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Welcome to my Philostrophy section. Here you'll find a lot of rambles, rants, incoherent and semi-lucid passages, as well as some deeper thoughts on various topics.

Invitatio Ad Sermonem:

  • All essays should be treated as an invitation to discussion.
  • If you don't like my opinion, don't hit me with a baseball bat as I walk down the milk aisle. Just send me an email with your counter-argument.
  • Make sure you have an argument....
  • I am no expert in any of these fields, so don't copy&paste for your school paper and say "..cause Marc said so".
  • I did not proofread the papers before puting them online. If I was in a hurry writing them, then they might contain some minor spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors. But hey, it's the thought that matters, right :) Yes, I know, I was in a hurry a lot...
  • A lot of these essays were A's, others were not. Since the 4th grade, I've followed the German saying: that "grades are nothing but smoke and noise." I've lived fairly well with this motto throughout high-school and college.Granted, I have no 4.0 GPA, but I refuse to accept anyone else's standards as my own. Any grade only reflects how well you knew what your teacher thought that you should know. I'd rather set that limit for myself, thank you very much!
  • Also visit my Philosophy pictures of the very man himself ;-)


Philosophic Essays

Nietzsche - An OverBeacon? : (one of my personal favorites) A defense for Nietzsche's Ubermensch..

E = mind * c2 : An examination whether our mind can utilize energy. I started with a distinction between mind and matter based on a Substance Dualism, then I deepened my inquiry into mind and energy, before applying my results to current theories of mind.

Socrates & The Laws - Incoherence or Integrity : (ah, my favorite showcase trophy) In Crito, Socrates specifies that laws need to be followed or changed. In The Apology, he favors resenting his punishment. These two positions seem to be in violation of each other. To clarify this issue, I will first explain his view on obeying the laws before attempting to defend his resistance to comply.

Thoughts on Substratum : The question "Do we have good reason to believe in substance?" has been puzzling my mind since reading Locke and Berkeley. In this essay I would like to find an answer by first examining my personal experience of matter, second by comparing it to the writings of Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley, and third by investigating the possibility of a substratum and its underlying causes and laws.

Rights For Parasites : an ecocentric defense for parasites (Environmental Ethics)

Environmental Ethics Mid-Term : Short essays for those interested in Leopold, Singer, White, Regan,

Infinite Resignation and Values : In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard glorifies Abraham as a knight of faith. He is willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac, only to receive him back again. According to Kierkegaard, this sacrifice requires an enormous amount of faith in God. While I won't discourage Kierkegaard from turning Abraham into a knight of faith for his purposes, I see a problem with the process of infinite resignation and Abraham's sacrifice. I will first explain the problem of a worthless sacrifice before trying to find reconciliation by separating intrinsic and extrinsic value.

Misguided References : Short essays from a philosopy of language class

Leibniz's Evil : (one of the longer and more advanced papers) I reviewed my Leibniz paper and noticed that the conlcusion might leave the reader a little "so-what"-ish. If I remember correctly then one of Leibniz's criticisms of occasionalism was the fact that divine causation in occasionalism leads to the problem that God is the cause of all evil, which Leibniz seemed to reject. By (hopefully) showing that God is still the cause of evil in the Mondalogy, Leibniz runs into a problem with either his criticism or his Monadolgy. However, my recollection of the topic was too vague to include it into the conclusion. I was also unable to find his criticism in writing, so I chose to leave it out.

Sartre Discussion Pieces : Thoughts about Sartre and politcal systems

Small Pleasures Still Feel Good : A critique of Socrate's argument that there is no weakness of will.

Yellowstone Controversy : An essay about philosophical environmental concerns while riding through Yellowstone on horseback

Hume Discussion : Short discussion about Hume & free will.

My opinion about....

Awaken To Pain & Suffering : an examination of Edna Pontellier's struggles and the effectivness of her actions (refers to Kate Chopin's The Awakening)

The Alchemist : Brief thoughts on Paulo Coehlo's book The Alchemist

Love & Happiness in The Knights Tale : A definition of love (based on Huna principles) and an analysis how various characters in The Knights Tale measure up.

Our Earth : Answers from a geology final exam (mostly put up online so I won't forget)

Women and the Pain They Bring : Exploration about women in The Knights Tale and The Awakening (and the pain they bring)

Leadership lessons from Okonkwo (Things Fall Apart) and Antigone : An analysis of the leadership of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and a comparison to the leadership of Antigone.

Study Guide To The Worlds Religions : refers to Huston Smith's The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions

Dualistic Functions : In the discussion of the philosophy of mind, the views of Functionalism and Substance Dualism are two theories that seem to be competing for supporters. I briefly outline both views before supporting the Substance Dualist view.


My "Creative" Section...


The Eagle And The Sliver : Short story about my time as a wrangler in Yellowstone for a "Writing Life Stories" course. Mostly about setting places, portraying characters, etc.

Director's Notes : My director's notes for an in-class theatre play. Based on Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty.

Theatre Play Outline : Brief outline and synopsis of my play (which was actually performed in class and achieved the desired outcome: an A and a shocked audience that would have made Artaud proud)

First Memory : Short story about the first important memory I can remember

Notes on alcohol : Sketchy Presentation outline for an Anatomy & Physiology class





© 2009 Marc Helfer #