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Michael Gumbrell


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So i finished TMA 3.

Thats 50% of the course complete.

Still hating every moment of it thou..

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Me in a rare cheerful mood

Surviving A222 - Knowledge

Well done!  You're doing really good.  smile  Getting this far and sticking with it says a lot about your character and personality.

And what have you learned about ethics?  You've learned it'th oppothite Kent.

What's next?  Oh yes, Knowledge.  This one isn't so bad, although it could have been presented better.  This is one where handouts from other tutors saved the day for me just before the exam.  As before, try to attend as many other tutors' online tutorials as possible to get their guidance.  Some simple diagrams do far more for this section than entire books.

Descartes is good - plenty has been written about his relevant works here on other web sites that are more readable.  Don't be shy to look outside the module for this stuff.  By this point I realised the set texts are just torture.  Don't waste evenings crying blood over the set texts.  Google "descartes meditations" and "hume human understanding" and so on and read what other people say they say.  I mean, it's great if you can read Shakespeare in the original Klingon, but wouldn't you rather just watch West Side Story?

Induction and deduction seemed to be more complicated after I read it in the textbook than it did before I did the course!  Again, look outside the material - there are loads of good philosophy web sites, cartoons and videos that are intended for the lay person that explain this stuff.  Only then go back to the text book.

The next two about Kuhn and Popper are really important.  Again, look outside the material for stuff on the Kuhn v Popper debate.  It is nothing like as hard as the text book made it.  So much so that I suggest reading it outside the material before even trying to read the text book.  It will then make more sense.  Also, try to hold in mind that both of them are right, it just depends on circumstances at the time which applies.

If you are scientifically minded, or like the idea of the scientific method as a way of progressing human knowledge, understanding what these two wrote is helpful in understanding the progression of science as a whole movement.  It brings it even more to life, an adventure, a challenge where entire lifetimes can be lost to fighting dead causes, where every grunt assistant researcher re-repeating an old experiment is moving humanity forward.

Sadly, our TMA04 question was "Can induction be rationally justified?".  I've just looked back at my tutor's comments and the whole emotional "Well **** you and you're entire ****ing subject and stick it all up your ****ing ****" came back to m.  I think it was about this point I realised my tutor was ****ing useless as a tutor because the stuff he was criticising me for was the stuff I kept asking for help on.

Look outside the material for easy explanations - they are out there.  Get lots of tutors' advice - some is great.

And keep the TMA in mind as you go though the material: argument for, argument against, yes but, however, then there's, yet still, oops reached word count, last one to speak won.  smile