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    Philosophy: Meaning and Value

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    Hi, Can you please assist? I need to put together a 2,400 word essay on Meaning and value. My paper -

    Create a narrative description of an approach to meaning and value. Draw from experience and outlook, including ethical standards and values, career plans and ambitions, or views of growth and self-development. Make clear which aspects of philosophy of meaning and value you see as most applicable to a professional situation. Then, develop an action plan, explaining how one can apply philosophy.

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    Dear Student,
    The solution below is based on general knowledge and personal views. It is general enough that it can be applied in your own circumstances. However, when you do write your own, make sure that you include personal views and experience. Part 1 of the solution discusses philosophical viewpoints, part 2 goes on to explain application and a personal analysis of the manifestation of meaning and value in life (for this purpose, based on mine but I am quite sure you will be able to use this as an example for yours). Hence, in part application is divided into 'life sections' - socialization, education & faith, civic duty, workplace, etc. The solution follows APA format, indicates references and is attached as a word file for easy printing and download. Good luck!

    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Part 1: Personal Philosophy: Adapting Kuhn's Philosophy

    Thomas Kuhn, I believe is one of the most prolific thinkers of our period having identified what is now regarded as given in terms of the nature of knowledge, scientific, critical or mass-accepted 'truth'. Sociologist Ian Hacking, a conventionalist as well as a structuralist by perspective offers us the simplest & most important notion of Kuhn's view about the scientific-knowledge relevance debate,

    "Science is in time & is essentially Historical." (1983)

    Kuhn's 'Scientific Revolution' idea is best exemplified by the example of the 'gestalt shift' from Newtonian/Linear Physics to Einstein's quantum physics. There is nothing wrong with Newton's idea, in fact it served the scientific world so well that it led to avenues of discovery that changed the world, and it provided a foundational set of principles that led to the identification of scientific laws. The problem however happened when Newtonian physics, when applied to Astronomical problems, led to anomalies and soon, critical miscalculations. From mid-19th century onwards, these anomalies accumulated resulting to 'scientific crisis', when Linear Physics was deemed 'bursting at the seams'. When problems occur though, new approaches are tried and tested to provide an alternative so as to remedy the problem. In this case, Einstein's theory of relativity was the 'Eureka!' moment. The adaptation of the Theory of relativity as the new foremost scientific principle in physics led to resolution of the crisis as well as new scientific breakthroughs which led to a further understanding of the nature of the Universe as well as of Life. Thomas Kuhn believes that scientific knowledge is situated, its relevance, while transmutable is situated in socially & in time. This is because knowledge accumulated has only reached a certain point & the set of principles in-use are based on this. Man, being adaptable runs into new discoveries & finds new problems to solve, needing more 'amplified' & 'innovative' solutions. When problems accumulate, it results into a crisis leading to a scientific revolution & transformation and a new way of thinking, a new paradigm of knowledge.

    Essentially, the idea of a personal philosophy and of meaning and value can be related to the idea of situated knowledge by Thomas Kuhn. Man, I believe is an adaptable animal situated socially & in time. He is shaped by his socialization which is also framed in time & by the cultural & social networks he was/is in & the ideas/problems/notions prevalent in the particular stages of his life/time period. To explore meaning & value from a personal perspective is a structuralist approach, structuralism being defined as that sociological approach to understand the workings of the social world by providing specific focus on its varied aspects in order to provide a clearer picture from the ground up. Structuralism can be used as a viewpoint to understand the varied aspects of one's life including finding the value of the meaning of social relationships by undertaking an extensive look into one's philosophies & moral codes. I believe that through the years, we accumulate experience thereby providing us with the backdrop from which to attain a certain sense of wisdom, whatever the problem or topic. In this way, what we know as truth changes and we refer to the verisimilitude of ideas instead of valuing a particular viewpoint as the only gospel truth. We become more objective than subjective, and slowly we come to understand that in the social world, how man attaches meanings to his relationships shapes him, the culture he shares in and the society he claims to be a part of.

    Of the Great Thinkers from the Past & my Views

    History judges the Greeks as the beginning of civilization - the flourishing of what we now label as scientific inquiries, their predisposition to observe & to question rather than accept things as they are. Socrates' predecessors asked -

    1. How did the world come about?
    2. How is it that I am able to think & make sense of what is before me? ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses meaning and value