Homework Help Thread

Discuss literature (e.g. books, newspapers), educational studies (getting help or opinions on homework or an essay), and philosophy.

Unread postby Rhiannon » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:50 pm

Well, what do you know. I was about to come here and say, we agreed it was a typo. And reading your edit, I went back and glanced at the problem. It did say 'if only', not 'only if', which means that the problem was indeed right. Very sneaky of them, indeed.

Personally, I hate forced translations of arguments (such as that problem was); they're not practical. it is very rare that in real life, you'll be presented the argument:

The President is good if only his Vice President is good. His Vice President is bad. Therefore, the President is bad.

Instead, you'll hear something like:

The President needs a good Vice President in order to be a good president himself. Our current Vice President, however, is currently in court on child pornography charges and has not been active since the election campaign. Hence, our President is going to have a very hard time being of any worth.

I think it more key to be taught how to translate the latter into P's and Q's, rather than the former. Amusingly enough, in my former logic course, I was taught to do that, and that was at a community college. Either we haven't decided to do that yet in this course, or it simply isn't deemed important. Let's hope later courses in this series do.

End rant. :wink:
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Camus and Arendt

Unread postby Carp's Tail » Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:02 am

I'm taking a 4th year politics class in university, and in this semester I'm studying Albert Camus and Hannah Arendt. The books I'm reading are Camus' Rebel and Myth of Sisyphus and Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem and Between Past and Future. Eventually, I will have to write a 10-12 page paper comparing the two writers, and this paper is due December 1 (so there's some time). The paper's topic is, From the perspective of Theorist X (e.g. Camus), what are the three major errors committed by Theorist Y (e.g. Arendt, or vice versa) in their analysis of politics--and why?

Now, as a preliminary framework, I'm thinking of analyzing these two writers on the subjects of: 1) values, ethics, and history; 2) violence, and its limits; and 3) freedom, action, and justice

Off the top of my head, it seems to me that Camus and Arendt seem to share enough common thoughts on violence (it ought to be limited, it's necessary but generally inexcusable, and it ought not to be used as the basis of forming a govt or society). I'm therefore thinking about changing this section to address their views on rebellion, but again, these two seem to share many common ideas about rebellion (again, it ought to be limited).

The other two topics seem to be better grounds of difference: on the one hand, Arendt thinks that past (i.e. tradition) values hold some water in the view of today's world AND the formation of tomorrow's world. Camus, on the other hand, seems to think that the past has very little to offer us for the future (instead, the rebels espouse new values in order to build a new society). Secondly, Arendt seems to think that justice doesn't necessarily entail egalitarianism (we are naturally hierarchical and justly so, and therefore we should not think about equalizing everyone because that will inevitably lead to totalitarianism) whereas Camus would seem to be a bit more supportive of egalitarianism (insofar as he thinks it doesn't automatically lead to totalitarianism).

Feedback much appreciated...
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Unread postby Wen Choung » Sat Nov 15, 2003 5:01 am

I have a question on political parties.

In my Comparative Government class (and other classes as well), I encounter this "spectrum" (or so I imagine it) where we have left parties, center parties, right parties, and center right parties.

What is this system? I have vague idea of how it works, but I don't know the specifics. What make a <insert direction here> party a <insert same direction here> party?
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Unread postby Carp's Tail » Sat Nov 15, 2003 5:13 am

Wen Choung wrote:I have a question on political parties.

In my Comparative Government class (and other classes as well), I encounter this "spectrum" (or so I imagine it) where we have left parties, center parties, right parties, and center right parties.

What is this system? I have vague idea of how it works, but I don't know the specifics. What make a <insert direction here> party a <insert same direction here> party?


Political parties are "arranged" or "situated" somewhere along the political spectrum on the basis of their agenda, i.e. what the party stands for.

To use some examples:

-the U.S. Republican parties are generally right-wing, whereas the Democratic parties are generally left-wing
-the British Tory party is considered right-wing, but the Labour party is considered left-wing
-the Canadian Alliance and Progressive-Conservative parties are considered right-wing, the Liberals are considered generally centrist-left, and the New Democrats are considered left-wing

Remember, right-wing parties are conservative. They tend to favour lower taxes, smaller and less involvement of the government in the daily lives of people (including a minimized or eliminated welfare system), privatization of public sector industries, and a tougher stance on crime and punishment.

Left-wing parties favour more government intervention (including a greater-expanded health care system, welfare, etc.) which is usually paid for by tax money. They prefer to keep public sector industries outside of private hands. They aren't necessarily for a more forgiving system of crime and punishment, but sometimes it does happen to be the case.

Nowadays, the name of the party doesn't necessarily reflect the agenda; you really have to take a look at what the party wants in the political system in order to classify it properly on the spectrum.
Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death.
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Unread postby Kev » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:10 pm

Hi all, i m new to this forum. Since this is a homework help post, I would just need some help for my English essay.
Alright, I need to write an essay related the topic to the general theme" Man's humanity to man" for Mao ZeDong(Mao Tse Tong).
Where can I find useful infomations on this topic? I need to do some research on this, but I dont know where has the info.
A site would be good for me. thanks

My due date for this as is Dec 17/03
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Unread postby Carp's Tail » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:30 pm

When doing a research paper, it is often true that Internet resources are not very reliable. This is because anyone can post a web page about anything, and no one plays the role of editor to make sure that the web page's information is correct. In many cases, the information offered takes the original source material out of context or is even totally wrong. You are really best off to do some good research work at the school library or the public library (or, if you can, use your local university's library because its books are purely academic).

Some ideas:
-look up history and biography books on Mao. When searching the library catalogue, use Mao's name as a starting point. You can, if needed, expand your search into other areas such as the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, and the Hundred Flowers Movement, but first look up books dealing with Mao himself. Jot down a number of titles and authors that are in the results of your search and go to the library to find the books.

-when you have the books, don't simply take them out and assume that they are useful. Before signing them out, read the table of contents and, if they exist, the index at the end of the book (this tells you some of the important themes and ideas being discussed in this book) and the back cover of the book (some books have a description on the back cover). By examining the books first, you can decide which ones are useful and worth taking out, and which ones you should ignore.

-you are being asked to comment on man's humanity (i.e. kindness, humaneness, gentleness, consideration, etc.) toward other men. Depending on your level of school (i.e. are you in high school? university?), you may not have to get any books that talk about sociology or human morality. Instead, you should be able to comment on what Mao did and the results of his actions, using your own common sense as a reference. For example, let's say that Mao ordered the executions of several dissidents because they were contradicting his doctrines. What does that say about Mao as a human being? Then consider how he would have thought it, i.e. from his point of view and what he was trying to achieve (for example, Mao executed the dissidents because to let them live would cause more disruptions to peace and order; therefore he felt justified to eliminate them).

-don't always focus on the negative actions; there may be a few nuggets of Mao's goodness. Mao wasn't a mean person all the time.

-some authors of the books that you find in the library may include their own commentaries and feelings about Mao. You are free to use them as a basis for your writing, but you must give credit to them if you do decide to use their ideas (the whole plagiarism issue kicks in, you know).
Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:02 pm

Well, this one's on my logic final and I can't figure it out. I think I even know what derived rule it is/uses, but the book, nice as it is, doesn't provide that proof, so I'm stuck. Any help before Tuesday would be appreciated (if I figure it out first, I'll post.)

Using only the ten basic inference ruiles of the propositional calculus, construct a complete derivation for the following:

~ (P v Q) -> R, (therefore), ~R -> ~(~P & ~Q)
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Unread postby Seven at One Stroke » Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:41 am

Wild-Eyes wrote:~ (P v Q) -> R, (therefore), ~R -> ~(~P & ~Q)


~(PVQ)=>R

:arrow: ~R=>~(~(PVQ)) [Law of contrapositive]

:arrow: ~R=>~((~P)^(~Q)) [De Morgan's Law]

qed

There is a simple way of memorizing De Morgan's law: every time you negate, start with the innermost ~ sign, and flip the and/or operator. ~(P^Q)<=>~PV~Q; and ~(PVQ)<=>~P^~Q.
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Unread postby Bei Long » Thu Dec 18, 2003 12:06 am

Need help.
I have to do a mini-thesis on this topic.

"the need for social acceptance is the greatest motivating factor in an individual's life."

I don't exactly need help with the actually paper, but if anyone could help me find two good sources (no books) to help me get started, I would be grateful.
"Trying is the first step towards failure"-Homer Simpson

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Unread postby hikarinoyami3 » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:01 pm

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