Constellation Week 9 – Replacement for Week 5

This week’s keynote lecture was a discussion panel with Theo Humphries, Prof. Clive Cazeaux, Cath Davies and Dr. Mahnaz Shah. I found this lecture rather intense and interesting how that lecturers from different academic background criticise and analyse a question in so many different ways. The questions asked were:

“Is there an historical component to meaning?”

“Is the literal phenomenal and the phenomenal literal?”

” You seem to be saying that ideas are material, are in the world. But you’re having a laugh, aren’t you? Ideas are in my head! if I have a thought or an opinion, its mine, in my head! How would you respond to that?”

There was some very interesting answers to all these questions which puzzles the mind as you don’t realise how they link to the question. One particular topic that was bought up by Clive was a question of “If a tree falls down but no one is near it to hear it fall, does it still make a sound?” My first initial reaction to this was of course it still does just no one was there to hear it, but as Clive mentioned in Philosophy it wouldn’t have made a sound. As the definition of sound means waves passing through the air from one object to another if there is no second object to pick up on this sound then surely a sound hasn’t been made.

Another point which Clive mentioned was about meaning and how that we only understand something because of its meaning to us. Like our language, it’s only a sound that we produce, the actual sound doesn’t have a meaning. It is only because of how we interpret that noise to have a meaning, something which we then can understand and relate to. This is something which everything in the world applies to and which we take for granted everyday because it comes natural to us.

This weeks study skills session was based on applying theory to images and objects with Cath Davies. I found this session most valuable and one of the best ones of the term. This session was great practise for the essay writing that we would be doing next term and Cath helped us understand and read images better, also how to write about them in an essay structure. I found her method of ‘description–>analysis–>academic perspectives’ a very effective one and something that I will come back to when writing my essay next term.


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