November 15th, 2006
Back again with more interesting points, inspired and noted from those aforementioned lessons with a clever old history teacher at my school. This time the focus isn’t on one subject alone, but more of some individual concepts or historical ideas whose one thing in common is that they fill up the same pages of my notebook. Onwards!
A Collection of shorter points
Cogita Ergo Sum: or, more commonly known as “I think, therefore I am”, which was spoken my Rene Decarte, an 17th Century Philosopher. This was in fact a response to other intelllectuals arguing to prove that is was impossible to know anything for certian, and that is was quite possible that everything is an illusion. Decarte said that, although the content of our thought may be mistaken, the fact we are thinking proves that we are thinking, thereby rubbishing the other philosopher’s notions.
Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to fill the time available for it”. If you want something done, give it to a busy person, as it will be done much quicker than a person with too much time on their hands. Don’t I just know it.
The Categorical Imperitive: A reaction to moral relativism, an attempt to construct solid, unviersal of moral conduct, possibly due to the ever-diminishing role of religion. The old rule was “Do unto others as you would have done by yourself”, yet the new rule changed this: “Do unto others as you would have done unto everyone”.
Protestant Work Ethic
This is a quite important and fundamental piece of thought, and possibly literature, devised by Max Weber, as a reaction to Karl Marx’s take on capitalism.
Marx said that capitalism was due to greed inherent in the human race, and it was somehow inevitable in the ideals of the human race. He believed that capitalism was impersonal, based on resources, climate and the drive to increase the rate of production, which is of course all true. However, being the good politician he was, he also made the claim that, in this case, surely the next stage in the economical ladder was communism. Now, what Weber said was slightly more accurate. He agreed with the greed concept, but raised the question of why did capitalsim occur in certain places originally, and not others? Why did it spring up in the US, Holland, Britain, and then spread from these countries?
The answer came in the ideals of the Protestant Faith, with was highly apparent in these countries. Whilst the medieval Catholic church preached the ideals of renouncing earthly and material ways and achieving salvation through the Church, the Protestant side assured it’s followers that slavation was not assured, so the fulfillment of worldy duties, and therefore the accumilation of wealth and objects, was all one could do in the mean time. At this stage, the want and need for material accumulation for its own sake has destroyed the spiritual element of this truthful influence on our lives.