more health problems. Obesity is a major population health issue with vast health consequences for individuals and society, and not without reasoning. Various researchers delineate a discouraging picture and even more premonition future for the public health. The predominance of this issue has increased in two times among the grown-ups and minors during the past twenty years (Cunningham, Kramer, and Narayan 405).

Works Cited

Crandall, Christian. “The Liking of Foods as a Result of Exposure: Eating Doughnuts in Alaska.” The Journal of Social Psychology, 125.2 (1985): 187-194. Print.

Cunningham, Solveig, Michael Kramer, and Venkat Narayan. “Incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 370.1 (2014): 403-411. Print.

Malhorta, Naresh. Basic Marketing Research: Integration of Social Media, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2010. Print.

Mullins, Paul. Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut, Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2008. Print.

Ogden, Charles. “Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012.” The Journal of American Medical Association, 311.8 (2014): 806-814. Print.

Ritzer, George. Essentials of Sociology, Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, 2015. Print.

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