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Takmičenje iz filozofije 2013.

Takmičenje povodom svetskog dana filozofije

Povodom svetskog dana filozofije, Zrenjaninska gimnazija je organizovala takmičenje u pisanju eseja na engleskom jeziku  u subotu, 02.11.2013. sa početkom u 11h. Ovo takmičenje održava se pod pokroviteljstvom Uneskove Međunarodne asocijacije Baltic Sea Net i Finske asocijacije profesora filozofije. Eseji se pišu dva sata, pod šifrom, a četiri teme su  saopštene na samom takmičenju. Učenici biraju jednu od ponuđenih tema koje dotiču različita filozofska područja. Mogu se koristiti rečnici engleskog jezika. Eseje će vrednovati međunarodna komisija profesora filozofije, a dva najbolja rada biće proglašena na Svetski dan filozofije promovisana i štampana.

Prošle godine, rad učenika Bojana  Veselinova iz gimnazije: „Dušan Vasiljev“, Kikinda, mentorke, Božane Karanović, nagrađen je i štampan. Ovogodišnje teme, bile su:

”Doubt is the first step toward science or truth. Whoever does not question will be sure of nothing; whoever does not doubt, will discover nothing.”

(Denis Diderot, ”Encyclopedia”, 1765)

”Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

(David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, 1739-1740)

„Of all things the measure is Man, of the things that are, that they are, and of the things that are not, that they are not „

(Protagoras, 450 BCE?, source: Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker)

”They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

(Benjamin Franklin; Contributions to the Conference, February 17, 1775)

Takmičenje je priprema za Srpsku olimpijadu filozofije koja će se održati u Požarevačkoj gimnaziji u martu 2014. uz podršku Srpskog filozofskog društva, a po međunarodnim propozicijama. Ovogodišnja Filozofska olimpijada će se održati u Litvaniji od 15-18. maja.

Rezultati takmičenja 2013:

Златна медаља

Ивона Петров, Зрењанинска гимназија, ментор Гордана Дунаи

Сребрна медаља

Бојан Веселинов,  Гимназија Душан Васиљев, Кикинда, ментор Божана Карановић

Бронзана медаља

Ленка Пауновић, Гимназија Светозар Марковић, Ниш, ментор Бојана Голубовић

Дајана Пајкић, Пожаревачка гимназија, ментор Милош Јеремић

Сребрна медаља

Бојан Веселинов


Topic 2

“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” – D. Hume

Now Hume here makes quite a bold claim, when he posits that reason is  NOT supreme to the passions and can only be below them in the mind’s hierarchy, a mere slave. The exact opposite of what the French rationalists would claim. I, myself, am a rather reactionary writer, and usually try to oppose a thesis and bring it down with counterarguments, but I cannot but agree, even if somewhat partially, with Hume.

A very dominant opinion in western philosophy, during and after the events that caused the French revolution, was that reason and rational thinking had inherently more value and were superior to the man’s passions, which were considered  primitive, something that likened us to beasts, a reminder of our ‘shameful’ ancestry. And that kind of thinking, the suppression of passions, and rise of the rational mind ruled by reason, had consequences that could’ve been felt in the 20th century and even today. Among other things it allowed totalitarian states and the suppression of  individual freedoms with the excuse of a utilitarian view of common good and happiness, but that’s another subject altogether.

Why, one might and should ask, is Hume right? What gives credibility to such an opinion?

Even today, modern man still bears the mark(s) of his ‘evolutionary’ past. While some may be too proud to admit our link and closeness to the animal kingdom, there is no denying that there still is one. After all, modern sciences have proven the existence of such a link. But reason, as they say, is the ingredient which makes us distinct from savage beasts. Is it not man’s ability to not succumb to his passions that makes him man?

Passions are older than reason. Reason has only ‘recently’ appeared ‘in man’, while our primitive urges and instincts have been with us ever since we crawled out of the swamps and oceans. True, reason has allowed mankind to progress and move beyond simple tools of stones and a life spent hunting wild beasts, this only says that it is useful, not supreme or below passions in any way.

What would man be without his passions? What use is reason if there is not a driving force? What I’m saying is that reason is a tool and could not act by itself, but exists only to help guide and transform the passions and urges. A purely calculative mind with no instinct for survival, for lessening pain or maximizing happiness, wouldn’t do anything.                          It’d be idle, useless! Imagine a person devoid of passions of any kind. Would the caveman use his reason to build a weapon if he had no self-preservation instinct? Would he build a wheel if he was indifferent and didn’t want to make his labour easier? We’d stagnate, and die out, a mere speck of dust in the universe quickly forgotten, not making anything worth appreciating nor being able to contemplate its (in)significance. But we’re still here, aren’t we, and we’re making change and progress each day.

Now,  let us imagine for a moment there was no calculative reason, that only the most basic urges ruled us. Then I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading this. That is why I said I agree with Hume partially, I agree with him not giving reason supremacy, but I don’t think it necessarily has to ‘serve and obey’ the passions.

Even when historical periods were dominated by one of these gods, for example, rationalism in the sign of Apollo, romanticism in the sign of Dionysus, man himself had both in him.                                  Both reason and passions are important aspects of being human. It is by synthesis of  the Apollonian and Dionysian aspects of ourselves that true progress is made, that we become and overcome.

The scientific paradigm would never change if there wasn’t somebody bold to think differently without being given any evidence why they would be right. Imagine a worldview-changing idea, something that’d shake the foundations of the current sciences and metaphysics, appearing in a being with a purely calculative mind, with just reason to operate with. With no previous evidence, or logic backing it up, it would be dismissed by it. Then again, it wouldn’t even be capable of conceiving such an idea in the first place. A being like that resembles a machine more than anything else, following instructions and doing them in a routine-like fashion. Even in hard sciences ruled by rational thought, reason itself is not enough.

The god of wine and  the god sun reconcile in man. Great discoveries are made by scientists who have a bit of an irrational artist in themselves (or artists that have a bit of a rational scientist ?) To quote Nietzsche, “One must have chaos in themselves to give birth to a dancing star.”

Reason without passion is mechanical, passion without reason is beastly.


Свети Јован Шангајски
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