Saturday, July 25, 2009


Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.... The chain reaction of evil— hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars— must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. – Martin Luther King Jr.

"An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind." – Gandhi

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."

Thoughts about Blogs

What should my blog be about? More than one? It seems it would be better to have one I can constantly update so that it gets readers everyday.

“with the right mix of compelling content and exposure, a blog can draw a dedicated following, making advertising a low-hanging fruit.”

“all it takes is a couple of mentions on other sites and hundreds of people can be directed to your site.”

How do I get a website name?

It looks like this is supplemental income. And nothing fulltime… probably.

Blog Ideas

*Murfreesboro Happenings


Don't worry about lust... too many other things are more important

Thoughts on Marx and Marxism - Journal

Marx and Marxism Journal

Sept 6, 2005
“If the gods had before dwelt above the earth, they had now become its centre” (12). This quote implies that we need to reclaim the most virtuous parts of our human essence which we have taken from ourselves and attributed to the divine. We can see how we have denied our essence by exploring Christianity. Jesus was a man who possessed many of the qualities that humans admire. He was compassionate and loving. He was just and wise. But Christians have robbed humanity by attributing divinity to Jesus negating his human essence. When the Christians made Jesus divine his actions were no longer actions achieved by a man and achievable by every man; they were transformed into actions achieved by a god. Instead of looking at Jesus’s actions as human actions that we all have the capacity to achieve Christians now look at Jesus’s actions as extremely benevolent actions that confirm his divinity. Because Jesus’s actions have been placed on an imaginary pedestal above humanity the moral character that Jesus had and the righteous actions that Jesus did no longer seem to be in reach of ordinary mortals. Christianity’s main focus is no longer on working to become like the human Jesus but it is instead focused on convincing others of the belief in the divinity of Jesus—which the moral actions he performed serve only to confirm. The prevailing religious notion in America is that we are born in sin. We are condemned from birth and only by belief in a divine being can we attain moral character. We have denied our human essence as inherently good, lovable, communal beings. However, I do not think the answer to solving this problem is convincing the religious that they must abandon their notion of god and see god as a manifestation of themselves. Not only the non-religious but the religious also need to bring the heavens to the earth. The religious person must strive to acquire all the attributes they consider to be godly. The belief in God is will never go away. Parents pass on the belief in God to their children and many people today are still having mystical experiences by which they become certain that god exists. Neither the belief that god was created by humans and imparted with all of humanity’s best attributes, nor the belief that god created man with these divine attributes, can be proven. Flip a coin. Make an educated guess, but no guess has more validity than another. The problem is not religion or the belief in God. The problem is the people who take a doctrine of how to live a good life, in which one aspires to attain all the moral attributes which we consider to be the highest form of the human essence, and turn it into… whatever this mess is that Christianity has been turned into. Then there is the problem of the Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. The problem is… so much a problem that I don’t think I can even attempt to describe it (or know what it is)…

Sept 8, 2005
I find some similarities with the Old Hegelians of Marx’s time and the conservatives of today. I listened to a conservative talk radio show the other day and the host was saying something like “liberals want you to think that world is worse than it really is.” Do conservatives think we have reached the end of history? Do they think that everything is well and good and that a world with poverty and terrorism is the world as it should be? I find it hard to believe that anyone would really hold this position. Looking at the world today it seems obvious that things are not as good as they could be. We need to try to make the world a better place. There is always more work to be done. We will never reach the end of history.

Sept 9, 2005
There is positive freedom and negative freedom. Positive freedom is being constrained by oneself. And negative freedom is when you owe nothing to anyone. If I had negative freedom then I would be allowed to do whatever I want. Negative freedom is good; but without positive freedom then negative freedom is useless. If we only had negative freedom then we wouldn’t have any responsibilities and we wouldn’t ever do anything. Positive freedom is giving ourselves goals. I do not feel that the government should make laws appealing to morals. We should encourage people to be good without requiring them to. Are we really being good if we are forced to act in a in a certain way? Morality should be left up to positive freedom. We should make laws for ourselves because we choose to be good.

Sept 13, 2005
I like what Marx says about humans being communal beings. If we feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves then our lives often become more meaningful. People often look towards religion to find meaning in their lives through something greater than themselves but even closer to a person is one’s relationship to his/her fellow man. We are all together and united in the fact that we are born into this world where life is hard and meaning escapes us. We all face the same problems. We are all in this together. We need to help one another and look out for each other’s happiness because the greatest happiness we find is in the company of others. We do our best work when we work together. Okay I am blabbering. The point is we are a communal species. We have lived together in communities since the dawn of man. We need love from each other. We need to help each other. As communal beings we are happiest and we accomplish more. If we feel we are a part of something larger than ourselves then when we act to make the community better we will be acting to make ourselves better because we are all part of the community. When we apply positive freedom to this situation it will be the case that communal beings will govern themselves in ways that will be best for the community (and hence themselves).
I like Marx’s critique of the French constitution. The constitution is focusing too much on each person’s negative freedom. The government is merely protecting each person’s right to be egoistic. We are not required to look out for the welfare of others in our society. I do not know however if a clause in a constitution encouraging community would foster one. I am not sure how it might be that people could be moved to look outside of oneself and care for the wellbeing of each member of a society. Eliminating racism is one thing. Making people realize that they are part of something bigger than themselves—the community, the human race—would be good. But how can we do this? The point of philosophy is to change the world. So how can we change it? This seems to be the question everyone is asking lately.

Sept 15, 2005
In “On The Jewish Question”, Marx writes that the Jew, “fancies himself justified in separating himself from humanity, as a matter of principle takes no part in the movement of history, and waits on a destiny that has nothing in common with the destiny of mankind as a whole. He considers himself a member of the Jewish people and the Jewish people as the chosen people” (47). Religion should not separate humanity. It should unite humanity in love. However, this has never served this greater purpose. We can read this quote by Marx and be reminded of how religion can bring about the fiercest of divisions among humans. Every person in the whole world is united by the fact we are human. This bond that we have with our fellow man should trump all sects. As long as the Jews believe themselves to be the chosen people separated from humanity strife and division will still occur. As long as the Christians believe that they are first and foremost members of the body of Christ rather than members of the human race then peace and tolerance will not occur. We need to critically examine religion and cast off those dogmatic beliefs that cause us to be separated from the rest of humanity. We need to abandon all dogmatic beliefs that lead to wars and oppression and intolerance. We need to abandon all dogmatic beliefs that negate our human essence as an animal species of the planet earth. We need to abandon all dogmatic beliefs that lead to hate and division. The religious need to focus on teachings of their religion that encourage a better life for themselves and a better life for the people around them (and this doesn’t include forming a religious state).

Sept 19, 2005
In the introduction to “A Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of right, Marx writes, “In politics the Germans have thought what other people have done” (76). We can’t have passionless reflection, we must have action. The point of philosophy is to change the world, not merely understand it. Marx writes in the critique, “A theory will only be realized in a people in so far as it is the realization of what it needs… A radical revolution can only be a revolution of needs” (78). If there is going to be a revolution it is going to be because the people feel it is in their own self interest to revolt. They must feel the need to revolt. “I am nothing and I should be all” (80)… we should not be working so that someone else can rule us. We should be able to rule ourselves.

Sept 23, 2005
Marx feels that individuality and community are both destroyed by capital. In America you can be decent without doing anything at all. In a community if you want to be perceived as decent you have to contribute to the community and do your part. With capitalism we work for ourselves. But with socialism we would work for ourselves, which would be the community.
Today in America we largely site individuality in professions. We introduce ourselves and say “I am a doctor”, “I am a grocery store clerk”, “I am a banker”. But we are so much more than this. Even though we work for ourselves in capital we still are working for things that have nothing to do with ourselves in the process. The work we do often has nothing to do with our individuality. We are alienated from the things we create. Marx argues that humans are creative beings and that we remake the world. It is natural and healthy to create and change the world. But all of our creative energies are going into producing shit that we don’t care about. We are no longer free to be creative. Faced with survival we are forced to get a job which drains all of our energy. We no longer have the freedom to create for the sake of creation. Art is often created with the intention of making money rather than for the purpose of making good art. The people of our country are being degraded by cutthroat capitalism. We are engaged in the war of all against all. We are bombarded with so many advertisements a day that jingles become a staple of human conversation. There is so much shit that we are exposed to and is consequently running through our minds all the time that it is distracting ourselves from what is important. Our economic system has no regard for the wellbeing of its citizens. At least there have been restrictions placed on tobacco advertisements. But there are still cereal boxes with magic colored dragons and children who won’t eat anything but chicken nuggets and potato chips. Money is placed above all else. Economics is placed above the well being of the American people. The economic system’s sole purpose is convincing the American public that they need this or that. We have forgotten what we need to be happy. We are focused on what we need to make money.

Sept. 25, 2005
Marx feels if we are to understand history we must look at what people are doing in a particular time in history—not what they are saying about themselves. What is being said is most likely the delusion of the ruling class. History is motivated by a desire to change the immediate future. Marx feels that the primary tool for changing the world cannot be moral persuasion; instead we must change the material. Marx is not preaching morality because he feels that it is ineffective and that peole won’t do the right thing even if they know it is right. Marx feels if we want people to be good we should create a world in which it is easy to be good… I agree… however it seems to me that if we want to create a world in which it is easy to be good it will take some persuasive morality to convince people that they need to try to create a world in which it is possible to be good. Otherwise it seems to me that change would only come in a deterministic kind of way—whenever it so happens that is in the people’s own interest to change the world, then they will. But that time could be now and people don’t know that it is in their own interest to change the world. I feel that people must be persuaded that it is in their own interest to change the world. Maybe this will take a different kind of persuasion than moral persuasion? I don’t’ know.

Sept. 26, 2005
More about Marx’s belief that moralism doesn’t work. I think he is right. You cannot tell people how to act. You must show people how to ct. Actions speak louder than words. We must lead by example. Those who believe that the world must be changed so that it is easy to act well must engage in the project of changing it; then others will better understand the cause and proceed to act. However I do believe that moralizing is involved in the process. Those who are acting in the ways that they believe others ought to act need to justify their actions. People will not be persuaded by mere argument, but they may not be persuaded by mere action either. Both argument and action are needed. But one has no authority to speak if he or she doesn’t act.

Sept. 30, 2005
About the ruling class controlling mainstream ideas… I think this is very apparent in religion. The religion of America is the rich man’s actionless religion—where mere belief in a diety is all that is required for salvation—which allows him to have pleasure and riches in this life, and in the afterlife as well. This ideology does not require good works; a man can live his life comfortably knowing that his ego will be preserved in the afterlife without ever having a concern for the welfare of others.

Oct. 3, 2005
Society needs to have goals. We live in a society where individuals have their own goals, but it doesn’t seem that society has goals. Their isn’t some ideal that we as Americans are unified in striving towards. There are goals in various political movements, but the country as a whole does not have a vision of any goal for our country which we are aspiring to. It is sort of like the view of the Old Hegelians… we have reached the end of history. This is America. This is it. This is what we want. But… this is not freedom. This is not democracy. There is so much work to be done. Perhaps we do have a goal… perhaps the goal is freedom… and democracy. But there is so much talk of protecting our freedom… as if we have already attained it. But we don’t have freedom. The poor don’t have freedom. The minorities don’t have freedom. The American people don’t have freedom. The opinions of the majority of Americans are not reflected in policy decisions. We live in fear. To meet our basic needs we are forced to take jobs which have nothing to do with us. Only those rich enough to purchase property can live self-subistingly off the land. We cannot go to a public park after dark without a visit from the cops. We cannot choose what plants to ingest… Etc… Are we free? Yes. But could we be more free? Yes. We as Americans should strive to achieve what we set forth as the basis of our country in the beginning… Freedom and democracy. We cannot digress. We cannot believe that freedom and democracy have been attained. It is a constant struggle that will never end.

Oct. 4, 2005
Why have we not pursued alternative energy resources? The people with the money (coal and oil companies) have all the power. The power is a problem. Even if all the people want something it won’t be done if the ruling class only allows what is in their interests. The people need to be empowered.

Oct. 7, 2005
“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even themost barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image” (The Communist Manifesto 249).
I don’t know if this is really happening today. But it seems so.
“The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production” (The Communist Manifesto 252).
This is definitely happening.

Oct 10, 2005
Capitalism might work if we didn’t have so many machines doing all of our work for us. Fields would be more specialized and workers would have more of a connection to their work than they do stocking shelves or watching a conveyer belt. There would be more jobs and less exploitation. There would be more jobs available if we handed the work that machines do over to real people. Also we wouldn’t make so much mass produced shit. We can make good stuff. We can make good chairs… good radios… good everything. But we have machines produce millions of identical copies of ugly plastic chairs, and piece of shit radios for the sake of profit. We need human hands to make things. This would make things better and increase the value of the worker. I honestly don’t think we can have machinery in a capitalistic society without degredation of the things produced as well as the exploitation of the worker. However in a Communistic society machinery instead of workers would be fine. Technological advances would mean less work and allow workers to focus their efforts elsewhere. But in Capitalism technological advances leads to the devaluation of the worker. A technological advance will lead to increased profit for the capitalist and decreased profit for the worker. If we want to have a healthy Capitalistic society we must eliminate machine labor. If we want to keep the machines then we must turn to Communism.

Oct. 15, 2005
I just watched a documentary about Noam Chomsky called Manufacturing Consent. It talked a lot about the ruling class... Ya da da. In the news media we have one hour news broadcasts with 20 minutes dedicated to a speaker. How can the argue for any radical ideas? Everything is on such a tight-knit schedule that on television there is no time for important relevant debate. There is simply the stating of what is already understood by the general public.

Oct. 28, 2005
After watching a PBS documentary about a country (I think Guatemala but I am not sure) where it is socially acceptable for husbands to beat their wives and 6 out of 10 women are killed by their husbands (and no legal action is taken against the husband) I am questioning a lot of things. Should America interfere in the affairs of others or should we only try to change ourselves and become an example country for other nations? I tend to be on the side that says we should leave other countries to sort themselves out and focus on our own problems, but I think I sometimes don’t realize how bad it is for some of the people in other countries. But even if it is bad in other countries I feel it is worse to have military intervention in those countries. I do not know what kind of help Americans can lend to other countries in need; regardless I think I need to become more educated about the living conditions in other countries and explore the possibilities of aid. I know that the people of America need a lot of help and change but after hearing about a country like the one in the PBS documentary it seems that what is going on in America isn’t as bad as what is going on elsewhere in the world. I am no longer so stricken with grief about the sad state of American affairs. I don’t have to be plunged into a reflective state of grief every time I watch a busy intersection, hear sirens 6 times a day, or see billboards posted up and down the interstate. Things can be better, but we have it better than so many other nations. I still feel that change in America needs to take place, but I am no longer pessimistic about the possibilities for change. I recognize that we have come a long way, and we aren’t so bad off, but things can be better, and we need to continue working to make change for the better.

After sitting and looking out the window in the writing lab in the third floor of Peck Hall for the last few minutes I feel ill at ease with the comments I just made. They sky is beautiful and the birds are flying above the trees and down below the humans are racing toward their deaths for the sake of money and security and are destroying the earth in the process. The world is beautiful. Living should be simple. I just can’t let myself be so disillusioned by my grief over the ills of America that I fail to see the freedom Americans have that other countries don’t have.
2nd Marx and Marxism Journal
Nov. 11, 2005
Most of the writers we read tend to agree that the revolution must come from the proletariat—the working class. Today, I don’t even know what the working class is. Usually when I hear the term “working class” I think of blue collar factory or construction workers. I do not feel this type of class is capable of a revolution. This class is not educated and are usually working to sustain themselves and their families. When they are not working they are probably occupied with their favorite leisure activity… perhaps television. I do not imagine the idea of revolution entering into their heads that often or at all. I may be mistaken, but in the south anyways, this class seems to have more pride for America than anything else and are convinced that capitalism is the best economic system for America. I do not believe this generation is capable of sparking a revolution. Perhaps there is another working class that I am not aware of. Perhaps the working class should include all those who do not own the means of production. In this case, in addition to the workers I have already described there would also be middle class parents who work at facotires such as saturn (who seem to me to be generally content living the American consumer-driven life) as well as those individuals working office jobs. I would imagine those working office jobs to be generally concerend about accumulating wealth and moving up in the company so that they can support a family and engage in the pursuit of happiness. I don’t think the revolution will start with these people… I almost forgot 1.7 million Wal-mart employees. Are they capable of sparking a revolution? They may have the revolutionary spirit but I don’t forsee all the wal-mart employees organizing a mass takeover of all Wal-mart’s across America. Corruption would likely occur… if the revolution wasn’t already stamped out by the police force. So where will the revolution come from? I like Lenin’s idea of professional revolutionaries whose job it is to become educated, educate others, and spark the revolution. All those groups who I described earlier who were not capable of the revolution themselves need to be educated. Only by educating and radically changing American consciousness can revolution take place. A few professional revolutionaries cannot cause a revolution themselves, and neither can the working class. The revolution will come after the professional revolutionaries educate the majority to the possibilities for and the benefits of a revolution. The majority of the American people must be open to the idea of revolution before one will take place.

If you want a communist revolution it is not going to take place by just reforming the current beuogosie society (as it seems Bernstein thinks may be able to happen). A radically new state must be created.

If we are such beautiful geniuses, created out of what we perceive to be nothingness, then couldn’t god be one too?

If we are such beautiful geniuses, created out of what we perceive to be nothingness, then couldn’t god be one too? All of our theories about what may be outside of this universe do not and will not have experimental evidence. We can’t know.
Or can we?
There are two primary ways that humans acquire knowledge. The first, and most common way to acquire knowledge is the scientific method. We observe phenomena in the world, formulate hypotheses, make predictions and experimentally verify our predictions to form theories. Scientific theories give us a greater understanding of the universe around us; but as David Hume taught us, we can never be 100% certain that the predictions of our theories will be correct. We can be pretty sure that we know what will happen next… but we cannot be certain.
The scientific method works well for understanding the physical, psychological, and sociological events that happen in our universe; however, there is one area of human curiosity that the scientific method can never be used to study—what, if anything, lies outside of this universe.
Many would stop there, and concede that we can never know what is outside of our universe. However, most don’t stop there. The majority of humans have their own ideas and opinions of what may be outside of this universe. Some say god. Some say gods. Some say nothing. Some say other universes. Some say parallel universes—many of which we could be a part of. There are so many beliefs. Not all of them can be correct. Can we ever find the truth?
The less common way that humans go about acquiring knowledge is through mysticism. Whatever the means, mystics obtain enlightenment about the nature of the world, this universe, or worlds outside of this universe through spiritual experience. A mystic believes that this knowledge or understanding may have been given to him or her by a god, the earth, or the mystic may have simply realized a universal truth that has always been and always will be.
What kind of knowledge is gained from the mystical experience? It is not the same kind of knowledge gained from the scientific method. Knowledge gained from a mystical experience can usually not be experimentally tested. Another difference is that the scientific method relies on reason and rationality whereas knowledge gained from a mystical experience may have been gained through no reason at all. Many would dismiss the knowledge gained from mystical enlightenment on the grounds that it cannot be proven, but even knowledge gained from the scientific method cannot be taken as certain indubitable truth.
So we have two ways of acquiring knowledge. As far as knowledge of our universe is concerned neither knowledge gained from the scientific method or knowledge gained from enlightenment can be considered to be undeniable facts, but the knowledge gained from the scientific method can be experimentally verified—therefore we have what we think is a fairly accurate version of the truth. What about knowledge of what may be outside of this universe—the realm of the gods, the goddesses, the nothingness? Only through knowledge gained from mystical experience can we have any hope of knowing what may be outside of this universe. The scientific method is of no worth when dealing in these matters.
But there is a problem with the knowledge gained from mystical experience. Imagine that a man attains enlightenment. The man, without reason (through experience alone), feels certain he has learned an undeniable truth about this universe. This knowledge that the man gained from his experience is only his knowledge. Since he did not come to his belief through reason he will not be able to transfer his knowledge to others.
The Hindu religion has many texts and what they consider to be truth. Siddhartha recognized that he could not understand the nature of the universe from studying these teachings. Siddhartha had to discover them himself through experience. The information contained in the Vedas and Sutras may be the truth, but this truth was attained through enlightenment and one cannot understand this knowledge unless they realize it themselves through experience.
Only through mystical experience can one understand the knowledge contained in the religious texts. One must also realize that the knowledge that someone gained from a mystical experience is their interpretation of the truth that they perceived. One should not merely accept what someone else calls truth, but should discover it for oneself.

Berkely's Ideas in Physics

Modern Philosophy
Berkeley’s Ideas in Physics
Not only did Bishop George Berkeley’s ideas influence subsequent philosophical thought, they also influenced thought in the physical sciences. Berkeley’s ideas resurface in the works of physicist Ernst Mach. Albert Einstein cited Mach as one of the influences of his theory of relativity, and Berkley’s ideas of motion appear in Einstein’s work. Although Einstein did not embrace idealism as Berkeley did, subsequent quantum physicists did. Berkeleyian ideas are immersed in quantum theory, and some physicists are making proclamations about the universe surprisingly similar to Berkeley’s 18th century notions. Berkeley’s empiricist philosophy played an important role in the development of physics; even today Berkeley’s ideas apply to the world of quantum mechanics.
Ernst Mach was an Austrian physicist who also wrote in the fields of philosophy and psychology. Mach’s ideas are very Berkeleyian in nature. Berkeley believed that matter was a collection of sensations existing only in the mind. This view leads to many philosophical and physical consequences. Mach writes in his Analysis of Sensations:
Inasmuch as it is possible to take away singly every constituent part without destroying the capacity of the image to stand for the totality and to be recognized again, it is imagined that it is possible to subtract all the parts and to have something still remaining. Thus naturally arises the philosophical notion, at first impressive, but subsequently recognized as monstrous, of a “thing-in-itself,” different from its “appearance,” and unknowable… Thing, body, matter, are nothing apart from the combinations of the elements, - the colours, sounds, and so forth – nothing apart from their so-called attributes (6-7).
Mach is exploring the contradictory nature of a thing-in-itself just as Berkeley did. Berkeley writes, “it is plain that the very notion of what is called Matter or corporeal substance involves a contradiction in it” (Berkeley 307). The refutation of the concept of abstract ideas is central to Berkeley’s argument that matter does not exist outside of perceptions; Mach makes a similar argument in his Analysis of Sensations:
What do we do when we abstract? What is an abstraction? What is a concept? Is there a sensational presentation-image corresponding to the concept? I cannot represent to myself a man in general. I can at most represent to myself a particular man, or perhaps one combining such accidental peculiarities of different men as are not exclusive of each other. A universal triangle, which is at once right-angled and equilateral, cannot be imagined (321).
Berkeley uses the same examples of a general man and a general triangle in his refutation of abstract general ideas. Berkeley writes, “I deny that I can abstract from one another, or conceive separately, those qualities which it is impossible should exist so separated; or that I can frame a general notion, by abstracting from particulars” (Berkeley 299).
Berkeley battles the skeptic with his philosophy by arguing that the sensations we receive from God are the only reality. There is not anything outside of our sensations that we cannot have knowledge of. The only things that exist are our perceptions. And if the only real things are those things which we perceive then all of the knowledge we receive through the senses will be true knowledge. This is demonstrated as Berkeley writes in A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge:
So long as men thought that real things subsisted with out the mind, and that their knowledge was only so far forth real as it was conformable to real things, it follows they could not be certain they had any real knowledge at all. For how can it be known that the things which are perceived are conformable to those which are not perceived, or exist without the mind? (327).
Mach parallels Berkeley as he writes, “There is no rift between the psychical and the physical, no inside and outside, no “sensation” to which an external “thing,” different from sensation, corresponds” (Mach 310). Mach gets rid of skepticism the same way Berkeley does, by arguing that the only way we gain knowledge is through sensations, and that these sensations are very much real.
If we can only get knowledge from sensation then it follows that physics must be done through observation. This is view central to Mach’s thinking, which still exists in physics today. Mach believed “that all knowledge is derived from sensation; thus, phenomena under scientific investigation can be understood only in terms of experiences, or “sensations,” present in the observation of the phenomena. This view leads to the position that no statement in natural science is empirically verifiable” (Institute of physics). Most theories today are not accepted without empirical evidence from results of experiments performed in the world.
From the view that we can only have knowledge through sensation Berkeley forms his view on how one should go about the natural sciences. Berkeley believed that God presents sensations to humans in a very ordered way so that they can predict what will happen in nature and use this to their benefit and live in a sane manner. Berkeley writes, “Now the set rules or established methods wherein the Mind we depend on excites in us the ideas of sense, are called the laws of nature; and these we learn by experience, which teaches us that such and such ideas are attended with such and such other ideas, in the ordinary course of things” (Berkeley 313). By coming to understand this order of the world we can predict what will happen in the universe, and form natural laws. Berkeley thinks finding these natural laws should be the physicist’s objective. In The Principles Berkley writes:
And it is the searching after and endeavoring to understand those signs instituted by the Author of Nature that ought to be the employment of the natural philosopher; and not the pretending to explain things by corporeal causes, which doctrine seems to have too much estranged the minds of men from that active principle, that supreme and wise Spirit “in whom we live, move, and have our being (322).
Mach has a similar scientific method. Mach writes, “For us, therefore, the world does not consist of mysterious entities, which by their interaction with another, equally mysterious entity, the ego, produce sensations, which alone are accessible. For us, colors, sounds, spaces, times … are provisionally the ultimate elements, whose given connexion it is our business to investigate” (Mach 29-30). Mach adopted the Berkeleyian philosophy that we should find natural laws based on the connection between sensations.
Mach gave many arguments refuting Newton’s concept of absolute space similar to Berkeley’s arguments. Berkeley’s ideas of relative motion come up in Mach’s writings. Berkeley believed that all motion is relative, and that there was no absolute motion. Berkeley writes, “I must confess it does not appear to me that there can be any motion other than relative” (Berkeley 333). In The Science of Mechanics Mach writes, “All masses and all velocities, and consequently all forces, are relative” (Mach 279). These relativistic theories, through the medium of Mach, would later influence one of the greatest scientific minds of all time, Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein radically changed our outlook on the world with his theory of relativity. Berkeley’s notions of motion are similar to those that Einstein developed in his theory. A foundation of relativity is that all motion is relative. Before one asks how fast something is going one must ask the question, relative to what? Berkeley writes, “I must confess it does not appear to me that there can be any motion other than relative” (Berkeley 333). This very notion is expressed by Einstein, “It was at all times clear that, from the point of view of the idea it conveys to us, every motion must be considered only as a relative motion” (Einstein 61). Again, Einstein writes, “it is clearly seen that there is no such thing as an independently existing trajectory, but only a trajectory relative to a particular body of reference” (Einstein 11). Even though the body of reference for Berkeley is always the mind whereas Einstein simply refers to inertial reference frames, one can see the similarity in the positions.
Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc^2, also bears some resemblance to Berkley’s thought. Berkeley believed that matter is not fundamentally real. Einstein showed that matter isn’t as concrete as most people think it is. Einstein’s equation says that mass can be converted to energy by multiplying it by the speed of light squared. So a piece of matter, which most consider to be a corporeal substance, can be converted to energy, the non-corporeal ability to do work. Although Einstein adopted the concept of relativity that was originally in Berkeley’s writings, Einstein did not adopt Berkeley’s idealism. In fact Einstein was vehemently opposed to the idealistic properties that emerge quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics is a theory that describes the world at the microscopic level. The ideas that some physicists have about the implications of quantum mechanics are strange and sometimes Berkeleyian in nature. Quantum mechanics challenges traditional thought in the same way that Berkeley’s idealism does. Berkeley writes, “Qualities, as hath been shewn, are nothing else but sensations or ideas, which exist only in a mind perceiving them” (Berkeley 325). Berkeley believes that not only qualities, but all matter, and all things we perceive through the sensations exist only in the mind. The idea of an object only having existence through a perceiving mind is a notion that pervades quantum theory.
“One of the principal founders of quantum theory, the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, discovered mathematical relationships suggesting that at the submicroscopic, or quantum, level, reality cannot be separated from the act of observation; merely measuring some property of an electron or other quantum particle causes a change in the thing being measured” (Browne). Berkeley’s thought is better realized in the theories of another quantum physicist, Erwin Schrödinger. Schrödinger theorized that before an object is observed it does not exist in a definite state, but rather as a superposition of all possible states. Only when observed does a particle collapse into reality, actualizing one of its many possibilities. What this means is that before observation, a particle doesn’t have a definite existence! As physicist N. David Mermin puts it, “We now know that the moon is demonstrably not there when nobody looks” (Mermin 50). This Berkeleyian idea is not a minority view. The majority of quantum theorists hold that, “At the quantum level, the essential properties of subatomic particles do not exist until the conscious mind brings it into existence” (Kolak 397). Esse is percipi is perhaps a fundamental property of our universe.
David Bohm is another physicist who believes strongly in the idea that consciousness plays a major role in the nature of reality. Bohm developed his theory of the implicate order based on the EPR Effect, which demonstrates that “two quantum entities that have interacted with each other retain a power of mutual influence however far apart they may separate from each other” (Polkinghorne 96). This was referred to by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance”. Bohm thought that though it seemed the particles in the EPR effect were communicating instantaneously faster than the speed of light, this really wasn’t the case, but rather the particles’ separateness was an illusion (Pratt). Bohm theorized that there is a wholeness to the universe, a kind of implicate order. Bohm’s views are similar to Berkeley’s argument against space. Someone might object to Berkeley by saying that “we see things actually without or at distance from us, and which consequently do not exist in the mind; it being absurd that those things which are seen at the distance of several miles should be as near to us as our own thoughts” (Berkeley 315). Berkeley held that the distance between the two objects does not really exist, but is only a product of sensations. In his New Theory of Vision Berkeley explained this by declaring that we only see in 2-D, but we learn to see in 3-D through kinesthetic.
Berkeley’s thought resurfaces again in the physics and philosophy of John Wheeler, who holds an idealist position similar to Berkeley’s: not only in the idea that esse is percipi, but also in his concept of God (Kolak 400). Wheeler theorizes that there exists “an ultimate observer who brings forth the entire universe into existence and coordinates into coherence all the observations of the conscious entities within it” (Kolak 400). We can see the similarities between Wheeler’s concept of God and Berkeley’s as Berkeley writes, “A spirit is one simple, undivided, active being—as it perceives ideas it is called the understanding, and as it produces or otherwise operates about them it is called the will” (Berkeley 312). God perceives everything and is the spirit that produces the sensations that are the reality that the human mind perceives.
Traces of Berkeley’s thought can be traced throughout the history of physics to the present day. Berkeley’s major contribution through Mach was the idea that we can only have knowledge empirically through sensations. This view played a major role in the development of physics and is still applied today. Berkeley’s thought resurfaces in what many hold to be one of the greatest scientific achievements ever, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. But what is perhaps most astounding is the fact that in quantum theory today physicists are coming to conclusions remarkably similar to those that Berkeley held in the 18th century. Berkeley’s ideas are testimonial to the power of thought and philosophy. Berkeley’s ideas cannot be disregarded as philosophical absurdities. Berkeley’s arguments still have power today and are relevant in our never-ending quest to understand the nature of the universe.
Works Cited

Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. Modern
Philosophy Fourth Edition. Baird, Forrest E. and Walter Kaufmann. Upper Saddle
River, New Jersey. Pearson Education, Inc., 2003. Pgs 295-345.

Bohm, David. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1980.

Browne, Malcom W. “Quantum Theory: Disturbing Questions Remain Unresolved.”
The New York Times 11 Feb. 1986: C3.

Einstein. Relativity. London. Routledge, 2001.

Institute of Physics. Ernst Mach. April 28, 2004.

Kolak, David. “Quantum Cosmology, the Anthropic Principle, and Why Is There
Something Rather Than Nothing?” The Experience of Philosophy Fifth Ed.
Kolak, David and Raymond Martin. California. Wadsworth, 2002. Pgs 383-407.

Mach, Ernst. The Analysis of Sensations. New York. Dover Publications, 1959.

Mach, Ernst. The Science of Mechanics. Chicago, Illinois. Open Court, 1969.

Mermin, David. “More Experimental Metaphysics from EPR.” Philosophical
Consequences of Quantum Theory: Reflections on Bell’s Theorem. Cushing,
James T. and Ernan McMullin. Notre Dame, Indiana. University of Notre Dame
Press, 1989.

Polkinghorne, John. Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction. New York. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Pratt, David. “David Bohm and the Implicate Order”. Theosophy Northwest. May 1,
2004. <>


Philosophy 4010
The Presocratics and Astronomy
Living in a time when people attributed the stars, sun, and moon to gods, the Presocratic philosophers defied convention and tried to discover what these celestial objects really were. In the ancient city of Miletus human thought took a dramatic turn. St. Augustine writes that the Milesian Thales “was an investigator into the nature of things” and that “Thales makes no mention of the divine” (Wheelwright 51). Thales and the other Milesians gained knowledge through observation rather than attributing the natural processes of the world to the gods. As Wheelwright writes, the Milesians were “teaching themselves to ask ‘What?’ instead of ‘Who?’ and to ask ‘How?’ instead of ‘With what intent and purpose?’ ” (43). This method of questioning was common to the Presocratics and had a considerable impact on their thoughts. Astronomy was one of the many areas that the Presocratics were interested in. The Presocratics’ desire to discover the nature of the world around them through observation and reason resulted in unique individual philosophies that served as the foundations of independent astronomical views.
A key belief for many of the Presocratics was that “nothing either comes-to-be or is destroyed” (46). In wrestling with this issue many philosophers held that there must be some kind of first-principle which the entire universe consists of. As a result of his observations of the world around him, Thales concluded that the basic nature, or first-principle of the world, was water. This view was the foundation of many of Thales’s theories about the world, including astronomy. Thales, like other Presocratics, wondered how the earth was held in place. Thales’s answer to that question was based upon his view that water was the first-principle. Aristotle writes that, “Thales […] declared the first-principle to be water, and for that reason he also held that the earth rests upon water” (46). Thales’s inquiring mind also led him to ask the question “Why do the stars move?” In Refutatio Hippolytus writes that Thales’s view of water being the first-principle led him to associate the solidifying and melting of water with the movements of the stars (50). Thales also proposed that the fire of the sun and stars was created by evaporations of water (51). As we can see Thales’s idea that water was the first principle was an essential basis of his philosophy and had a huge impact on his astronomical views.
Many astronomical achievements were attributed to Anaximander. It is recorded that he constructed a chart of the stars, invented the gnomon, and declared the earth to be spherical and at the center of the universe. Unlike Thales and many of his contemporaries, Anaximander did not declare an element to be the first-principle. He felt that all things were constantly changing. He felt that there had to be something that didn’t change because if everything was constantly changing then one couldn’t know anything. He imagined a boundless unlimited which he called the Apeiron. Anaximander explained the coming to be and perishing of opposites such as night and day through this Apeiron that was a storehouse of qualities. He held that by logical necessity different qualities were stored in the Apeiron while their opposite qualities remained in the world. This worldview contributed to his astronomical theories. He believed the earth was at the center of the universe. To explain this he drew upon his view of the Apeiron by saying that it is impossible for what is situated “at the very center equally distant from every extreme point […] to move in opposite directions at the same time”; therefore the earth must remain still (55). Anaximander thought it was by logical necessity that the earth was at the center of the universe. Perhaps Anaximander believed that the earth could not perish because that would allow every other opposite to come into being.
Anaximander’s theory of the Apeiron influenced his theory of eclipses. He conceived of the sun, moon, and stars as being surrounded by air. Hippolytus writes that Anaximander believed that “The air has little breathing holes somewhat like the holes in a flute, and through them the orbs are seen” (57). Anaximander explained that these wholes clog and unclog (as a result of logical necessity) resulting in the moon’s phases and eclipses. In the same way that Anaximander explained how night and day give way to each other through logical necessity by the Apeiron, he explained how the moon had eclipses and phases as a result of holes in the air clogging and unclogging.
Anaximenes held that the first principle was air. Just as Thales’s astronomy was significantly influenced by his view that the first-principle was water, so too Anaximenes’s astronomy reflected his view that the first principle was air. In the one fragment from Anaximenes that we have he writes “As our souls, being air, hold us together, so breath and air embrace the entire universe” (60). It seems as though Anaximenes is saying that air holds the universe and everything in it together. In answering the question of how the earth is held in place, Anaximenes’s belief that air is the first principle leads him to theorize that the world is flat, and it rests on air (61). It was thought that Anaximenes held the belief “that the stars revolve because they are pushed by condensed air” (63). Thales and Anaximenes answered the same questions in very different ways. Anaximenes’s philosophy was based on the view that air was the first-principle. This view was the foundation of his astronomical theories.
Parmenides declared that “Being is complete on every side, like the mass of a well-rounded sphere, equally balanced in every direction from the center” (98). Diogenes Laeritus wrote that “Parmenides was the first to declare that the earth is spherical and is situated at the center” (103). Parmenides’s belief that the earth was spherical and situated at the center of the universe was directly influenced by his monistic philosophy of the “Is”.
Heraclitus explains the creation of the stars, sun, and moon through evaporations from the sea collecting in “bowls” in the sky (83). He explains the phases of the moon and the eclipses of the sun by the bowls being turned certain ways (83). Diogenes Laertius writes that Heraclitus believed that “The moon is nearer to the earth, but it has to travel in a region that is impure. The sun, on the other hand, moves in a region that is transparent and unmixed, which is why it gives us more heat and light (83). The common factor in all of these astronomical theories is change. Heraclitus held that everything was in constant flux. Heraclitus’s astronomy is based on this principle of flux.
The ways in which foundational philosophies influenced views of astronomy is especially apparent in the views of the Pythagoreans. An important truth of the Pythagorean school was that “All is number” (203). Number was essentially the first-principle to Pythagoras. Aristotle writes that the Pythagoreans “concluded that the elements of numbers must be the elements of everything, and that the visible heavens in their entirety consist of harmony and number” (213). Pythagoras found music to be “identical with number”; and because “all his number” Pythagoras came to the conclusion that there existed a “universal harmony in the movements of the universe” (207). This Pythagoras called the “Music of the Spheres”. To the Pythagoreans, this affirmed “the presence of a geometrical order among the motions of sun, moon, planets, and fixed stars” (207). The Pythagoreans attributed the circle to the geometrical order. They were able to observe that the known planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, were traveling in circular motions. They then assumed that the sun, moon, and fixed stars must also be rotating in circular motions. Now the Pythagoreans had recognized eight rotating bodies. But as Wheelwright writes, “Eight, however, was not a good Pythagorean number; the next good number above it was ten, the Decad” (208). The Pythagoreans had to find two new rotating bodies to reach the Decad and preserve perfect geometrical order in the universe. They included the earth as one of their rotating bodies as well as a counter-earth located “behind the earth (on the side opposite to that on which the Greeks and all known peoples resided)” (208). The Pythagoreans had no observational evidence for this counter-earth. They simply stipulated that in a harmonious geometric universe there must be ten orbits because ten was a sacred number.
The Presocratics ability to think rationally about the world enabled them to develop unique ideas to explain the nature of the cosmos. Each individual philosopher had his own foundational beliefs that led to unique conclusions. The Presocratics developed a number of astronomical views based on the foundations of their individual philosophies. The Presocratics played an important role in the development of astronomical ideas.

Works Cited
Wheelwright, Philip. The Presocratics. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice-Hall Inc.,

Camus in Love

In Albert Camus’s The Stranger as well as The Myth of Sisyphus Camus describes a variety of intimate relationships. Man’s struggle to deal with the relationship between him or herself and the absurd dominates Camus’s works and it dominates the relationships Camus creates as well. The relationships between Mersault and his mother, Mersault’s mother and Perez, Salamano and his dog, Mersault and Marie, Raymond and his lover, and Don Juan, are all examples of how people might choose to deal with their absurd life through a relationship with others. By studying these relationships and excerpts from the Myth of Sisyphus one can gain an understanding of what the notion of love might have meant for Mersault as well as his feelings on the intimate relationship. Camus seems to value the intimate relationship as long as those who are engaged in the relationship possess lucidity and do not fall into habit. By studying these relationships one can infer that Camus’s sees intimate relationships as a good thing; but those relationships where each individual is conscious of the reality of the relationships are most effective and fulfilling.
What is love to Camus? Camus writes, “we call love what binds us to certain creatures only by reference to a collective way of seeing for which books and legends are responsible. But of love I know only that mixture of desire, affection, and intelligence that binds me to this or that creature. That compound is not the same for another person” (Myth 73). Camus was a womanizer. In the Myth of Sisyphus he writes, “There is no noble love but that which recognizes itself to be both short-lived and exceptional” (74). Does it follow that the best love for Camus is a temporary fling? This is precisely the kind of love that one of Camus’s absurd men, Don Juan, follows.
Camus considers Don Juan to be an absurd man because he is conscious of his affairs. What does this mean? To be conscious of ones intimate relationships? Aren’t we all? Camus writes, “he is conscious, and that is why he is absurd” (Myth 72). Although Don Juan seems to be living freely he also has gotten used to his routine. It would be hard or impossible for Don Juan to settle down with a wife. “What Don Juan realizes in action is an ethic of quantity, whereas the saint, on the contrary, tends toward quality” (Myth 72).
The main relationship in The Stranger is the one between Mersault and Marie. Mersault is concerned merely with existing and living in the moment. He finds pleasure in Marie’s breasts and he frequently desires to make love with her. He tells Marie he does not love her, but will marry her. Raymond asks Mersault if he wants to be pals; Mersault says yes because it’s all the same to him. Mersault is indifferent to anything. He merely exists, and with whom he exists doesn’t matter. Mersault says that the relationship between Salamano and his dog is not a pity. For Mersault, people have their relationships and they don’t mean anything. Relationships don’t have any special significance for Mersault, just like love doesn’t, just like Camus says one should live his or her life. Camus is not concerned with abstractions such as love. “Not to believe in the profound meaning of things belongs to the absurd man” (Myth 72). Mersault does not believe in the profound meaning of love so often portrayed in novels and movies. “When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so” (35). “I explained to her that it didn’t really matter and that if she wanted to, we could get married… Then she pointed out that marriage was a serious thing. I said, ‘No.’… She just wanted to know if I would have accepted the same proposal from another woman, with whom I was involved in the same way. I said, ‘Sure.’” (41-42). There is something to Mersault and Marie’s relationship. Mersault writes, “Together again, Marie and I swam out a ways, and we felt a closeness as we moved in unison and were happy” (50). Thinking about Marie, Mersault writes, “apart from our two bodies, now separated, there wasn’t anything to keep us together or even to remind us of each other?” (115).
Then there is old Salamano and his dog. Camus writes, “The two of them have been inseparable for eight years” (26). Mersault thinks they hate each other, as he writes, “They look as if they belong to the same species, and yet they hate each other” (27). Salamano has developed a routine and habit in his life. His habit is his dog. Camus writes of them, “Twice a day, at eleven and six, the old man takes the dog out for a walk. They haven’t changed their route in eight years” (27). They have an abominable relationship. Salamano beats and swears at his dog.. Salamano hates that it is a habit. He expresses this as he says to Mersault full of rage “‘He’s always there’” (28). The old man loves his dog. He is totally helpless when he loses it. Salamano says “If only somebody would take him in” (39). Salamano is genuinely concerned with his dog’s well being. Does this align with Camus’s vision of love? Concern? Salamano did not know what he would do without his dog. He had become dependent on the dog to justify his existence and now he had to change and find new meaning in the absurd world. Mersault writes, “I told old Salamano that he could get another dog, but he was right to point out to me that he was used to this one… He hadn’t been happy with his wife, but he’d pretty much gotten used to her. When she died he had been very lonely” (44).
For Raymond and his mistress the relationship is all about sex and possibly for using Raymond’s money. Mersault as the narrator writes, speaking of Raymond, “What bothered him was that he ‘still had sexual feelings for her.’ But he wanted to punish her” (31). This relationship is selfish. Each party only cares about him or herself. Raymond beats her and says “You used me, you used me. I’ll teach you to use me” (35). There is no love between these people.
There is also the relationship between Camus and his mother. Mersault writes, “I probably did love Maman, but that didn’t mean anything” (65). Mersault isn’t concerned with classifying his relationships, he simply has them and lives them. What is the point of of giving a relationship the title of love. It takes away from the relationship at hand and transcends it beyond what it is. “Anyway, it was one of Maman’s ideas, and she often repeated it, that after a while you could get used to anything” (77). At the end of the book Mersault thinks of his mother. He writes, “For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a “fiancé,” why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again… And I felt ready to live it all again too”.
“For the love we are speaking of Here is clothed in illusions of the eternal” (Myth 73).
“He (Don Juan) knows just as well that those who turn away from all personal life through a great love enrich themselves perhaps but certainly impoverish those their love has chosen. A mother or a passionate wife necessarily has a closed heart, for it is turned away from the world. A single emotion, a single creature, a single face, but all is devoured. Quite a different love disturbs Don Juan, and this one is liberating. It brings with it all the faces in the world, and its tremor comes from the fact that it knows itself to be mortal. Don Juan has chosen to be nothing… For him it is a matter of seeing clearly” (Myth 73).
Salamano has desire for his dog. This is love. Maman and Perez have affection for each other. Camus recognizes that his relationships are one way but others might have different kinds of love and relationships.
“If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy. The more one loves, the stronger the absurd grows… he loves them with the same passion and each time with his whole self that he must repeat his gift and his profound quest… Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?” (Myth 69). Camus’s own life. I disagree with Camus. I think it is sufficient to love to be happy.
“The point is to live” (Myth 65). The point it to be conscious and knowingly live your life.
“Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my revolt, my freedom, and my passion” (Myth 64). How does this correspond to love? Passionate, free love.
Don Juan and Mersault are absurd because they are conscious. Meaningful, intimate relationships are those in which one is conscious of the relationship between the individuals and their absurd relationship to the world. Those who succumb to habit will have shallow dependent relationships. People don’t want to change. But change is essential to living a meaningful lucid life. If one pays attention to every moment of one’s life one sees things that can change and become better.
The value of being alive is all that Camus can justify. Are love and marriage abstractions that Mersault doesn’t care about?
Mersault was “able to understand Maman better. Evenings in that part of the country must have been a kind of sad relief” (The Stranger 15).

Friendship... Aristotle.

Philosophy 3150
Friendship is an essential aspect of human life. Aristotle devotes two chapters of his Nichomachean Ethics to friendship. Aristotle believes friendship is a necessary part of human nature and also necessary for the good life. Friendliness is a virtue and a person must master this and other virtues if he or she wishes to live a good life. Aristotle believes that friendship is the happiest external good, and that for a man to be happy he must have friends. Aristotle writes that, “no one would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other goods” (119). Even though there are some similarities between Aristotle’s idea of friendship and the friendship people recognize now, people can still improve their lives by striving toward a friendship like Aristotle describes in the Nichomachean Ethics.
Aristotle describes three kinds of friendship: friendship for utility, friendship for pleasure, and friendship rooted in virtue—which is the best friendship. In the friendship for utility the friend loves someone only if he has some benefit to gain from the friend. Friendship for pleasure is the friendship two people have when they are only interested in the pleasures that the other can provide. A friend of utility or pleasure cares about a person not for his or her character, but only “insofar as he is useful or pleasant” (121). When a friend can no longer offer the utility or pleasure that was once useful or pleasing the friendship will end. In friendships for utility or pleasure the individual person is not cared about; it is the benefit or pleasure that is loved.
People today have many friendships of utility. Even though Aristotle does not consider these to be the best of friendships they can still be valuable. Aristotle gives examples of an elderly person needing help from a young person or a city cooperating with another city. In each of these cases the type of friendship is that of utility. Today people can still benefit from these types of friendships. A businessperson must have beneficial contacts and business partners. A person can also have a friendship of utility with a doctor. Also a relationship between a teacher and a student could be thought of as a friendship of utility. But just because a friendship is for utility doesn’t mean that it can’t also be of the best kind of friendship.
Aristotle writes that, “The cause of friendship between young people seems to be pleasure. For their lives are guided by their feelings, and they pursue above all what is pleasant for themselves and what is at hand.” (122). For Aristotle, a wide variety of friendships fall under this category. If a person is a friend of another person because they are funny and enjoyable to be around, Aristotle would call this a friendship of pleasure. That does not mean a complete friendship couldn’t be one where one friend found another’s humorous company pleasurable. The complete friendship can contain pleasures, but if people are friends only because of the pleasurable aspects of another person then Aristotle would consider this a friendship of pleasure, and not the best friendship. It seems that Aristotle would classify most modern day relationships as friendships of pleasure. Aristotle believes that only a few friendships are of the best kind. Aristotle says that these friendships of pleasure cannot last long because what is pleasurable eventually changes or a person might someday not be able to be pleasurable in the original way. Aristotle might explain the end of a relationship by saying that it was a friendship of pleasure, and the relationship dissolved because the desire for pleasure changed, or the ability to provide pleasure changed. But friendships of pleasure are not thought to be bad. They are only not of the best kind. A person can have many friendships of pleasure and still live a good life.
The best type of friendship is rooted in something Aristotle calls self-love. Generally someone calls a base person a self-lover in a negative way because he overindulges and puts himself above others. But there is also the virtuous self-lover. Aristotle believes that for one to have a virtuous character one must live in accord with reason. If a person does this then they will be habituated to desire what is fine and virtuous. The virtuous self-lover is one who aims for what is fine, and therefore “awards himself what is finest and best of all, and gratifies the most controlling part of himself, obeying it in everything” (147). The virtuous self-lover lives in accord with reason.
Aristotle believes that in order to have the best type of friendship individuals must have similarly virtuous characters rooted in virtuous self-love. In the best friendship a friend will find in the other friend a reflection of one’s own self. Aristotle writes that “The defining features of friendship that are found in friendships to one’s neighbors would seem to be derived from features of friendship toward oneself” (141). The person who has virtuous self-love will have been habituated to desire fine things and act in accord with virtue. Virtuous individuals will know what is best for themselves and will know what is best for others. Aristotle writes that the “complete friendship is the friendship of good people similar in virtue; for they wish goods in the same way to each other insofar as they are good, and they are good in their own right” (122). Those who engage in the best type of friendship will be virtuous and will experience all the benefits of being with another virtuous person while pursuing what is most fine.
Aristotle describes other qualities of the best friendship. Aristotle believes that friends should love and wish goodwill to each other just as they wish it to themselves. Not only must they have goodwill toward each other, but the friends must be aware of this reciprocated good will. Aristotle argues that wishing goodwill itself is not sufficient for the best type of friends, because someone could wish goodwill on a person and never know them. Therefore the friends must be aware of the other friend’s desire for their own well being. Aristotle writes that, “In every way each friend gets the same things and similar things from each, and this is what must be of true friends” (123). So each friend must want goodwill for the other, and the friends must know about this. This concept can apply to modern day friendships. A friendship would be more rewarding if each of the friends knew that the other wished good will toward his or herself. A friendship might be able to work if friends did not know that the other wished goodwill for the other, but wishing goodwill for another is the kind of thing one expects from a friend. Often it is assumed that a friend does feel this way. So there is no harm in letting a friend know how one wishes well for the other, because this will only enhance friendship. Doubt that a friend wishes goodwill for the other can destroy a friendship. So as Aristotle believes, it seems that the best friendship would be one where each friend would know how much the other cared about and wished the best for the other.
Aristotle takes a position similar to the popular saying “to give is better than to receive”. Aristotle believes that it is better to love than be loved. Aristotle writes, “people who love their friends are praised; hence, it would seem, loving is the virtue of friends” (128). Not only is it virtuous to give and to love, but giving also corresponds to the concept of self-love. Aristotle writes of an artisan’s creation: “the product is, in a way, the producer in his actualization; hence the producer is fond of the product because he loves his own being” (145). Aristotle believes that the benefactor of love experiences more joy then the beneficent because in a way the benefactor is creating something that is a reflection of his or herself. Aristotle writes that, “a parent is fond of his children because he regards them as something of himself … A parent, then, loves his children as [he loves] himself” (133). Just as a mother loves a baby before the child can love her back so too friends must love each other. Today people find much joy in giving pleasure to others. Not only does the person feel good about it but others also recognize that this is a good action. So by giving gifts a person can receive pleasure and also receive praise.
Aristotle believes that the best friendship takes time to develop. It also involves being together and taking part in activities that friends find most pleasurable, such as philosophy. If distance separates friends then they can still be friends but they will not be engaging in the activity of friendship. Aristotle says that friends should live together, but he does not mean living together in a home. He writes, “For in the case of human beings what seems to count as living together is this sharing of conversation and thought, not sharing the same pasture, as in the case of grazing animals” (150). Living together can simply be thought of as spending time together with friends and participating in mutually enjoyable activities. By living together and experiencing the thoughts and actions of others, good people can further develop and hone virtues. Aristotle writes that while living together each friend “molds the other in what they approve of, so that” they learn “what is noble from noble people’” (153). Some today might say that a person should choose the best people for friends because they will make one better. In a similar way Aristotle thinks good people will cultivate virtue in each other. Aristotle writes that, “Those who welcome each other but do not live together would seem to have goodwill rather than friendship” (125). True friends must spend time together enjoying the pleasure of the others company while developing their own characters. In a society driven by pleasure it can be hard to have friends of this sort. People are often friends solely because they have similar pleasures. Friends often spend time together partaking in pleasures that do not develop character. Friends who study philosophy, which Aristotle considers the best way of life, can engage in pleasurable activity and also improve their characters.
Aristotle believes that one cannot have many best friends. One of the reasons that a person cannot have many best friends is that it is difficult for a big group of people to effectively live together. One would not be able to devote the amount of time needed to each specific friend to maintain a complete friendship. Aristotle writes that in a large group of friends one might be sharing one friend’s pleasure while experiencing another’s grief at the same time. Aristotle writes that “it even seems impossible to be an extremely close friend to many people” (151). Most people today hold this view. But some, such as teenagers, could benefit from learning what Aristotle wrote about the amount of complete friendships one might be able to have. Some teenagers have a strong desire to be popular. If they could hear and understand Aristotle’s view then they might learn to treasure the friendships they already have rather than desire a great many less fulfilling friendships. Aristotle writes that those who do seem to be friends to a great many people seem to be friends of no one at all. True friendships require attention and time to develop.
Aristotle believes that a base person cannot have the complete friendship because he desires things that are not fine. Just as a good person will be drawn to other similar people so will a base person be drawn to other people who desire base things. Aristotle writes that, “not everything is loved, but [only] the lovable, and this is either good or pleasant or useful” (120). Therefore a bad person can only be loved for pleasure or utility, since the best friendship is that among good people. Aristotle believes that base people have friends for utility and pleasure rather than for the other person’s character. Aristotle writes that if friends “are unstable, and share base pursuits” then “by becoming similar to each other, they grow vicious” (153). Sometimes friends in the lesser of the three friendships might feel they are not getting their fair share of pleasure or utility. But the virtuous friends will know that the other person could not act unjustly, whereas base people concerned with benefiting themselves would angrily desire what they thought was their fair share. By becoming virtuous and engaging in the best type of friendship one can avoid these problems.
Unlike friendships for utility and pleasure, the complete friendship is one that can last as long as each friend is virtuous. However, if there is a complete friendship and one of the friends becomes vicious then it is okay for the virtuous friend to not take part in the friendship any longer. Aristotle also thinks that if one of the friends becomes more virtuous than the other then the friend has a right to end the friendship. However it is very important that one try to save a friend from becoming vicious. If the person is not able to be saved that is unfortunate. One cannot forget old friends.
The model of the best friendship that Aristotle outlines in the Nichomachean Ethics is based upon virtue. Aristotle writes, “when everyone strains to achieve what is fine and concentrates on the finest actions, everything that is right will be done for the common good, and each person individually will receive the greatest of goods, since that is the character of virtue” (147). This is Aristotle’s ultimate goal. If every person strove toward what is virtuous then eventually everything would be done for the common good, and nothing would be done selfishly. Even though we may never reach Aristotle’s ideal, individuals can still improve their lives, friendships, and the lives of others around them by aspiring to live virtuously.

Works Cited
Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. Terrence Irwin. Indiana: Hackett Publishing
Company, 1999.

Hobbe's Leviathin

Hobbes’s Leviathan – Chapter 14
Every person has the right to pursue what is best for themselves. More specifically, everyone has the right to do whatever it takes to preserve their own life. Rational people will voluntarily choose what is in their best interests. If two people lived alone on an island and had no mutual agreement on how to live, then each one would separately do whatever was in his or her best interests. If that meant killing the other person for food then so be it. In such a situation each person would be living in fear of the other person. But being rational like humans are, each of the two people would realize that the best way to preserve their own lives would be to make peace with the other. The two people can agree to follow certain rules that will be in the best interests of each individual.
Every voluntary action a person makes is out of his or her own rational self interest. So if two people made peace then each individual would be voluntarily agreeing to a set of rules because the rules would be of self-interest to both individuals. The people would be in a sense giving up some rights, like the right to kill each other; however, the fact that each person gives up the right to kill the other means that each person is even more likely to survive than if they had not given up this right. Their initial right to do whatever it takes to live is enhanced by the peace that is made. After making peace, each individual no longer has to worry about the other person killing him or her. The peace allows each individual more freedom to exercise his or her own right to live because they won’t have to worry about the threat of the other individual. People are rationally led to make peace with other individuals because it is in a state of peace that a person is most likely to survive.
However, all the individuals must agree to this peace, or it will not work. If one human agreed to have peace and the other decided not to, then the one who agreed to peace would be slaughtered by the other. If it is unknown what the other person will do then neither person will make peace; this is the rational choice. But the best choice would be to agree to peace so that one would have an assurance that they were not going to be killed. So, in order to make peace there must be an agreement between every individual.
This kind of peace is what Hobbes calls a contract. Hobbes feels that these contracts are formed naturally by people acting rationally. Rationality leads people to voluntarily agree to some rules for the benefit of their own survival. If many people formed a contract like this then it would naturally flourish. A person who had entered into this peace would rationally decide not to violate the contract that he had made with his peers. If he did so and stepped out of the boundaries of peace by murdering another person who had joined the contract, then the other members of the group would become angry with the person. The person would then be punished or banned from the peaceful group. Without the group the man would once again be living in a world of every man for himself, and no longer have the security of the contract. A person involved in a peaceful contract would conclude that it is in their best interest not to violate the peace that they had made with their fellow humans, therefore the contract would be lasting.

Hume's Enquiry - Section VII

Hume’s Enquiry - Section VII
With mathematics everything is clear and concise, but in metaphysics there is ambiguity. In order to advance metaphysics we should clear up some of its ambiguities. One ambiguous idea at the heart of metaphysics is force, or necessary connection (causes necessitating effects in the world).
All complex ideas are combinations of simpler ideas. And all these simple ideas can be traced to simple impressions. The only way we have ideas is by impressions: either impressions we get from the senses or internal impressions from the mind. These impressions are clear and unambiguous, so tracing our idea of necessary connection to its simple original impression will get rid of ambiguities.
When we observe things in nature, we see what we think are causes and effects. For example, we might see one ball collide with another ball which is at rest. Then we might see the second ball move from rest. One might reason that the moving ball and the collision caused the stationary ball to move. However, we do not observe any necessary effect from a specific cause in this situation. All we have is the sensation of seeing a ball move after seeing another ball collide with it. We do not have an impression of the second ball necessarily moving, we only observe that the second ball moves. Everything we observe in nature is like this. We see events, that seem to be triggered by other events, but we cannot say that one event causes another because we don’t have impressions of events necessarily causing other events; all we have are impressions of events taking place. We cannot discover any necessary connection by impressions of sensation.
Because we only get ideas from impressions, if we can’t find an original impression of necessary connection from sense, then it must be an internal impression. But in observing what seem to be the cause and effect relationships between objects in the world, the mind does not receive any internal impressions, only the sensory perceptions of the events. The very first time we encounter objects in the world we are not able to predict what they will do. But if we did have internal impressions of causes then we could predict what would happen in the world by rationality without ever experiencing it. Therefore, because we do not receive impressions for the idea of necessary connection internally or from sensation, we cannot have the idea of necessary connection.
This doesn’t mean that there is not necessary connection, or that there is no force that necessitates events occurring in the universe. What Hume is saying is that there might be some force that necessarily causes things to happen the way they do, but we cannot know this force, because the only way we can know something is through impressions, and we have no impressions of causes bringing about necessary effects.

Memoro-Politics and the Secularization of the Soul

Philosophy of Mind
August 26, 2005
Memoro-Politics and the Secularization of the Soul
What is the self? Does a soul constitute the self? Philosophers have struggled with the concept of self for centuries and are still struggling today. Ian Hacking, in Rewriting the Soul, argues that memory has become a surrogate for the soul and the secularization of the soul through the new sciences of memory has led to false consciousness; Hacking’s argument is valuable today because psychologists are still employing techniques of false consciousness, and false consciousness is bad in itself.
The soul has been an important notion in issues of personal identity. It is important to note Hacking’s view of the soul which he describes in the following passage:
Philosophers of my stripe speak of the soul not to suggest something eternal, but to invoke character, reflective choice, self-understanding, values that include honesty to others and oneself, and several types of freedom and responsibility. Love, passion, envy, tedium, regret, and quiet contentment are the stuff of the soul […] I do not think of the soul as unitary, as an essence, as one single thing, or even as a thing at all. It does not denote an unchanging core of personal identity. One person, one soul, may have many facets and speak with many tongues. To think of the soul is not to imply that there is one essence, one spiritual point, from which all voices issue. In my way of thinking the soul is a more modest concept than that. It stands for the strange mix of aspects of a person that may be, at some time, imaged as inner—a thought not contradicted by Wittgenstein’s dictum, that the body is the best picture of the soul. (6).
Hacking’s concept of the soul is the notion we have of our selves that we call personal identity. For Hacking the soul is synonymous with the self.
In Rewriting the Soul Hacking gives a concise history of multiple personality disorder. With the boom of multiple personality disorder some became wary if it was an actual disease. There are those who don’t believe multiple personality is real but rather believe that multiple personality is a result of there being a new description of how to be a person. Hacking writes, “When new descriptions become available, when they come into circulation, or even when they become the sorts of things that it is all right to say, to think, then there are new things to choose to do. […] Multiple personality provided a new way to be an unhappy person” (236). The stories of multiple personality and the description of people as multiples may have led other people to become multiples who wouldn’t if the description wasn’t there. This is a hypothesis that cannot be tested, but it raises the possibility that the power of suggestion may be stronger than we suspect.
After studying individuals with multiple personalities psychologists began to adapt a theory of the self similar to the one John Locke proposed in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding:
For, since consciousness always accompanies thinking, and it is that which makes every one to be what he calls self, and thereby distinguishes himself from all other thinking things: in this alone consists personal identity, i.e., the sameness of a rational being; and as far as this consciousness can be extended backwards to any past action or thought, so far reaches the identity of that person; it is the same self now it was then; and it is by the same self with this present one that now reflects on it, that that action was done. (Locke 123)
These views became dominant in the psychological community and are exemplified by Hacking’s description of the opinions of the psychologist Ribot and his colleagues:
Instead of studying a unitary moi, we should study memory. But how do we know that there is no unitary self? The cases of dedoublement, Felida and her successors, seemed splendid for showing that a person was not constituted by a single transcendental, metaphysical or spiritual self or ego. For in those individuals, there was not one single self. Those individuals had two personalities, each connected by a continuous or normal chain of memories, aside from amnesic gaps. At least one personality was ignorant of the other. Hence (it seemed) there were two persons, two souls in one body” (208).
The soul, which had been forever tied to spirituality and lay outside the realm of scientific study, was replaced by memory. Memory became the surrogate for the soul and more people came to hold a view similar to Locke and Ribot’s. Hacking writes that in the late nineteenth century, “Memory, already regarded as a criterion of personal identity, became a scientific key to the soul, so that by investigating memory (to find out its facts) one would conquer the spiritual domain of the soul and replace it by a surrogate, knowledge about memory” (198). The secularization of the soul thus began.
Once memory was regarded as the key element of one’s self psychologists began to study memory in hopes of curing psychological disorders such as multiple personality disorder. It was thought that multiple personality was in part caused by early childhood trauma. When psychologists began to treat multiples they expected to find past psychological trauma in the patient. Many multiple patients began to remember instances of child abuse and/or trauma, but there was controversy as to whether these were real memories the individual had repressed or whether they were false memories. Studies have shown the unreliableness of memory; our memories are unstable and if we are searching ourselves for a memory of child abuse we may create one. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation was founded on the belief that recovered memories are often false memories. This group and the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation battled back and forth about the issue of the accuracy of recovered memories. Both of these groups claimed that there was knowledge to be had about memory, but they disagreed on who had the correct knowledge.
Hacking distinguishes between two types of knowledge about memory: “The facts that are discovered in this or that science of memory are a surface knowledge; beneath them is the depth knowledge, that there are facts about memory to be found out” (198). The fact that there is depth knowledge, that there are facts to be known about memory, was taken for granted by both sides. What they disagreed on was the surface knowledge—what the actual facts about memory were—were these false memories or did the memories individuals recover correspond to true events? The disagreements over surface knowledge can be only that. Who is right? How can we tell?
Hacking suggests an indeterminacy of the past, an indeterminacy of the actions of the past—not just the memories, that makes depth knowledge of memory impossible. Say that a father bathes with his young daughter (the father has no evil intentions). Later when the daughter is grown she may look back on the instance and think of it as child abuse. The daughter attributes an intention to the father that he did not have—the intention to abuse her. Hacking writes, “Old actions under new descriptions may be reexperienced in memory. And if these are genuinely new descriptions, descriptions not available or perhaps nonexistent at the time of the episodes remembered, then something is experienced now, in memory, that in a certain sense did not exist before” (249). The descriptions of child abuse and multiple personality led to new ways to think about the past—and consequently new ways to interpret past actions. Hacking writes:
When we remember what we did, or what other people did, we may also rethink,
redescribe, and refeel the past. These redescriptions may be perfectly true of the past; that is, they are truths that we now assert about the past. And yet, paradoxically, they may not have been true in the past, that is, not truths about intentional actions that made sense when the actions were performed. That is why I say that the past is revised retroactively. I do not mean only that we change our opinions about what was done, but that in a certain logical sense what was done itself is modified. As we change our understanding and sensibility, the past becomes filled with intentional actions that, in a certain sense, were not there when they were performed (249-250).
The desire for treatment of psychological disorders has led to the desire to retrieve repressed memories in order to look for a cause of the disorder. But it is impossible to know whether these retrieved memories recall the event as it actually happened or as it is remembered differently than it really happened under a new description. Knowledge of memory is impossible—but the assumption that it is possible still pervades the sciences of memory.
The battles between the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation were battles over the surface knowledge of memory. Both claimed to have knowledge of memory. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation’s claim to knowledge was that the memories that multiples were remembering were false memories. The International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation’s knowledge was that the retrieved memories were events that actually happened. Hacking writes, “I see the way in which those movements latched on to trauma as part of a politics of memory legitimated by, indeed made possible by, the new sciences of memory. Although the sciences and the politics mutually interact, it is the underlying depth knowledge—that there are certain sorts of truths about memory and forgetting—that makes the politics possible” (213). Both sides thought that they were in the right—and that what they were doing was best for humanity and the patients. But they did not base these opinions on morals but rather on their knowledge of memory. Hacking writes, “Subsequently, what would previously have been debates on the moral and spiritual plane took place at the level of factual knowledge. These political debates all presuppose and are made possible by this depth knowledge” (198). This is the problem of what Hacking calls memoro-politics. Hacking writes that, “Memoro-politics is above all a politics of the secret, of the forgotten event that can be turned, if only by strange flashbacks, into something monumental. It is a forgotten event that, when it is brought to light, can be memorialized in a narrative of pain. We are concerned less with losing information than with hiding it” (214). Memory became the surrogate for the soul and therefore knowledge of memory became the antidote for the problems of the soul. But cases of multiple personality disorder continues to rise today, and the arguments over whether retrieved memories are false will continue without a solution to the problems of the soul that a multiple faces. Hacking writes:
Since memoro-politics has largely succeeded, we have come to think of ourselves, our character, and our souls as very much formed by our past. Hence, in our times, false consciousness will often involve some deceptive-memories. It need not do so. The Delphic injunction ‘Know thyself!’ did not refer to memory. It required that we know our character, our limits, our needs, our propensities for self-deception. It required that we know our souls. Only with the advent of memoro-politics did memory become a surrogate for the soul (260).
The secularization of the soul is complete and consequently we no longer know how to heal the part of our souls that longs for emotional security and love. Facts about memories will not calm the multiple’s soul. The two sides of memoro-politics are looking to comfort the soul by obtaining a knowledge of memory—but with this approach no such comfort will come.
The treatment of multiples involves retrieving repressed memories and in some cases altering past memories by hypnosis. A person may have developed a multiple personality disorder as a result of a traumatic childhood experience. Some psychologists may convince the patient that the traumatic childhood experience did not happen. When the patient comes to believe this they no longer experience the symptoms of multiple personality. Hacking describes the situation of a nineteen-year-old girl named Bernice who was treated for multiple personality. Bernice told her psychiatrist, Dr. Goddard, that there was incest between her and her father. Goddard theorized that this was this cause of her multiple personality disorder and proceeded to hypnotize Bernice into believing that the incest never occurred. Goddard later concluded that she was healed. Several moral objections can be made to this approach. Hacking writes, “Consider the kind of material that was and was not in the false consciousness of Miss Bernice R. She was reconstructed and built into the male-dominated world of Dr. Goddard, in which few fathers molest their daughters.” (264). Bernice inherited a false view of herself when she was given a false consciousness by Dr. Goddard. Hacking believes that “Self-knowledge is a virtue in its own right” (265). Hacking believes that false consciousness is bad in itself. Hacking writes, “memoro-politics has recently taught us or coerced us to believe that a person, or in older language the soul, is constituted by memories and character. Any type of amnesia results in something’s being stolen from oneself; how much worse if it is replaced by deceptive-memories, a nonself” (264). This type of false consciousness is not healthy for the soul. In fact it is not certain that Bernice was ever full healed. What happens in the past shapes our soul, and if we deny our past we deny our soul. Today false-memory treatment is branching out into the field of dieting. Psychologists have implanted the false memory that eating strawberry ice cream in the past made people sick—thus ridding them of the desire to eat strawberry ice cream (New Diet Trick).
There are also those who feel that multiple therapy itself, regardless if false-memory techniques are used, leads to false consciousness (for they feel that multiple personalities do not exist). Hacking writes, “They accept that the patient has produced this version of herself: a narrative that includes dramatic events, a causal story of the formation of alters, and an account of the relationships between the alters. That is a self-consciousness; that is a soul. […] in their hearts they suspect that the outcome of multiple therapy is a type of false consciousness” (266). False consciousness is bad in itself, and the sciences of memory allow for the possibility of false consciousness.
Hacking’s argument is valuable because it raises ethical concerns about multiple therapy and false consciousness. Hacking offers views from all sides. The area of study is not one where there are clear cut answers. One thing that Hacking makes clear is that “Our memories are not (all there is to) our identities” (221). The soul of a multiple needs nurturing, and it will not be satisfied simply by obtaining facts about memories. The sciences of memory have led to false consciousness through the implanting of false memories. It may have also led to false consciousness by multiple therapy itself. Psychologists and psychiatrists need to seriously question their approaches to treating multiple personalities as well as their science of memory. If we are going to help people to know who they are we must avoid false consciousness. Unfortunately Hacking does not give a solution to the problems of multiple personality disorder, but he does show us that the direction we need to move in should not rely on the sciences of memory.

Works Cited
Hacking, Ian. Rewriting the Soul. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press,
New Diet Trick: Induce Bad Memory. Aug 3, 2005. Wired News. Aug 4, 2005.