Jump Start Your Creativity: Philosophy 101 for Filmmakers

In formidable history, there has been many aestheticians and intellectual philosophers. For many, they have derived much knowledge interpersonally and individually using their sought after thought. When the question is raised who is the most renowned and illustrious philosophers, many come to name but few bear the real wisdom. (first)Descartes, Karl Marx, Siren Kiekergaard, Jean Paul Satre, Carol Gilligan, Mary Daly, Susan Bordo, and Allison Jagger are of most interest to masses. Why are they like they are? We shall delve.

Rene Descartes is the father of modern philosophy in a nutshell. This whimsical frail man of French origin single-handedly proposed “Cogito Ergo Sum.” In English “ I think therefore I am.”  He went on to saying “ But what then am I ? “ “ A thing that thinks. “

He was the first philosopher to study the process of thinking. This proposition remarkably began the epistemological turn that signaled the end of the middle ages. He was considered the father of modern philosophy  simply because he was the first philosopher to study the process of thinking. This started modernity and the study of the individual. He entertained his proposal by saying “ Let’s start fresh, throwing away everything we think we know and build knowledge on what the truth can be distinctly known firsthand.”

Descartes discovery of a method was struck like a drum on the morning of November 10, 1619. He remained in a stove heated room the whole day alone just to reflect on his thoughts in peace. The method he thought of consists entirely in the order, disposition and inclination of the objects toward which our mental vision must be directed in order to find out any truth. In his discourse of the method, he discovered pure reason from perception to idea, from objective reality to senses, from thought to innate ideas and many other topics of interest.

The influence he had on science shocked many theologians  in his writing. Descartes wrote on dioptrics, meteteorology and geometry. Math, which was his love – he was the inventor of analytical geometry which impresionated everyone.

He played a big part on thinking for yourself as a personality in this world. Descartes said he should about philosophy, but that no single thing in this world that is not a subject to dispute. That is alone enough. To object to anything in the face of adversity. That is thinking for yourself. However I have many objections about Rene Descartes because if you can’t trust common sense and you can’t trust logic and you can’t trust thinking, you can’t trust authority, what can you trust? Or maybe its not so scary; I wonder what you’d think if you had the observations we have. Maybe, like me, you’d actually like it a whole lot that you can’t trust thinking any more than you can trust any of those other things. For me it raises the really interesting question of what else there might be that you can take as a solid starting point for continuing inquiry?

Descartes had few problems with his philosophy of sorts, the body – mind problem which he had a hard time proving. The Cartesian dualism that he created was consistent with some experiences and not consistent with other random experiences.

However all his work was placed in full integrity in our minds as a people.

Karl Marx’s ideals and personality can be construed in two ways  : anarchic or an oracle like inventor. He coined the materialism we have as a person with a Hegelian dialectical process- a process of which occurs as a result of a struggle between two opposing forces . He concluded with a philosophy from Feurerbach’s theses about how material conditions of life control reality and called it dialectical materialism.

Karl Marx rejected capitalism, saying terrorism of the marketplace makes capitalism work. The working people’s worth are none but large materials to get the job done. A large pool of workers ultimately sustains capitalism making wages low. Once again the people have no value under capitalism and have been conditioned by capitalism to value the worth  of the man upstairs rather than be in full integrity of themselves. The ignorant may work and run the world, but the wise own it. Somehow I don’t think anyone can disagree with that sentence.

Karl Marx took Hegel’s concept of the dialectical process and applied it to the five epochs of history. In order they are 1. Primitive/Communal, 2. Slave , 3. Slave 4. Capitalist, 5. Socialist/Communist. The focus of the five epochs for Karl Marx was to radically advance the movement from capitalist and socialist. He also showed how many  civilizations have gone through the five epochs of history and how one epoch or stage quickly jumps in the other. We can start from when humans were nothing but primitive, simple and grouped together(first stage). There was always an enemy with an army that took advantage of the grouping by force and rule. This is until the grouping revolts and wins and turns the enemy into the second epoch(slaves). Many peaceful years or centuries later, the ignorant simple people revolted as slaves and won over another dynasty or war to begin to own property in the third stage(feudalism.) The revolt happens again in war and now we begin the four stage or epoch (industrial capitalist age). We are currently in this state in 2004. The ignorant and oppressed always strive to do something in this game which Karl Marx so adequately described. Unfortunately, the fifth stage(socialism) is near impossible to play without some new knowledge.

Karl Marx , termed the definition of economic as a complete array of social relationships that constitute a social order. While this is completely subjective to Marx, some people think different in monopolistic competition economy we are in. Marx’s economic determinism means to regulate and control means of production, forces of production, forces of production and the relationships of production.

Karl Marx also talked about the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. He talked of the relationship between the two as the bourgeoisie creating the government as “ of, by and for the important people” instead of “ of, by and for the people.(proletariat)” Marx criticized the bourgeoisie as reducing the family relations from and to mere money relations. Karl Marx also said when the producers; the bourgeoisie produces their own grave diggers, the fall and the victory of the proletariat equally inevitable for the people.

“Class struggle is the history of all classes.” Marx relinquished. The middle class will shrink into none and harbor the thought of not being aware of their mentality as a class sooner. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s knew this and were determined for a change. Marx searched and found a weakness in capitalism sooner than expected. Alienation was the word and the game played by many a middle classman. It was when a person gets sick of their job, or when the worker does not place any value on the determined product. Passion and self awareness can only lead us out of capitalism. Maybe it will be myself that forms a Glattologian theory of revolution.

The rise of existentialism started with issues of major importance with highly specialized, technical and sophisticated societies. Problems like increased loss of individualism, increased pressure to conform and threat to human freedom and dignity by science and bureaucracy. Existentialism was bound to happen because the major systems of philosophy had rarely paid attention to the unique personal concerns of individuals. The loss of individuality couldn’t of come at a worse time then when Soren Kierkegaard talked about it. Soren Kierkegaard also fought against a chief problem of conforming to regular day to day standards, threats to freedom and self.

For Kiekegaard, freedom was a very different animal for him than what the majority thinks of being free. He believes freedom is more absolute and a mysterious human attribute when a person refuses to submit to group approval. He also believed that in freedom “ What you choose is less important than how you choose.” Kiekergaard chose to be very interested in what it really means to be Christian. He believed that inauthencity results when the nature and needs of the individual are ignored, denied and obscured or made less important than instititutions, abstractions or groups. Authenticity is the total opposite end of this spectrum meaning. It means creating our own comprehensive life-meanings or purposes. When an individual re-centers and re-integrates their life around their freely-chosen purposes, they become more focused, unified, and decisive. We resist social control and gain better grip on being more self-directed and more self reliant . This approach to re-structuring human life is the meaning of being authentic.

One of the major existential issues is “ What can I do? Kierkegaard pointed out as his own self project. He had his own existentialism he must solve for himself. He believed that a choice once made, rules out all other possibilities. He acknowledged that we know much but for what? He wrote a book called  Becoming a Self. In his book he talked about ‘individualism’ and irrationalism’ which Kierkegaard so often finds himself in. Jean Paul Satre wrote of self as a project as someone who divinely had the right to be anyone he wanted to be. However, Kierkegaard found himself writing about the subjective truth that counts in life. That may matter more than being someone.Kierkegaard wrote how we believe matters much more than what we believe, and that makes more sense when it a self issue.

Jean Paul Satre was alike Kierkegaard but believed in a much more raw idea of life . In his book; Nausea, he wrote about a story of  Antoine Roquentin, a french writer who is horrified at his own existence. Roquentin’s thoughts are written diary like, real feeling like book. In fact every feeling and sensation Roquentin has is spilled out in this book. The story goes on about Roquentin’s philosophical and psychological problems to capitalize on the reader . Jean Paul Satre wanted to show his Existentialist thoughts through this book . In a quote Satre wrote “a writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution.” He tried to get behind words, theories and assumptions to make the point.

The significance of many is very important when it comes to the discussion of understanding Existential philosophy, however none made the point as well as Abraham Maslow. He said of Jean Paul Satre and Soren Kierkegaard“ The significance of many is important when it came to really understanding existential philosophy. Which is wholly created by the continued and arbitrary choices of the person himself, almost as if he could make himself into anything he decided to be. Of course in so extreme a form, this is almost certainly an overstatement, which is directly contradicted by the facts of genetics and of constitutional psychology. As a matter of fact, it is just plain silly.”

Abraham found many ways to beat up other philosophers with his wit. However he has been the most moral in my mind. He said once “Growth is, in itself, a rewarding and exciting process, e.g., the fulfilling of yearnings and ambitions, like that of being a good doctor; the acquisition of admired skills, like playing the violin or being a good carpenter; the steady increase of understanding about people or about the universe, or about oneself; the development of creativeness in whatever field, or, most important, simply the ambition to be a good human being” The significance of Abraham Maslow in understanding existentialism is paramount because he is so real and moral about the word.

It is believed that the Cartesian Masculinazation of thought was indeed a eye opener to women all over the world. The patriarchy is learned to be the enemy to coming of age feminists, however it has been infallible since the beginning of time. All efforts to stop patriarchy before the 19th century were not written about or not published or found yet. There was many feminist philosophers in the 19th and 20th century. Four strike the cord as the most profound in women’s philosophy.

Carol Gilligan was born in 1936 in New York City. Gilligan began teaching at Harvard in 1967 with renowned psychologist Erik Erikson. In 1970 she became a research assistant for Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg is known for his research on moral development and his stage theory of moral development, justice and rights. Gilligan’s primary focus came to be moral development in girls. Women were taught to care for other people and expect others to care for them. She helped to form a new psychology for women by listening to them and rethinking the meaning of self and selfishness. She asked four questions about women’s voices: who is speaking, in what body, telling what story, and in what cultural framework is the story presented? She published a book called The Birth of Pleasure in 2002, which delves into experiences of love being overshadowed by loss and she considers her self a relationship philosopher and she has a different way of speaking and a voice.

Mary Daly was born in 1928. She is a radical female theologian. She has created much controversy with what she wrote. She wrote the “Qualitative Leap beyond Patriarchic Religion.” In her thesis, she believed in sex role segregation and “Methodicide.” She was an excellent speaker on killing the method, the method used by every religion to create a legitimate patriarchy. Her major philosophical thought was that the women’s movement is a mode relating to the self, to each other, to men and the world. As she quoted in her  “Qualitative Leap beyond Patriarchic Religion.” At times in the past she has refused to take questions from men despite free speech and open dialog between men and women and across genders.

Susan Bordo was born in Kentucky in she is  said to have catalyzed the birth of the new interdisciplinary field of work known as “body studies.” Bordo’s best known book, Unbearable Weight, is widely cited and discussed in scholarly writing and used in courses throughout the disciplines. Named a Notable Book of 1993 by the New York Times, it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received a Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women In Psychology. Columnist Kathy Pollitt named it one of the five best books in Women’s Studies of 1993. Bordo describes her forthcoming book ; the male body : A new look at men in public and private a personal/cultural exploration of the male body from a woman’s point of view. Her new book talks about men in the early ’90s and how men have been pursuing physical perfection in record numbers; today, they make up a quarter of all cosmetic-surgery patients. She has had a lot to contribute to the mind – body philosophy.

Alison Jagger is Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her book, Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing, co-edited with Susan R. Bordo (1989); attacks the Western philosophical assumption that Cartesian rationalism is the most valid approach to knowing and living. It successfully challenges the superiority of reason–a concept borne out of the belief that in Plato’s culture/nature dualism one side must dominate–first by examining the origins of this bias, then observing alternative epistemological and ontological approaches, and finally applying these to the practical endeavors of scholarship. Jagger shares that the modern western  knowledge base and reality are gender-biased.  Her like Susan Bordo upholds their conviction of gender biased philosophy.

Mostly all of philosophy is formed by values, and the power to have some new knowledge, new astuteness, original understanding of some topical ideal. The embodiment or essence of these intriguing minds of these women are paramount to women and men everywhere. In gender, justice and knowledge all philosophy must be uncovered past the veil of illusion. Female philosophers are no doubt the other half of the puzzle of the theological ideals the men have put out over the ages. If men and women are to work together- and not against each other are we to fulfill a life more plentiful than before.