"Geanealogy of Morals" (F. Nietzche)

Despite all my complaining, this really is a very interesting topic. What is good and bad, where did they originate. Before Nietzche & the utalitarians came up with a historical approach to morals, we just accepted that good thigns where always good, and bad things always bad.

Utalitarians:
Believed that Morals developed through altruistic acts – A “good” act was an act for which the actor was praised. Or, the recipient of the act recognised it as a “good” act and worthy of praise. Subsequently altruistic acts became a habit, praise was forgotten and we performed “good” acts because it “felt” good.

Nietzche:
Believed that the geanealogy of morals went beyond utility. N believed that “good” acts where decided by people who where “good.” “Good” people being the aristocratic, the powerful, the noble, strong, beautiful, high-stationed and high-minded. People, in my opinion who had the arrogance & ego to think their actions where “good” and that they where “good” and “above” the rest (read the peasants, the plebes, the low-life). He also argues that our morals have changed (the revolution of slavery) and that in modern times, the plebe has overthrown the last great aristocracy (French Revolution) and that a “herd mentality” has enveloped the world (read democracy?).

N’s definition of good stems partly from and finds some proof in Etymology – especialy the greek origins to the word ‘Noble.’ The origins of this word lie somewhat with the greek fascination with myth and demi-gods, their romantic love of love, heros, tradgedy, drama and battle. N seems to admire this ‘alpha-male’ hero as well, the do-or-die, the brashness, youth, destruction, spontanaeity and courage of the warrior, and he ties this into nobility.

That is not my view of Noble, or of aristocratic. Aristocrats where wealthy, they where educated, powerful and high-minded (read arrogant). I do not deny that. However I also think they where greedy, selfish, ignorant (of the serfs), pragmatic (N argues heros are not pragmatic), and deceitful.

Of course, we are both generalising, talking about a majority of aristocrats. The doubt in my mind is that I cannot see how the morals society holds dear today (or more importantly, my own morals) could be born from the aristocracy of my definition, even with the changes that democracy could and has brought.

Where are your morals from?

Alvin, AKA Nivla.

Big Shout out to Alvin. We met this guy in the Broken Rack Pool Hall / Bar on the long weekend and he went to the pains of explaining the rules of Grid-Iron to us! It was a big game between to geographically close teams – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Manitoba) and the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. We also played a few games of pool and drank a few pints of Richards! Since then he has been helping us out with all sorts of stuff, including showing me how to throw a football!

Check out his page: http://www.xanga.com/nivla2

Name Tag Party!

Whats the idea behind this? Well – apparently you where supposed to wear a nametag, but we didn’t know about it – so we just let them write on our arms. it was the first party organised in the residence ‘party room’ (Read basement)Highlight of the party: one of the biggest beer bongs I have ever seen!?

Not only did they have this beerigation system hooked up with taps and all, but they also had suck the duck – a giant duck with a hose coming out its arse and a funnel in its beak.

Rumour has it that a chap by the name of ‘Frank the Tank’ sucked the duck once too much and woke up in the morning with no teeth. Yep – it was a very very messy party. Thankfully I left at about 2am before it got too bad because I was still recovering from the night before!

Togga party

L to R: Claudia, Alex, Hanna & Norma

L to R: Cool african dude who can really dance, yours truly & Carrissa

The Australian take on Toga’s in a foreign country. Just in case the accent is not enough. Can you actually believe people walked up to me and asked if I was from england?

So this was the Toga party – the First of the U of R’s Lazy Owl – Five Fridays! I would put more pics up on FlickR Except I have already used my quota for the month! You’ll just have to wait till October! More details to come on the very very social week/weekend it was just gone!

Claudie and Alex are both exchange students, Claudia from Mexico and Hanna from Belgium! Yes she likes Hoegarden! Carrissa and Norma are both locals. The African dude is obviously from Africa, but I don’t think he is here on exchange. Apologies if I spelt anyones names wrong!

Subject 2: Introduction to Philosophy

Philosophy to me is about asking questions which have no obvious answer, and which you can entertain yourself with for hours, by argueing with yourself. If you find an answer, its a bonus. if you dont, your probably infinetly smarter for what you have just discovered is not the answer.

What i’m looking forward to in this subject is the emphasis on Truth. What is truth. It is usually accepted that a statement can be true or false. My name is Damian. True. But, do I actually have a name? Do I exist? If I don’t exist, can I possibly have a name?

According to the chap on the right, Associate Proffessor David Elliott (Department Head, Philosophy and Classics), there are three lots of three in Philosophy:

3 Questions:

  1. What is the nature of reality? (Metaphysics)
  2. What (and how) can I know? (Epistemology)
  3. What should I do or how should I live? (Moral and political philosophy)

3 Features:

  1. Makes the obvious problematic
  2. Informational Chaos
  3. Presentation of an overal vision/perspective

3 Practical Inferences:

  1. One should never assume anything is obvious–or at least always be careful about what assumptions one is making.
  2. Develop the strongest, most coherent argument that you can.
  3. Try to see the “big picture”, how your argument relates to other issues arguments/counterarguments of other philosophers.

We will use these three lots of three to try to understand a phillosopher called Rene Descartes:

The two most widely known of Descartes’ philosophical ideas are those of a method of hyperbolic doubt, and the argument that, though he may doubt, he cannot doubt that he exists”

“He resolves to trust only that which is clearly and distinctly seen to be beyond any doubt. In this manner, Descartes peels away the layers of beliefs and opinions that clouded his view of the truth. But, very little remains, only the simple fact of doubting itself, and the inescapable inference that something exists doubting, namely Descartes himself.”

Read more of the above about Descartes at http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/d/descarte.htm

Foam Party

L to R: Vanessa, Alex & Tamara
Alex in her happy Long Island paradise!

$9 Jugs of Long Island Iced Tea!
Thanks go to Tamara & Vanessa for getting the tix to this saturdays foam party at JD’s cafe & nightspot! (Check the link – death by chickenwing) It was a great night despite ending up soaking wet and quite cold by aussie standards. Thank god for the warmth giving alcohol beforehand and Reids side splitting Aussie accent impersonations.
Just a little low down on the sexy trio: Vanessa is my RA (Residence Assistant), ie she is supposed to ‘control’ the parties. Tamara is her best friend & works practicaly full time as what she describes as a special needs punching bag & does uni full time, Alex is a fellow Aussie exchange student from CSU in Bathurst!

Subject 1: Power, Knowledge & Postmodernity

I promised a post on my subjects, and whilst it is not a usually entertaining topic, its probably going to be a future source of aggravation (I imagine somewhere in the league of groin tinea) so to justify my future complaining, whining and soul searching heres the low-down:

They mentioned philosophy somewhere in the subject outline and so it kind of tied in with my other subjects. It is a split lecture system and the 2 lecturers spent the first lecture telling us how good the other was.

The main lecturer was very passionate, a great speaker, clearly a feminist and so enthusiastic about the class she forget to mention what the point of it was. Has anyone ever gotten a subject outline that didn’t mention the goals or objectives of the class? If yes, are you also an arts student? I’d like to know what they are trying to achieve. Bonus is we get to read Nietzsche.

More raving later. We spent the second class discussing what the moral of the story was to Adam & Eve being evicted from Eden. Come on people, what was the name of the apple tree? I expect to see lots of comments on this, and I promise I’ll plagerize them in my first Essay. One thign I did learn is that arts students seem to be very very judgemental, they have a category for everyone! Post-modernists, neo-socialists, pre-modernists, social socialists, fascists democratics even! WTF?

To come: Intro to practical Logic 100 and Philosophy!