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28 Oct 2007
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Concise Summary of Descartes' Reasoning in "Meditations on First Philosophy"

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Descartes' Meditation One sets out his purpose of creating a new scientific paradigm to be based on a foundation built above the wreckage of his former opinions. He sought a reason to doubt the entire canon of his opinions so that he might begin “to establish anything firm and lasting in the...

28 Oct 2007
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Exposition of Kant's "Copernican Revolution" in Philosophy

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Taking their cue from the scientific philosophy of Francis Bacon, the thinkers of the Enlightenment assumed that the mind acted as a mirror, simply reflecting images of outward objects onto the subjective self. Immanuel Kant proposed a reorientation in which the relation between subject and...

28 Oct 2007
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Duality in Mahayana Buddhist Scriptures

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Buddha's teachings, although expressive of ultimate reality, have been conveyed through the relative medium of language. This discrepancy has led to the invocation of dichotomies such as “reality versus unreality”, “existence versus nonexistence” and “truth versus...

23 Oct 2007
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A Comparison of Zen and Shin Buddhism: Dogen VS Shinran

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Buddhism was not originally a Japanese religion, since the said originator of the way, Siddhartha Gautama (also referred to as Shakyamuni Buddha) was born in a region that is now Nepal, and spread his teachings mostly around northern India. China later received his teachings through various...

23 Oct 2007
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What is Judaism?

Essay - 2 pages - Humanities/philosophy

What is Judaism? What does it mean to be a Jew? According to Webster's Dictionary, “Judaism is a monotheistic religion that traces its roots back to Abraham and having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud.” There are three...

22 Oct 2007
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African Religion and Vodoo

Tutorials/exercises - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

For more than two hundred years the Haitian religion commonly referred to as voodoo has continued to intrigue, excite, and scare Americans. In a recent Hollywood blockbuster, “The Skeleton Key” starring Kate Hudson, a small New Orleans family is terrorized by a menacing duo of...

19 Oct 2007
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To Exist Is to Question Existence Itself

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Writers define themselves by their purposes. A novelist writes to entertain, to embrace the imagination and create a world of escape for the reader. A columnist writes to inform, to relay the facts and describe a world of current events for the reader. What,...

19 Oct 2007
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The Fall of Ulysses

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

In all its humor, 1984 ½ would have in actuality been a very fitting title for Terry Gilliam's Brazil. An invisible, all-powerful government, the struggle of the individual against the state, the apparent hopelessness, there is no doubting the similarities between George Orwell's...

19 Oct 2007
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Self-fulfillment

Essay - 20 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The controversy surrounding self-fulfilling prophecies, while originally centered on proving their existence, has recently settled on the probability of such phenomenon occurring in a natural environment. While not directly cited in this resource guide, the original “Pygmalion...

19 Oct 2007
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Punishment and the Damned

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

It can be questioned whether the Greek and Roman people ever believed in their own gods. However, even such questioning cannot undermine the didactic value of their religion. Greek and Roman mythology thrived on storytelling; bards assumed the role of primitive priests, teaching moral reasoning...

12 Oct 2007
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A Discourse on Happiness for a Drug-Free Nation

Essay - 2 pages - Humanities/philosophy

For the most part, there are two desirable products of problem solving: personal pleasure and the happiness of others. This difference between selfishness and unselfishness has often defined moral decision making, the former being nothing less than sin and the latter being utterly...

12 Oct 2007
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A Better Fate: Mythology and the Creation of Meaning

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Mythology: the bookstore catalogue designation where religions go to die. When the believers cease believing in their gods, and when the gods cease believing in themselves. We often forget we once worshiped Zeus and those other “primitive” gods with the...

09 Oct 2007
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Kant, Mill and Protagoras

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

When following the determining factors of morality for either Kant or Mill one would generally arrive to the same conclusion on whether an action is moral or not. Although Kant believes that his method of deriving morality is best, Mill believes that Kant's process is lacking. “But when he...

09 Oct 2007
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Three Vehicles and Their Resulting Enlightenments in Buddhism

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Buddhist path leading toward nirvana is one properly undertaken with the understanding that enlightenment is something coming in degrees, and perhaps without a finite ‘ending point.' It is not unlike the mathematical concept of a limit. “The limit of ‘the function of x' as x...

08 Oct 2007
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On the Education of Edgar

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

“For doubting pleases me no less than knowing.” This quote by Dante which Montaigne uses in his essays strikes at the heart of his ideas about education. He believes that the ancient ways of Aristotle, where one learns through the text of learned men, are outdated because it...

08 Oct 2007
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The Ethics of Cheating: A Look into the Decision of Harry Potter

Essay - 2 pages - Humanities/philosophy

In an attempt to test the Aristotelian method discussed in Nicomachean Ethics, I have chosen to discuss the dilemma of cheating. I have chosen this topic in an attempt to be as impartial as possible while discussing at and I have a thorough knowledge of the subject taking part in and witnessing...

08 Oct 2007
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Gandhi's Experiments with Truth

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The concept of truth is the central aspect of religion. What is truth? How is it attained? These questions have been the focal points of theological discussion throughout history. Gandhi suggested that truth can be found in his concepts of Satyagraha, or total self-renunciation, and...

03 Oct 2007
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The Form and Function of Sufi Mystical Visions

Thesis - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Experience of direct union with God is most often reported to be of an ineffable nature that transcends any means of description. Mystical visions, however, afford the subject of such experiences the ability to interpret, through the hermeneutics of religious symbolism, what might otherwise be...

03 Oct 2007
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The Relationship of Being and Perception in Enlightenment Philosophy

Thesis - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The philosophical efforts of the Enlightenment thinkers were based on the relationship between metaphysics and epistemology. Descartes, Leibniz and Berkeley progress in their understandings of being by refining the means by which they are able to make justified claims to knowledge. In a...

02 Oct 2007
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Utopian Thought: Political Perfection Built Upon Human Imperfection

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Utopian fiction, a genre originated by Sir Thomas More in 1516, attempts to expound political theory under the guise of fiction. The narration of these works is essential to the communication of political ideas, as the integrity of the political information conveyed hinges on the actual...

02 Oct 2007
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Arguing Their Way to Salvation: Eschatology in Jewish-Christian Polemics of the Middle Ages

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

This essay will investigate how issues of Jewish messianism and eschatology were used as polemical devices in medieval disputations between Jews and their Christian interlocutors. Eschatology, the system of religious beliefs about the end of time, is a crucial theme in medieval Judeo-Christian...

02 Oct 2007
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Religion as Means for Social Mechanization in Dystopia

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Dystopian literature describes societies in which Government seizes total control over its citizens by eliminating their sense of individual self, and in turn, efficiently regulating their personal desires. Only with deviant selfishness can a member of dystopian society regain his personal...

02 Oct 2007
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Embodying Emptiness: (Anti-) Aesthetics of the Prajnaparamita-Hrdaya Sutra

Essay - 6 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Prajna-paramita Hrdaya Sutra, the 'heart' of the Mahayana tradition, represents the Buddhist anti-aesthetic of complete enlightenment in which the perception of any dualistic reality is a view of the deluded mind. The Heart Sutra is Avalokitesvara's explanation of the...

02 Oct 2007
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Sufi Love: Submission to the Beautiful

Essay - 2 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The practical and esoteric dimensions of Islam intertwine in the Sufi tradition to forge a non-dual relationship between the worshipper and God. Sufis augment their adherence to the Q'uranic doctrine of submission to God (Islam) with a passionate love for “doing the beautiful”...

02 Oct 2007
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A Discussion of Panpsychism: The Metaphysics of Consciousness

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Panpsychism describes a world in which “everything has a mind (Chalmers 298),” and everything- animal, botanical, even mineral- is conscious. In order to determine whether or not all things are indeed conscious, two problems must be addressed. A definition of what it means to be...

02 Oct 2007
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Personal and Societal Alchemy in Early Daoist Scriptures

Essay - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The principle of interconnectedness pervades the worldviews of the Daoist and Buddhist religions originating from India and China. It is fitting that the traditions themselves are historically and textually interconnected in a way that finds traditions intermingling by borrowing teachings and...

02 Oct 2007
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Ideology and War: Pacifism and Eschatological Militarism in Foreign Policy

Essay - 9 pages - Humanities/philosophy

War is a situation that embodies the principle of duality: one side is pitted against another in an “an act of violence intended to compel an opponent to fulfill our will .” That will, whatever it may be, “has its root in a political object ” that is determined within...

02 Oct 2007
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The Daode Jing: Manual for Cosmic Living

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Daode Jing is a manual, attributed to Laozi, suggesting that non-action (wu-wei) is a way by which one may exist in accord with the cosmic principle of Dao and thus ensure a virtuous self and society. By cultivating the individual body, the Daoist sage in turn cultivates the social body. This...

02 Oct 2007
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A Timeless Debate

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

At a lecture given at our own Stony Brook University, Michael Ratner asserts that “Justice is losing its power” . What Michael Ratner, the defending lawyer for many prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, means by this daring statement is that America is losing sight of its...

02 Oct 2007
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A Question of Filial Piety

Essay - 3 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Should we publicly accuse our own parents of a crime, which will undoubtedly result in their punishment? This age old question has been debated for millennia throughout the world with varied and countless legitimate arguments swaying people's opinions from one side to the other. It is unclear if...