Although for most of our lives we have been told that everyone has their own taste and that we can like anything, maybe not everything you like is beautiful. If you believe that a specific art piece is beautiful, you could be mistaken. An art critique can think that it is simply horrific, and give you a bunch of reasons why. Which then would probably prove your opinion wrong.
Throughout time, we have been determined to find out what beauty really is and so far we have had no success at all. One could say that nature is beautiful, and many of us could possibly think of a building that we also like. The Louvre, for example, is a beautiful construction, but is it anyhow related to nature? No.
Can we know if something is beautiful? Or maybe, do we know what beauty is? The answer is no. Beauty is never known and it won´t ever. Beauty is the perception of an object to a specific individual. And however many people may agree that something is beautiful, it still doesn´t demonstrate that it is beautiful, because someone will not like it.
“History is written by the winners.” -George Orwell
Whenever we read an article, a book, or a novel about any historic event, it is very likely that it has been written from the perspective the author favored the most. Read anything about World War 2 written by an American or British author. Odds are that they will portray their own countries as the ones who won the war. The “peacekeepers”. It is true, they did fight and they did suffer. However, the truth is that while the Americans and the British were fighting 20 Nazi divisions, the Soviets were fighting 200. Nevertheless, bias does not have to be a lie. It can be an incomplete truth. There are several articles and books about the Spanish Conquer of Mexico. Most of them say the truth, but not all of it. It is common to read how the Spanish colonizers entered the country and just killed a lot of natives to then rule everywhere, which is completely right, but it only tells half of the story. The Spanish arrived at this new land, allied with any town who were under the tyrannic reign of the Mayans, and then took down their empire. Afterwards, they ruled everywhere. As Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis”. It is a fact that any historic matter we know is not fully accurate. This is because “History is written by the winners” and therefore we will probably just know a part of the story. King Aethelred described the Danes (Vikings) as “a bunch of merciless raiders and killers”, while the Anglo-Saxons would murder or prosecute the ones who refused to praise god.
Grammar is another possible variable that can affect the veracity of any past event. Ellen B. Rockmore in “How Texas Teaches History” states how the writer’s decision about how to construct sentences, the subject of a passage, and whether the verb will be passive or active, will shape the meaning of a sentence. The use of passive voice and improper nouns can lead to a misinterpretation of a text. It can be used to give less importance to a topic while still technically maintaining the truth. An extract from a history textbook, “Texas United States History” shows a good example. “However, severe treatment was very common. Whippings, brandings, and even worse torture were all part of American slavery.” Here we can see how the use of passive voice makes the sentence sound less powerful, therefore obscuring some parts of it and decreasing its influence on the reader. However, if the passage was written as “Slaves were whipped, branded and tortured” the whole sentence sounds more vigorous therefore truly stating the relevance of the matter.
There are several ways of knowing, language, emotion, and reason are a couple of examples. Storytelling is seen as the most important way of knowing according to Eric T. Macknight in “Storytelling: Our Most Important Way of Knowing”. And yes, it is a great resource, especially for kids. It is an interesting way to teach children new topics that prevents them from getting bored or losing interest too quickly. There has been a study made to prove the positive impacts of using storytelling as a learning tool. This study conducted by Daniel Willingham in “Narrative Science” proves right how teaching kids certain topics with a story showed better results in a test than in kids that were taught in a conventional way. However, I completely disagree that storytelling is our most important or most reliable way of knowing. This is because stories will tell us the story from one perspective, or “The danger of a single story” according to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This Nigerian author warns us of how just listening to one story about a person, topic or country will be risking us to fall into a great misunderstanding. A good example would be World War 2. If you hear a story from the Americans or the British the common claim is that all Nazis are reckless killers. However a great amount of the German troops did not support their leader, but if they didn’t fight they would be executed and their families would be shamed. Stories can lead to creating stereotypes, and as Chimamanda N. Adichie said: “The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete”.
The problem with stories is that typically, they are written from one perspective. So the hero will always be the protagonist, but what if we heard the other side of the story? Someone who is seen as a thief would be called a villain or a bad person, but what if this individual can not find a job to feed his children? Is he still such a bad person? In my opinion, considering storytelling as a way of knowing is not right since there is always a great margin of error. If this method is used, children will only hear one part from the original story and there would be a lot of misconceptions. These children would grow to learn, to believe, and listen to just one perspective.
Social sciences are described by the understanding of how people interact and function with one another. Business Management oversees the whole action of administering a group of people to reach maximum productivity, therefore making a corporation thrive. Forging facts in this specific area is very simple but also very easy to detect. Statistics for example. For example, certain CEO could say that his company is environmentally friendly. He could state that all the waste created in his factories is recycled. If for a specific reason someone would not believe this, this individual could ask workers in the company or look up information to make see if everything is being recycled. An example of a company that lied in its CSR (corporate social responsibility) is Coca-Cola. When they announced their new product, Coca-Cola Life, it was described as a much healthier option than the regular version of it. Many people conducted research and proved that it was even worse… The only way to reduce all of this fabrication of facts is by just trying to figure out each case going one by one. Each corporation should be investigated one by one in the search for these false statements. It is a slow process, but easy to detect forgery.
I believe that Business Management is a science in every way. There are a lot of ways that people have discovered and proved right in which you can make teamwork more efficient. A lot of research has been done about how to create a friendly working environment or how to create an efficient one. This is based on how humans interact with each other. For example, a dictatorial style is based on supremacy. A leader will command and the team will obey, this style is not particularly cheerful towards employees, but it has been seen to be the most efficient. On the other side, a democratic style is more likely to keep employees happy at the cost of slow decision making. Essentially, Business management is a study that includes people administration based on a goal.
So, a universal value would be something in which everyone in the world agrees with, for example, killing babies is wrong. In my opinion, there is nothing in what we humans can all agree with. This is because of different perspectives or situations. For example, if we say that killing babies no matter what is wrong, obviously the right choice for everyone would be to not harm any of these creatures. Yet, what if there is this baby that is going to die in a week, but he or she will be in extreme pain. What would be the correct answer? Lots of people would say that in this situation the best way would be to put the kid down. Basically, there are lots of values, and each culture has a different interpretations of them. There is no such thing as a universal moral value.
The text shows us how some logical fallacies and generalizations work. For example, if in Spain bullfighting is a tradition, then everyone must like it. Another topic we covered is how humans dislike thinking, we like to take the easy way. That’s why teenagers dislike school, we go there to reconfigure our brain to think when it is against our nature.
The whole point of this dialogue is to make you think deeply about some areas which at first glance you won’t pay much attention. In my opinion, I do agree with some of them but on the other side, I disagree with the statement about how to learn things. I doubt that every person would find the method of asking yourself questions is efficient, yes, it might work for some people, but i am certain that everyone learns differently.
This is for me one of the most interesting parts of the whole “Meno”. In this part, it is questioned whether men were born good or if they are taught to be good. This part is very interesting since it created a question for me: if we think that we are doing good, is it because we were taught to believe that it is good? This also means that good is relative. Each person or group has a different perception of it. For example, if in my culture we believe that killing is not good, in others they can believe it is.
Socrates wants to prove Meno that someone would not be taught by asking questions, but for recollecting information, by repetition. Socrates summons one of his slaves and starts to instruct him with some geometry and math related questions, by the end, the boy without any previous knowledge, learns something. With this, he shows how the boy learnt only by doing the task himself. By receiving instructions and suppositions.
Meno goes to Socrates seeking answers. He wants to know whether virtue can be taught or not. Socrates tells Meno how he doesn’t know what virtue is, and has not even met anyone who does. Meno, disappointed keeps asking other questions. Meno defines virtue as the ability to rule men.
After having asked several questions, and not receiving any answers, but more questions instead out of frustration Meno questions Socrates’ knowledge by making fun of him.