Lisa Tokoro

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Lisa Tokoro
Posted 8 months ago
Daniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake
Cohen's idea that learning=losing simply amazed me. It is seemingly obvious, but it is hard to acknowledge. At first, Cohen's syllogism of "getting better at arguing means you lose more, which is good" was hard to understand because it was such a new idea, and because the word "argue" often contains a negative connotation to it. However, I couldn't agree more to "learning=losing." It is hard to learn by yourself, because we all learn from others and our interaction with others within our society. Learning is an essential part of society moving forward, or perhaps even backwards at times. Arguing, is perhaps the most fundamental aspect of social interaction geared for learning. If "war" is metaphorical of this argumentation, then it is not surprising that events such as murder, war, poverty, and recession takes place in certain parts of the world, as some "win" over others while some "lose". I believe this is inevitable, because this is the paradigm we live in in which we all socially interact and connect with each other through arguing. A great knowledge issue is involved in the construction of arguments, as everyone comes from different backgrounds and perceives things differently, but that is part of the nature of arguing and is essentially what makes an argument an argument. In regards to Cohen's question, "how can arguing be positive?", I think that depending on the definition of "positive", I think there can be indeed positive arguments. If good arguing means more losing, and ultimately results in more learning, as long as that learning is positive, wouldn't that argument be positive as well? Listening to Cohen making an argument about arguing was fascinating. This is especially because we tend to look past this important fundamental aspect of "arguing" in our behaviors. It is truly intriguing to think about the possibilities of the new kinds of arguers there may be in the future, or even some that may be already existing today.
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Lisa Tokoro
Posted 9 months ago
To what extent can an idea be unique?
After thinking about what the word "unique" may mean, I came to the conclusion that this word was very similar to "original". Based on this, I thought that a unique idea had to come out of nowhere or at least have absolutely no relations with previous ideas or experiences. This would imply then, that it is impossible to produce anything that is unique, because we live in a certain paradigm where we have set boundaries of our own in the way we think, act, and survive. However, when rethinking about the meaning "unique" consists of, I think it is actually very different from originality. Both would be influenced by factors such as past experiences, culture, and language, but a unique idea will take us a step further. In other words, it may introduce a paradigm shift. The discovery of cells in the scientific realm was revolutionary in the sense that the idea opened up the previous paradigm and introduced a new one. In the process of this discovery, tools invented earlier were used and tested. In this way, a unique idea cannot be made out of nowhere, and there is nothing wrong with that. It can be unique as long as it is very new and inspiring, affecting many others. I believe that is what differentiates unique from original, too. In attempt to answer to what extent an idea can be unique, I believe all ideas can be unique if one believes it is. This is greatly based on perception, and the fact that unique can mean various things depending on the person. If the owner of the idea believes that it is a unique idea by their own definition, then it certainly is. This may seem like there is no limit, and ideas can be unique to a full extent based on perception, but that's not necessarily true either. There are limits. For example, plagiarism is not a unique idea, as it is often recognized as a negative act. But again, this is my perspective and based on my definition of unique. Even if an idea is not unique, I think there is always a possibility for an idea to be unique.