What Advantages Does Spinoza’s Substance Monism Have over Descartes’ Dualism? Essay

What Advantages Does Spinoza’s Substance Monism Have over Descartes’ Dualism? Essay.

Spinoza’s philosophy as espoused in the Ethics was a response to Descartes’ dualism. Through works such as the Ethics, Spinoza seeks to address the main flaws in Descartes’ philosophy. These flaws included but were by no means limited to, proof for the existence of God and the interaction between mind and body. This essay will highlight the advantages of Spinoza’s monism over Descartes’ dualism by looking at Spinoza’s response to these issues. First, in order to consider the advantages of Spinoza’s substance monism over Descartes’ dualism it is necessary to show how each philosopher demonstrates their substance dualism or substance monism.

Tim Crane defines monism and dualism as follows: “Monism denies that minds and their bodies are distinct substances. Monists assert that substances are all of one kind. They could say that all substances are mental; or they could say that all substances are bodily […] Dualists hold that minds and bodies are capable of independent existence. ” Although the concept of dualism can be traced back to Plato, it is generally recognised that modern versions of substance dualism have their origins in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, first published in 1641.

In the Sixth Meditation Descartes’ states that: It is true that I may have (or, to anticipate, that I certainly have) a body that is very closely joined to me. But nevertheless, on the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. Descartes’ distinction here is between two types of substance, extended corporeal substance, res extensa and non-extended thinking substance, res cogitans.

If one is to include God in Descartes’ theory on substance, then it could be considered that his ‘dualism’ allows for three substances; or as has been pointed out, God is Descartes’ only substance and mind and body are secondary substances. Spinoza’s substance monism is in opposition with dualism. While Descartes considered that there were two types of substance, extended and non-extended, Spinoza held that there was only one particular substance, which he refers to as Nature, or God.

Spinoza’s method in the Ethics has been subject to varying interpretations, however, Della Rocca, in Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza, considers that Spinoza sets out his argument for substance monism in five steps: In Nature there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or attribute (1P5) Here Spinoza is ruling out the overlap of attributes between substances. The next step in setting out his substance monism is: It pertains to the nature of a substance to exist (1P7).

As, In Nature there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or attribute (1P5), they cannot cause one another and must be self-caused. This is followed by: God, or a substance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists. Dem. : If you deny this, conceive, if you can, that God does not exist. Therefore (by A7) his essence does not involve existence. But this (by P7) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists, q. e. d. (1P11 D1) God’s existence is demonstrated by the application of (1P7) to God.

As God is a substance it therefore pertains to God’s nature to exist and it cannot be otherwise. By God I understand a being absolutely infinite, that is, a substance consisting of an infinity of attributes, of which each one expresses an eternal and infinite essence. (1D6) Here Spinoza is demonstrating that being of infinite attributes it follows that God has all attributes. The culmination of Spinoza’s rationale for substance monism is (1P14) which states that: Except God, no substance can be or be conceived (1P14).

As Della Rocca explains: “Since by 1P5, attributes cannot be shared and since God has all of them, there can be no other substances besides God. ” For Spinoza, everything that can and does exist necessarily exists through God. While the above steps demonstrate Spinoza’s substance monism, they also show that the overarching factor in his philosophy is the argument for the existence of God and God’s attributes which necessarily follow. The advantage of Spinoza’s substance monism over Descartes’ substance dualism in terms of his metaphysics of God/Nature, is that Spinoza’s God is one that supports his entire system.

Where Descartes’ Meditations is built on doubt, Spinoza’s Ethics is built on certainty and on a series of definitions. His notion that God is the only substance, the core of his monism, hinges on his definition of God/Nature: By God I understand a being absolutely infinite, i. e. , a substance consisting of an infinity of attributes, of which one expresses an eternal and infinite essence (1def6) While Descartes sought, through the Meditations, to be certain of the truth of his own existence as a ‘thinking thing’ and then prove God’s existence, Spinoza turns Descartes’ argument on its axis.

For Spinoza the argument that God exists as the only substance, because as a supremely perfect being he must necessarily exist is the basis of the Ethics. Spinoza’s statement of God’s existence as the only substance gives his argument a strong foundation from which to build the rest of his philosophy. The axiomatic format of the Ethics enables Spinoza to set out his philosophy in a more direct manner than Descartes.

While Descartes does not set out to prove God’s existence until the Third Meditation, Spinoza never brings God’s existence to doubt instead setting out a number of definitions and axioms which are taken by Spinoza to be true. The rest of his philosophy goes on to show exactly how these are true by being self-referential. Spinoza’s argument for the existence of God/Nature therefore is the key to his monism as everything that exists does so through a God whose existence is never doubted (since to do so would be ‘absurd’). Spinoza’s God/Nature is one which is impersonal, opposed to Descartes’ interpretation.

On proving the existence of God, in the Third Meditation, Descartes states that: By the word ‘God’ I understand a substance that is infinite, <eternal, immutable,> independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful, and which created both myself and everything else (if anything else there be). As Edwin Curley says: “Spinoza’s denial of personality to God, his insistence that God has no intellect, no will, no purposes and no emotions, has made his God seem rather remote, a God only a philosopher could love. This is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

” That God is abstract fits in with Spinoza’s pantheistic explanation of God as Nature. As shown above, Spinoza’s argument for substance monism is made clear by when he states that apart from God, ‘no substance can be or, consequently, be conceived’ (1P14). This statement places Spinoza’s philosophy at odds with Descartes’ substance dualism, which holds that there are two distinct substances, mind and body, the so-called ‘separability argument’. Descartes’ mind and body substances have been defined as follows: Any substance with mental properties lacks material properties and any substance with material properties lacks mental properties.

This is in opposition to Spinoza’s view that mind and body are attributes of the one substance, God/Nature, as has been shown above. Descartes’ assertion that mind and body are two separate entities and that as a human being he is a ‘thing that thinks’ poses the problem of how mind and body interact. This is a problem that Spinoza’s substance monism seeks to overcome. John Cottingham, in Cartesian dualism: theology, metaphysics, and science, opens by saying: “Throughout his life Descartes firmly believed that the mind, or soul, of man […] was essentially nonphysical.

” Cottingham goes on to say that for Descartes there is ‘a ‘real’ (realis) distinction between the mind and body, in other words, the mind is a distinct and independent ‘thing’ (res). In the Meditations Descartes states that in so far as he is a thinking, non-extended thing, he is distinct from his body and can exist without it. For Descartes then, mind and body are two separate entities; in particular the mind is non-physical – Descartes’ ‘incorporeality thesis’.

Descartes’ position on the question of mind and body is made apparent on his philosophical journey in the Meditations when he defines himself as a ‘thinking thing’, the cogito, which does not expressly arise in the Meditations. But what am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, is willing, is unwilling, and also imagines and has sensory perceptions. Specifically, Descartes elevates the mind to a position of significance over the body in terms of being able to prove his own existence in the face of the extreme doubt being pursued in the First Meditation.

Descartes comes to the conclusion that he is a ‘thinking thing’ in the Second Meditation, The nature of the human mind and how it is better known than the body. Descartes’ path to this conclusion comes while still in a phase of scepticism in the First Meditation. Descartes considers that a ‘…malicious demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me…’ However, the ‘malicious demon’ is defeated by the following passage: … let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something.

So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind. ‘Putting forward’ or the act of thinking is proof alone for Descartes that he exists. Descartes’ belief that he is a ‘thinking thing’ sits alongside his consideration of the body as a machine. Descartes has a ‘purely mechanical view of biology’. In the Sixth Mediation Descartes states that:

Admittedly, when I consider the purpose of the clock, I may say that it is departing from its nature when it does not tell the right time; and similarly when I consider the mechanism of the human body, I may think that, in relation to the movements which normally occur in it, it too is deviating from its nature if the throat is dry at a time when drinking is not beneficial to its health. Descartes also refers, in the Sixth Meditation, to the nerves which ‘pull on inner parts of the brain to which they are attached’.

For Descartes therefore, the human body is comparable to a mechanism such as a clock, a mechanism which is not without risk of malfunction, with the mind existing as a separate entity. In The History of Philosophy the union of soul and body is described as ‘entirely mechanical’ and ‘diametrically opposed’. “The soul inhabits the body as an alien thing, a mechanical and entirely artificial relationship. Without the soul, the body is like a lifeless machine or automatum (sic). Even the best-constructed robot cannot acquire a human consciousness, even if it is programmed to speak.

” Descartes’ analogy of the human body as a separate mechanism from the mind has come under close scrutiny from critics. Famously, Gilbert Ryle in The Concept of the Mind refers to Descartes’ ‘official doctrine’ of mental powers and operations as ‘the ghost in the machine’. For Ryle there was an obvious absurdity behind the idea that the mind could exist alongside the body without any explanation of how the two interact, if indeed they do at all. John Cottingham asserts that Descartes’ thesis of the immateriality of the mind presented him with ‘a nest of problems that were to become notorious stumbling blocks for Cartesian philosophy.

’ To explain how two disparate substances could co-exist, Descartes pointed to the pineal gland, in the brain as hosting the mind’s bodily existence and providing the point of contact between the ‘animal spirits’, or impulses of the brain and the substance of mind. Although Descartes is at pains to emphasise that mind and body are separate substances he is also keen to stress that the two are inexorably joined. Descartes theory that interaction between mind and body takes place in the pineal gland doesn’t appear to hold up to intense scrutiny.

Indeed, in the Sixth Mediation Descartes appears to gloss over the subject when he says: Every time this part of the brain is in a given state, it presents the same signals to the mind, even though the other parts of the body may be in a different condition at the time. This is established by countless observations, which there is no need to review here. John Cottingham points out Descartes problem here when he says: “ … at some point–in the pineal gland, or whatever part of the brain is chosen as the ‘seat of the soul’–there has to be a raw interaction between the two wholly alien substances, mind and matter.

This is the central difficulty for Descartes’s account of the mind. ” Descartes’ inability to adequately explain the interaction between mind and body leaves his substance dualism with an underlying problem, problems which are not apparent with Spinoza’s substance monism. Spinoza’s first mention of the notions laid out by Descartes of a ‘thinking thing’ and an ‘extended thing’ is in (1P14 Cor. 2. ) when he states that: Cor. 1: From this it follows most clearly, first that God is unique, that is (by D6), that in Nature there is only one substance, and that it is absolutely infinite (as we indicated in P10S).

Cor. 2: It follows, second, that an extended thing and a thinking thing are either attributes of God, or (by A1) affections of God’s attributes. Spinoza’s positioning of God top and centre of the philosophy contained within the Ethics enables him to explain human existence through the infinite attributes of God. Spinoza disagrees with Descartes in that he does not consider mind and body to be substances; instead they are explained as attributes of God with modes being set out in Part I of the Ethics as the ‘affections of a substance’.

For Spinoza ideas are modes of thought and things are modes of extension. As discussed earlier, in (1p14) Spinoza demonstrates that there can be no other substance besides God. As God is the source of all attributes, including the extended thing and the thinking thing, the conclusion is that the thinking thing and the extended thing are interchangeable. The advantage of Spinoza’s substance monism here, over Descartes’ substance dualism is that he eliminates the need to explain interaction between mind and body since they are attributes of the same substance.

He therefore avoids the pitfalls Descartes’ philosophy is prone to as explained above. Spinoza does away with the need to explain the overlap of extended thing and thinking thing as for Spinoza the two do not have an overlap. To have an idea of the extended thing is to have an idea of the thinking thing and vice versa. This is Spinoza’s dual aspect theory. Spinoza’s theory that the object of the idea of the human mind is the body appears in Part I of the Ethics in (A6), where he says: “A true idea must agree with its object”.

In Part II (P13) he says: The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body, or a certain mode of extension which actually exists and nothing else. Dem. : For if the object of the human mind were not the body, the ideas of the affections of the body would not be in God (by P9C) insofar as he constituted our mind, but insofar as he constituted the mind of another thing, that is (by P11C), the ideas of the affections of the body would not be in our mind; but (by A4) we have ideas of the affections of the body. Therefore, the object of the idea which constitutes the human mind is the body, and it (by P11) actually exists.

In contrast to Descartes’ mind, which interacts with the body via the pineal gland, Spinoza’s mind and body interact seamlessly as two of God’s infinite attributes. Jonathan Bennett explains that Spinoza’s ‘parallelism’ works because of the doctrine of substance monism on which his philosophy is build and which states that one substance is responsible for both attributes. If there were two substances, one extended and one thinking, Bennett says: “ […] it would not follow from the fact that something is extended and F that anything is thinking and F.

The potentially transattribute mode that combines with extension to yield my body might not be possessed by the thinking substance, in which case my mind would not exist. ” Accordingly then, for the body to exist then the mind must exist also, and vice versa. Spinoza’s substance monism enables him to address what he saw as the flaws in Descartes’ metaphysics. The God/Nature of Spinoza is impersonal, in contrast to Descartes’ benevolent God. Spinoza’s God is also presented at the very centre of his philosophy, his one and only substance.

By approaching his ontological argument ‘God first’ and with the establishment of one substance Spinoza is subsequently able to overcome the most notorious of Descartes’ problems, the relationship of mind and body. Ends 2873 words Bibliography Primary sources Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. Trans. by John Cottingham. Cambridge, 1985 Benedict Spinoza, The Ethics, Parts One & Two from A Spinoza Reader, Ed. & trans. by Edwin Curley. Princeton Univ.

Press, 1984 Secondary sources Tim Crane, (2000), Dualism, Monism, Physicalism, originally from Mind and Society (ed. R.Viale), cited from http://web. mac. com/cranetim/Tims_website/Online_papers. html Howard Robinson, “Dualism”, in The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed. ), http://plato. stanford. edu/archives/fall2009/entries/dualism/ Steven Nadler, (2006) Spinoza’s Ethics An Introduction, Cambridge University Press Michael Della Rocca (1996) Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza. Oxford University Press Edwin M Curley (1996) Spinoza, Life and Works, for the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, Blackwell, cited from http://www. sitemaker. umich. edu/emcurley/spinoza.

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, (2011) “Descartes’s Substance Dualism and His Independence Conception of Substance”, http://www. philosophy. ox. ac. uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/3104/Descartess_substance_dualism_and_his_independence_conception _of_substance. pdf John Cottingham (1992) “Cartesian dualism: theology, metaphysics, and science”, in John Cottingham (Ed. ) The Cambridge Companion to Descartes: Cambridge University Press, p236 Alan Woods (2011) “The History of Philosophy” Chapter Five Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz. http://easyweb. easynet. co. uk/~socappeal/philosophy/chapter5. html.

Gilbert Ryle, (1955) The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson & Co (Publishers) Ltd Jonathan Bennett, (1996) “Spinoza’s Metaphysics”, from Cambridge Companion to Spinoza, Ed. by Markku Peltonen, Cambridge ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Tim Crane, (2000), Dualism, Monism, Physicalism, originally from Mind and Society (ed. R. Viale), cited from http://web. mac. com/cranetim/Tims_website/Online_papers. html [ 2 ]. Howard Robinson, “Dualism”, in The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed. ), http://plato. stanford. edu/archives/fall2009/entries/dualism/ [ 3 ].

Howard Robinson, “Dualism”, in The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed. ) http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/dualism/ [ 4 ]. CSM II, p54 [ 5 ]. Steven Nadler, (2006) Spinoza’s Ethics An Introduction, Cambridge University Press p56 [ 6 ]. Michael Della Rocca (1996) Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza. Oxford University Press, pp 5-6. [ 7 ]. Ibid p6 [ 8 ]. CSM III, 31 [ 9 ]. Edwin M Curley (1996) Spinoza, Life and Works, for the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, Blackwell, cited from http://www. sitemaker. umich. edu/emcurley/spinoza [ 10 ].

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, (2011) “Descartes’s Substance Dualism and His Independence Conception of Substance”, http://www. philosophy. ox. ac. uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/3104/Descartess_substance_dualism_and_his_independence_conception _of_substance. pdf [ 11 ]. John Cottingham (1992) “Cartesian dualism: theology, metaphysics, and science”, in John Cottingham (Ed. ) The Cambridge Companion to Descartes: Cambridge University Press, p236 [ 12 ]. CSM II, p19 [ 13 ]. CSM I, p15 [ 14 ]. CSM II, pp 16-17 [ 15 ]. John Cottingham, (1992) “Cartesian Dualism”, from Cambridge Companion to Descartes.

Ed by John Cottingham, Cambridge, p239 [ 16 ]. CSM VI, pp 58-59 [ 17 ]. Ibid, p60 [ 18 ]. Alan Woods (2011) “The History of Philosophy” Chapter Five Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz. http://easyweb. easynet. co. uk/~socappeal/philosophy/chapter5. html [ 19 ]. Gilbert Ryle, (1955) The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson & Co (Publishers) Ltd, pp15-16 [ 20 ]. John Cottingham (1988) The Rationalists, Oxford University Press, p124 [ 21 ]. CSM VI, pp59-60 [ 22 ]. Jonathan Bennett (1996) “Spinoza’s Metaphysics”, from Cambridge Companion to Spinoza, Ed. by Markku Peltonen, Cambridge, p81.

What Advantages Does Spinoza’s Substance Monism Have over Descartes’ Dualism? Essay

Naming of Parts Essay

Naming of Parts Essay.

1. What is the ‘naming of parts’ that the title of the poem refers to?

The naming of parts refers to the rifle lesson in the poem, with the soldiers being taught about the parts of the rifle. 2. The first stanza identifies the timeframe of this poem. Explain why ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ might be significant. This talks about the past, present and future, which is why it is significant. 3. Explain the simile that compares Japonica to coral (lines 4-5).

Japonica is a pink flower that blossoms in bunches on trees in the spring. The poem compares the colour of the japonica to coral, and how it glows and shines. It talks about the beauty of the flowers, and compares it to that of the coral. 4. In which lines is the title line repeated? What is the effect of this repetition?

The line is repeated four times in the whole poem, three times in the first stanza and once in the last.

The effect of the repetition is that it ties the poem together, and it puts emphasis on the title. 5. Who do you think is speaking in this poem and who do you think is being addressed? Give reasons for your answer. I think that the speaker in this poem is a soldier that has just been recruited, and is being taught about how to use his rifle. In my opinion, the poem is addressing the soldier himself, or maybe the world, and people in war. 6. In the second stanza, what is meant by the metaphor concerning the branches, and what is meant by the description of them as making ‘silent, eloquent gestures’?

I think that Reed is describing the simple beauty of nature, and perhaps how the branches can be compared to human limbs, with gestures that are elegant and expressive. 7. Why do you think the poet has drawn attention to the piling swivel, “Which in our case we have not got” (line 12)? I presume that Reed has drawn attention to the piling swivel to show that the soldiers are in training, and have not yet received their own rifles, and therefore do not have the piling swivel.

8. The word ‘finger’ is used in two different contexts in the third stanza. What is the meaning

of each, and what do you think is the effect of using both in close proximity? The first mention of the word is a literal context, meaning that they need to use their thumb to release the safety catch, and not their finger. The second seems to me as if it is a comparison of the instructor and the blossoms of a plant. I think that it is so because the soldier has drifted off, and is looking at flowers while listening to the instructor talk about not using fingers. 9. The fourth stanza begins with the word ‘And’ (line 19). What is the effect of this?

It seems like it is a continuation of another sentence, or something that the instructor has said before. It gives us a way to link the first part of all the stanzas together, as if the nature part of the previous stanza was something completely different. 10. In the same stanza, the phrase ‘easing the spring’ is used twice with two different meanings.

What effect is created when these two ideas are considered side by side? The first meaning is to ease the spring in a rifle, a mechanical and literal reference. In the second mention however, the word spring is capitalized, and is referring to the season. When these two are compared to each other, the first seems like a comparison to war and destruction because of the rifle’s use to do so, and the second contrasts with references to reproduction and giving life. It makes a contrast between giving and taking life. 11. There is a lot of imagery associated with sexual reproduction. Give some examples of these words and explain how this language might contribute to the theme of the poem. The “easing of the spring,” where Reed writes “rapidly backwards and forwards,” could be associated with sexual reproduction. 12. In contrast, what ideas in the poem evoke the idea of death and destruction?

The instructor’s mechanical and almost cynical explanation of how to use the rifle, or how to kill and destruct in the war, evokes this idea very clearly. 13. Comment on the phrase: “..and the point of balance, / Which in our case we have not got…” (lines 27-28). Perhaps this is talking about how the soldier feels that their lives have been thrown out of balance, or how the world is out of balance, engaging in warfare instead of appreciating the beauty of nature around them.

14. Why do you think the poet drew attention to the silence of the almond blossom? (line 29).

I do not see any other reason than him wanting to draw attention to the incredible beauty of nature, and how this contrasts with the destructive warfare going on. 15. In your opinion, what is the main theme or message of this poem and how effectively has the poem communicated it? In my opinion, this poem is about the contrasts between the beauty of nature and war. I think this poem communicates this in a very good way once one has read it a few times and identified the contrasts and metaphors that are hidden. 16. Lastly, write some comments about how your interpretation of the poem has developed since you first encountered it.

Don’t forget to reflect on your artistic interpretations last week – how did they help (or hinder) your growing understanding? Since I first heard the poem, I have understood more and more of the meaning behind it. At first, I only grasped the fact that it talks about a rifle lesson, and that it probably had a connection to soldiers and war. I did not comprehend the relationship between war and nature that I interpret as the underlying theme now. I didn’t get very much out of the artistic interpretation last week, other than exploring the nature/war relationship more. The destructive versus growth aspect was also explored, and this helped me grasp the meaning of some of the metaphors.

Naming of Parts Essay

Controversial issues of traditional arts Essay

Controversial issues of traditional arts Essay.

“Ulek Mayang” could be haunted.

– it is a Malay traditional dance from the state of Terengganu in Malaysia accompanied by a unique song called Ulek Mayang – the lyrics were changed (no one knows the real lyrics) – the song remains popular and there are several contemporary interpretations of the song – the original dance is to honor the spirit of the sea. The modern dance has no elements of worship, it’s more to music and dance. – After the arrival of Islam, such practice has been stopped and the Ulek Mayang dance is only preserved to be part of the Malay culture.

– Even now, Ulek Mayang is nicknamed the ‘Most Haunted Culture in Malaysia’.- However, some fishermen still practice this ritual.

Agree: – Some people claim that the song is haunted because it gives goosebumps and creepy feelings especially when it is performed at sunset by the beach – People tend to avoid practising it nearby any beaches around the world, as according to the ancients’ beliefs; those 7 Sea-Princesses shall always guard the 7 Seas.

Whoever that breaks certain rules, no matter where they are, will pay the price. There has been cases of tourists jumping into the sea for no reason after they performed Ulek Mayang along the north-eastern beaches of Peninsular Malaysia. Some cases happen on land too. Going missing and receiving ‘visits’ were the greatest fear whenever one performs Ulek Mayang.

Disagree: – According to ustaz, Ulek Mayang is not a ghost or jin. It’s a popular song in Terengganu and is a type of “lagu rakyat”. – The Ulek Mayang song used nowadays has been shortened as Malays count the full song as ‘worshipping spirits’ which is syirik in Islam. – The Malaysian rock diva, Ella once sung the song in a rock version

Poco poco – dance choreographed with sequence of steps. – it is a type of aerobic dance – believed to originated in Indonesia more than 20 years ago – Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak banned poco- poco because they believe it is derived from Christianity.

Agree: – The dance originated from Jamaica and is actually a cult dance – There are many Christian rituals to it as the moves reflect the making of a cross and so is unacceptable in Islam

Disagree: – The Malaysian Muslims are confused. – There is no any literature or practical evidence showing that poco-poco is derived from Christianity either in Indonesia, Philippine or Jamaica. – Poco poco movements with cross design can not be a sufficient justification because movement of left and right sides is a natural human movement. Even when human stretch his hands, it can be considered illegal if the method resembles the cross. Mahsuri’s curse: Myth or Legend?

Summary: One day while Mahsuri’s husband was away fighting a war, Mahsuri offered shelter to a wandering minstrel. For that, Mahsuri was accused of committing adultery by the village chieftain’s wife. The village chieftain who was still smarting over Mahsuri’s rejection of his earlier marriage proposal, ordered Mahsuri to be condemned to death. It was said that at her execution Mahsuri bled white blood signifying her innocence. At her last breath, Mahsuri was said to utter a curse on Langkawi for which the island will remain barren for seven generations.

Agree: – Many locals of Langkawi believe the legend to be true due to failed crops after Mahsuri’s death. – According to recorded history, the Siamese invaded Langkawi not long after Mahsuri’s death and razed the island to the ground with a scorched earth policy. And coincidentally, Langkawi did not become a major tourist hotspot until the birth of Wan Aishah bt Wan Nawawi, the seventh generation descendant of Mahsuri.

Disagree: – Some people think Mahsuri’s story most likely is real and the killing of Mahsuri most likely took place, but the curse of Langkawi and her white blood must be a part of myth because there is no prove or evidence. – in this modern and science world, people think it’s logically untrue for a normal human being to have white blood

Controversial issues of traditional arts Essay

Book Smart vs Street Smart Essay

Book Smart vs Street Smart Essay.

In the article, “Hidden Intellectualism,” Gerald Graff discusses the topic of book smart versus street smart. Being street smart means having interest in other activities more than in school work, while being book smart is the complete opposite of that. Graff believes that having the personality of a street smart person can benefit society if one knows how to channel their potential correctly. He persuades his views to the readers by using his personal experiences and displaying the positives of being street smart.

During his childhood years, Graff lived in a middle class neighborhood, while being a block away from what would be classified to some people as the “hood. ” He would encounter people from that part of the hood daily. He would have to hide his intelligence in the fear that he would get beat up or robbed. He loved sports more than school, so he thought he was in the street smart crowd. “It was in these discussions with friends about toughness and sports, I think, and in my reading of sports books and magazines, that I began to learn the rudiments of the intellectual life…” (Graff 10).

In this quote, Graff explains how being street smart was actually helpful for him. He was learning elements of argumentation without even meaning to do so. He later explains the different kinds of components he learned in his arguments, “…how to make an argument, weigh different kinds of evidence, move between particulars and generalizations, summarize the views of others, and enter a conversation about ideas” (Graff 10).

He did not think it would have been this easy to do all of these things without reading something to do with Shakespeare. When he realized that loving sports and being able to argue over this subject was actually helping him, he started doing some research on how schools should use relatable subjects to help the street smart students connect like the other students do. This way they would be able to learn in a way that is most understandable to them.

He explains that if a student would rather choose a sports magazine over a novel to write about, then it is only smart enough to assign them to write from the magazine. This way they are interested in what they are writing about, and also they are bettering their writing skills. “Give me the student anytime who writes a sharply argued, sociologically acute analysis of an issue in Source over the student who writes a lifeless explication of Hamlet or Socrates’ Apology” (Graff 18).

In this ending statement, Graff is confident about his views and is openly challenging anybody to contradict whatever he has previously stated. Graff’s personal experiences assist in conveying why he felt so strong about this topic. Also, he gives ideas to schools and universities on what teaching material they should use for the street smart students. Not only does he provide help, but he is also confident of its success. There is a way to use the street smart in a book smart type of way.

Book Smart vs Street Smart Essay

Gordon Bennett Artist Essay

Gordon Bennett Artist Essay.

Gordon Bennett was born on 8 October 1955 in Monto, Queensland of Aboriginal and English/Scottish heritage. Bennett enrolled as a mature–age student at Queensland College of Art in 1986 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) degree in 1988. Gordon Bennett is a contemporary artist and says his earlier art work where influenced by his personal experiences. Bennett’s work is defining Australian Culture and Aboriginal History, he wanted to change the way Australia and the world saw Indigenous Australians. Bennett includes a focus on the role and power of language, including visual representations, in shaping identity, culture, social issues and history.

Bennett’s work alludes to visual and verbal violence of history of black and white relations, his scenes from outside Australia, deconstructing history and exposing the ideologies and structures that shape history. Bennett works both in traditional easel paintings and in multi-media, Photography, printmaking, video, performance and installation. The critical and aesthetic strategies of postmodernism have had significant impact on the development of his art practice.

His work is layered and complex and often incorporates images, styles or references drawn from sources such as social history text books, western art history and Indigenous art. The emphasis on making ‘art about art’ which is the focus of his non-representational abstract paintings, contrasts clearly with the focus on social critique that was integral to Bennett’s earlier work, and is intended to provoke viewers thinking and opens up new possibilities for understanding the subjects he explores.

Gordon Bennett Artist Essay

Art is long, life is short Essay

Art is long, life is short Essay.

For centuries people have felt enormous need to leave their trace in the world’s history. Some of them followed the line of least resistance – destruction, on the contrary of those who created things, art. I would like to tackle the problem of art and human life. To start with I feel like giving the definition to the notion “art”. I think it is quite true that art is the way of self-expression, the external manifestation of an internal state. It’s very hard for me to tell when the art starts, whether at the moment the idea appears, or at the time of the first physical effort to do it.

What you need is to feel it. Furthermore, art never stops its existence. Tajmahal, works of Leonardo and Bach are going on living and influencing their creators’ descendants. Why does it happen? From my point of view, feelings which are born under ‘pressure’ of pieces of art are important in developing the system of world outlook and values.

This is why art may be called eternal. Human lives, on the contrary, are too short comparing to the works of art. Moreover, one life is definitely not enough to cognize philosophy of life and art in all it manifestations.

The only chance for human beings not to sink in the depths of history is to become a creator, creator of art, so that to live in his own works. For example, contemporary society knows little about Homer, his way of life; however, his immortal “Odyssey” is still lauding to the skies its author, making him alive after death. Thinking over the above mentioned I may conclude that art is a reflection of inner world and special unique vision of outside world, which is going on living even after its author’s death.

Art is long, life is short Essay

Go Green And Save the Earth Essay

Go Green And Save the Earth Essay.

Top of Form

Global warming is happening and it’s getting worse everyday. If we don’t take this problem upon ourselves, and take drastic action to help save our environment, Earth’s most precious gifts could be lost forever. Do you want to help? Here are some useful ways to help reduce your own carbon footprint on the Earth!


Recycling is more than just tossing a few things in your bin here and there. You need to do more to make a positive impact.

One way to reduce waste is to buy products with minimal packaging. Economy size things are great, since they are usually much bigger and you aren’t buying so many smaller packages. Also you can try to buy reusable products. For example, when cleaning your kitchen you can use a wash cloth that can be laundered afterwards, rather than using half a roll of paper towels. Remember to recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.

If you recycle half of your household waste each year, you will save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.


Changing out your light bulbs with the energy efficient bulbs not only is great for the earth…it’s great on your bills as well! They actually give off more light than the old ones, and also last much longer!


This is a trick that will save the planet and your wallet at the same time. Make your home more energy efficient by adding insulation and weather stripping. Also, set your thermostat two degrees higher in the summer and two degrees lower in the winter.Just throw on a sweater, or cuddle with your spouse! This will also allow you to pay less for heating and air conditioning while saving about 2,000 pounds of carbon emissions each year.


Join a carpool or take the bus. You can help the environment and save money on gas. If your work isn’t too far away, try walking or biking to work. Maybe you can add a few years to your life by getting some exercise too!


Look for products that say Earth Friendly, Greenlist, Plant Based Ingredients, or All Natural…even Organic. Buying these products are healthy for you as well. All those extra chemicals are making us sick, and polluting our earth.


If you can’t buy the reusable cloth bags and avoid using the stores bags all together…you can at least reuse them at home. Please just don’t throw them away. Those things are turning up everywhere! They are killing millions of marine animals in our oceans. These animals are confused by them, and when they are eaten, they die! So please, at least recycle them if your not going to use them for something else!

As a concerned citizen, you should do your part to lessen the effects of global warming. Please take global warming seriously….Let’s save the planet, and go GREEN!

Go Green And Save the Earth Essay

Expressive Art Essay

Expressive Art Essay.

My expressive essay concerns the portraits of two artists, Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso. Two such protraits are “self protrait” 1971 by Bacon and “weeping woman” 1937 by Picasso. I believe that both these paintings have been strongly influenced by their own life experiences.

Francis Bacon was born on the 28th of October 1909 and he died on the 28th of April 1992. Bacon was born in Dublin, to parents of British descent. Captain Anthony Edward Mortimer Bacon, his father, was a veteran of the boer war he then became a rae horse trainer.

Chirstina Winifred Firth, his mother, was an heiress to a Sheffield steel business and coal mine. Bacon had four siblings- an older brother, Harley, two older sisters, Lanthe and Winifred, and a younger brother, Edward. Bacon was a figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotional raw imagery. He began painting in his early 20s but he never considered it a profession until his mid 30s. Before this time he drifted, earning a living as an interior decorator and a designer of furniture and rugs.

Later in his life Bacon said he had put of being an artist because he spent too long looking for work that would sustain his interest. Bacon became more popular in 1944 with “three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixtion” released in the mid 1960s. Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. His artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods- including crucifixtion. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, Bacon’s art became more personal, inward looking and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death.

Despite his existentialist outlook on life expressed through his paintings, Bacon always appeared to prefer the finer things in life, spending a vast amount of time eating, drinking and gambling in Londons Soho with Lucian Freud, John Deakin, Daniel Farson, Patrick Swift, Jeffrey Benard, Muriel Belcher and Henrietta Moraes. After Dyers death Bacon began to distance himself from this crowd and became less involved with rough trade to settle in a relationship with his eventual heir, John Edwards. Since his death in 1992, Bacons reputation has steadily grown he was the subject of two major Tate retrospectives during his lifetime and recieved a third in 2008. Bacon was a self-taught painter who destroyed a large part of his output, so much so that virtually none of his early work has survived.

Firstly I am going to analyse Francis Bacons portrait “Self Portrait” 1971. I feel that Francis Bacon’s Self portrait is a dark, cold and harsh reflection of how he sees himself. He hasn’t made the self portrait realistic but expressive of his emotional state. It suggests to me a man that is so twisted in emotions, so distorted from the reality of himself that he has this twisted sad view of himself. When I look at this picture I do not see a man who is at the height of his career but a man who is torn apart by something in himself. Perhaps this was triggered by the death of his lover dyer (who died that year while in Paris together to attend the retrospect of Bacons work).

The painting its self is oil on canvas, the brush strokes are very expressive. The colour choice is dark in intensity yet made harsher by the use of white, with a touch of blue to really enhance it atmospherically. The white with the icy blue gives it a cold ghostly edge while his eye’s are completely black just mirroring the cold. This makes him very detached from the viewer, putting them on edge. This artwork is like looking in to the soul of the artist, giving the artwork a sense of vulnerability because looking into the soul of someone is to be at a personal level with someone, it is an invasion of space but the subject matter can’t do anything about this intimacy. Some say “the blacks of the eyes are the windows to the soul”.

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga in Spain on the 25th of October 1881. His father was an artist and a professor of art. His mother was part Italian. She claimed that Picasso’s first spoken word was “pencil.” As a child, it was obvious that picasso was a talented artist, in fact, when his father realized what a great artist the young picasso was, he felt too embarrassed to call himself an artist and decleared that he would never paint again. Instead, he gave all his paint brushes and other materials to his son. As a young man picasso studied art in Madrid at the Academia de San Fernando, but didn’t finish the course. Instead, he moved to Paris in 1900 where at first, life was hard. It is said that he would sometimes burn paintings to heat up his lodgings.

Picasso eventually setteled into life in Paris and although he was Spanish spent the majority of his life in France, and became a French speaker. This explains why his paintings have French names. From 1901 he began to sign his paintings ‘picasso.’ He married twice and fathered four children with three woman- Picasso was known as a relentless womanizer and a charmer. His first wife Olga Khokhlova was a Russian ballerina. Picasso painted her many times, the most famous painting of her is one of her sitting in an armchair painted in 1917. Picasso re-married many years after Olga’s death. He married Jacqueline Rogue in 1961. Rogue worked in the medovra pottery on the french Riviera- this was the pottery where picassos ceramic works were produced. Rogue and Picasso remained married for the rest of Picasso’s life.

Picasso’s work is divided into periods. The Blue period (1901-1904), The Rose period (1905-1907), The African period (1908-1909), The Analytic cubism period (1909-1912), The Synthetic cubism period (1912-1919), The Classicism and Surrealism period (1918-1936). Picasso also created sculptures. One of his most famous sculptures is a fifty-foot high shape in Chicago. Nobody knows what the shape is intended to be. This sculpture is referred to as The Chicago Picasso.

It was reveled in 1967 and Picasso refused to be paid for it, preferring to make it a gist to the town of Chicago. Picasso died on the 8th of April, 1972, aged 92. He produced more works of art than any other artist. Following his death, many of his works were placed in a museum in Paris named Le Musee Picasso. There are two more museums dedicated to Picasso- one is in his birth place, Malago, and the other is in Barcelona where he lived for some of his youth.

One of the worst atrocities of the Spanish Civil War was the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German air force. Picasso responded to the massacre by painting “weeping woman” 1937. The woman’s features are based on Picasso’s lover Dora Maar.

Expressive Art Essay

Macy’s Department Store Repositioning Essay

Macy’s Department Store Repositioning Essay.

Executive Summary

As the global recession happened, the traditional department stores were experiencing consistently declining sales and market share. Also, the traditional department stores industry is between mature and decline stage of life cycle. Macy’s changed parts of their strategy and consolidation that focuses on localizing management, strengthening supplier relationships and providing products and customer service based on local consumer preferences. However, the consolidation was not with problems. With dealing these problems Macy’s changed parts of the strategy as following:

* Continuing to adjust its portfolio of store.

* Focusing on Fashion.
* Continuing to develop and debut Macy’s private labels in bedding, outwears etc.
* Increasing national advertising with emphasis on fashion and service. Statement of the problem/opportunity/and objectives

The tradition department stores were one of the areas hit by the recession. While some companies dropped previously supported causes and programs, Macy’s got more profit and market share through repositioning strategy and consolidation, even with the rough economic times.

Analysis of the situation

External and internal

Macy’s is a kind of traditional department store, and consolidation in 2005, at that time the economy is quite good. In 2008, the broad environment is not good; the economy of U.S. entered a recession. The sales of Macy’s are decreased. Also, in 2011, the price of gasoline and cotton were increased. This increased the cost of Macy’s. So the profit and market share of Macy’s reduced. As the department stores industry was attracting fewer and fewer consumers, Macy’s entered into the declining industry life cycle model. The recession and the declining industry life cycle model are both negatively affect the success of Macy’s. Although the external factors are not good, the internal factors are very good for Macy’s.

One such factor was Macy’s has the national recognition. Another positive factor is Macy’s is really strong. It has 810 stores across the United States. Thirdly, Macy’s has the experience management. Macy’s was founded between 1843 and 1855 in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts. Department stores created for “one-stop shopping”, Moreover, they had specific experience in converting regional brands to the Macy’s brand. A fourth factor contributing to the successful consolidation was that Macy’s made their stores on prime locations. These internal factors are positive for the success of Macy’s.

Porter’s five –forces model

Porter’s five –forces model describes the competitive environment in terms of five basic competitive forces: 1. The threat of new entrants. Macy’s had more competitors because more and more self-made fashion lines join to the market to get the market shares, such as H&M, Forever 21. Self-made fashion brands remodeled for more pleasant shopping experience. It is the threat for Macy’s. Also, the developed national stores have the lower cost and overcome quality and service same as Macy’s, it cause the competition.

2. The bargaining power of buyers.

Buyers threaten an industry by forcing down price, bargaining for higher quality or more service, and playing competitors against each other. Macy’s has lower cost but because of the bad economic, the customers have little bargaining power. Secondly, Macy’s already had everyday value. They give lower price means they will get lower profit. Low profit creates incentives to lower purchasing costs. However, highly profitable buyers are generally less price sensitive.

3. The bargaining power of suppliers.

Supplier power refers to the ability of providers of inputs to determine the price and terms of supply. Suppliers can exert power over firms industry by raising prices or reducing the quality of purchased goods and services, so reducing profitability. After Macy’s consolidation, Macy’s bought mass amounts from same buyers and Macy’s have strong relationship with these buyers. The bargaining power of suppliers is really high.

4. The threat of substitute products and services.

All firms and industry compete with other industries offering substitute products or services. The threat of substitute products and services was the major concern, particularly with discounters such as Target offering similar products, and large chain that specialized in clothes such as H&M. 5. The intensity of the rivalry among competitors in an industry Rivalry refers to the degree to which firms respond to competitive moves of the other firms in the industry. Macy’s repositioned its industry segment to the upper middle level. Macy’s decided to change the strategy, they will be more fashionable and fashion at lower price. Also Macy’s change the brand to focus in attracting customers interested in fashion rather than customers in a specific demographic.

Unique and a sustainable competitive advantage

Macy’s repositioned itself as an upper-middle level store is easily imitable. Other department stores also can position as the same level. But Macy’s attempt to become “America’s department store” is something that other, small department stores cannot imitate. Also, Macy’s focus on less traditional and conservative than other department stores is a flawed value proposition, but it is not a bad one. Because of some of the consumers may like the traditional Macy’s. Consolidating brands to allow for lower prices is a good way to cut cost and to be unique.

Identification and evaluation of alternatives

Macy’s consolidation and repositioning strategy is really good and Macy’s did the best decisions. Because as the external environment is bad but Macy’s use itself internal advantage to consolidate and reposition to gain back the market share and profit. Consolidation and repositioning strategy help Macy’s get more brand power, prime location and improved consumer experience. Additional Macy’s got consumers focus on the affordable fashion. However, it also came with some problems such as uncertain industry conditions, excess costs and emphasis on standardization.

Macy’s Future

As Macy’s pursued an aggressive strategy in 2011, Macy’s was doing well. Almost everybody knows the everyday value of Macy’s and Macy’s afford the “America department store”. But department stores industry is in declining and competition is growing rapidly. Macy’s has recently instituted the strategy to compete in a tough market. So Macy’s is doing well and have huge advantage, but maybe other department stores will catch up and overcome in following years. Macy’s may change strategy when economy, competition change.

Macy’s Department Store Repositioning Essay

Performing Arts Essay

Performing Arts Essay.

* Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, often rhythmic and to music. * Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. * Theatre (also theater in American English)[1] is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. History

The term “Performance Art” got its start in the 1960s in the United States. It was originally used to describe any live artistic event that included poets, musicians, film makers, etc.

– in addition to visual artists. If you weren’t around during the 1960s, you missed a vast array of “Happenings,” “Events” and Fluxus “concerts,” to name just a few of the descriptive words that were used. It’s worth noting that, even though we’re referencing the 1960s here, there were earlier precedents for Performance Art. The live performances of the Dadaists, in particular, meshed poetry and the visual arts.

The German Bauhaus, founded in 1919, included a theater workshop to explore relationships between space, sound and light. The Black Mountain College (founded [in the United States] by Bauhaus instructors exiled by the Nazi Party), continued incorporating theatrical studies with the visual arts – a good 20 years before the 1960s Happenings happened. You may also have heard of “Beatniks” – stereotypically: cigarette-smoking, sunglasses and black-beret-wearing, poetry-spouting coffeehouse frequenters of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though the term hadn’t yet been coined, all of these were forerunners of Performance Art. By 1970, Performance Art was a global term, and its definition a bit more specific.

“Performance Art” meant that it was live, and it was art, not theater. Performance Art also meant that it was art that could not be bought, sold or traded as a commodity. Actually, the latter sentence is of major importance. Performance artists saw (and see) the movement as a means of taking their art directly to a public forum, thus completely eliminating the need for galleries, agents, brokers, tax accountants and any other aspect of capitalism. It’s a sort of social commentary on the purity of art, you see. In addition to visual artists, poets, musicians and film makers, Performance Art in the 1970s now encompassed dance (song and dance, yes, but don’t forget it’s not “theater”).

Sometimes all of the above will be included in a performance “piece” (you just never know). Since Performance Art is live, no two performances are ever exactly the same. The 1970s also saw the heyday of “Body Art” (an offshoot of Performance Art), which began in the 1960s. In Body Art, the artist’s own flesh (or the flesh of others) is the canvas. Body Art can range from covering volunteers with blue paint and then having them writhe on a canvas, to self-mutilation in front of an audience. (Body Art is often disturbing, as you may well imagine.) Additionally, the 1970s saw the rise of the autobiography being incorporated into a performance piece. This kind of story-telling is much more entertaining to most people than, say, seeing someone shot with a gun. (This actually happened, in a Body Art piece, in Venice, California, in 1971.)

The autobiographical pieces are also a great platform for presenting one’s views on social causes or issues. Since the beginning of the 1980s, Performance Art has increasingly incorporated technological media into pieces – mainly because we have acquired exponential amounts of new technology. Recently, in fact, an 80’s pop musician made the news for Performance Art pieces which use a Microsoft® PowerPoint presentation as the crux of the performance. Where Performance Art goes from here is only a matter of combining technology and imagination. In other words, there are no foreseeable boundaries for Performance Art. Characteristics of Performing Arts

• Performance Art is live. • Performance Art has no rules or guidelines. It is art because the artist says it is art. It is experimental. • Performance Art is not for sale. It may, however, sell admission tickets and film rights. • Performance Art may be comprised of painting or sculpture (or both), dialogue, poetry, music, dance, opera, film footage, turned on television sets, laser lights, live animals and fire. Or all of the above. There are as many variables as there are artists. • Performance Art is a legitimate artistic movement. It has longevity (some performance artists, in fact, have rather large bodies of work) and is a degreed course of study in many post-secondary institutions. • Dada, Futurism, the Bauhaus and the Black Mountain College all inspired and helped pave the way for Performance Art. • Performance Art is closely related to Conceptual Art. Both Fluxus and Body Art are types of Performance Art. • Performance Art may be entertaining, amusing, shocking or horrifying. No matter which adjective applies, it is meant to be memorable.

Performing Arts Essay