Rachael Hayes-Philosophy in The World


Philosophy in The World

What I am writing about:

For this project I decided to work with one of my all time favourite slam poems on youtube.  Artist shane Koyczan is a Canadian spoken word poet who’s work largely focusing on ideas such as; bullying, abuse, life, humanity as well as other topics. The poem I chose to write about  is called “ To This Day” it is a 7 minutes long video (with animation to accompany it) totalling 192  lines.  This poem focuses on the idea of realizing your worth is more than just what those around you say about you.


How I define Philosophy and how it relates to my topic:

Philosophy in my mind immediately connects that to the idea of catching yourself in a moment of sonder. to me it is the ability to pull yourself out of your own body to analyze the worlds around you, to wonder how it works. Philosophy to me creates an open mindedness that may not have been present before introducing the idea of thinking philosophically into one’s life, as if one’s third eye has been opened. Philosophy to me is taking the ideas of all philosophers with a grain of salt because I don’t believe there is a static way to thinking about the world. Ultimately I would define philosophy as the act of stopping one’s self and directly asking the question “Why” – whether it be “why do we think this way?” or “why does it has to work like that?” in order to possibly think of way we could fix current issues with in society based off what we know and what we believe. I would also add to my definition of philosophy that the thoughts surrounding what is morally right vs what is morally wrong (in reference to mill who I personally side with more on the ideas of his morals) is a large aspect of what philosophy is and what must be taken into account when thinking philosophy. Mill’s ideas surrounding philosophy, specifically the idea that the morally correct thing to do is create a sense of desiring harmony connects to the idea of the desire to fix social issues which I believe ultimately bowls down to what philosophy to me is.

The poem “To This Day” by Shane Koyczan directly correlates to my personal definition and ideas surrounding philosophy; it forces ideas of wonder upon the listener by indirectly telling you that everyone has a story you don’t know about. I

Believe when analyzing things and trying to create a sense of equality or harmony (as Mill would suggest) among everyone. This poem does not directly tell the listener to think about how they treat others but by the way he uses language to depict the story of himself, the young girl with “a birthmark that takes up a little less than half of her face” (2:27) and the boy who “was a broken branch grafted onto a different family tree”(3:10) it forces the listening to stand in the shoes of those effected by bullying and abuse by peers.  Further into the essay he goes on to say they are not the only kids who went through hard time and how every years it’s the same thing with different kids. This poem can be looked at through a philosophical eye due to its ability to have the listener step out of their own body for a few minutes and visualize what others are feeling and seeing (going back to this idea of sonder being present when thinking philosophically) as well as the ideas surrounding morality being a harmonious working system in order to have society work smoothly.

How do I participate in philosophy outside of class:

The reason I chose this poem as being an aspect of philosophy outside of the class is mainly due to the fact that this is the way in which I participate the most within the ideas of philosophy. I don’t find myself going out as much as I stay in and analyze the world though an online aspect to see how it is shifting humanity and how the online world may be effectin gour morals. News and art works such as poetry, painting, novels, movies etc are where I focus a lot of my time when it comes to thinking more than myself if i where to use my definition of philosophy.