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chad
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Frankenstein philosophy

[ Edited ]
There's a lot of discussion about philosophy and I thought I'd post a "Frankenstein philosophy" section. But Shellley mentions that Victor's interests/education starts with natural philosophy and later develops into science. Do you see science as as something that evolved from philosophy or something that developed separately?
 
Chad


Message Edited by chad on 04-11-2008 11:56 PM
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Re: Frankenstein economist

[ Edited ]
I think there were a couple of times when the reader was exposed to trials or the courts of the times duing the story. For the most part- they were corrupt. Law seems to be some kind of an amalgamation of government and/or religion. Science and philosophy( i.e. Victor and the monster) are antagonistic to both law and religion.
 
I saw Economics as the progeny of law and science, or more indirectly, of religion and philosophy. Once created, economics woud be an uncontrollable monster, like Frankenstein. I'm not sure we will be able to rid ourselves of economics. It is true that modern day courts and governments are becoming increasingly concerned with economics, or, at least ,  they are trying to incorporate more economics into law making. Whether we feel positive or negative impacts of economics, the best decison making is economical decision making.  But economics seems to have no boundaries. Or do you feel that we will be a world entirely run by economics. Or perhaps you feel that economics runs our lives now?
 
Chad


Message Edited by chad on 04-12-2008 09:27 AM
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Lelldoren71
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Re: Frankenstein economist

Im sorry but huh???  You lost me.  Are we talking about the historical relationship between science and philosophy or the fictional relationship of Frankenstein's view of science and philosophy.  Historically Philosophy is the mother of all academic pursuits.  Before science was science it was natural philosophy.  In the simplest terms philosophy is mankind's varied attempts to understand the world.  Science is simply the most recent and arguably the most successful attempt thus far.  If you read this and find that my response has nothing to do with the question you posited than please ignore.  Either way that's my two cents.
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chad
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Re: Frankenstein economist

[ Edited ]
I think I agree with your two cents. I think, historically, though, that science became antagonistic to religion and law. I'm thinking of times when philosophers found themselves in opposition to religion, law or government for their philosophies.-Socrates, in particular. So, to go back to Shelley's main theme of freedom and stability, and to use my aforementioned example, the "free" thinker would be Socrates and the government of Athens would be the stability, allowing perhaps a little free thinking but eventually killing him with hemlock. His ideas shook the Athens's foundation.
 
Chad


Message Edited by chad on 05-09-2008 01:45 PM
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Re: Frankenstein economist

just to add:
 
"the fictional relationship of Frankenstein's view of science and philosophy." I'm not sure we know what Victor's views of science and philosophy, in general, may be. He does go back to the early natural philosophers, like Magnus, if they could be deemed "natural philosophers. And his father and university professors persuade him to study the more modern scientists, and, in other words, attempt to temper the education of Victor. But the monster was created, in part, from books from the past, and in effect, Victor hurls civilization into the future by going back to early beginnings. So there's this kind of, "Am I moving forward or backward?" effect in Frankenstein. The real world history may have experienced a similar education in general. Perhaps the philosphers and knowledge of early civilizations were only known to a few and monitored in the "dark" ages. Enlightenment came a little later. You also might consider information sharing or education of nuclear weapons technology, etc. etc.- see the new flick "Ironman."
 
Fictional Frankenstein? Shelley uses real names and places and I'd have to ask why. And I think she states, remember, that materials don't just come out of nowhere, and therefore, this book cannot be entirely fictional.
 
Chad
 
Hope all is well- have a great summer everyone!
  
 
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Education

[ Edited ]
 


Message Edited by chad on 05-13-2008 01:12 PM
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Education

[ Edited ]
I don't think that Einstein was Frankenstein, but we could, and people do, speculate about the education of Einstein, which led to the devleopment of nuclear weapons. Who or what influenced his education? Did it have to be more controlled? Or was Einstein's early education too strict, narrow in scope etc. etc.?
 
Chad
 
ps- Some of the info on the web reported that he left a formal education and was influenced by a doctor, who was related, but I'm not sure- interesting though.


Message Edited by chad on 05-13-2008 01:32 PM
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Benedict
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Re: Frankenstein philosophy

Chad,

You have some interesting perspectives. You used the Doctor, Monster and Society relationship as a metaphor for multiple things. To me a train of thought about the analogies between the Doctor, Monster and Society and other entities within our world goes something like this:

One aspect of the story is about our desire to understand, describe, and re-create beautiful nature, but how our recreations are never as beautiful as the nature that we attempt to recreate. Doctor, attempted to recreate the most beautiful thing that nature has thus far created, a human. He was able to create a man, however, his creation was not attractive, but so ugly that when people looked at it they instantly called the Doctors creation a Monster. The doctor’s attempt at recreating nature was better than expected, however, no recreation of Nature is ever as good as Nature herself.

Paradoxically, the most complex aspects of a human, our personality, emotions and intellect were above average in the Doctor’s creation. The intangible aspects of him were beautiful. It was society that changed this beautiful thing into an ugly thing. Society transformed the brilliant kind thing, into the ugly mean Monster. The Monster realizes how society thinks about him through the continuous negative experiences and interactions with society. In psychoanalytical terms, I think this is called the “Looking Glass Self”. Who came up with this term I do not remember. However, it describes how we become what society sees us as being through often complex interactions. I firmly believe this to be a common phenomenon.

Society only sees the physical appearance of the creation and labels all of the creation to be ugly and bad. They extrapolate the ‘ugly concept’ out and label the entire being of the creation to be ugly and bad. Society is often unable to distinguish between individual aspects of a person and therefore, they label the entire person as being the one variable that they are aware of. This is a variation of prejudice. For example when a bigot sees a white person they call him a ‘Cracker’, ‘the man’, or ‘whitey’ and attribute to him all the attributes that go along with the stereotypical label. When society sees something as disfigured as the creation they label him with all the attributes of a monster. If we as humans were able to see each thing in our experience as something unique, we could possibly appreciate the Doctor’s creation as possessing many beautiful qualities. Possibly we could see that it is only his appearance that we do not like, and that the rest is quite beautiful. For example, he learns very fast, is able to appreciate beauty in nature, can withstand the cold, run fast for long periods of time, wants to help and displays this by loading wood, and for the most part is potentially a very beneficial addition to society.

Ironic that Socrates was mentioned, where it is Plato’s Forms that are the things that people use to understand the world around them, and the unavoidable fundamental base by which we categorize the world around us and fit what we see into what we already comprehend. For example, when I meet a person on the street, I immediately assume that they have 10 fingers and 10 toes. I do not need to see them; I simply assume that they are there. We assume all different kinds of things about each other because we do not have the time to take a complete inventory on each person that we meet. We see one or two things, and then fill in the blanks with our pre-conceived judgments. Because we do not have time to learn every aspect about every person, we are all prejudice to some degree.

Socrates realizes that the Forms are only representations of the things in the physical world. Therefore, he never really ‘knows’ the things, but ‘knows’ the Forms representing the things. Therefore, he knows through and through, that he does not know the physical world at all but only the Forms of the physical world. By realizing that he does not know, he can paradoxically appreciate each thing as a unique thing continually formulating new Forms representing unique things to the degree that he is able to notice. Categorizing and labeling take much less brain power, and experiencing each thing as a unique thing is unfathomable. Was Socrates able to do this? Or did he just understand it to be a potential.

When we make no distinction between the Forms and the thing that they represent, we believe that our understanding of the thing is the thing, and we believe that we “know”. But if we were to look at the Forms, and appreciate them for themselves, then they, like the Monster, can be just as beautiful as any other naturally originating entity in nature even though some Forms necessitate that we, except Socrates, are bigots which is an ugly thing… right?

The Doctor created the body and it was the society that molded the creation’s mentality into societies preconceived notion of what an ugly thing should be like.


The Invisible Hand of the free market, according to John Adams, when left unregulated is like a living entity of its own with some degree of chaos and predictability much like any other living entity. It was believed that the living entity of the free market would settle into equilibrium with the rest of nature naturally and become something beautiful in its functional complexity. Experience has determined that this system is inherently unstable and the rich become richer and the poor become destitute. I suppose that if we simply let the poor die the Invisible Hand would find equilibrium eventually, however we do not allow this to happen.(I am poor) Our ability to choose and place judgment is unlike any other thing, and prevents the model of the Invisible Hand from following the rest of nature. But nature allows the lion to eat the rabbit, and dear, however we do not allow economics to grow or die naturally. We must self regulate only to protect ourselves from ourselves…. Right? The economy can be thought of as ‘The Monster’, but it is only because we do not let nature take its course and allow the Invisible Hand to take its natural course.
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Re: Frankenstein philosophy

I don"t want to be so concise to the last post- but- I would want my friend to have all ten fingers and toes. I cannot tolerate something too different from myself- that would be the main point of Frankenstein. Interestingly, things sometimes are the same for the opposite extreme--the extremely beautiful- who sometimes find it difficult to befriend anything, because they are too beautiful, there are not too many people like themselves. But Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" might be one you'd enjoy and touches upon this fact of Nature!
 
Chad
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Benedict
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Re: Frankenstein philosophy

Wasn’t the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” ugly and deformed with a good heart much like the monster? Who was the person in either story that was too beautiful? And if it is the personality, or mental attributes that you refer to as being beautiful, and Plato defines the beautiful as simply being the good, and the good as simply being that which helps us to survive and harmonious within nature, then how can the beautiful be dysfunctional within the society that defines it as beautiful? Society cannot label any one attribute to be ugly and beautiful at the same time. For the monster to be labeled as beautiful there would need to be a third party external to society to make this declaration; this being an individual or sect, possibly you and yours, but not of society by definition.
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chad
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Re: Frankenstein philosophy

Well, I think societies have their own ideas about what is ugly and beautiful. I use Esmerelda as an example for beauty.
 
Shelley touches upon philosophy in Frankenstein. Plato philosophizes why? The gods were around weren't they?
 
Chad
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