Romanticism’s Allure

I definitely understand why Enlightenment has hook, it’s logic and reason. However, Romanticism is more about inspiration and acting upon a whim. Sometimes, that trait is necessary and why I can agree with it. There are many times that logic and reason should hold priority within our decision; however our emotions get the better of us. Sometimes, that is for the better. It’s hard to come up with some excuse or a concrete reason as to why emotions are better; however, they are absolutely necessary. Romanticism’s focus on the emotions gives life color and value and highlights humanity.

Learning about both topics hasn’t changed my view on society or Western culture much. However, they both have given me different lenses to look through when an event occurs. Both are fair and just in their own respects.

The most interesting takeaway, in my honest opinion, was actually the class itself. The people that made up the class all had different perspectives on topics and were all just in their own sense. They brought up many points on many topics that were fair and offered me another outlook instead of my own views. In one sentence, it’s that humans are resourceful and truly are individuals.


Between the two perspectives that were presented in this class, I definitely find the enlightenment point of view more appealing. As someone without a religious background, my understanding of the world has always been through the lenses of reason. Thus, I found myself often agreeing with enlightenment thinkers such as Hume who criticizes the rationally of religious belief. However, one area where I do agree with romanticist is political theory. I find Rousseau ideas of the body politic and social contracts to be more compelling than the existence of natural rights. The enlightenment figures’ justification of natural laws that govern humans in a state of nature seems contrived and despite being inspired by scientific laws, the two are very different.

This course has changed how I view modern-day society by making me think about how the government gets the right to govern. It is something I’ve never really thought about before this but only had a vague sense. This class has allowed me to solidify my beliefs.

A surprisingly interesting part of the class was the art showdown tournament. It was weird to compare two different pieces of artwork and feel that one is better than another, even if you can’t express why. It was not surprising at all to find out that Monet won previously because something about it makes it stand out among the others.

Another one of Monet’s works

Enlightenmicism… Romantiment?

This class has explored both the importance of factual reasoning and logic as well as the importance of grounding ourselves in emotion and our inner feelings. We as humans can try our hardest to be as logical as possible and follow strict guidelines that we place on our morals and actions, but anyone knows that real life is about integrating the human emotion and the unpredictable things that happen to us with the use of reason and logic. Both of these ideas contribute to our human nature which is why I don’t favor either but recognize the importance of both.

It’s easy to see how these ideals are implemented into current Western society. For example, one of the things that the Enlightenment era focused on was religious ideals and being able to establish a personal relationship with God and not just follow the sayings of the Bible. The way that our morals and actions are formed come from an inner understanding of what’s right and wrong and not just rules that tell us what to do, and the condemnation of devout blind religious devotion is something that has seeped into our society today. Today, most religious relationships with God focus on a deeper set of understanding as opposed to just doing something because the Bible says so. Focusing on the intent behind one’s actions and not just the consequence relates to moral principles that were discussed by Kant, Rousseau and other Enlightenment writers. Romanticism also seeps it’s way into our current society by having us focus on the individualism and uniqueness of each person. Our art, our music and our literature are affected by romanticism ideals of focusing on the human experience and reflecting on the emotions that we face. Through our art and sharing our experiences we can empathize with others and coexist. Without the integration of those two ideals, it would be very hard to go through day to day life without rationality and self-reflection of the emotions and feelings we have.

As for the past 3 HUM classes and now this one, I think my main takeaway is being able to see how the human experience develops. We are a product of the people and ideas that come before us whether or not we choose to reject or continue traditions and ways of thinking. How we choose what is right and wrong, how we choose to treat others, how we choose to make decisions has been evaluated through so many different author’s perspectives and being able to see how they are influenced by the society and events around them helps us to better understand why different perspectives flourished the way that they did.


The Enlightenment and Romanticism are like two ends of a battery, without one- the other cannot function. Enlightenment ideals are purely logical and based off of reason while Romanticism is based of freedom of expression. While these two are contradictions of one another, for society to exist, we need both concepts. What I mean by this is that, if we purely go by Enlightenment ideals, then we’ll end up in a Machiavellian form of government were there is only one ruler that holds all the power because it is the most efficient and fastest form of government. While if we go purely by Romanticism ideals, we’ll end up like Werther who did not see the damage his freedom of expression is causing to himself and others.

One of my favorite take away from this class is from Rousseau’s opinions on the origin of our inequality. I’ve always thought that inequality comes only from our innate racism that came from our history. Now I learned that it also comes from our desire of order and safety. The social contract was a concept that really stuck out in my mind because I didn’t even think that we would willingly place ourselves in a form “free prison” in the hopes of being able to live together as a society and progress. All of the constraints Rousseau illustrated gave me a new light on why people become worried or hostile with anyone that acts out of the social norms.


I agree with Romanticism ideals of life, but with an appreciation for empiricism. I feel that is social media and other interactions today people have an interesting relationship to Romanticism. Many people are writing “slice of life” comics, and often discuss the small things in life. I believe that our society’s focus on STEM fields has drawn people to appreciate Romantic values and ideals as we are connected in society. However, the STEM influences allow people on some levels to appreciate the science and other technical values in our daily life. Although I enjoy a Romantic perspective as Enlightenment ideals are too cold for me, and Romanticism leads me to enjoy my life daily and with calmer actions than the anxiety caused by Enlightenment ideals.

I have started to notice Romantic values within a society that I had not noticed before, especially in social media. People are documenting their lives, but instead of analyzing it in an Empirical sense they are documenting for emotions and memories with other people. This appreciation for their lives and the technology to remember what was around them with such ideals is something I never noticed people really did before this class. People embody both Enlightenment tendencies and Romantic ideals through the combination of STEM and the connectedness we have through technology.

I hardly had any idea what Romanticism and the Enlightenment were before this class, so the most important takeaway for me is the Romantic ideology. The concept of feeling emotions so intensely, both the ups and the downs, is something I have always admired, but I had no idea it was an entire ideology. I want to take that ideology with me as I move forward to new classes and with my own future.

Also I have no idea if anyone else played this as a child but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since we saw the rainbow video in class because I did not know the app was influences by it until now:

A Reflection of the Enlightenment and Romanticism

When analyzing the perspectives of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism, I have an opinion that encompasses a mixture of both of these counterparts. The Enlightenment allows individuals to prioritize rationality and reasoning in both their decision making and thought process, analyzing the duty of the individuals to themselves and society. Romanticism promotes subjectivity, individuality, and the connection the individual has with nature, emphasizing the importance of passion and desire. Thus, leading life in accord with both the Enlightenment and Romanticism allows the individual to be rational in their decision making, while additionally retaining their passion and humanity. While an excessive amount of subjectivity is damaging in some cases, humanity must be able to balance passion with the Scientific Method so as to analyze cold data and facts with compassion. When viewing our Western culture today, I now see numerous examples of how Enlightenment and Romanticism ideals shapes society and the way we live. For example, I see many ideas of Romanticism when analyzing the artistic expression displayed on campus. When looking at the graffiti art, the decorative posters, or the Stuart art collection, I now view them as forms of completely free individual expression, exercising individuality as a way for society to know the artist’s passions and life experiences. I additionally see ideals of the Enlightenment on campus as well. Many individuals pick their career because it makes the most sense logically, thinking only of the salary and the financial benefits based on the proven scientific data concerning their chosen career path. Therefore, the individual is prioritizing reason and rationality, committing to it as their life’s work. Thus, there are numerous ideals of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism all around us, and my eyes are now open to connecting the choices I make everyday to the principles of both significant movements. For me, the most interesting takeaway from this class was learning about how the ideals of the Enlightenment apply to the origins of government systems. The Enlightenment ideals of equality, and justice helped to create the conditions for the Constitution, along with many other forms of social contracts. This questioning of traditional authority embraces the notion that humanity can be improved through rational thought and reasoning, and it greatly interested me when we covered it during the course.

One or the other?

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, Romanticism and Enlightenment are inseparable concepts that can barely be differentiated in nature regardless of what most of the authors claim. Both concepts are what make us human. They are ideas that have been created by humans after all. So my choice is not to agree with one or the other. Rather, I choose to be human and embrace both my sentience and emotions.

Learning about these concepts has definitely opened my eyes to the natural way humans think. The conflict between the two schools of thinking has shown me that there is no right or wrong here, it’s just people trying to justify two conceptually correct concepts. With this knowledge I will go on to implement my life choices and my interactions around these concepts. I will be putting in effort to balance my life better by taking lessons from both ideologies and shaping my values to cover a wider perspective of thinking.

The most important takeaway has been the prevalence of uncertainty in our lives. Humans don’t really know what is what and everybody is figuring out their path as they go along. Yes, there has been an improvement in our understanding of the world and people can develop their emotional intelligence; but the beauty of it all is in the uncharted territory. The unseen experiences and undiscovered knowledge is what keeps us pursuing our dreams. We should keep doing that. We should feed our minds with the best possible knowledge while allowing our personalities and emotions to flourish. We should enjoy the journey while it exists.

Out in the wild, in our minds

A Diverse Perspective

Personally, I think this class has a strong foundation of expressing the importance of perspective.

Of all the works we read, whether they were full of logic and laws such as John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, or if they were full of vibrant emotions such as in Goethe’s The Sufferings of Young Werther, there a many different approaches to living life. In the past when I thought about perspective, I realized that I only considered that everyone does have a different perspective from others, and there may be overlap between people’s agreements and disagreements. However, I never fully understood the impact of not only listening to other’s perspectives, but truly emerging oneself into someone else’s perspective, and trying to reason through their feelings, without one’s personal biases getting in the way.

This seems like a simple or maybe basic understanding of our ideals as westerners, such as following a certain structure of society and contributing to it in some form. Yet this has affected me as a thinker because it has pushed me to really look at one perspective, understand as much as I can from it, and then formulate a connection between all perspectives I have observed. Essentially, it has taught me to be more open minded, to work to fully understand someone’s thoughts as much as I can, and then act on them from there, rather than letting my bias immediately judge a situation.

Thus, through the different depictions of the world’s structuring and progressiveness as seen through Voltaire’s satire in Candide, to understanding Rousseau’s argument of man’s basic needs to survive, I think this course has been beneficial to demonstrating how progression affects our world, especially here in the quick pace of the ‘west’, in addition to challenging to think beyond our own opinions and really dive into other’s perspectives.

Therefore, I leave you with this image. This is a fairly common image people have seen in terms of perspective, but really think about it now, with all we have learned. What would Goethe say about the tragedy of it only being half full, or half empty? What would Locke argue is logical for labeling this glass: half empty, or half full, but not both? What do you think, and what are your reasons?

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Balance is Key

To me, Enlightenment ideals are more important than Romantic ideals. I feel it serves human-kind more purpose, both on an individual and a social scale, to go through life’s decisions and struggles by using reason and personal betterment as the discerning standard as well as motivation. However, when the Romantic ideals of listening to one’s heart and heeding natural impulses are involved, the human experience becomes complete in my opinion. One becomes able to handle situations safely and profitably using reason, without losing himself to a siloed, specialized trade asked of in purely Enlightenment-led society. The Romantic aspects allow a diversity of trade and interest, and this is why it works well as a right-hand man to Enlightenment ideals.

I view Western Culture as a society as something that gives you hope that you can have the best of both worlds in terms of Enlightenment and Romanticism, although this is mostly untrue. It tells you you can make money and still have time for your family, love life, hobbies, and interests, but this becomes more untrue the more you need money or pursue money, which is the leading motivation in Western Society. Moreover, in this capitalist society, the necessity of money is stressed top-down and bottom-up, so the Romantic ideals are viewed as detrimental unless they get you money, such as being a musician despite low success rates. Therefore, I believe learning about these 2 schools of thought has given me a better perspective of Western Culture, allowing me to expand my understanding using the ideals of each to describe today’s lifestyle.

The most important takeaway from this class is that many scholars and authors strongly ponder societies and how to best exist in them, choosing greatly different methods to describe their beliefs. Voltaire’s satirical stories, though contain strongly clash with the styles of Locke and Kant, who structure their arguments in a bullet-point essay, in my opinion. There is merit to all of these clashing opinions and we need more deliberate argumentation questioning leadership and society as such as we face increasingly challenging times.

When The Revolution Begins

Throughout this entire semester. We learned the historical process from enlightenment to romanticism. Over the less-than-200-years period, people at that time witness a dramatic turn of ideology from favor of absolutism to support of liberty, from favor of rational thinking to desire of emotion. It is a time period that permanently changed the perspective of the world much more than any period could do before.

To me, I consider my agreement lies on the period of Romanticism where the freedom of subjectivity is more embraced. To me, I am always touched by Werther’s desire and pain, Wordsworth’s embrace of the freedom, Mary Shelly’s personal touch on the development of scientific movement. It feels to me that humanity’s freedom reached to a new level in the romanticism movement.

However, this love towards romanticism does not erase my respect of Enlightenment and my acknowledgement of its contribution. I rather believes, after a deep study in HUM 4, that Enlightenment deeply confirms the idea that history is a chronological pattern that will not be dramatically changed by a particular event. The absolute world will not suddenly change into democracy without the gradual effort by philosophers like Hobbs, Locke, Rousseau, who gradually embellishes each other’s work further to firmly construct the path of democracy.

What’s my biggest takeaway from this class? That probably comes from every single art contest where every time I like a paint, that paint will lose. It kinda discourages me for a bit but I definitely have my realization that people’s opinion are vary and you can’t use your own opinion to substitute everyone elses’

But anyway, here is the Beethoven’s Movement 4 of the 9th Symphony. This symphony were generally considered as the piece that opens the world of romantic music. I hope that it brings you joy.

Enlightenment or Romanticism?

To me the central of idea of Enlightenment and the central idea of Romanticism, as presented in the class, are reason and beauty, respectively. Early on we learnt about figures such Locke, Hume, and Kant, who attempted to set standards for which how one could act rationally and adheres to reason which is universal. It is particularly apparent in Kant’s Groundwork that reason could be the highest among all other motivations human experienced, and that for a rational agent, reason is both the mean and end for which one acts upon. For these works which we’ve read under the name of Romanticism, they generally present beauty as a higher if not equivalent end to reasoning, an alternative option that explores what reason rejects and neglects. What we have here is essentially logic verses aesthetics, reasons verses sensations. Personally I’m more inclined to arguments from the Enlightenment side, as it is rational to use reason in weighting arguments. Works which are said to follow Romanticism do bring a good point in questioning whether one ought to be rational. If we can only use reason to evaluate motivation, then what is not rational is unlikely to be evaluate by reason as acceptable. In other words, we can only assume that reason is the only worthy end. This is the most interesting takeaway from this class for me thus far. The study of Enlightenment and Romanticism in the class reveals new insights to me about Foucault’ Madness and Civilization, a contemporary book examining how madness has been perceived and treated through centuries.

Seeing or Believing?

I would prefer a mixture of both Enlightenment and Romanticism. I believe that solid evidence and reasoning is essential to considering our knowledge, but man’s emotions are also important to consider. I agree more with Enlightenment because it relies of hard facts and observations. This type of evidence is difficult to dispute which makes it more reliable in my opinion. However, not everything can be seen or observed. Our limitations to what we can observe, such as feelings, makes me believe in the importance of Romanticism. Therefore, I believe these two perspectives should go hand in hand to come to the most appropriate conclusions.

Learning about Enlightenment and Romanticism has opened my eyes to aspects of our own culture. Many of our laws and basic rights are derived from Locke’s ideas, as well as other Enlightenment thinkers. However, certain aspects of our government depend on Romantic ideas. For instance, a jury in court can be swayed by both emotion and facts. Who we vote for can also be swayed by how a certain candidate appeals to our emotions (emotional) or how they promise to resolve certain issues (logical).

To me, the most interesting takeaway from this class is how many of the authors were inspired to write due to the oppressive governments they were in. I’m impressed that many of them were brave enough to write of their objections toward the government.

Romantic or just a little out there?

Throughout the last half of the quarter we have toyed with the idea of romanticism and how it affected the peoples mindset as we went through the years. Romanticism is like steeping away from the strict rules of reason. Where most of our thoughts and actions relied on emotion and our instinct. Which can clearly be seen within Goethe’s “sorrows of a young werther” and how werther beyond all reason acted purely on his desire to be with the love of his life. Much in the same way as people in modern times simply go with the flow, or live a life of YOLO. Modern romantics tend to try and experience life to the fullest, going on adventures, being out in nature and generally living their life with out much regard to reason. However, to live a life like this you must be able to distinguish between enjoying nature and living out your dreams, and following your desires into a phase where it causes harm to our own well being. In a sense romaticism is enjoying what the world as to offer but still within the bounds that it doesn’t affect your own life. Werther disregarded that second fact which had ultimately led to his demise. Live your life in balance and everything will end up just fine

Reason or Emotion? Not a Dilemma

The enlightenment thinking seems to align more with my own thinking since I was grown up and taught to base my view upon facts and reasoning. However, after studying Hum 4, I realize the importance of the thinking of Romanticism which is also not neglectable. I agree with Schiller’s idea that rationality and reason are not always the best approach to guide our life. As a human being, something that is deeply rooted in our human nature is sometimes more powerful than those objective facts we learned in our life. Therefore, I think we all need a mix of reason and emotion in order to live a better life.

Learning the thinking of enlightenment and romanticism also gives me a good indication of how to interpret western culture. It is hard to be rational at any time, and there are also so many things around us that trigger our emotions and some are negative. Therefore, we should have a clear view of the truth and facts before placing our judgments and we should also understand that sometimes it is fine to be not rational and just simply follow your feelings.

The biggest takeaway for me of this class is the acceptance of views and thinkings a learned. For me, I used to require myself to regard rationality as my top priority on almost everything and ask myself to be rational. However, I come to realize now that rationality is not the only measure of solving any problems after learning the ideas of romanticism thinkers.

Reason and Emotion

I think reason and emotion are both important, but between Enlightenment and Romanticism, I prefer the idea of Enlightenment. I think the ideas and methods of Enlightenment are much more feasible than that of the Romanticism. Because many ideas of Romanticism are based on personal and ideas. Then, there are questions arise that different people would inevitably have different views. Taking aesthetics as an example, no one will argue against that though have several general principles, aesthetics is still a subjective idea. Hence, Romanticism’s idea and method would still cause divergence.

Learning the ideas of Enlightenment gives a new perspective of considering the constitution of modern western society because most of western society have built their constitution based on the idea that people have certain inalienable natural rights and the duty of government is to protect these rights. What is more, Enlightenment’s ideas also give me a better understanding of the balance between personal freedom and the effectiveness of government.

I think the most interesting thing I take from this class is the idea of Romanticism because I think Romanticism depicted a way of life I sometimes want to live. This is something I have never thought about because most time I consider myself as living according to reason. However, when I find I have ideas the same as Romanticism, I have changed my view a lot.

Enlightenment in 10 weeks

Throughout the course, I have been more aligned to the Enlightenment side of the rationality it upholds. I am someone who believes in hard facts and numbers because of the truth it holds. The rationality and mechanical view of humans through the scientific method or even learning about Hobbes social contract was more applicable to me personally. Despite this, I have also enjoyed learning about the Romanticism ideals of focusing on the individual and sentiment over reason. It focused more on the organic feature of humans like emotions rather than the mechanical aspect where we are just cogs in a machine.

I believe that this has a large impact on contemporary western society because of the vast amount of information we have. It is very easy to fabricate and control how arguments are directed with manipulated data or biased persuasion. The Enlightenment teaches us to progress based on reason and the scientific method which makes it consistent when making an argument of any sort. For example, Locke was more focused on people’s natural rights and how it relates to their freedom under a government. It was very clear of what was required in his Second Treatise with his use of rationality and reason.

The most important takeaway from this class for me was the balance between Enlightenment and Romantic ideals. Both are polar opposites in terms of what they focus on but the authors we read had conflicting views that forced us to consider both sides and the middle road. For example, Goethe’s focus on following our emotions in contrast with Kant’s focus on duty and rational thinking made me concerned with the middle road and the tension between those two contrasting ideals. It is a unique style of thinking that would help in arguments that I thought was the most important takeaway from HUM 4.

I thought this image was a good representation of what Enlightenment thinkers were striving for when focusing on rationality and reason. It made us less organic and more mechanical.

Enlightenment vs Romanticism

Throughout the quarter we’ve learned about the ideas of the enlightenment and romanticism. To be brief, these movements’ ideas were the focus on reason and emotion respectively. I think it is crucial to realize that everyone should consider both perspectives. For example, someone living through the enlightenment perspective alone would lack a significant consideration of emotion or individualism. This could be a problem for governing entities where citizens may feel a need for their individuality to remain free and unique.

Brain vs heart; reason vs emotion

Sharing a Meal at the Table

Image result for claude monet woman reading
Claude Monet stans RISE

Although the Enlightenment and Romanticism are two eras which I had some knowledge of, taking this class has certainly cultivated a more complex and informed comprehension of what these two forces not only mean by themselves, but what they mean for each other. In other words, while I recognize the importance in treating these two periods of time as distinct breeding grounds for what grew to be two starkly different ideologies, I believe that a space exists where both find themselves in, where both find themselves intermingling with each other.

My belief that the Enlightenment and the Romantic period thus leads me to agree with both sides: while the need for a skeptical, individual intellectualism has proven to be instrumental in ushering forth a time of great discovery and reflection, the period of Romanticism allowed people more sentimental, metaphorical reprieve from such an attitude of intense pragmatism. In combining these two ideas, I don’t however necessarily believe that moderation is what produces the optimal, intellectual framework: Enlightenment ideals and Romantic ones don’t exist on a continuum, but are rather parallel processes, where the boundary of their parallelism becomes more or less permeable in specific areas.

From this evaluation of the importance in understanding how Enlightenment and Romanticism as not being diametric opposites, but are rather mental structures with a capacity to overlap, the compatibility between Enlightenment and Romanticism becomes evident. A commitment towards science and individualism allows for the clearer articulation of the organicist ideals clear in Romantic thought: everything must necessarily have life, but perhaps that ‘life’ can be interpreted as function, and every human being houses within themselves an intense realm of emotion, which cannot be denied by the Enlightened belief in oneself. An appreciation for the sentiments behind one’s actions, as well a the value of introspection can be realized in Enlightenment ideals as the fuel for why one reasons as they do, and the reassessment of one’s own beliefs, respectively.

This confluence between the rigidity of the Enlightenment and the fluidity of Romantic ideals has impacted the way in which I view the Western World, and is something which will continue to inform the way I appraise literary and social movements not only there, but in all the world. When people boast an argument of impenetrable cogency, perhaps a consideration of their motivations behind developing such a claim is necessary in further appreciating their beliefs: in this way, Enlightened ideals are revealed to be underlain with a Romanticist impetus. When looking at a piece of art, say by Georges Seurat, a closer inspection of much of his repertoire consists of entire images composed by tiny dots: in this instance, it is observed how one’s aesthetic, Romantic experience of art exhibits a foundation in Enlightenment ideals through the “effort” of much tinier, organized and intended constituents, to build something of even greater organization.

In undergoing the expansive and frustratingly rigorous work called upon us to complete, something which I’ve taken away, and continue to take away from preceding HUM courses, is the value in open-mindedness. This doesn’t necessarily mean relegating oneself to a state of false omniscience characterized by a complacent acceptance of all ideas, but the willingness to take a stance, but allowing other perspectives to have a recognized seat at the table. Enlightenment scholars and Romantics have equal license to partake in the same intellectual circles. HUM 4, and the HUM classes which have come before it, encourage an appreciation for not just one “person” partaking in this meal, but the event itself. There’s much to choose from, and perhaps a certain ideal may taste better to some, but there is value in knowing that others will have different preferences, and that yours–and theirs–may change.

Reason and Passion, we need them all!

Two main topics of this quarter’s humanities are Enlightenment and Romanticism. Enlightenment focuses on science, secular, and reason while Romanticism is about individual sentiment. Though for me I think reason and science is my top priority to learn and observe the world and the society (guess that is why I am here in a university and being in a engineering major), but it is also interesting when we did the video for Enlightenment vs. Romanticism, that gives me another approach to feel and experience the world. I liked the way how personal sentiment are portrayed and they affect people’s knowledge and emotions in Goethe’s work “The Sufferings of Young Werther”. Though I don’t like they way how Werther is so into Lotte that is either get her or suicide, and how his feelings are dependent on Lotte’s action to him, that makes him look like a bipolar disorder patient… So, though I think people in the Western civilization is more into logic and reason. Since as we go through from Hum1 to Hum3, most of the authors are using reason as the tool to think, and is their approach to philosophy. But still we might need some emotional education. It shocked me with the double-rainbow video, apart of finding it funny of how the guy was amazed and then burst to tears, it is thoughtful as well because it is hard to understand from reason point of view. So I guess we should develop romantic feelings, as it is a part of human experiences and it will make our mental world full. So Enlightenment and Romanticism, we need to study them all!

This is from a book cover of “The Sufferings of Young Werther”. This is pretty interesting here that Werther, as a romantic figure, seems he is experiencing some desperate conflicts in mind. While on the other hand, Lotte, acting as a Enlightenment figure like:”What’s wrong with this guy??”

Human = Romanticism and Enlightenment

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I agree with both enlightenment and romanticism. I think to be a complete human you need a mix of both. You need to be able to make rational decision. But you also need to be mindful of your emotions. I think the ability to apply the scientific method to come up with concrete answers is really valuable. But I also think sometimes the ability to take in your emotions and thinking together and come up with answers is the key being a complete human being. I think a lot of people in the western culture fall towards more of the romanticism side. This is seen in politics almost all the time. People most of the time vote for the personality rather than the policy. If people don’t like someone, then they don’t want to vote for them. Which is reasonable to a certain extent. But we should also be more open to listen to their policies. Our judgement should be a mix of both. But we shouldn’t let either romanticism or enlightenment overpower the other. The most interesting part for me was seeing how people think back then. And how people though before all these changes. It is really fascinating to see how two generations can struggle with the same thing.

How To: DIY Your Own Society

I would have to say that agree with the Enlightenment perspective the most because I find it more important to ensure a law that works for everyone using reason than following one person’s individual experience. While I do believe that the things we learn from each perspective are important and should be used in conjunction, I think if we failed to use the logic that arose from the Enlightenment then there would be a lot more issues for us as a species to deal with. I think the way the Enlightenment teaches one to think and make decisions is important for the creation of a functional society, something that we all currently rely on.

It has helped me recognize the purpose of various things in society and how they function together. There are some things that we put into society in order to serve a specific, function and are designed to have one outcome. These things, to me, represent the Enlightenment era where they strived to balance reason/duty with desire in order to serve one common good. Then, there are other things in society whose roll is to evoke thinking or some type of response. These things are representative of Romanticism because they prioritize the emotional and personal aspects to the interactions we have in life. Observing the western society that we have today, I can see where both of these things and ideas have a place and how they have merged together to allow us to appreciate both of their ideology.

To me, the most important thing I took away from this class was how to consider and compare different opinions and ideas. I feel like hum 4 dealt more with differing opinions within the same society and how to handle that, rather than the differences between societies. This is something that is very applicable to us because the United States is home to many different people coming from extremely different backgrounds, so we need to know how to coexist and learn from one another.

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I think that I align myself with a mixture of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism perspective because I think it is important to always consider both reasons and emotions when making decisions. I agree with the incorporation of the scientific method into our daily lives and how rational thinking is a reliable guide to living our lives. However, I also believe that we should always consider our emotions and feelings on these decisions because we need a balance between the rational and emotional sides of ourselves.

Throughout HUM 4 and learning about the two different perspectives, I think that it has really shown me how Enlightenment and Romantic thinking plays a role in our current society. When we discussed thinkers like Rousseau and Locke, I would look at their philosophy and think “hey, that’s kinda like this other thing we have in our government/society”. It’s really an eye-opening course that I kinda enjoyed because it allowed us to discuss and explore the foundations of our society and government.

I hope you enjoy this really bad meme I found. Stay healthy everyone!

Learning how to co-exist

As a person who would describe themselves as being more artistic and interested in the abstracts of life and culture, I find the general perspectives of Romanticism to be the most aligned with my own perspectives but I also have lots of similarities with the Enlightenment perspective. With the ideals of critical thinking and purposeful precautions and research, I think the Enlightenment ideals were necessary for the branch of Romanticism to bloom fully, as the Enlightenment formalized the practice of creating different theories and reasonings for things while the Romanticism focuses on learning embracing and co-existing with these differences.

The Romantic and Enlightenment period has paved the way for governments and citizens of modern societies to engage in political protests and give rights to freedom of expression.

Learning about Enlightenment and Romantic ideals has been an eye-opening experience in learning about how modern society even came to be in the first place. I have always been familiar with the strong historic pattern of religion in culture and daily lives, but through learning about the Enlightenment and Romantic period I understand how modern society was able to divert into diverse ideas and traditions we co-exist in today.

The most interesting takeaway I have from this class is seeing how everything in history through literature, art, etc, are essential building blocks and the foundations of the modern life that we all live in today. For example, by learning about the ideals of Hume and Locke and then comparing those texts with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, both documents that have an impact on my daily life as they are the laws I live by being a US citizen, has been a really interesting experience.

Influences of the Past: Reason vs. Emotion

online image showing balance between reason vs. emotion

I feel that the Enlightenment, which emphasized reason, broad philosophy and learning, and happiness and Romanticism, which emphasized emotions, individualism, and nature, are both equally important periods of time. The former furthered our ways of thinking and reasoning in ways that benefited the government and everyone collectively, while the latter ensured that the individual is also brought into consideration. Thus I do not agree with one perspective over the other, but both to the same extent. The collective is always important, but the individual should not be overlooked. Reasoning is extremely important, but feelings should not be ignored. Learning about the Enlightenment and Romanticism has impacted the way I view our contemporary western culture today by realizing that our culture is based on the combination of ideas taken from these time periods, making me value all our rights and privileges even more.Therefore, the most interesting or important takeaway from this class for me was that many things aren’t really cut and dry; one of two extremes would detract from our society today and to be honest, our society today, even with all its flaws, should not be taken for granted, seeing how much we have progressed from the past.

Choose your side

i found this online..

If given the chance to pick between Romanticism and Enlightenment views, I definitely wouldn’t be able to choose because I agree with both perspectives. I couldn’t imagine life with just one extreme or the other, either live a life that is all about reason or live a life that is all about feelings. I think that there should be a balance between the two, because different aspects of life needs to be approach accordingly. Learning about the Enlightenment and Romanticism didn’t really affect the way I viewed contemporary western culture today that much but, learning about this made me think of the different ways that Enlightenment and Romanticism perspectives still remain relevant today. How the way we are living today can be traced all the way back to thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Voltaire. In my point of view, this is the interesting takeaway from this class. That despite being centuries apart from these philosophers we learned about, their struggles and questions are similar to what we are faced with today.

We Escape, When We Are Trapped Inside This Octavarium

It’s a long song. I know. It’s a metal song that is about almost half an hour long. I know that as well. However, when you treat it as a short film that tells a story. Every minute you spend with this song makes sense. It almost drag you into the story, technically stories about different people who are experiences similar problems and how they come to a same answer.

The story talks about three person: A man who experience the pain of being “normal” but realized he just want that when he becomes an exceptional person, a man who wakes from 30 years of catatonic sleep only realizing that he will soon back to sleep with no ways to help him out, a man who cannot escape his dream that is haunting him like a roller coaster.

Suddenly, the song leads into a flashback of our experiences in life. A story line that talks about how we conquer problems in life but suddenly dies over someone’s madness and impulsive design. We experience our guilt, self-enclosure, panic while having our friends, family, enemies. However, at the end, we are trapped inside the Octavarium that will eternally enclose us from breaking through because we are parts of someone’s impulsive design.

Until this point, everything sounds depressing and painful. Isn’t it? Well, the song itself admits that sense of pain at the end of the song and talks about how the only thing we can do is bravely walk towards such trap. To me, that moment brings me the catharsis that I have not feel for a long time. It feels like admitting the desperate things in your life suddenly brings you to an understanding that you should bravely admits it and face it.

That is exactly Schiller’s idea. By bringing you into a sonic experience, you gradually understand the pain and sorrow it tells that reflect your life. However, at the end of song, that catharsis brings you to another level that you are able to handle such sense of pain and bravely face your life. That is when you are morally better. That is when you are able to face positively about your life no matter how painful it is.

Intellectuality and Sensuality Coexist in Frank Ocean’s Music

Schiller gives an account of how beauty and advantageous thinking must coexist, and this follows under his belief that rationale and nature are two standards that must persevere in tandem for the well being of society. These things are immutable and equally embedded in the human condition or human nature, so they must be respected in society. Sensuality, or the appeal to the heart according to Schiller, is a necessary companion for intellectuality, or the appeal to the rational mind which is weighing out good and bad. I believe this is seen in one of my favorite songs by Frank Ocean, Provider.

In this song, Frank speaks about how he has been focusing on his career and how this has prevented him from seeing his best friend, which is his way of understating the fact that this is his lover in this song. This person who he loves is getting restless without him, but his intellectual side has caused Frank to prioritize accumulating awards, money, acclaim, and jewelry through these musical ventures; these are all things of value in society and are a rational pursuit. However, Frank, having reached success, longs to be back with his lover and ponders innocently, “said I’ll be your new best friend, or maybe more” at the 1:36 mark. While his intellectual appeals lead him to be goal oriented for the sake of his family’s well being, his friend appeals to his sensual desires, and these coexist as valuable pursuits for frank.

Moreover, his statement of “You had you some birthdays, could you prove it? Show me the wisdom in your movement” is a strong message showing the intellectual standards of Frank that he sets for a potential lover, thus showing that even in love Frank must have a partner who exhibits a balance between sensual and intellectual characteristics.

How Different “Styles” of Art Can Merge The Sensual and Intellectual

Music, in general, has a way of being able to merge the sensual and intellectual because it allows us to communicate our feelings and understand our emotions through artistic expression. Through the sensational experience of hearing, we can experience feelings such as sadness, happiness, anger just from a single chord of music. The sensory experience offers as a foundation to then influence our perception of what we are hearing in the intellectual sense and thus allows the sensual and intellectual to merge together to be able to give rise to creativity, emotion and coming to terms with truths within ourselves.

Music and music videos in our day and age, have a way of being able to show the artist’s creative vision and emotions behind the songs they sing. For example, Harry Styles in his music video for “Falling” visualizes the pain and heartbreak of a break up he went through and how it affected him. This song has lyrics that are extremely personal to him and his experience but even for someone who has never been through heartbreak before, the song has a way of making you feel the sadness and see from his perspective the emotions he’s going through. Most can still relate to the feelings of not being good enough, or relate to the feeling of drowning in your own emotions, as seen in the music video by the water slowly flooding the room. Art, such as music, acts as a method of self-reflection and helps you recognize emotions in yourself, as well as understand the experiences of other people.

The Oath of the Horatii

This is a painting by David called The Oath of the Horatii, and it is an example of a merging between the sensual and intellectual.

When it comes to the sensual, viewers can clearly see the emotion coming from the women in the painting, as they are depicted in an emotional and tear-jerking moment, because they don’t want the men to go to war.

However, the painting combines the sensual with the intellectual, as seen on the left side of the painting. The men’s willingness to go to war for their nation represents the intellectual, as they are willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to do what is best for their own land. They realize the bigger picture, and see that it is more important to serve their nation than to serve themselves.

It helps viewers become better morally, because it pushes them to become more patriotic and promotes that people should do more things to help the nation they live in.

Corona Virus Song

This song was made as a public service announcement in Vietnam to address the safety precautions needed to be taken for the Corona Virus, such as hand washing and coughing in sleeve. The song was based off of a popular song in Vietnam called “Ghen” in which the original singers of that song volunteered to sing the Corona Virus Song. I think that this song merges a sense of sensuality and intellectuality because it addresses a serious worldwide problem and does so in a catchy, humorous way. By using an already popular, catchy song, the Corona Virus Song garnered a lot of attention from the audience, having people react in a supportive, laughter way, however the song remained its message as to how to approach the Corona phenomenon. The song helped us be better (morally) because the song does, although in a humorous manner, does promote Coronna Virus safety so it does in a sense allow us to better our own health.

Throwback to High School

Back in high school, I had a very similar discussion when discussing this photo and the novel The Grapes of Wrath so might as well just talk about it in blog post. This photo depicting a mother and her family in the Great Depression is a great example of a merge between sensual and intellectual because it was a photo that really tugged on the audience’s heartstrings along with prompting the idea that “we need a change.” Everyone who saw this photo have a sense of sympathy for this poor family and immediately could picture the struggles families faced during the Great Depression. It helped everyone morally because it opened up areas of sympathy that some people have never experienced and it prompted us to be wary not to make choices that will create another Great Depression.

The Beauty of The Scream

The Scream by Edvard Munch

The Scream is one of the most famous paintings done by Edvard Munch. When it comes to the sensual, at first glance, I find conflict, distortion, and use of savage contrasting colors in it. The more I look at the painting, the less emotionally settled I am. On the other hand, intellectually, I wonder what story lays behind the screamer, or even Munch himself. Although the painting expresses the feeling of anxiety to some extent, after understanding the reason of conflicts in Munch, I can tell that the reason and feelings of the painting are harmonious within the author himself. In contrast to the chaotic painting, it triggers the question in my mind about how or what can people do to make the world better as a whole, or even a person’s life better a little. The painting can help us morally because it allows us to believe that there will always be something more we can do in life.

Picturing Picasso’s Aesthetic

Woman with a Book Pablo Picasso 1932

When I was visiting Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of seeing a collection of art consisting of the pieces of many renowned artists. I was particularly drawn to the creations of Picasso, and I believe this particular painting, Woman with a Book, represents Schiller’s aesthetic experience especially well. Picasso was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, famous for greatly influencing the art movement known as Cubism. Cubism consisted of analyzing natural forms and reducing them into basic geometric parts. Picasso had an eclectic attitude to style, and while his pieces normally focused on one dominant approach, he often moved interchangeably between different art styles, such as Surrealism, throughout the course of his career. The woman of his focus, depicted in soft, disproportional shapes, and with an unnatural assortment of colors, provokes a feeling of melancholy, with her pensive gaze, open book, and head resting heavily on one hand. The head casts a prominent shadow on the back wall, making one who looks at this painting feel a sense of desolation. The expression on the woman’s face, along with the mostly cool palette, indicate serious and deep reflection. The emotions produced when one looks at this painting additionally inspire an intellectual response. When one looks at the strokes and the thickness of lines Picasso utilizes, one can visualize what his intentions of the painting were, and thus gain greater insight to his work of art. Thus, paintings are a great method of merging the sensual and intellectual in order to create Schiller’s aesthetic experience. Additionally, this painting can help us to be morally better. As an artist, Picasso is an example of committing to an absolute: loving an absolute quality of his subjects and sharing them through different styles of painting. When we view works of art such as this, we can appreciate Picasso’s commitment, and we can apply that commitment into our everyday lives, becoming inspired to follow a set of morals or standards to keep yourself accountable. Thus, Woman with a Book is a perfect example of Schiller’s aesthetic experience, blending the intellectual and sensual and inspiring individuals to become morally better.

A hectic place

This was the final product of r/place, a project run by the social media platform The premise was simple: let each of users place 1 pixel every 10 minutes and see what happens. after the initial chaos subsided, various communities across the platform rallied their members and got to work creating pieces of art to represent themselves. This giant canvas now features work from so many different groups that an interactive website ( ) was created to keep track of every individual piece present. I love this picture because I believe that it embodies both the diversity and the passion of the human race. Looking at it reminds me that there are many other people out there living their lives with their own goals and interests, but can still come together collaboratively to create art.

What do you see?

This painting, Liberty Leading the People, was painted by Eugene Delacroix in 1830. It depicts a victorious view of the French Revolution with Lady Liberty holding the French flag. I’ve seen this painting several times and even had the opportunity to view it in person, and I’m always captivated by the symbolism and freedom that it seems to emit. It’s really moving. I think that it represents Schiller’s idea of combining sensual and intellectual aspects of art: it evokes a feeling of liberation while also being intellectually stimulating in capturing key symbols of the French Revolution. At a quick glance, it seems that there’s a woman holding the French flag with various men following her and brandishing firearms. The symbolism can be interpreted in how the leader is a female, in which Delacroix purposefully personifies liberty as a female, rather than a male. Another interesting aspect of the artwork is the representation of different social classes, where you can see how there’s a man in fancier clothing (tophat!) and a boy dressed in more casual attire. From this perspective, you can see that there’s more to the painting than meets the eye.

She is beauty; she is grace

This famous photograph was taken by Dorothea Lange during the Great Depression period. I thought this caption this week’s theme as it appeals to both the sensual and the intellectual. When I first saw this photo, I was both in awe of the photo’s beauty but it also ignited sadness in me because of the look on the woman’s face. It appeals to the sensual due to the emotion it provokes in the viewer. But it also triggers the intellectual because one begins to wonder why the woman is so sad, if the people on her shoulders are her children, or what she is thinking.

This photo shows how we should live morally in that it ignites sympathy in the audience. It motivates us to want to treat others with respect and help other human beings in need.

Vaporwave and Ancient Greece

Here is an video I found on YouTube. It is music in the Vaporwave genre which was highly popular in the 80s. There is no other image in the video except for the picture of the Greek god Helios and a Vaporwave album cover from Japan. Adding context, Helios is the Greek titan of fire or the sun. He is known for his strength and immense determination to finish a task. He is the complete opposite of Vaporwave which promotes laid back behavior and complacency. One interpretation for this is that, since Helios has one weakness is that his fire both metaphorically and literally can burn away everything to his goal. Vaporwave in the 80s was also highly popular, so much so that it died rather quickly and now it is used for evoking feelings of nostalgia for the peaceful times of the past. For us college students, it is important to put our goals in front of us especially for the ones seeking competitive career path. However, it is also important to slow down and check other opportunities rather than burning everything down on our way to our end goals, because at the very end when we reach it, there would be nothing else to fuel our fire.

Black or White or maybe both?

Michael Jackson created this song, ‘Black or White’, that deals with race issues such as discrimination. This piece of art makes us better by raising awareness of racial discrimination and marginalization issues that are still popular around the world. Sensually, because of the nature of the song, it is easy to feel and experience the emotions of tolerance that the art is trying to convey. Intellectually, listeners may feel some type of empathy and realize the true cruelty that can occur.

A peaceful chaos~

Image result for pictures of chaos that look peaceful
By Veil Bariskan

This picture seems like a calm dawn, with the ocean at peace and no one out on the water to disrupt it and the creatures that exist within it. Yet the fog blocks our view from the full picture, not allowing us to fully see all the levels of the sea and what is there with it, making us question what is being masked by the fog.

Therefore, this merges sensual and intellectual aspects by giving us different levels and textures to try to interpret within the environment (such as, what is beyond the fog, or what is the fog sheltering us from and what is existing above and beneath the ocean). The intellectual aspects comes in by forcing us to think further beyond what we initially see and to see what is happening in each level of this picture, and are we fully aware of these answers. Therefore, this can help us morally because pictures like this tend to awaken our curiosity and push our ability to think forward and figure out what is happening beyond our initial thoughts of the world we observe around us.

Looking Within

Fallen Angel by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat painted this abstract image with vibrant colors and strange lines. The graffiti art attracts people’s attention and draws out one’s emotions with its intensity and peculiar style. There are a lot of strokes in this painting, but the main focus remains on the fallen angel. One will notice that the face is rather disturbing and masked. On the other hand, the body is exposed for everyone to see. The contrasts and odd details in this painting make viewers think about what it is Basquiat wants us to see within this fallen angel. He wants us to look within this creature that tries to hide behind a mask. In this manner, Basquiat uses his art to give an experience that prompts the readers to wonder what is within such strange creatures, as well as ourselves. So, Basquiat brings us to questions what devilish things could be within us.


Vincent Van Gogh painting was a story of himself. This picture that he drew is very powerful and it describes it as agony, anxiety as well as suffering from a mental illness that he battled throughout his young years. The story behind “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was that when his brother Theo, was searching for their forever home, after his release from the asylum. Dr. Gatchet wanted to work with artists like Vincent. At first he didn’t like Dr. Gatchet but then he grew fond of him. He said, “I have found a true friend in Dr. Gachet, something like another brother, so much do we resemble each other physically and also mentally.” Intellectually we feel that this is a nice thing because it shows that there people out there that care. 

Alignment: True Neutral

This is a scene from a web-comic called Fisheye Placebo by Yuumei. It takes the perspective of a photojournalist in a country with high censorship. To be found with the camera means certain death, and thus the photographer must remain in the shadows without interfering even for the morally “right” reasons. This scene blends dull and warm colors together to highlight this clash. We can make out the faces of some of the figures in this scene. Sensually, we can only see what the photographer sees. Intellectually, we feel distraught at the injustice of the situation; we feel sympathy for the family but understand the plight of the photographer: their neutrality.

Art transforms

I took a picture of this painting the last time I went to the museum. This caught my eye because it was so pretty. I was in so much awe with this painting and didn’t realize until now that I have no clue of what the title of this piece is or who made it. Art, although it doesn’t say anything, has the ability to engage its viewers to the point that they get lost in it. Art has the power to merge both sensual and intellectual. What initially attracts a person to art is its appearance and what draws the person closer to a specific piece is the person’s ability to interpret the meaning behind the art. This painting did exactly that for me, its visual appearance is what caught my eye initially, from its colors to the structures of the building and to its life-likeness. Once this painting got my attention, I was able to put myself in this piece and just think, think of all the possible meanings that corresponds with the painting. It’s quite fascinating how art has this ability to guide us morally because it’s our interpretation of the art that really transforms it.

Monet’s Art

This oil painting is done by Claude Monet in the last thirty years of his life, as one among the series “Nympheas”. The style presented in this work is usually referred as impressionism, which are characterized by soft and light brush strokes, realistic approaches to lights and shadows, and unusually angles of presentation. The method applied by the artist to produce this work in a sense adheres to the rational ideals, as Monet has done a series of studies on how the lights changes from different times of the day, even different times of the year. This piece is but one among the many that depicts the same pond and the same garden from the same angles.

I See it, I Want It, But Should I Keep It?

A Calvin and Hobbes comic that teaches viewers about the morality behind keeping things in captivity.

Calvin and Hobbes comics are usually short and sweet, and either in color or black and white. For works of art that seems so simple at first glance, it’s a wonder how Bill Watterson mangaed to fit in such profound pieces of life advice/philosophical dilemnas within them. This comic in particluar is only four panels with no color. The comic is aesthetically pleasing to those who appreciate the minimalist line art and exaggerated expressions, and is fit with a sense of nostalgia for others who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes comics.

Yet, with only one exchange in dialogue and two extra panels of silence, the comic speaks volumes. It gives us a simple message that questions the morality of keeping creatures in capitivity. In most cases, whether it be children or entire ogranizations who are looking for a profit, when humans see something they consider beautiful or interesting, they feel the need to keep it somewhere they can look at it whenever they want to. Children who capture insects or uproot plants from their habitats do so because they don’t know any better. When Hobbes implies to Calvin that keeping his newly captured butterfly is morally wrong, Calvin lets it go. Despite this, there are plenty of older people who keep beautiful things in captivity for their own gain.

Again, the message here is simple. If a child can understand the consequences of keeping beautiful things in captivity, why don’t we all follow Calvin’s lead?

Survival of the Traitorous

Fat Mouse, Pawel Kuczynski, 2013

This painting perfectly communicates the idea Schiller was getting at in On the Aesthetic Education of Man. The cat attacking the mouse appears to be a common occurrence. However, there is also a well-fed and well-dressed mouse sitting on top of the cat, dangling the other mouse in front of the cat’s face. Replacing the animals with people, the real monster appears to be the mouse who sacrificed the other one, not the cat itself, which is expected to attack the prey that’s being dangled in front of it. Without any words, we can see the artist’s communication of the idea that in order to get ahead, people would sacrifice others that they have a lot in common with, because they care only about themselves.

This merges the sensual, how we visually see the cat and the two mice, and the intellectual, how we perceive all of them in relation to one another. The fact that this image makes us feel disgust toward the happy mouse sacrificing the other one molds our conscience: we are more conscious of our own actions and not using others, to their detriment, for our benefit. We realize that cooperation and kindness are most important, not being on the top at the expense of others. The artist intends to make us reflect on our actions and this in itself makes us better morally.

Don’t tag

Photograph-A Scientist

Many people might have seen this iconic picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out. This picture is one of my personal favorites, not only it is ironic since it does not match any other picture of him being serious, so it create a sense of humor; but also how it let me know and take that people are multifaceted, it is never absolute to judge a person, thus, don’t stereotype.

As Schiller believes that art can arise intellectual for people and make them better morally. The idea from this photograph for me is that don’t hold stereotypes. The reason why people find this funny because it create a diverse impression how we usually think Einstein is-serious, genius, and big-brain. However, here he can also be humorous, playful, and maybe…cute. I think that’s is why the caption is called “A Scientist”. A scientist might not be what people believe he or she is, each of them have different characteristics. Scientists are also people, they should not be tagged with a trait of such people often present, and it applies to all of us.

If the idea rises from this photo need to improve us morally, then I guess it tells us that people are complicated, like what Muse said about Odysseus:”Tell me about a complicated man…” .Like Odysseus, and in this picture, Einstein, people can’t be judged or left an impression of a single word, just we can’t merely describe Odysseus as good, or bad. So it is insufficient to judge a person according to stereotype.

(Aside from this but not quite… What I liked about the Champions’ Ballad (DLC2 of Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild) is that it shows an opposite characteristic of all the four champions in their past story, distinct from what they have shown in the main storyline. That gives me a feel that they are REAL characters than a programmed NPC. ) : )

Picking Up The Pieces

Live, and learn, break some things and move on. What sucks is that sometimes it is your heart that breaks and you have to pick up the pieces. I have had to learn this tale quite a few times, and every time I decided to blame myself for something going wrong. Sometimes it was, other times it just was people being incompatible with each other. However, I took the time to let myself heal, try and become a better person for myself and for others. Learn a new hobby. Its just learning how to pick your self back up and move on.

Where is the nest?

In this picture, a fledgling rest on the tree stump. The fledgling still has thick feathers, so it is obvious that it is not able to fly. What’s more, as most kinds of fledglings have the habit to stay in the nest so that they can be fed by their parents and avoid the predator outside, it can be deduced from the picture that the nest of this fledgling is on the tree which has been cut down because this is the only reason why this little creature would leave its nest. Adding the fact that this fledgling cannot fly yet, which indicates it has no ability to live on itself, there is no wonder that it is in extremely dangerous situations.

Viewing this fledgling, people will have a better understanding of the importance of environmental protection. Because in the dark quiet night (the universe), humans are just fledglings rest on the only nest, earth. Just like the destiny of this fledgling who is out of its nest, the only destiny for humans when they left the “nest” is death (for now at least). Hence, people will understand that protect the environment is never about protecting the earth. Instead, we protect the environment just because we want to protect ourselves. Understanding this, people would reconsider their actions when they left permanent damage to the environment.

I lost my torso while traveling, lol

“Le Grand van Gogh”, one of 10 sculptures part of a series called “Les Voyageurs” by French sculptor Bruno Catalano

It’s been said that traveling is a great way to escape from everyday life and go on an adventure to explore different cultures, meet new people, broaden your perspective, and discover ourselves. Traveling, in general, has a very good reputation and is very much recommended. Why else would universities invest in a study abroad program?

These sculptures seem to suggest otherwise. Here, we see lone travelers, each carrying a small suitcase. The most striking feature is the omitted portion of the bodies. The sculptures, while interesting to look at, display themes of belonging, home, completeness, emptiness, and the like. They seem to convey that traveling, which most would expect to be fulfilling in some sense, takes away fragments of ourselves. What do we leave behind to gain what traveling offers? While exploring the big, wide world, how much of ourselves do we lose in the process and is that always a good thing?

It is also interesting how the sculpture is made to show how the suitcase eventually becomes its means of support. This detail appears to ask, “Is it possible to travel too much to the point that traveling becomes a crutch?” Does traveling become a bad thing only when we choose to prioritize it over investing in a home, which is our main support system?

Regardless of how these sculptures are interpreted, I see these them as a nice reminder that learning new things and expanding one’s perspective does not always mean that we have to give a part of ourselves away. Instead, learning new things should enhance who we already are, and we can incorporate what we learn to how we currently live to be better people. In this way, these sculptures appeal to both the intellect and the sensual as an eye-catching art piece.

Why CARE-avaggio About Art?

Caravaggio’s Narcissus

Narcissus’ famed tale, as realized through Caravaggio, shows a harmony between the sensual and intellectual due to his masterful artistry. In consideration of its complexity, Caravaggio’s Narcissus will be addressed through two details which which reflect the reconciliation of sense and intellect: the stark, visual difference between Narcissus and his reflection, as well as Narcissus’ posturing over the pond which yields his reflection. In uncovering the significance behind these features, the audience would enjoy the artwork from a perspective marked by a more complex understanding of the warnings the artwork purports. That is, the danger in excessive self-love.

In assessing the difference between Narcissus and his reflection, it is first important to note the similarity between them: the pool does offer a mirror to Narcissus, and thus both figures are inherently similar. However, it is in this similitude through which the contrast between them is enhanced. Narcissus himself is painted with the pederastic, aesthetic standards of Greek mythology: he has a supple build, ivory skin, and feminine features as seen through his hair. In essence, Narcissus fulfills the beauty expectations of his time, and he executes these while maintaining a vibrancy to him. In stark contrast, his reflection is dimmer, with certain features becoming swallowed up by the water’s darkness. In noticing this, there is a contrast that can be extrapolated which exists within the same person: despite Narcissus’ lively, outer appearance, in reality he is a somber, pitiful being due to his self-obsession. Our senses allow us to see the contrast between Narcissus and his reflection: our knowledge of the myth allow us to know that this artwork attempts to visualize the tragic end of excessive self-love. In specific, this ‘end’ is the inevitable demise of becoming too pre-occupied by oneself: Narcissus does indeed die due to his narcissism.

In observing Narcissus’ physical positioning, one will see that his posturing might be abnormal. When enamored by one’s own reflection, one might visualize a narcissist simply laying bellow-down, cradling their head in their hands as they dreamily watch their own reflection. This however, is not the case in Caravaggio’s work: Narcissus is hunched over, kneeling, and with hands, flat on the ground, supporting a frame weighed down by egotism. By using one’s intellect to interpret the art in this way, one might see that Narcissus is in fact not enjoying his pulchritude: he is slaving over it. Narcissus’ act of adoring himself then stops becoming a romantic daydream, but a perilous trap that is equal parts alluring and consuming. This idea of self-love as an exhausting, self-destructive force then becomes a message that rises from the artwork. From this potential conclusion, it becomes easy to understand how art, by merging the sensual and intellectual, can yield insights into how one ought to live, how one ought to behave morally.

What Can You See From Her Eyes?

This photo is a propagandist picture title as “I want to go to school” of the Project Hope of China Youth Development Foundation that is very famous. For the first time I saw this picture, I was struck by the big eyes of this little girl that is so clear and innocent. Her firm eyes looking directly to the camera reveals the great desire for knowledge that is so heart-touching and impressive.  The character in this picture is MingJuan who comes from a low-income family in rural areas and lives a hard life. Her family cannot afford her to go to school to receive better educations. Under the help of the foundation in Project Hope, she went to school for the first time and fulfill her dreams finally. Everyone looking at this picture will be definitely caught by the pretty eyes of this little girl since they are so appealing. When looking at her eyes, I always think of how much happiness and comforts that I have enjoyed during my growth. Since there are so many children in every corner of the world that cannot receive educations or even in the face of starvation and wars that threaten their lives at any time, we who live in a peaceful life should always be grateful for what we have had.

Brighten the darkness, or darken the brightness?

By most, the symbol above is known as “yin and yang.” It has a rather vague meaning. It symbolizes the balance with the dark and bright. It is a portrayal of the good and the bad, tranquility and turmoil, none of which can exist without the presence of the other. Everything we perceive is relative to another experience. One cannot feel happy if they have never been sad. Both sides of the spectrum play a crucial role in keeping each other intact. I think that this should be the guide for one’s life. Everything needs to happen in a balance, in unison, nothing should be pursued to the extreme, if one wants to preserve all they have been given. One gives up the opposite by experiencing the extremes and it’s really hard to receive any good from the chosen extreme when the relativity to the other side is destroyed.

From the perspective of Schiller, I see yin and yang as a symbol of reason and feeling in harmony. The dark side represents feelings. They are usually uncharted, have unknown sources and are uncontrollable by the host. They are the dark forces that we don’t understand and thus cannot reason about or control. Sometimes they are good feelings, sometimes they are bad, but in any case, once they are in control, we are like passengers in a roller-coaster. The bright side is the reason, it is clearly visible to us and it is directly controlled by our thoughts. The brightness sheds light on the darkness to help us see.

Even if darkness might be perceived as bad, it is quite the opposite. It is what brings us joy, helps us feel human. It is what makes us alive and genuine, giving us the ability to empathize, socialize and create memories. It makes us take risks, induces curiosity to explore and encounter new experiences. Darkness is what gives meaning to the brightness. Brightness, on the other hand, is what allows us to understand and contemplate. It helps us develop new skills and helps us make sense of the darkness. It helps us spread good into the world.

Neither one can exist without the other. Without the uncertainty of our feelings, our reasoning would be meaningless. Imagine knowing the exact course of your life to the exact detail. What would be the point of struggling and thinking through it when there is no uncertainty and no feeling? Is it worth living without the excitement of experiencing new stuff with others and the joy of achievement? Would you keep playing a game even if you beat it 100% of the time with no challenge whatsoever, or solve a puzzle that you already know how to? Likewise, feelings cannot exist without reason. If that was the case, we would be blind followers of feelings, completely dark, nothing to see or think about. Feelings are what we use our reason for. We reason to help us feel good. If reason and our enlightened minds weren’t there, we would merely be an animated series of chemical reactions enclosed in a human-shaped body. No choice, no escape, only reactions to stimuli.

Even though I tried to describe the two sides (bright and dark, reason and feeling) separately, they are naturally inseparable and they always overlap. If they could be divorced, how would yin and yang exist anyway? Brightness can be perceived due to the contrast to the darkness and vice versa. Embrace them both. You are both.

So which one shall we choose, brighten the darkness or darken the brightness? The answer is neither. Leave them as they are. Listen to them both. Exile the one and the other will follow.

2 Different Worlds on the Same Planet

In general, most people believe that we should explore more outside of this planet to places like Mars, Jupiter, etc. However, the ocean often goes under looked when we realize that we haven’t fully explored all of it and it covers the majority of our own planet. When we take a look at this picture, we can see the two contrasting worlds just separated by the surface of the water. On the top, we have the industrialized, modern world while below the surface, we have the natural, wild and free ecosystem of marine life. Schiller argues that this beauty is it’s own authority in the sense that mankind’s ideals can not affect or corrupt it’s ideal. When we begin to admire what the art displays, it demonstrates its sensual experience of observing the contrast between both worlds. Then we begin combine that beauty with our intellectual sense as mankind and make judgement where we can question and challenge art and man’s ideals. This composes the aesthetic experience when we have a free play between our sensual and intellectual experiences.

Our aesthetic experience of learning about the distinction between the industrialized and natural world integrated with our intellect can “ameliorate” the fractured state between the contrasting ideals that each experience teaches us. We can begin to be morally better when we understand both worlds and respect the differences to preserve the beauties that both worlds exclusively have from the aesthetic experience we undergo when viewing this art piece.

I’m Happy For You Taylor But Beyonce….

This is a picture taken at 2009 VMAs during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for the best music video. Looking at this picture, everyone looks just as shocked as Taylor Swift. During Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech Kanye West ran onto the stage and snatched the microphone from Taylor Swift and started saying that he is happy for Taylor Swift for winning an award but he thinks that Beyonce had the best video of all time. This picture(or the video of the incident) is a demonstration of how aesthetics can be sensual and intellectual but they make humans better morally. When this happened, everyone was shocked, and looking at it now, eleven years later, I’m still shocked. Kanye’s behavior was rude, but what he said was true. The sensual side made you lean against Kanye because of how rude his actions were. But the intellectual side made you lean towards Kanye. What Kanye said in 2009 holds true to this day that Beyonce had the best music video of all time. Beyonce didn’t win the best music award for Single Ladies, instead Taylor won it for a song I don’t even remember. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t know some of the Single Ladies’ classic dance moves. On the other hand, I don’t know a single person who knows of the song Taylor Swift won the music award for. This incident is a great demonstration of how sometimes the way someone says something or does something makes us ignore the meaning behind their actions. Kanye’s actions were rude and that might make you want to not to listen what he said. But if you take the time to listen, then you would understand what he was saying was right. I believe that is an important lesson to learn that this picture demonstrates. The moral of this picture was the way a person communicates a message might be wrong but we have to put majority of our focus on what they are trying to communicate and not how they are trying to communicate it.

I want to be a reclusive shepherd in Iceland

I chose a photo of Norway because it is a very peaceful place. It merges the concepts themselves of peaceful small towns and silence. The aesthetic beauty of the land around and the quiet water puts forth concepts of small friendly towns and simple lives. The quiet life can seem appealing, but our intellectual side drives for more development and to go further in life to seek achievement. It unites our peaceful seeking and our aspirations and drives people to appreciate what is around them in their busy lives.

Image result for norway fj

It reminds people of friendliness and that taking a moment sometimes is better for people. If you take a moment with the people you are with you can feel connected with others and understand them better. This gives people a better sense of perspective if people take a moment in their lives to appreciate what is around them and to focus on others instead of just themselves.

Can You Imagine

This photo I took at the Musée d’Orsay in France. I feel like this photo gave me the aesthetic experience that Schiller describes because when I was looking at this picture I felt as if I was interacting with nature without truly seeing it. I was able to put myself in the setting of this photo and imagine what it would be like. Artists that are able to connect the viewer with their subject matter without ever truly experiencing it is a rare and powerful talent. As a product of their talent one is able to connect the intellectual part of your brain to the emotional. The reason this particular picture gave me this aesthetic experience was because it allowed me to utilize my imagination. If solely based on the art work one is able to imagine themself there and the atmosphere that they would experience, then this could help to create a sense of empathy. This is important to becoming a better human being. This idea of empathy can apply to real life situations that would connect you with other human beings. Thanks to the aesthetic experience induced by this photo I was able to connect an emotional, empathetic experience to a real life skill that takes intellect.

the abuse of freedom of speech

The first Amendment of the United States says that we have freedom of speech. But I feel like the freedom of press abuses this power because it gives different views to people towards how to view the government, the world, their lives. Which is why there’s mixed feelings with the press. The press lies and tries to influence you to think that the government is doing the right thing. Free all have free will, and we all have different perspectives in different things. The media should give their viewers information that is true, and something that doesn’t tell them to do something or not. Is the government telling the media to say lies to the public?

Only as strong as the people around you!

As the new election cycle gets rolling we have to remember that the ball is generally in our hand when it comes to electing our new president, senators and governors. This is basically because our government only works because the people that are being governed are consenting to it. This consent will only hold true if the government protects our natural rights. Otherwise, the government loses power and anarchy ensues. We can also see this with our current president, he’s currently seen as an eligetiment president because he had won our electoral vote but in the popular polls he had lost. Everyday he gets some criticism from both parties because of his actions, and he has not done as much as most other presidents.

Where is the fine line that distinguishes free speech from hate speech?

In the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, Article 11 states that free expression is “one of the most precious rights of man”, which was later carried over into the Bill of Rights. Since it was included in the first amendment, it goes to show how important this key idea is to Americans. However, how far can one push the idea of “free speech”? I think that it’s very difficult to specifically define what is considered free speech and what is considered hate speech–there is a lot of grey area. This right to free speech is vital to what makes the United States unique and it appeals to those in countries who do not get to exercise this right. As for the political cartoon above, I think this is a good representation of how people manipulate the “free speech” right as an excuse to spew hatred and discrimination against those who differ from them.

Is Constitution Designed for a Federal or Anti-Federal Government?

This picture, in my opinion, represents the whole sense of conflict that you are able to see in the constitution itself and the process of making the constitution. In one way the formation of Untied States of America is to defend the people against the power of the tyranny and to provide people with necessary freedom. However, the formation of the constitution comes from the fact that the original article of confederation does not provide enough power for the government. Therefore, even though most people tend to argue that constitution is the model of modern political philosophy. Many other people nowadays are raising the question, that the liberalism that America declared at the time, is not coherent with the ideology of liberty.

My question then is: If the constitution does not fully reflect the political liberalism rising at that time. What does?

Too Young For Inalienable Rights?

Former NBA player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union have recently revealed their 12-year-old child Zaya (known formerly as Zion) as their transgender daughter.

The married couple has received a lot of backlash for this, as many have argued that their daughter is too young to make this type of decision on her own. However, many have also supported the couple, saying that they are doing what’s right by supporting their daughter’s decision.

The Declaration of Independence states that all people are born with certain inalienable rights including life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. However, do you think there should be a certain age limit until people are old enough to be allowed to make these types of decisions for themselves? Or did the parents make the right decision by giving their daughter freedom to find her sexuality on her own at a young age?

Voting for the wrong reasons?

America was founded on the basic principles of freedom of speech and democracy. However, as of recently, the rise of mass media has contributed to possible voting for the wrong reason. Here I have an image of my laptop sticker that says “I voted.” While some people get the sticker because they are proud that they performed their civic duty, I wonder if others vote merely for “social clout” to show off to friends. I feel that many people in our generation choose to vote because it is trendy or will somehow improve their image and how others perceive them. While I acknowledge that it is important that they are still actually doing the action of voting, I feel that intention here matters. Throughout much of our discussions, we have talked about intention when one is performing actions, and I began to wonder what the Founding Fathers would think of us now if they were to see how the United States operates today?

Symbols Are a Pathway Towards Expressing Free Speech, Writing, and Printing

Photos by the Stuart Art Collection, UC San Diego

UCSD helps encompass one of the most important features of our society and of documents such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. As stated in article 11 of this document, “the free expression of thought and opinion is one of the most precious rights of man; thus every citizen may freely speak, write, and print, subject to accountability for abuse of this freedom in the cases determined by law” (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1987, Article 11). Thus, this image relates to the reading because this is UCSD’s silent tree, which is part of the Stuart art collection here at UCSD. This tree’s name can be misleading for those who take it literally, but in fact, the tree serves a very important purpose. Numerous protests over the years have taken place at this tree, which is a symbol for not only the UCSD community, but also our world of today to learn from. Protesters come to this tree to protest, and they are in no way violating any laws, but rather, exercising their ‘most precious rights’ by speaking up about subjects they care about, writing up proposal and speeches that can also be heard at rallies that take place here, and printing/making posters to visually capture the attention of many. Thus, should more symbols of free speech and expression be promoted/established in the world beyond UCSD, and where should they be implemented? What are some other examples of other symbols of free speech, writing, and printing?

calpirg out here reminding me to vote

Shown below is a CALPIRG sticker encouraging students to vote for their cause. Exercising our right to vote has been a hot topic lately with the primary elections coming up. Throughout the course of US history, suffrage has evolved from being limited to white males over the age of 21 to including any US citizen over the age of 18. This right stems from the definition of democracy: a government ruled by the people. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen states that “[l]aw is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation.” In other words, every citizen can be involved in the discussion and creation of laws. This notion is derived from Rousseau’s social contract theory where people enter a social contract by willingly submitting to the general will of society and execute this general will by participating in government matters. Voting is one way to contribute to shaping a government that meets the people’s expectations. However, this begs the question of whether the people are the best judges of the change they want to see in society and how to go about bringing that change. Without considering the amount of time needed to count the votes, would it be better to let the government’s decisions be decided on the direct vote of citizens or the vote of an educated and elected few?

CALPIRG voting sticker on a pole near PC bus stop

Is It Free Speech If We Silence What We Find Offensive?

This photo I took is not really that recent, but I feel as if this is pretty relevant to this week’s topic. I took this photo during a rally that happened during New Year’s in Vegas. It was an organized rally by these protesters- so there were not really violating any laws. Who did violate the law however were the onlookers as they began to assault some of the protesters. In the Decleration of Human rights Article 10 and 11, it mentions that everyone’s opinions are equal to anyone else’s. I didn’t agree with these protesters, but it did not mean that my opinion is more valid than theirs nor did it justify violence onto them. The perpetrators were preaching about freedom of speech and morality as they beat down protesters which was highly ironic in a grim way. That night was an eye-oppening experience for me since I got to really see what some people regarded as equality.

The Protection of Online Privacy

This picture represents the current issue of Internet privacy: one that has turned into a paradox of conflicting interests and miscommunication. In the Declaration of Independence, the Fifth Amendment protects individuals against self-incrimination, which then protects the privacy of each individual’s personal information. In other words, an individual has the right to determine which information about them is collected, and additionally how that information is used. This is demonstrated when Internet browsers and social media apps allow its users to choose levels of privacy settings, giving options to share publicly to only share minimally with close friends. Despite these options users have, problems are still occurring, and identity theft is still a prevalent issue. Recently, Facebook was forced to call off the launching of its dating service in Europe because they failed to show they had performed legally required tests of privacy risks for their users. These slip-ups allow for identities to be bought and sold like common merchandise across the entirety of the Internet. Breaking into social media platforms or websites, stealing personal information, and using it for personal gain is unfortunately common. Despite the Declaration of Independence dedicating several Amendments to the rights of privacy of citizens, the fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth as some examples, current issues of soliciting personal information are still relevant with the technology of the Internet. Thus, should the government take further steps to prevent the hacking of social network accounts, and thus better ensure our right to privacy as stated in the Declaration of Independence? If so, what should those steps be?

Freedom of Expression is (almost) Always Welcome Here

Within the Graffiti park, you can find a beautifully painted mural of Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter who took inspiration from nature, her culture, and herself. Kahlo’s art embodied elements of her own identity, so it’s fitting that the college student who painted this mural added a few modern elements to the painting. Just to name a few: coffee, instant ramen, a cell phone, the the book that Kahlo is reading all seem to be important parts of the anonymous painter’s identity, and there are much more that I’m certain the painter could never fit into a single painting. The Graffiti Park allows a safe place for artists to express themselves. Freedom of expression is such an important right in America, yet many Americans either forget that others are allowed to express different opinions, or forget that you can be held responsible for abusing said freedom.

This tribute to Kahlo couldn’t possibly make passerby feel so uncomfortable that they feel the need to report it and get it taken down, but the same can’t be said if Kahlo were replaced with a certain cheeto man wearing a red cap with the letters MAGA printed on the front. This isn’t a declaration of my political beliefs. Far from it. Rather, I am stressing that it is important to remember that freedom of speech goes both ways. Most higher education institutions seem to house a majority of liberals, and I fear than many conservatives are too afraid to express themselves because they don’t want to be criticized. Of course, if exercising that freedom leads to one or more individuals getting hurt or killed, then the punishment dished out to the perpetrator is justified no matter what their political beliefs are.

Freedom of R̶e̶l̶i̶g̶i̶o̶n̶ Christianity

The First Amendment of the Constitution describes that citizens have rights to their own freedom of expression and their own religion. This most likely stems from the fact that original settlers of the United States were trying to escape religious persecution and wanted the right to be able to express their thoughts and practice their own religion. There are religious ideologies and sayings embedded all throughout our society, and it serves as a foundation of the beliefs of the government and the decisions that our government makes. “In God, We Trust” is on the back of our currency, we say God’s name in the Pledge of Allegiance, we recognize Christian holidays, and many politicians appeal to Christian religious beliefs as a basis of their campaigns. Despite the impression that there is a separation between church and state in the American government, the superiority of the Christian religion and ideals is evident within every aspect of our society. My question is, is does this undermine the statute of equality that is implied within the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” if religious superiority is embedded within our own Constitution? Doesn’t this alter the view of citizens and create prejudices against those who are not Christian? Can we truly be equal if there is no separation of church and state?

Manifesting the legacy of our ancestors

Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution expresses the sentiment that Congress will not make laws preventing people from exercising free religion or demanding that people follow a specific religion. Furthermore, it grants people the right to freedom of speech. This relates to the picture below of the graffiti boards near the student center. These graffiti boards are used for students to artistically exercise their freedom of speech and for years, students have used them to make a statement, philosophical, political, or otherwise. In this particular picture, the board in question addresses Islam Awareness Week. In the corner it states, “I am who I am because I’m Muslim.” The person who made this makes a very important statement: their religion is a part of their identity. As a part of the U.S. Constitution, freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. Yet in recent times due to terrorism on the part of some individuals, the entire religion of Islam has been discriminated against and looked down upon. This student clearly and proudly states, however, that the people they are today can be attributed, at least in part, to their religion. So here we see this student exercising both their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion against opposition. Therefore, we see the very existence of these graffiti boards as a manifestation of the rights of freedom of speech and religion granted to us in the Bill of Rights, proof that we still try to stick to the values our ancestors intended America to have. From this comes the question: if religion is linked to one’s identity and should be protected, should all parts of our identity be protected by the law? What other parts of our identity (that aren’t addressed by the Bill of Rights) do we still need the government to protect?

Problems with the Constitution and our Current Government

Apart from the laws protecting rights that were made for an older time, such as gun laws made for when people had muskets and primitive slow weaponry, there are other laws and conditions protected by the Constitution that prevent progress in modern times.

A big problem, in terms of the structure of our government, is that we have a system that’s built for inaction. There are many veto points with which The House can veto the Senate and vice versa. Members of each of these Congress branches are elected upon different schedules and represent different populations (in the sense that senators represent states of varying sizes, congressmen represent gerrymandered districts of equal size). When the chambers are controlled by different parties, which has become almost the new normal, they don’t agree on much. And their willingness to compromise seems to have shrunk.

That’s not the Constitution’s fault; rather, it is a change in the norms of U.S. politics. However, the Constitution currently provides and previously provided no method of breaking the impasse (as other systems of government generally do). You can just as easily note that it’s not the fault of a highly ideological member of Congress who prefers inaction to compromise. It’s just that when both situations obtain, you get gridlock. If we did have a chance to consider structural changes in our system of government, I suspect we would try to build in some new ways to overcome such standoffs. Hopefully, in a future similar to current, where conflicting ideologies present a favorable option and an unfavorable option, there is something in writing to ensure that desires for change can circumnavigate gridlock via party ideologies and allow action, despite a stalemate.

Is Buying Police the New Trend?

Last year, John Hopkins University decided on a new Act called the “Hopkins Bill” which won a vote of 94-42. It allowed them to essentially “buy” the police in a private sector to defend the school. The university is known to be located in what people would call “a dangerous neighborhood” and they wanted the area to feel safe. However, people were concerned on how it might be “over-policing” the area and is tasked to only protect the students. However, there exists other residential areas with people nearby and according to the Act, only the students are priority. This raises the question regarding Article 12 in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in which “to guarantee the rights of man and the citizen requires a public force; this force is therefore instituted for the benefit of all, and not for the personal advantage of those whom it is entrusted.” While Hopkins is trying to benefit people by having more police, it is apparent that they are violating the 12th Article since it is not guaranteeing the rights and benefits of ALL people and citizen. This skepticism can be expanded to the general use of buying police forces for an institution or person in which it puts only a certain party as a priority and is not a benefit for all but rather for a personal advantage.


The picture I decided to choose, is a logo of a well-known and used application. In this day and age, we are widely connected in the world by technology and other media. One thing that’s common today are chat rooms on the Internet like Omegle or Discord. In these areas, no one knows exactly who anyone could be: anonymity is valued. Over there freedom of speech is allowed and cannot be stopped (of course there are still some rules). This ties in well with Kant’s value of free will and speech. Through the Internet, people are given the option to be able to create a new type of personality that differs from their in real life characteristics. Anonymity gives people the freedom to express their ideas without fear of backlash.

What can you say to the trees? Or other people? It doesn’t matter, you can do whatever you want, but talking to trees is usually looked down upon tbh.

I took a photo of the space on campus where people can freely speak about their ideas and opinions. I know that having the right to free speech is a basic topic that is very well known in the constitution. I thought it very clearly highlighted some of the important pieces of what makes America different than other countries. The ability to say whatever you feel and think (apart from slander) are very crucial pieces of the enlightenment and romantic periods that have greatly ingrained themselves into America’s culture. Letting people have their own freedom as individuals is what these documents makes, and how it gives power to the people. This spot on campus is a direct testament to people’s rights. I wonder if the movement of free speech came from the more romantic and empirical movements, or whether people wanted to spite the oppressive traditional monarchies in Europe at the time, or whether it is both and how each influences the other?

To what extent do we hold the rights of free expression?

Every time I pass the blackboard in the student center, I always spend a few seconds to look at those comments on the board. Some expressing their wishes and some directly speak out their personal views about the ongoing things. As a viewer, I always find this interesting and feel more relaxed with those written ideas on it. It creates a relaxing environment that encourages free expressions from students. As a diversified University, every different kind of idea exists here should not be disregarded, since we all have the freedom of speech and expression in many forms, which corresponds to the Article in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “The free expression of thought and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: thus every citizen may freely speak, write, and print” (Article 11, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen). Apart from this blackboard, there are also a few boards in front of the student center allowing students to do their paintings on. The paintings on them change frequently and range from different styles. However, there are sometimes that words on the blackboard appear to be offensive that may make others or a particular group of people feel uncomfortable.

This leads to my question that to how large the extent can one have the right to freely express their thoughts and opinions publically?

Grand Theft of India

Image result for india during british rule

This is a picture of a conflict between Indians and the British Army in India. Although, the declaration of independence wasn’t written for India, many of its argument aligned with the views of Indians during the British takeover. Indian people also had enough of the oppression from the British government and wanted their right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Indian people were also sick of the British government imposing taxes on them without the Indian people’s consent. The British government attacked anyone who spoke against their presence and power in India. Indians were divided back then based on their religious beliefs, but the hate for the British government got them to stand together. Together they were able to kick the British government out of India. India is still somewhat divided due to different religious beliefs. It was the hate against the British government that got all Indians to stand together as one. Now, I don’t what it will take.

The Pursuit of Natural Rights

“Declaration of the Rights of Man and if the Citizen” is the definition of natural rights which the National Assembly gave during The French Revolution. The painting below is “prise de la bastille” which pictured the capture of the Bastille, one of the most important events of The French Revolution. Considering the policy of King Louis XVI’s government unbearable,  French civilians decide to revolt the governing of King Louis XVI. This revolution is their pursuit of natural rights.

One of the goals of French civilians was to build a government according to Article 12 that “To guarantee the rights of man and the citizen requires a pubic force; this force is therefore instituted for the benefit of all, and not for the personal advantage of those to whom it is entrusted.” However, the French Revolution was not perfect. From 1793 to 1794, the Jacobins unleashed the Reign of Terror, and at least 16594 people had been executed for counter-revolutionary activities during this period. But this violation of the natural rights seemed necessary in that period because, to build a new bureaucratic system that protects redefined human rights, the old one must be destroyed. In this process, people who relied on the old system for a living would definitely be affected.

Then, there rises a question that in a country that has settled a bureaucratic system will the redefinition and pursuit of natural rights inevitably lead to violations of the natural rights of some people in this system? If so, isn’t that contradict Article 2? if not, how could the old system be destroyed without affecting people relying on it?

Warning or Rumor? Should we manage speech?

I was walking out from Geisel yesterday and noticed that the chalk writing in simplified Chinese that mourns for Dr. Wenliang Li was still there. As I studied the Bill of Rights before, I am personally glad that whoever wrote it can have his or her freedom of speech practices here as a part of their natural rights. As according to the Amendment I:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…

It can be seen that the speech right, is a part of the natural right that people have according to the Constitution. People can express freely, and the government cannot make restrictions on it.

So, back to the story, Wenliang Li was a doctor in Wuhan, China. Before the coronavirus outbreak, he was one of the eight “whistleblowers” that warns his friends and colleagues in a group chat but then spread to the public that there’s a suspicion of some SARS (syndrome caused by a specific coronavirus) cases in a seafood market. However, his warning was judged by the government as rumor spreading and had him sign a paper to stop such actions. Except that, the government paid little attention to the case itself. Then the coronavirus outbreaks in China, especially Wuhan, and Dr. Wenliang Li passed away after infecting the coronavirus during work.

Though it is totally different cases between China and the U.S. and it is wrong to use the Bill of Rights as a fact to comment on this (though lots of people, even native Chinese, are questioning the government about their speech rights). But take out the political stuff and focus on the philosophy and the case itself, Will the freedom of speech give a proper solution to this case? I personally say it could be better if people hold that speech right is a part of their human rights. I don’t want it to be a joke that “-if you can time travel back to China, will you save the country? -no, you will be the ninth person that gets punished for spreading lies.”

Making Freedom “Stick”

Despite there being no apparent American iconography (actually, most of them are Asian culture references) on the stickers I’m showing on my laptop (and towards the back, my hydroflask), I still believe there can be a connection made between them and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In the text, two articles resonate with me: Article 11, “The free expression of thought and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: thus every citizen may freely speak, write, and print” and Article 10, “No one must be disturbed because of his opinions, even in religious matters, provided their expression does not trouble the public order” (Declaration, pg. 239). These two excerpts connect to my having stickers on my laptop because each one, although whimsical and not necessarily referential to anything serious, symbolizes the value I place on what each sticker illustrates. Thus, my stickers are more than just aesthetic adhesives, but semblances of my beliefs and personal thoughts. This becomes relevant to the American thought of freedom because such documents, which provide a foundation for the American perception of liberty, hold that it is my right to express myself and my values (so long as it brings no harm to others). This is maintained even for interests which have an origin outside of the American world (as I’m pretty sure neither Aristotle nor the Final Fantasy JRPG franchise were created in the US).

Largely, the reason why I chose to discuss stickers for this assignment is because of their frivolous nature: by no measure is there a clear necessity for having such things. Despite their frivolity, stickers can represent two significant–and often, inextricably tied–notions which are fundamental to the American existence: freedom and expression. With this in mind, it has led me to wonder whether or not freedom and expression can indeed be separated, and, if one’s freedom was confiscated, they could still retain their right to expression. Would a similar outcome occur if expression was taken away for liberty?

Freedom of Speech à la Nancy Pelosi

The Declaration of the Rights of Man, written in 1789, is the foundation of American society and its ideals. This declaration determines the rights and liberties of the American people and does not limit it to any one person, meaning any and all American citizens have these rights, even those in government.

Recently, America went through the process of practicing these rights with the impeachment trials of Trump. Now, you can say what you want about how the trials were handled by both parties, but there is no denying the ultimate and most memorable act of freedom of expression and speech performed by Nancy Pelosi. By publically ripping up Trump’s speech after giving her the papers, Pelosi was demonstrating her right to “free communication of ideas and opinions [as it is] one of the most precious of the rights of man” (Article 11). While being in the public eye and in the center of a topic that is so divisive in American society, what power does a public act of expression like this have to those who agree or disagree with her?

What liberty entails

The theme of this week’s reading emphasizes the rights of the people to liberty. Within this liberty includes the people’s freedom to choose one’s religion. It is written under the U.S. Constitution, Amendment I, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This picture shows just two of the many religion that people in the U.S. are able to practice freely without worrying of consequences. In other parts of the world, in the past and even now, people still constantly struggle to express their religion due to fear of what might potentially happen to them. This right that is written in the Constitution allows us to openly speak and follow any religion that we please. We have come to the point that talking about religion even in classes is completely acceptable, I know that was not always the case in the past.

With this in mind, a question that I wonder about is, How much does this freedom affect the U.S. today and how different would it be if people are required to follow a religion enforced by the government?

To Serve All ITS People

This week’s reading of the Declaration of Independence focused on the idea that the government is an entity that should serve all its people and in the people should maintain their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the government is not fulfilling this requirement, then the people have the right to create a new government that will fulfill these terms.

The picture I chose embodies the costs of securing these promised freedoms. The government we have gives its people a considerable amount of freedom, but we have to consider the non-monetary costs of what it means to be considered one of “its people.” In order to have the rights that are promised in the Declaration of Independence, the citizens may have had to give up a part of their personal identity or culture and conform to what it means to be a United States citizen and the immigrants that want to become a citizen have to consider the same things; this can be considered white-washing its citizens. So the question I have to ask is, do the things one must give up take away from the happiness that they are supposed to be able to pursue?

Respect for Kant

Kant specifically says that people shouldn’t be treated as objects because they are human beings with feelings. We have to respect each other in every way possible in order to ensure that everybody is happy. I liked this about Kant because in today’s day everybody knows about respect. In order for someone to respect you, you need to show them respect in order to get along with each other. In today’s day some people don’t care about others while some people do and would do anything to get anything their way. An example is a show called “Dexter” where he cares for his sister and respects her even when the sister admitted into falling in love with him. Dexter never disrespected her in anyway and still loved her as a sister but he did think it was weird that his sister was in love with him. The moral of the story is that at the end he loved her as a sister but he doesn’t disrespect her in anyway.

Kant’s philosophy vs. North Korea’s philosophy

Kant’s philosophy of treating people as an ends in themselves instead of as a means to an end resonates powerfully with my idea of how politicians and governments should ideally treat people in a democratic country, or any country for that matter. This is a very important idea because it strongly emphasizes on the value of human life. I find this philosophy very interesting because Kant doesn’t just state the maxim out of a personal whim or opinion; he actually provides a logical explanation to back this categorical imperative. He reasons that since morality is determined by reason, moral law is universal because reason is universal. Hence moral law applies equally to everyone. Therefore, acting morally means to treat every person as a moral agent and therefore as an end in itself, not as a means to an end.

The reality, however, is far from Kant’s ideal. Some governments and politicians around the world regularly abuse human rights. For example, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is one of the most repressive and undemocratic states in the world. Kim Jong-un exercises absolute political power over the country. The authoritarian government restricts all forms of human liberty and freedom in the country, including freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the freedom to form political parties. The government systematically forces citizens (including women, children and prisoners) to provide unpaid labor , who are forced to build the country’s infrastructure and participate in events extolling the Kim family’s ruling and the Workers’ Party of Korea. The government uses arbitrary arrests, punishments, torture and execution to incite fear in people’s minds and gain control over them. The government partners with Chinese authorities to capture North Korean refugees and punishes the refugees for making international contact. The government does not care to protect and promote the rights of marginalized and weaker communities like women, children and crippled people. Kant would be devastated and horrified by the of abuse people, and most importantly valuable human lives, in countries like North Korea.

Reason Shmeason.

I find it interesting how Kant focuses so strongly on reason and rational thought when it comes to morals. While this sounds reasonable and even like the best way to determine moral values, in reality it’s not very realistic.

People generally don’t make a pros and cons list for every action they make or even every controversy they face. Instead we listen to what our intuition and intincts; what we feel. It’s why we feel guilty when we eat someone’s food, why we feel good when you return a found wallet. We let out conscious make the decisions. Somethings may be morally ambiguous too based on where we are in society. If you are in a financially unstable environment you may do things that don’t make sense just from a pure reasonable standpoint. Stealing food is irrational- you could go to jail, you are taking from a person’s business, etc., however if you need the food to survive does that make it immoral? I don’t think so because I know that needed it to survive, and they aren’t actually a bad or immoral person. Every situation relies on context to determine it’s morality.

A major current controversy is people coming from Mexico to the US. Families are separated and torn apart, and people can’t escape poor financial or political conditions. How I know that it is wrong to keep people out of the US just because they are not a citizen is in how I feel. It hurts to put myself it their situation. Empathy is the key that Kant is missing in his reason argument. Reason isn’t the only source of our moral beliefs, empathy and our intuitions are important aspects that Kant ignores.

Kant & Kobe’s Kool Ideas

Kant makes a point that people should refrain from being lazy. He argues that this is what a person must learn as he/she begins to grow up. I agree with Kant, as I believe that people should work to become the best versions of themselves.

This relates to the beliefs of Kobe Bryant, who used reasoning (which is a fundamental idea of the Enlightenment) as a fundamental idea behind his belief that people should become the best versions of themselves that they can possibly be. In an interview, Kobe Bryant used reasoning to explain how one can improve himself/herself. This is what he argued: if a person wakes up at 3:00 AM everyday, then he/she is able to get way more work done than a person who wakes up at 8:00 AM everyday. And as time progresses, there will eventually be a huge gap between the skillsets of those two people, and the person who woke up at 3:00 AM everyday will be years ahead of the person who woke up at 8:00 AM everyday. Like Kant, Kobe Bryant adamantly believed that people should not be lazy, and he applied this to his everyday life, which led to him becoming one of the best athletes to ever step on a basketball court. After he retired, he said that one of the quotes he lived by was to “rest at the end, not in the middle.” This helps to explain his intense work ethic.

Kant we all just get along?

Kant believes that people are not objects; that human beings must be respected and not used. The only circumstance in which one would “use” someone else is if we do not use that person as a means to our end. If we “use” someone, we must respect them in the process considering more than just our own self interests. I found this concept interesting because I agree that human beings should not be treated as objects. Innately, however, I think some people are better as others. I feel that some people take others feelings into consideration, while others have no issue pursuing what they want at the expense of others.

A modern example is a Netflix show called “You.” In season 2 of the show, 2 people pursue love and will do anything to get the person they want. Although they genuinely believe they are acting out of love for someone else, at the end of the day, they perform extreme actions to get what they want.

Will AI possess moral values?

For an author like Kant, who is a human by the way, it is easy to argue for reason and how they lead to the moral values we have. His argument about moral laws being products of rational reasoning makes sense for all of us as we have grown up being taught about some common values and certain behaviors that we should abide by. However, it is not obvious to me that there is just one kind of reasoning in this universe. I think Kant is ignoring the fact that there is a wild difference between different forms of reasoning.

An example of a wildly different form of reasoning can be realized in an artificial intelligence medium. While it is possible for us to create AI models that think like us and follow the same rules as we do, this is merely imposing our cultural biases and prejudices onto these models and making them think like us. Extensive research has shown that, in reality, we don’t understand an AI model’s logic for decision-making. When visualized, we have seen that AI models can arrive at similar conclusions as humans in certain scenarios (like diagnosing tumors from CT scans of the brain). However, they are able to do so with a significantly different methodology compared to what human doctors to by focusing on key aspects differing from those used by humans. So, if AI models’ way of reasoning is different to ours, we should also expect them to arrive at different conclusions on what’s right and what’s wrong and build different moral values.

The part about Machine Ethics is relevant in the following page:

INtent vs IMpact?: What’s More IMportant

Immanuel Kant has a widely debated notion of ethics and morality that is rooted in the idea that intent is more important than consequences when it comes to what defines a morally good deed. Actions that stem from a rational and autonomous duty holds more worth because it weighs more importance on our ability to do something because it is right not because we will get something out of it or do it out of ulterior motive.

This philosophical/ ethical concept has always been something that I’ve questioned because someone’s actions may have good intentions but still end up hurting others or cause more harm than what was intended. If that happens then why is that action/person still considered morally good? Consequences to Kant may not be important but in a greater perspective, there may be something more important than respect to a subjective idea of a universal moral law. He assumes that we as humans all have the ability to characterize what is good and what is evil.

For example, microaggressions might come from a place of “good Intention” but may result in being something extremely offensive and harmful. When my Muslim father goes on airplanes, it might seem like someone’s good intention to be suspicious and ask the flight attendant to double-check his bags. What it’s really is, is a racially motivated microaggression that perpetuates harmful stereotypes and humiliates people just based off of their race. In this situation, Kant may justify a person’s actions because it seems like they had good will but what it is really doing is negating the feelings and harm done to the people involved. Just because the intent was there, the impact was still negative, and there should be an acknowledgment of the wrongdoing of their actions. Personally, I believe how you impact others should be a considering factor in what determines the morality of someone’s actions.

Love Yours

Kant believes that happiness is the satisfaction of all desires. And, virtue is the capacity to act morally. Also, reason (and duty) has priority over desires. Finally, highest good subordinates happiness to virtue.

I believe it is true that happiness is the satisfaction of all desires. I believe once a person has their desires fulfilled, they are still not happy. Because most people desire for more. I love this song by J. Cole because he talks about happiness and desires. He talks in the song how there is always going to be a better car, a bigger house, and better things. But, a person can’t be happy until they appreciate the things they have and the relationships they have formed.

I don’t think people are born with good moral standards. I think they formed by the environment people grow up in. I think good moral standards are just as important as happiness. Good moral standards enable you to maintain relationships with others. Good moral standards means a person wouldn’t wrong another person, which would help others have more trust in that person. More trust would result in a better relationship which would result in more happiness.

Side note: I think if someone feels that they are not enlightened. I think this is not because they are lazy, instead I think this is the case because they are not distracted. They haven’t taken the time to step away from all the distractions and think.

A Little Dramatic Turn of Events

It is pretty fun to see someone who are not as “rational” or “realistic” as people from past hundred years. Especially people like Hume, Locke, even Machiavelli. These people are more realistic. Their focus of the world, the society, or the way people should interact with each other are much more based on a realism perspective. This means that their opinions are more established with consequences and foundation principle.

Then Kant appears with his idea of morality and metaphysics. These ideas are not totally novel. When churches are still dominating the European land, seeing ideas and studies of the metaphysics and morality are very common. However, Kant appears in the time period where people are gradually becoming secular and more interested in consequence rather than the intention behind the consequence. One can argue that this recurrence in the study of metaphysics and morality represents a sign, a sign that marks the inner division of the Enlightenment movement.

But coming into a modern perspective, I do believe that Kant’s idea of “intention is more important than the result” is much more applicable to today’s world and there are indeed enough space for us to think about out intention that prompts us to make our decision.

Finally, here is a meme picture I found on internet that I find to be unexpectedly inspirational. Hope this picture can make your day.

Why ‘Kant’ Love be Scientific?

A concept redefined through Kant’s literature is the notion of love, and how his conception of duty and knowledge of Christian scripture informs his consideration towards love. According to Kant, love is regarded as a good will for others that is validated through one’s own acts as opposed to emotional indicators. Additionally, love is understood as some charity from “duty”, another charged word within Kant’s rhetoric which can be defined as one’s actions which are motivated by some good will rather than by some desire for a consequence of fulfilling one’s duty.

The reason for my fascination with Kant’s interpretation of love is because of its spiritual complexity as well as its reflection of the effort to appropriate an objective, scientific framework to a subjective realm like love.

Aside from obviously referencing the bible at the beginning of his description of love, Kant further illustrates how love ought not to be regarded as a mere emotion, but as a spiritual experience. With regards to the Christian implications contained within Kant’s work, I look to his use of the word “beneficence” when describing love as a “beneficence” of duty. This word is often synonymous to charity, which reveals a clear connection to the book of Corinthians, where love is understood as “agape”, a word for love that also denotes the meaning of charity. With this understanding, a contradiction from Enlightenment tendencies is revealed: despite a general aberration from the spiritual, Kant is both explicit and referential about and to Christian scriptures, incorporating a spiritual understanding to love.

When assessing how well Kant’s definition of love lines up to Enlightenment ideals, a simultaneous tension and attempted reconciliation can be recognized in his attempts to make love an enlightened experience. First, the tension is revealed in the inherent incompatibility between spirituality and the rationalist framework which pervades the Enlightenment era. Secondly, and more importantly, the reconciliation can be found within the facets that Kant attaches to love as a means to establish its place within Enlightenment sentiments. This is apparent in Kant’s description of how love behaves: “it lies in the will and not in the propensity of feeling, in principles of action and not in melting sympathy; it not alone can be commanded” (Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, pg. 55). This passage reveals a connection between Enlightenment ideology and love due to way in which love is equated to observable data: Kant claims that love must be realized through willful action as opposed to a consequence of emotional vehement that often exists outside of complete, human control. By presenting love as an activity which must be observable and free from the irrationalities of emotional whims, Kant exhibits an effort to make love a force which complements Enlightenment ideals of controlled, empirical observation.

From my perspective, no form of media better express a successful union of love and science than music. My justification for choosing music is its balanced quality of simulating a dynamic experience within the rigid confines of musical notation. In attempting to quantify the complexity of human emotion through the construction of organized sound, music becomes instrumental in identifying a middle ground for emotions–like love–and science. In specific, I will be assessing Leo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, specifically the song “Viens, Mallika”, which is more popularly known as “The Flower Duet”. For contextualization, “Viens, Mallika” was written for two characters, Lakmé and Mallika, who express their filial love for each other as they revel in the beauty of the edenic environment surrounding them.

This love song, when considered under a Kantian lens, reveals how the confluence of Enlightenment thought with the subjective arena of musical experience produces a nexus of art that justifies the compatibility of love with science. While expressed through music, which is up to subjective interpretation, the performance itself is grounded by the presence of the sheet music: a compendium of harmonies, notes, and keys which contribute to an organized “language” of music. In this way, the representation of love becomes realized through music, acting as an intermediary, which is methodically grounded by a logical, arbitrary–and therefore scientific–symbology. Furthermore, being able to perceive two characters emote their love for each other, if one is willing to suspend their disbelief, shows another point of application for this song to Kant’s philosophy: in actually seeing people act on their love through song, the Enlightenment ideal of observability is acknowledge and fulfilled. By utilizing a Kantian lens to assess the Delibes’ Lakmé, an opera which explores themes of romantic and platonic affection, we see how music can become a vessel for love to inhabit so it may be re-evaluated through a more scientific framework.

Selfish or Enlightened?

In answering what “enlightenment” is, Kant claims that it is to think for and only for yourself and for no one else. In order to be “enlightened”, one must only consider their own feelings and disregard the feelings of others. For example, if someone were to make a large decision that would impact not only themselves but others around them, they should disregard everyone else and only think about what the impact will be on themself. This is interesting as most would see this as selfish or inconsiderate while Kant finds this to be freeing. This begs the question: Is thinking solely for oneself a selfish act or self-enlightening?

This philosophy can be seen today as birth rates are steadily declining and one of the major reasons for the decline is due to the cost and time of raising a child increasing. This has led to many would-be parents to choose not to have a child as it not only saves them a ton of time, but money and stress as well. The cost of raising a child has increased over the years as the cost of living and health insurance steadily increases while support systems such as parental leave continues to decline. However, many parents desire grandchildren for personal reasons and also to continue the lineage. If one refuses to have a child for financial and freedom reasons, would it be an act of selfishness to their parents or enlightenment to themselves?

Our Duty for Beavers

In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant states that there is an unconditional good where people are intrinsically good without any intentions of power, intelligence, fortune, etc. He claims that the specific obligations of a good will are called duties, in which he makes three propositions about them. The second proposition is interesting because he states that “an action from duty has its moral worth not in the purpose to be attained by it but in the maxim in accordance with which it is decided upon”. This means that one should fulfill his or her duties because of the principle of volition where people fulfill a duty without any regard for objects or desires. However, if one expects a particular result or is driven by some external motivation other than the duty, it violates this good will. Therefore, people should only act upon a duty without regard for the benefits or consequences the action may bring upon them to be considered an unconditionally good driven duty.

In a Facebook video I found, there’s a man who finds a beaver with a stick about five times its size preparing to walk across the street. The man recognizes that this beaver is probably trying to build a dam in the middle of the night and decides to leave his car and help the beaver carry the stick across the street. This man is acting out of a sense of duty in which he understands that he should help innocent animals despite the fact that he will not gain anything directly from the beaver. On the other hand, he could fulfill his duty driven from an external motivation in which he knows he will go viral on Facebook for this act of kindness. Considering both sides, I would argue that he is fulfilling his duty out of an intrinsically good will by the second proposition Kant states in which he is doing it for its moral worth and not because of any material principle. 

Just Let Us Talk Already!

One aspect of Kant’s philosophy discusses the freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters.The path to enlightenment requires that one expresses oneself and allows others to express themselves freely. Kant uses multiple authority figures, ranging from an officer to a ruler, as examples of those who use their power to place many restrictions on individuals. These restrictions all come down to Don’t argue! and Obey!, which prevents one’s ability to gain enlightenment. Kant then goes on to assert that humans must freely reason with other humans to promote enlightenment, and very few restrictions may be placed on private reasoning so that enlightenment may not be hindered.

This philosophy interests me as someone who grew up feeling like they didn’t have a voice. I had been told on multiple occasions that it was never because I didn’t have much to say (which was something I believed was the case for a long time). Instead, it was the opposite; the few people I take the time to talk to on a regular basis know that I could go on about interesting topics that I have researched, and I would be more than willing to debate about them in order to gain a new understanding of that particular topic. The problem lies in the many adults in my life, and many other young adults’ lives, who belittle our opinions and cast them aside simply because they believe us to be “ignorant” or “too young” to say anything meaningful. This phenomenon is delved into by Isabel Song, now a UC Berkeley alumni, who talks about her own frustration with the issue.

The adults in the world who refuse to listen to younger generations despite the fact that they are more than capable of holding productive, mature, and enlightening conversations are (according to Kant’s philosophy) “cowardice”, “immature”, and averse to becoming enlightened themselves.

Lazy, timid, or disobedient? Guess you aren’t enlightened!

Kant’s philosophy that enlightenment is intricately connected to freedom to reason and courage to present one’s ideas is a very interesting concept. In fact, he equates laziness and a lack of courage to “immaturity” that prevents one from being enlightened. In particular, he claims that this freedom is especially important when addressing society as a whole rather than a specific audience (public), as this can lead to the enlightenment of the public. However, he later claims that freedom for the private use of reason should be restricted because one must obey their superiors at their job as well as the laws of government, or else society itself would fall apart. So overall, freedom only applies when it furthers enlightenment (public use of reason) compared to when it hinders it (private use of reason). That being said, a ruler should embrace the freedom of reason and opinions of his or her subjects to further the enlightenment of humanity. I find his opinion understandable, but do not entirely agree because I believe in certain cases, revolution is quite necessary for the enlightenment Kant speaks of. For example, the American revolution that freed the United States from British control presented many of the values (including liberty) that, over time and refinement, progressed our society to the point it is at now.

Recently, the Kenyan president, Daniel Arap Moi, passed away. Some remembered him as a kind leader who helped kids pay school fees and cared about the common man. Others saw him as ruthless toward those who did not fall in line. The latter includes Reverend Timothy Njoya, a retired Presbyterian Church of East Africa Minister. He accounts how he argued with Moi’s policy of single party rule over democracy and protested on the streets. He also urged people toward civil disobedience to force the government to rectify the constitution. Violence ensued as he was beaten by President Moi’s men for his activism. One may believe that Kant would support Njoya’s actions since he preaches freedom. However, it is likely that Kant may not support Njoya’s actions as he also preaches civil disobedience and Kant believes people have a duty to obey the government even given freedom. How about you? Do you think freedom should be restricted when it comes to obeying the government?

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Kant brings about the topic of “moral law.” He reasons that the morality of an action is good based on its intrinsic values; those actions cannot have any root in anything evil. For a long time, politicians have given many promises and cannot come through with all of them. It is honestly tough, as there are many checks and balances as to what a single politician can do. Would those promises violate Kant’s moral law? It’s also a matter of perspective as to what is evil and just.

This site tracks the promises of recent and current presidents. Many presidents fail to uphold their promises and even try to stall for more time. This “problem” has been going on for a long time. It’s understandable why they do so: to get more possible voters and pander to their emotional side. Would Kant’s perspective affect future votes and indirectly those promises?

On reason and morals

Kant makes the following remark on the purpose of reason: “For since reason is not sufficiently serviceable for guiding the will safely as regards its objects and the satisfaction of all our needs…its (reason’s) true function must be to produce a will which is good, not as a means to some further end”. According to this Kant perceives reason as a mean to produce good will, the unconditional good that ensure morals. His reasoning can be summarized as follow:1.Everything in nature work in a purposive manner. 2.It is not a purpose for reason to create a will satisfying all our needs. 3.Reason has influence on our will. With premise 1 and that reason exists, one derives that reason has a purpose. Given this and premise 2, 3, one may concludes that reason purposefully influence our will, but not for satisfying our needs. Kant claims that this purpose of reason is to produce good will. However premise 1 could be problematic, and if one is to follow Hume’s view of knowledge, that one ought to proportion trust in claims according to the strength of evidence, then 1 is clearly flawed. Despite how many things we have studied, we can only find purposes in finite number of things, never enough evidence to justify a claim infinite. If 1 is to limited to a number of things in nature, excluding reason, then the argument would not be valid. Alternatively we may simply define will guided solely by reason, free from inclination, as good will, although this will make the idea of a good will irreverent to experiences or common sense, for reason is considered a prior by Kant.

Under Kant’s definition of good will Abraham making attempt on Issac’s life is certainly not an act with good will, and hence an immoral act. Abraham’s act is unreasonable: he cannot provide a reason to others why he would try to kill his son, and in the end all he show through the event is obedience without using one’s own capacity to reason, effectively prevent any possibility for good will. Was there any reasoning for the universal which Abraham could use to justify his act, he should be able to communicate it to others, for reason is the same to all human. Would Abraham use reason to judge his action, he must see that one should not kill another person, for this cannot be an universal law: if everyone is to kill another person, there would be no human left to kill or to be killed.

Living the “Good” Life

Kant’s discussion and theory of where “goodness” comes from in a world with rationalism and reason is interesting to me as it can be seen in all parts of our everyday lives. Everybody has interacted or have been friends with people who are “good” people with “good” hearts, but what Kant discusses is where “goodness” comes from. Kant argues that the only thing that is good in and of itself in this world is the Good Will. The Good Will is made up of a person’s free will motivated by reason, ultimately choosing its moral duty.

Someone who I believe embodies Kant’s Good Will theory is Greta Thunberg. Like all of us, Greta was born with the ability to have free will and the ability to reason and make her own opinions and thoughts. By motivating her free will by climate change awareness, her actions speak volumes for her passion and dedication to the topic. To be an advocate of this topic, however, Greta has to fight against those who oppose her movement and words (specifically big-name politicians and companies who are threatened by her growing movement), and thus her “goodness” is subject to who is seeing it. For me, as someone who is passionate about sustainability and climate change awareness, I am in awe of Greta. But if I was a company being attacked for using fossil fuels, I wouldn’t view her in the same light.

Here is an example of an adult feeling threatened by a 16-year-old’s Good Will.

Morality: We or Worldview?

One of the ideas that Kant has is that morality is universal. He comes to this conclusion because he believes that the concept of reason is universal to all men and therefore morality can be derived from just thinking about it. I find this interesting because according to this school of thought everyone should value the same things and have similar if not the same thought processes. If that was true, then there would be nobody to disagree with this process of thinking, which was obviously not the case at the time.

But in today’s western world, we have moved away from the idea that everyone should find value the same things, and moved to a holistic view of morality. Now, we understand the your environment influences your idea from morality. Every culture places an emphasis on different things that are important, therefore different places/cultures would come to have a different set of morals. We have moved away from the idea that morality is a single way of thinking and if they do not follow this universal way then they should be shamed. Instead, we have more understanding for the differences that arise due to cultural differences. The link below explores the idea of how worldview and social groups affect one’s set of morals.

Why You Should Vote for Senator Romantic

This is a contemporary and comedic critique on Romanticism and the Enlightenment through our enthusiastic senator, Senator Romantic. He uses the emotional and spiritual facets of Romanticism to convince the voters to vote for him but speaks lowly of the boring, rational ways of those from the Enlightenment. In this video, Senator Romantic is played by Michael Lee and the story was produced by Rafael Vasquez, Salvador Franco, and Nicholas Fries.

A Closer L?k at L?kism

In a previous publication, I discussed how the development of human reasoning gave rise to the emergence of inequality. As men gradually acquired more leisure time and came to form primitive societies, “[p]eople become accustomed to consider different objects and to make comparisons. Imperceptibly they acquire the ideas of merit and beauty that produce feelings of preference” (Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men, 73).

In modern societies, we witness varying degrees of lookism, referred to as the discrimination that one receives based on one’s physical appearance, which was, oftentimes, judged based on a certain beauty standard established by society. I have had the opportunity to come across several works that shed light on what may happen in a society with an obsession with appearances, namely the webtoon Lookism. In this world, one’s appearance decided one’s future. If you were handsome enough, you would get more opportunities; if you were pretty enough, you were respected and cherished. Good looks brought popularity and favor with fellow men. Failing to meet the beauty standard could lead to severe bullying and harassment, as is the case for the main character of the webtoon, Daniel Park. When Daniel was suddenly bestowed with a new body with a handsome face and extraordinary physique, he began to experience the benefits that came with having a nice face such as the lack of physical harassment, his voice now held significance, and job opportunities. There was a drastic difference in the way others treated him in his enhanced body versus his original body.

Before I continue, I must clarify that there is nothing inherently wrong with having preferences in terms of appearances. However, when a society places an excessive amount of importance on looks, there arises a perversion in the act of imposing one’s expectations of beauty upon another and acting accordingly based on the judgment of that person’s appearance, as Daniel’s society demonstrates. In the state of nature, the savage man did not concern himself with appearances, seeing as he had no need to. In this state, he did not have to worry about maintaining his appearance to please the fleeting expectations of man by putting on makeup, getting plastic surgery, or buying luxury-brand clothing. I leave with this statement from my discourse on the origins of inequality: “The more one reflects on it, the more one finds that this state was the least subject to upheavals and the best for man…” (74).

Daniel Park, main character of the webtoon Lookism.

Also, apologies for the late post.

And with that… You’re Canceled!!!!

A new type of witch hunt is about us! it goes by the name of Cancel Culture where society is digging up a persons past on this so called “internet” and trying to make said person pay reprimands for the things that they have said in their past! Though the same people that are at the head of these with hunts are fairly hypocrytical in their actions, due to the fact that they are only searching for those that are well endowed and trying to bring them down to their meager level. I for one think that this is another form of human’s herd like mentality where we try to think that we are doing whats right for society by trying to do whats “right” in terms of trying to correct another persons past that has already grown and learned from that time. “human race would long ago have ceased to exist, if its preservation had depended solely on the reasonings of its members” (64) Though it is good for society to be politically correct and compassionate to everyone that lives in this world, we must also allow for the people that have done or said wrongs in their past apologize and show that they have grown from those mistakes. Though the current culture of society right now they just want to expose someone to try and stand on the moral high ground even if they themselves are flawed!

I’m Going to Be a Doctor!

Recently, I was talking to my roommate, who also went to the same high school as I did, about the differences and similarities between our high school and UCSD. We came to the conclusion that the social pressure of our high school enforces the idea that everything needs a ranking. In other words, your performances in academics and involvement in extracurricular activities determined your worth as a person, as opposed to your actual character traits. We recalled how competitive our high school was and how it impacts students as they continue onto college. For example, we talked about how a former schoolmate, who I shall refer to as ‘M’, still unnecessarily comments about certain subjects in order to show that they are knowledgeable and can dominate the conversation, despite not providing accurate information. I think this stems from the peer pressure in high school where we constantly had to prove our intelligence to demonstrate that we are better than everyone else. Similarly, in Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality, he states that “comparisons [are] carried out when needed and almost without thinking about it…this development increased his superiority over the other animals by making him aware of it” (70). This comparison among high school students became second nature to us because being number one was what really mattered. With ‘M’, my roommate and I noticed that they still push themselves to attain that ‘pre-med’ status and become a doctor, just like everyone else, to show that they can do it too.

Where’s Your Pity

I remembered watching the news about the earthquake that took place in Puerto Rico a couple of days ago. The earthquake in Puerto Rico has been going on intermittently since last year, making the residents terrified and traumatized, fearing for the worst. In the news, I learned that many families had moved, all seeking for better living conditions. While many people are praying and helping each other out, I can’t help but notice a comment made towards the migration population, saying “since you don’t have people dying now, there is not the same sense of urgency.” As I questioned in The Basic Political Writings, “What are the generosity, mercy, and humanity, if not pity applied to the weak, to the guilty, or to the human species in general (pg 62)?” Although immigration might not be so simple, it’s merciless and inhumane to make comments rejecting people in need simply because their condition isn’t lethal at the moment. I would strongly suggest people do unto others as you would have them do unto you (pg 64), since it might be useful to you one day.

Sovereign Mistreatment of Communities

As I have mentioned earlier, “it ought not to be thought surprising that the rulers of a civil society should have the welfare and glory of their communities at heart” (165). Then why does the United States government fund, support, and enforce the separation of undocumented families via ICE? This is stripping a specific community of their basic liberties. These people, who statistically contribute to the nation’s well-being and economy, are being marginalized and treated inhumanely by being separated from their parents. The compassion and empathy in our hearts are being overridden by the improper qualities our government encourages in our society. A proper society has no place for blame, criticism, judgment, comparison with others, and the distinction of worth among men, and with the dingy and purposefully crowded situation these children are being exposed to, we are distinguishing between equals. All children are innocent under jury, but these detained are being treated as if they are guilty of crimes.

An overcrowded fenced area holding families at a Border Patrol Centralized Processing Center is seen in a still image from video in McAllen, Texas, U.S. on June 11, 2019 and released as part of a report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General on July 2, 2019. Picture pixelated at source. Office of Inspector General/DHS/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. – RC1DCB9C8AC0

Insight on the Impeachment

Recently, there have been many debates during and leading up to President Trump’s impeachment: that it is inappropriate for presidents, or any other government officials, to prioritize their own private interests above the interests of the nation. In impeaching Trump, the House emphasizes that while it is understood that a president can have their own private interests, he should not use his office to advance those interests, acting only in the interests of the nation as a whole. The House has decided that in an attempt undermine his political rival while withholding Congressionally approved funds to aid an ally engaged in war, the president has failed to prioritize the national interest. The president’s behavior evokes my distinction between the general and the private wills, most associated with my idea of a social contract. I have found it to be true that every citizen has both a private and a general will: the private will corresponding to our personal interests, and the general will corresponding to our interests as citizens of a society. A citizens’s natural preference typically tends toward the private will, “he may want to enjoy the rights of a citizen without being willing to fulfill the duties of a subject.” (Discourse on Equality, pg 48). In other words, our natural tendency as humans is to prefer ourselves above the interests of the common good of our community and fellow citizens. This is why I believe it to be essential that the government compel its citizens, through laws, to live according to the general interest of society, especially in times when an individual’s private will inclines them to do otherwise. Thus, it is not the job of the president, or the executive branch of government, to subvert citizens in favor of the branch’s own interests. Instead, it is their job to carry out and enact laws that promote only the general good of the nation. Thus, if the executive branch of government, including President Trump, privileges their particular will over the general will of the nation, the state will inevitably collapse.


Research shows…I am Right

Like I have been saying, us humans have pity for one another which is why instead of harming one another, we help each other … unless we threaten each other’s self preservation then, that’s a whole different situation. So, I was discussing with my fellow 18th century folks and they told me of this research that some biologists conducted on how we may be born with the impulse to help. In this research they found that, as young as 18 months old, infants immediately help adults who are in need of assistance (for example, if they dropped something or is struggling with opening the door). This research they conducted proved my ideas right, even babies have the ability to empathize with people who are struggling because instead of ignoring the adults they try to help them in any way they can. This innate ability of ours is the reason why we are still here today because if we didn’t have this, “human race would long ago have ceased to exist, if its preservation had depended solely on the reasonings of its members”.

Pity and The Origin of Inequality Can be Found on Infants

Recently, I have seen a collection of lecture notes from Standford University. The main theme of the course is the origin of human cooperation. In this collection, Prof. Tomasella talks about several experiments they performed on infants. In the experiments, researchers give infants several tasks which they can only complete by cooperating with others. By observation, researchers found that helping others is a naturally emerging behavior to help others. This conclusion is concordant with my assumption of human nature in The Basic Political Writings that “Pity is what carries us without reflection on the aid of those we see suffering” (p.64). What is more, researchers also found another interesting phenomenon that infants who work well with others are more popular. Researchers thought this is what we can esteem in society. This fact proved my idea that esteem is one origin of inequality in The Basic Political Writings “as soon as men had begun mutually to value one another, and the idea of esteem was formed in their minds, each one claimed to have a right to it, and it was no longer possible for anyone to be lacking it with impunity” (p.73).

Pitting the Pits

Some men have found entertainment in pitting two dogs against each other. These unfortunate dogs are raised in poor conditions built on the foundation of violence. At a young age, they are taught to be aggressive towards their own species and attack one another. Both dogs in the fight are wounded severely and later treated poorly by their owners. Men are taking these dogs out of a state of nature to make them more aggressive. Observe this example in the state of nature: “Pit a bear or a wolf against a savage who is robust, agile, and courageous, as they all are, armed with stones and a hefty cudgel, and you will see that the danger will be at least equal on both sides, and that after several such experiences, ferocious beasts, which do not like to attack one another, will be quite reluctant to attack a man, having found him to be as ferocious as themselves” (49). In other words, two dogs would not want to attack each other after the first round, but are obliged to do so in these dog fighting rings. These fights often end in death all for the purpose of man’s greed and entertainment.

Similarity Shared Among Beings In The State of Nature

I was recently reading an article from National Geographic about the emotions and behaviors of animals, which says that many animals, like elephants, dolphins, and dogs have empathy just like humans do. A report said that there once was an old woman who cannot see well and got lost and found out the next day an elephant guarding her. This remains me thinking of a study of animal behavior saying that elephants are emotional animals that have a strong sense of empathy. Humans, in their eyes, are just like little babies that can arouse their willingness of protection. Many animals,  just like human beings, are born with this emotion as I mentioned in Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754), pg 64  that “pity is a natural sentiment, which, by moderating in each individual the activity of the love of oneself, contributes to the mutual preservation of the entire species. Pity is what carries us without reflection to the aid of those we see suffering”. This shows us that we all share a lot of similarities in the state of nature and those human beings who are considered as barbarians are actually just more well-protected by nature than us.


Dope Discussions

I recently found myself conversing with a family member on the topic of illicit drug use. And since this interaction was of some interest, I thought it appropriate to write about it here in this forum. The crux of the issue was that they were concerned about the prevalence of harmful illegal drugs. Living in the country Canada, they thought the penalty for trafficking and using drugs was far too lenient, and that this ensures the continued prevalence of contraband. They proposed that harsher punishment would discourage these villains from their villainy. I greatly disagreed with this notion and told them such. I thought that we ought to learn from the mistakes of the past and realize that we must not be so quick to employ such drastic punishments. After all, it is unclear if such measures deter crime in the slightest. It would be a great shame if the only thing we did for victims of drug epidemics was to hang them. It is as is said on page 33 in the Discourse on Inequality, “great evils are often introduced in order to correct the lesser ones”. We must be conscious of the various effects that our laws much have.

The Good Place- The most relatable TV show to philosophy, and it proves I am right

I ran into this TV show the other day, and I am intrigued. It seems to highlight how individuals are not morally just in the lives they just left behind, and thus, they are placed into the afterlife that is a facade of being the ‘paradise’ for the afterlife, only to be tortured by the things they believe they find valuable. Yet the main characters of the show are working to morally become better people and prove they are actually deserving of being in the real ‘paradise of the afterlife.’

I find this humorous, because it actually highlights what I have said about the importance of trying to stick to the simple operations of man before reason, including how people are “ardently interested in our well-being and self preservation,” as I mentioned on page 42 of my work The Basic Political Writings. This show highlights not only how this mindset of achieving out well-being has lead individuals to be tortured due to their somewhat selfish and self preserving nature, but it also demonstrates how humans values and needs cloud their judgement towards achieving their true happiness. As I said once before, and I’ll say it again, “one is not obliged to make a man a philosopher before making him a man” granted that one does not “do any harm to my fellowman,” also outlined on page 42 of my work The Basic Political Writings. Alas, these people do the exact opposite, and overly complicate everything I have outlined. One example would be the character Chidi, who constantly is questioning everything- every action, decision, and life as a whole. Yet his ultimate desire is to discover the answer to every single problem that he encounters, that he does not realize that he is torturing himself and even his friends through constantly questioning everything, and never accepting anything for what it is. *Sigh*, if only mankind would listen what I had to say and stick to trying to obtain the basic desires of man, then maybe we could live in the simple state of nature I outlined and actually achieve the true happiness one desires.

But who knows why they do not listen. In fact, the characters seem to follow some of my, er, philosopher colleagues and their ideas, like Locke. Ugh, of course they listen to Locke(<– as seen in this article) and his stupid ideas about one’s identity being based on a continued consciousness and memories. Don’t they get it, it is achieving the simple desires in life that we need to work for, such as living to the next day, not trying to plan our entire life based off of our past?! They’ll see I am right though, eventually, if they listen to what I say…

It is hard to satisfy human desires, really?

I once watched a clip of an interesting Japanese show; it is about what will a homeless beggar do if someone gives him a lot of money. Apart from what I(myself, not Rousseau) thought that he will spend lots of money buying luxuries, to use the money to invest, to find a job, to fully use up all that he can have, he first rejected the offer and ask if he would get arrested or not (lol). When the people recording the show explains and insist on giving him, he steps into a convenient store, buys some cheap foods, water, a toothbrush, and asked if they can let him use the money to live in a hotel for one day. He seems to be happy after taking a comfortable nap and a bath and returned all the money that they give him. I, as Rousseau, would explain this phenomenon in my discussion of the state of nature. I believe that the human state of nature is like animals, actually, human desire is simple, and their needs are little. Basically humans only wish for physical needs like food, water, shelter. Like the example above, a man, even without any interactions with the society itself (not involving, not contributing) can still demonstrate his state of nature. From the homeless’ action of only buying stuff for basic needs, it can be explained by my statement of the state of nature. People in the state of nature should have a good life, it can be seen from the homeless that he was quite satisfied after fulfilling basic needs even he does not receive a lot of money.

Time for today’s segment Rousseau’s Religious Reputations, with me Rousseau, it’s my segment.

I was having dinner with my parents a few days ago, and we began to discuss how San Diego schools were trying to give special times for prayer and teaching different religions to those who are not that specific religion, which they must have heard from this. My parents discussed how they did not feel it was fair for any religion to get special treatment over the other in the United States. However, I brought up a point on how they are biased, which is that the US is very centered on Christianity as well. I pointed out how many towns in the US still close on Sundays, and many different perspectives and such are influenced by Christian values, and how people judge things morally and such. The US is entirely centered on Christianity from holidays, to saying merry Christmas. These values are so imbued in the US culture and ideals and how the US is governed that some people completely miss them. However, these biases toward Christianity, despite some not being the same religion, is the fact that these values had set up a framework for the morals and expectations of the country today, or in also my own words “…politics and religion have a common object among us, but that in the beginning stages of nations the one serves as an instrument of the other.” as I discussed in pg 183 in my The Basic Political Writings. As this country had Christian and similar religious laws before we had a government, and as such these religious values co-align with today’s government.

Prompt 1 Discussion

Hume is critical of religion and discusses how one needs to experience something in order to validate it is true. Evidence: In Section 11, talks about how God built the world and that it is not rational to believe God exists.

Voltaire is also critical of religion since there is so much bad in the world, how can this be the best possible world? Evidence: Page 43–Voltaire is critical of being too optimistic.


Hi everyone! My name is Megan Griswold, and I am a second year Human Bio Major in Revelle College. I grew up in San Diego, and I go to the beach pretty frequently, whether it be to kayak, surf, or to just read a book on the sand. I have played piano for ten years and played the flute throughout all of high school. My career goal is to become a Pediatric Doctor.

My favorite book in the Hum series so far is The Odyssey because while reading it, we enter a world infused with imagination and excitement where no dream is made too fantastic for humans to access. However, woven through all of the horrific, non familiar creatures and scenes, there is additionally a theme of traveling home, a feeling we all can recognize. This is why I find The Odyssey to be so entertaining, as well as relatable to all who read it.

This was a picture I took while hiking near where I live during winter break.


Hi everyone! I’m Ashley. I’m currently a human developmental sciences major. I like watching Netflix, going on hikes, and snorkeling. My favorite book in the HUM sequence has been the Odyssey. I don’t really like reading though tbh

Heres a picture of my friend’s weird Ponyo bottle. I think its scary and cute and funny at the same time lol.

This is Me

Hello everybody! My name is Nabi and I’m a Computer Science senior. I love the work I do and I’m very optimistic about the future. The reason I love the field I’m working in is because of the power it gives me to influence a wide variety of segments of society and enhance their living conditions in some ways through my software skills.

My favorite book in HUM has been the dialogues by Plato due to a couple of reasons: firstly, I came to the realization that some of the biases and presumptions we make might be wrong in their fundamental argument. This made me question myself and the ideas I had to make sure to eliminate these biases that come from my background. Secondly, the HUM series in general has helped me have a clearer idea of who I am and my core values. Thanks to this new skill I’m able to have a clearer vision for my future and am able to be a better person overall.


I writing this post at 6AM in the morning because I am so good at planning my assignments. Anyways, my name is Michael Fernandez. I’m a third year student from Revelle majoring in Microbiology. Gonna spit out some cool facts about me. First, I love to practice martial arts- mainly Taekwondo and Kickboxing. Second, I am trilingual (kinda quadlingual). My three fluent languages are, English, Tagalog along and an island specific dialect. For my fourth language, I’m currently learning French, but I’m really bad at it.

My favorite book in the Humanities series is probably the Holy Bible because it is so open to interpretation. It is also an interesting book when looking religious history since the Old Testament is back before Jesus arrived and the new Testament is during or after his arrival. It’s an interesting contrast as to how people used to view God since the Old Testament has a lot of sacrifices and deaths while the New Testament is mainly about being a good person.

Anyways, maybe someone will read this and if you do- you’re cool and thank you. Hope everyone has a chill winter quarter. Lastly, here is a picture of something I found on the way to Vegas.


Herro, my name is Jimmy Nguyen and I am a second-year biochemistry student under the Chemistry Department. I am trying to switch my major to Human Biology this quarter and I want to pursue a career in the medical field (I just don’t know what yet). I guess some fun facts about me are that I have a very large stuffed animal collection on my bed, I used to play tennis, and that my favorite High School Musical movie is High School Musical 2.

My favorite HUM book experience has to be the Old Testament back in HUM 1 because I enjoyed relearning the stories that I was taught in Bible School as a child. It was very surprising to find out how many stories I actually remembered as we were discussing the books in discussion.

Here’s a photo of like 1/4 of my stuffed animal collection on my bed


Hi! My name is Nicole Hom and I am a second-year biochemistry student. I’m aiming for a future career as a forensic scientist, but I have yet to figure out which discipline I want to pursue. A few fun facts about myself are that I used to do gymnastics, I currently do martial arts, and I’m a casual gamer 🙂 I also love boba too!

I think my favorite HUM book would be The Odyssey because it’s such a classic epic that demonstrates amazing character development and portrays vital aspects of the hero’s journey very well. Homer does an excellent job of utilizing several literary elements to create a powerful story that I could simply read over and over again.

Anyways, I hope to get to know y’all this quarter. Enjoy a gym video from high school 🙂 sorry about the bad quality lol


My name is Rafael Vasquez. I am a second-year Chemical Engineering major. I have different hobbies such as playing guitar and piano, reading philosophy, and gaming. I am also a big fan of the band, Radiohead so if you like Radiohead too, let me know. I am also a big fan of Albert Camus and his work so if you want to talk about him, let me know.

So far in the Humanities series, my favorite book is The Odyssey. It was a long read but the story of Odysseus and his son, Telemachus, was really captivating.

Like I said before, I am a big fan of Radiohead so if you’re interested, here’s a link to one of Radiohead’s best concerts.


Hi! My name is Fateh. I was born in India. I have lived in Michigan, and now in San Diego. So far, my favorite place to live at has been San Diego mainly because of the weather. But I still think India had the best food. My goal in life is to excel at things I am passionate about. I am passionate about mechanical engineering and fluid mechanics more specifically. I fell in love with mechanical engineering back in high school when I first learned about physics. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk to a bunch of professors in my field. After talking to them, I learned that mechanical engineering is something I would love to do for the rest of my life. I enjoy learning about how F1 cars and planes work. This is the first humanities class I have taken at UCSD. I have enjoyed Candid a lot so far. My favorite thing to read out of all my English classes had been Learning to Read by Malcolm X. This essay inspired me to read more and learn more. I love to learn because I feel like it grows me as a person, and it helps me push my learning abilities. Also by reading, I gain a better understanding of the world through the eyes of other authors.

Life of a Redbull™ Aficionado

Hey everyone, my name is Leyly (lay-lee) and I’m a 2nd year human biology major. I’m on the UCSD Figure Skating Team, and I work for the UCSD Pediatrics Department as a video editor and graphic designer and am a proud single mother to two cats. In my free time I like to scroll on Twitter, listen to Beyoncé, and be an active energy drink connoisseur.

My favorite book that I’ve read in HUM so far has been the “Lais of Marie de France,” because I liked the themes of love, and courtship and the whimsical aspects of each story. My favorite story specifically, was “Guigemar” because of the happy ending which is oftentimes a rare occurrence when reading HUM books.

These are my sons, Theodore and Edward

Shakespeare for the win!

Hi class, my name is William Luu and I am a second year Cog Sci ML major. I don’t mind if people call me Will, William, or even Bill. I was born in here in sunny San Diego and have been living here all my life. I enjoy playing video games, gyming, and racing people on typing racer.

My favorite book in the HUM series was Shakespeare’s The Tempest because of its nature of a play. The relationship between the stranded island characters was enjoyable to read with Prospero’s relationship to Caliban and Ariel along with his plotted revenge on the ship. It highlights some of the history of slavery with the subtle inferiority complex between Prospero and Caliban and the effects of European settlement to new places such as Prospero’s arrival to the island. Overall, it was nice to read a play that had a lot of drama.

I like listening to electronic music so here’s a song from one of my playlists.


Hellur ?

My name is Jennifer Fuentes and I am a psychology major. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and honestly i really miss living there with my parents. I came to San Diego because of school. Something about me is that I love superheroes. So anything that has to do with DC or Marvel I love. Everything about them amazes me. I also have a guinea pig and his name is Loki. He’s the cutest!!!!! As to a favorite book in the HUM sequence I honestly don’t have one. I don’t like HUM LOL. Here’s Loki 🙂


I’m Meghana Ottur (I also go by Meg if you can’t pronounce my name :)), I’m a sophomore, and a neurobiology major. I’m from New Jersey and came here just for the beach (Joking. Kind of.) I’m pretty lazy so most of the time I just hang out indoors, though if I have the energy to move (which is rare), I do go out with friends. So as for my hobbies, I write fictional novels, draw a bit, and game. The novel I’m currently working on is a science fiction thriller about a technologically-progressed future world where people can create and control physical objects (and creatures) using their minds, along with a bunch of other crazy abilities. I’m also planning on improving my artistic skills to post concept art about my story. If you share any of my hobbies or you’re just interested, feel free to come talk to me about them! 🙂

My favorite book in the HUM series would have to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I already read it in high school but I found it to be one of Shakespeare’s funniest and weirdest works.

Here’s a really good electronic song with vocals from a game I like. Trust me, it’s good.


Hi! My name is Catherine Nguyen, but I go by Cat 🙂 I am a third-year biochemistry/chemistry major. When I’m not in a class, I am working in my research lab doing assays on human plasma samples. My research focuses on the discovery of new small molecules (a.k.a. metabolite). Outside of school, I do powerlifting as a hobby. I love cooking and trying out fine dining in my spare time! 

I really enjoyed HUM 2 with Professor Caciola because I learned a lot about French authors (which is great because I love French Literature). I really enjoyed reading The Lais by Marie de France in that course!

Here’s a picture from my last fine dining experience – a tasting menu at Kali, a Michelin star restaurant in LA. 


Hi 🙂

My name is Jacky Lin and I’m a data science major. I was born in China but lived in the U.S. since I was one. I’m from the LA area and I like swimming, spontaneous hangouts and games. I don’t have a single favorite book in the HUM sequence but I like the philosophical works of Plato and The Lais of Marie de France. Attatched is a recent song that I like.

Crawled Out of Bed at 7 PM to Write This

Hi! My name is Jasmine Okereke. I’m a Clinical Psychology major and Health Social Issues minor, but I have only taken one (1) class that is relevant to my major/minor despite being a Sophomore because I have too many gen eds and prerequisites! Go Revelle College! All joking aside, my interests include writing and performing and visual arts. I have played saxophone(s) for eight years, and I make pottery and stained glass projects when given the supplies. I have also been writing a story and drawing its concept art in my free time for a few years. Of course, with all the art that I dabble in, I refuse to make a career out of them because my parents told me not to.

My favorite book from the HUM series would have to be Montaigne’s The Essays. Montaigne’s first chapter openly discourages readers from wasting their free time by reading his book, going so far as to to a book about himself frivolous. Montaigne’s sense of humor can be seen throughout The Essays, and it even made me laugh out loud a few times. I know. It’s weird. (Another great book that isn’t from the HUM series is Murder in Perspective by Keith Miles. Check it out, it’s the only book I bothered to finish in high school.)

Finally, here’s a song from a Norwegian experimental jazz group called Jaga Jazzist. Have a day!


Hi everyone! My name is Isabella, and I am a third year Human Bio major in Revelle. Some fun facts about me are that I recently picked up a Political Science minor, I am from LA, and I am a huge foodie. I also have two younger brothers and love watching sports with them (mostly NBA and NFL games). I love music and going to concerts; I have been to Coachella, Rolling Loud, and Day n Night which were all festivals and so much fun!

My favoite HUM book I have read so far is Confessions by Augustine in HUM 2. I attended Catholic school from K-12th grade, so I found it interesting to look at Augustine and his work from a literary and historical point of view because it was so different from what I was accustomed to. I also found it refreshing that someone highly regarded in the church was humanized in his biography and made mistakes just like everyone else.

I mostly listen to hip-hop/pop music, but I am also obsessed with Frank Ocean. I took a music class at UCSD and we learned about him and his music style, so I posted a song I had never heard by him that I think is amazing!

Hello To The Class

Have you ever felt like a blog post will make or break your grade? Well I have, Hi, my name is Randy Apan by the way. I am a third year international business major, in Revelle obviously. I am a really big gamer, so I like to both play and stream at the same time. My favorite genre of games are FPS games and I also happen to play for the UCSD Counter-strike Global Offensive team. Other things that I like to do is pick up random new hobbies, lately I’ve been wanting to pick up bar tending and am hoping to go to school for it once I turn 21.

I think my favorite book from the Hum series was The Divine Comedy. This was because of how it seemed to almost be like a fan fiction of Dante’s favorite heroes and philosophers from times past.

As I mentioned counter strike global offensive is my favorite game and here’s some clips from past tournaments. *shameless plug kinda* if anyone wants to catch one of my streams yall can ask.

Self Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Shangshu Shi. I usually use the name “mint” and you can call me mint if you want. I am a second year ICAM music major student and I have been playing and making music for many years. I love metal, progressive rock/metal and lots of orchestra stuff. I also love digging into different kinds of history stuff, especially Chinese’s Three Kingdom era and Japanese Sengoku Era. I can tell you lots of things if you are interested!

My favorite book in Hum series till now might be King Lear. I wasn’t really interested in the language of the book due to the technical difficulties but I definitely love the plot and the way how Shakespeare conveys his message through the plot. I am always fascinated by awesome plots and stories.

I put an old piece I wrote half year ago below, just to show you what kinds of music I am into and I truly hope you’ll like it!

Self Introduction~

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Heredia and I am a second year Molecular and Cell Biology major! My major interests would include music, cancer research, and Disney! In terms of music, the main instrument I play is string bass, and I am involved in Chamber Orchestra and The Intermission Orchestra here on campus. I also enjoy playing the other instruments I know how to play, such as electric bass and a few others, and I also am learning how to arrange pieces for The Intermission Orchestra which is a new experience I thought I would never have.

One of my favorite books in the Hum series so far was The Essays by Michel de Montaigne. I think it is really interesting how he is very individualized and is not too worried about others listening or disagreeing, but rather, he is only telling others so they can be aware of what he believes. Furthermore, one of my favorite essays highlights that “to philosophize is to learn to die.” Montaigne makes a really good point in saying that anything one means to get done before they die should be done today, for we do not know when we will die, and thus, must act while we still can. Overall, I think Montaigne is very relatable in current day issues and how I would like to address issues, and therefore, I have liked his works the most so far.

As I mentioned, I love music, especially different types of it. Here is one of my favorite bands (Coldplay) performing Adventure of a Lifetime. Their music videos are always interesting, so I thought I should share this one since it is quite unique. Enjoy! 😀


Hello, my name is James Dayanghirang and I am a 2nd year structural engineering major. In my free time I like to play video games, listen to music, and play my guitar. My favorite book from HUM would have to be Oedipus Rex because I liked thinking about whether or not people really have free will or not.

Here’s one of my favorite guitarists on youtube 😀

Introduction Blog Post

Hello everyone,
My name is Raju Ivaturi, and I’m a 4th Year Cognitive Science major specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. I’m from just north of LA, and my interests include Basketball, lifting, making music, playing soccer, and playing video games.
My favorite book in the HUM sequence so far has been Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. I quite enjoyed the theme of repentance and how Faustus’ remorse kept gnawing at him as he continued to sin, showing that people ought to listen to their hearts and minds and live without regret. This book also showed me that even the greatest of humanity can fall victim to worldly vices, especially when they are greedy or want too much power.

Here is my favorite song ever (probably), and an inspiration in my own musical endeavors:

Self Introduction

Hello! My name is Zijia Guo and I am a second year Electrical Engineering Student. Recently I am trying to declare double majors with Applied Math. I come from China. When I have leisure, I like to play TRPG and video games with friends. My favorite TRPG game is Dungeons & Dragons.

My favorite book in the HUM series is The New Organon by Francis Bacon. I really like this book because in this book Bacon basically established the fundamental opinion about modern scientific study. What is more, I believe his opinion about the four idols of human beings can help me a lot.

Here is one of my favorite songs.

Self-Intro ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am a second year aiming to major in human biology. I’m from Oakland, CA which is right across from San Francisco. When given the opportunity, I love to solve puzzles, from the jigsaw ones to sudoku to wooden brain teasers (I can’t help myself when I see jigsaw puzzles at Geisel). This is irrelevant, but I prefer lattes over boba (sorry, not sorry to all the bobaholics ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

I like many of the works in the HUM sequence, but my favorite text so far has to be Gorgias by Plato. While some parts of Socrates’ argument may not be sound, he does bring up some interesting points, especially about rhetoric, power, and the distinction between doing something a person should do versus doing something a person wants to do. I found the dialogue to be an interesting read.

Here’s a short by one of the Youtube channels I watch. Fun fact: the creators of the channel are UCSD alumni.


Hello, my name is Jiaqi Feng and you can call me Judy. I am from Tianjin, China, a city next to Beijing. My mom and dad are both engineers but I somehow interested in mathematics and am an applied-math sophomore. I like music and playing the guitar and also playing with my cats.

My favorite book is hum sequence is definitely Marie de France. I really enjoy those love stories that always give us interesting endings out of our expectations and there are always something meaningful lies behind the stories, which are very worth considering.

Processed with MOLDIV


Hello everyone, my name is Hsin-Yi (Sidney), and I am from Taiwan. I am a senior majoring in business psychology. I love traveling, yoga, and boba. The last place I visited was Quebec in Canada and it was a great experience. I was able to explore the beautiful landscapes and experience a distinct culture.

My favorite book in the HUM series is Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life because the book changed my perspective on life in some way. The book urged me to think about how I have lived so far and made me notice how much time I have wasted. The idea of making better use of time often reminds me not to get distracted by unworthy moments, which I think is valuable.

Here is my grandma’s cat, and her name is Cat.

Self-Introduction: David Richman

My name is David Richman and I am a fourth-year double major in Philosophy and Political Science. My plan is to attend a doctorate program next year and attain a PhD in Philosophy and/or a PhDiv in Theology/Philosophy of Religion with the eventual goal of teaching at a university level–I am currently waiting for my admissions results as I’ve already submitted all of my applications. I am primarily concerned with topics in moral and political philosophy, existential phenomenology, theology as paradox, and the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and Søren Kierkegaard. My interests include reading (philosophy and theology), writing, and snowboarding.

My favorite book within the Humanities sequence thus far is Augustine’s Confessions. The Confessions explores topics such as introspection, guilt, sin, individuality, the nature of time, and so many more. It is complex, deep, thought-provoking, passion-provoking, and completely original (especially form a historical perspective). Augustine offers himself in such a bare and naked way, elucidating his inner struggles and relating his sense of isolation with being an Individual before God, that one cannot but be absolutely gripped by every word. Beyond mere passion and self-reflection, Augustine also philosophizes in a dispassionate manner on topics like time, where he espouses a systematic and defensible account of presentism (viz. that only and nothing but the present exists).

Below I’ve attached the statue of Søren Kierkegaard in the garden he used to visit often in Denmark. A fun fact about Kierkegaard is that, while he was the first existentialist, and literally invented the dialectical category of “the individual,” he used to walk around the streets of Copenhagen for up to four hours at a time, talking with every person he could. He was highly sociable (at least on the outside) and extremely funny–what made him first prominent in Denmark was his writing a satirical hit-piece on his own first published and pseudonymous work (Concluding Unscientific Postscript) in a newspaper in Copenhagen.

All About Me

Hey y’all!

My name is Siara, I am a second year, and I’m a molecular and cell biology major. I’m an out of state student from Chicago, Illinois and some of my hobbies include photography, traveling, and painting. My favorite book we have read in the HUM series so far were the Lais of Marie de France. I really enjoyed the how each of the stories had an entirely different subject matter with an underlying lesson to learn from each story.

The picture I included are one of my photographs from my photoshoots. It is performance portraiture representative of feelings experienced by people with anxiety.

Hello, my name is Shaun

Hello, my name is Shaun Tayaba. I was born in Japan, but I moved to Southeast San Diego when I was a one-year-old and have lived here ever since. My hobbies include playing basketball, dancing, and working out.

My favorite book from the HUM sequence so far has been The Prince from Machiavelli. Although I didn’t agree with some of his viewpoints, his perspective was interesting to see and I found the text very intriguing.

I Wrote This While Eating A Scone

Hey guys! My name is Thomas! I’m a Linguistics (Speech and Language Sciences) major, but I’m planning to acquire a second major in Religion (Christian Tradition) within this academic year.

As for my personal background, I was born in the Philippines (specifically Manila). However, I moved to the Bay Area (Dublin) for a brief time before spending most of my life in New England (specifically, Connecticut). During high school, I returned to the same place in the Bay Area and now I find myself here in San Diego–you can say I like change, even welcome it!

A major interest of mine is researching the Linguistics of Religion. Ever since I was young, I was always enamored by the way divinity and language interacted with each other to create a nexus of phenomena and preservations of human behavior. If this is something that intrigues you, I am always more than happy to talk about it!

My favorite book that I’ve read so far is John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Although I would say I’ve had a ‘favorite’ for every HUM course I’ve taken, I would say (with some trepidation) that this one is indeed my favorite over all! Aside from masterfully wedding together concepts which are of great fascination to me (linguistics and religion), something which I consider are the contextual factors around which this piece of work was made in. Paradise Lost was made at a time when Europeans were colonizing foreign lands, and when read with this in mind, an anti-imperialist narrative can be uncovered. However, what interested me most was Milton’s own condition when writing this work. Milton at this time was going blind, and I believe his visual impairment adds an additional layer of complexity and tragedy to his work. Seeing as how Paradise Lost frequents in illustrating flower fields and other Edenic imagery, I can’t help but wonder if Milton’s tendency to over-emphasize natural beauty is a representation of his desperation in seeing it again.

The media I chose to select is Maria Callas’ performance of Habanera from the opera Carmen. I generally choose this song to recommend, namely because many people know the melody of this song but don’t know its name. Additionally, Maria Callas (in my opinion) is one of the best operatic vocalists known to us. She was even bestowed the name ‘La Divina’ (‘The Goddess’) because many described her voice as being sublime and otherworldly, even godly.


I’m Theodore Sacamay but I go by Toby and am a second year student. I am currently majoring in Human Biology. I was born and raised my entire life here in the city of San Diego; however, my parents are both Filipino. I love playing video games, doing art, and listening to all kinds of music (mostly EDM or rap). My favorite book of the HUM series was probably The Odyssey, I had some exposure to it already from High School and liked reading about the Greeks again.

A self-intro

Hi guys, my name is Paul Guo, my actual given name is Tianze but it is hard to pronounce, so I choose this one-syllable name instead. I’m an international student from Beijing, China majoring in Bioengineering(Biotechnology). I am interested in the natural sciences, I can spend a whole day exploring natural history museums. For literature, I am interested in Camus’ absurdism, ‘The myth of Sisyphus’ is always my top favorite and it helped me when I’m down. Another fun fact about me is that I’m ranked world top 15,000 in Pokemon Shield.

My favorite book in the humanities so far is the ‘Consolation of Philosophy’ I liked how lady Philosophy reasoned to Boethius that wealth, fame, etc are not the ultimate good, only God is. Though I personally do not hold any religion, I still found the reasoning part interesting. It makes me believe that wealth and fame may not be my goal, and it contributes to my optimistic view that sometimes I can use that reasoning to persuade myself that grades are not that important, and it can release some stress for me: )

The stray cat I adopted in high school and had him being a school pet there


Hi everyone! My name is Athena Skoufias and I’m a second-year Revelle student majoring in Urban Studies and Planning and minoring in Economics. I was born and raised in a town in Maryland right outside of Washington DC, so it’s easier to remember me as the girl from DC. As my name suggests, I am Greek but only half. My dad is Greek and my mom is Indonesian so I guess that’s where my interests in different cities and cultures might have stemmed from.

My favorite book from the Hum series is Montaigne’s The Essays from Hum 3. I really enjoyed reading and learning about this book because it was refreshing to read about a “normal” person’s thoughts and observations about life and death and everything in between rather than a book instructing a reader how to live one’s life. It was different than all the books I had read through Hum because of Montaigne’s frankness and honesty about the human experience.

Self Introduction

Hello everyone. My name is Yang and I’m a second-year chemical engineer major. I was born in China but grew up in Canada. Recently, I’ve been addicted to a deck-building video game called Slay the Spire. This game completely consumed me during the winter break and I’m only now starting to recover.

My favourite book in the HUM series has to be the Odyssey. I grew up reading the Percy Jackson novels which were heavily influenced by the Odessey and Greek mythology. It was very interesting to read what inspired my favourite childhood books.

Here is a photo from a cypress mountain, a ski resort near my home in Vancouver.

Hello, my name is…

Hello! My name is Kalo, and I am from Encinitas, which is a 30 minute drive north of UCSD. I am a sophomore in Revelle and a literature major, and business minor. I really love creating things with art and sewing, and I am currently creating an etsy, and will take requests if you want me to make you something! I also love to reading and playing video games.

My favorite book so far in the HUM series was probably The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. I really liked how it dealt with very complicated issues in a clear and concise way, however, it was not abrupt or choppy. I also really liked the flow of the story and how the purpose of it was also to be engaging and not to just teach people about philosophy.

It is not completed, but if you are interested here is my etsy:

Also Rare Americans is a great new punk band, here is one of their best songs:

Introducing myself

Greeting! This is George, a sophomore math and economy joint major student, from Beijing, China. I’m interested in reading books about philosophy and social science, and running dungeon and dragon campaign with my friends. I’m also open to exploring new foods.

My favorite book from HUM sequence thus far is Gorgias by Plato. The dialogue inquires on topics concerning the nature of rhetoric, how and why people argue, the very thing which we’ve spent so much time learning in the HUM class. This work also brings up more questions than it answered, proposing ideas that seems surprisingly modern.

This is Me!

Hello everyone! My name is Vera and I am from San Diego. I am a sophomore at Revelle and my major is Pharmacological Chemistry. I’m interested in playing/watching sports, hiking, and trying out new foods. In general, I just really like trying out new things.

My favorite book from the Humanities sequence thus far is a book I read from Hum 2 with Professor Markman called Lysistrata. This book wasn’t really emphasized on as the other books but I really liked it. This book was such an easy read and it focused on how women were able to rise and start their own revolution to make a change in their society. I liked this book because we don’t really come across a lot of books in hum that focus on women.

I took this picture the last time I hiked Cowles Mountain!!

Montaigne all the way

Hi everyone, my name is Rosie. (I’m your TA 🙂 I am a PhD student in the music department, which is a little misleading because the work I do aligns more with the work done in communications or American Studies departments. My interests include critical theory, techno, and wellness culture. My MA thesis was on this crazy phenomenon Daybreaker! Has anyone heard of it? Comment if so :o)

My favorite author so far was definitely Montaigne. I found his essays relatable and insightful; I think it was the most relatable read for me thus far in the HUM sequence. I particularly liked Montaigne’s essay on death. It was also refreshing to read a critique of European imperialism and oppression of indigenous people, after all of the other non-critical texts we’ve read thus far (the Greek’s obsession with “barbarians” comes to mind).

I mentioned that I like techno. One of my favorite artists is Detroit- based Omar S. Enjoy!