Friday, 17 January 2014

Idealism

Idealism is the group of philosophical systems that claim realism is reliant on the mind rather than independent of the mind. Extreme versions of Idealism refuse that any ‘world’ exists outside of our minds. Finer versions of Idealism claim that our understanding of reality reveals the workings of our mind first and foremost – that the properties of objects have no standing regardless of the minds perceiving them. 

The nature and uniqueness of the “mind” upon which reality is needy is one subject that has divided idealists of a range of sorts. Some fight that there is some objective mind outside of nature, some fight that it is simply the common power of reason or rationality, some disagree that it is the combined mental faculties of society, and some center simply on the minds of individual human beings.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Idealism

In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing.

In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas — especially beliefs and values — shape society. As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit. Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind. The corresponding idea in metaphysics is monism.

The earliest extant arguments that the world of experience is grounded in the mental derive from India and Greece. The Hindu idealists in India and the Greek Neoplatonists gave pantheistic arguments for an all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality. In contrast, the Yogācāra School, which arose within Mahayana Buddhism in India in the 4th century CE, based its "mind-only" idealism to a greater extent on phenomenological analyses of personal experience. This turn toward the subjective anticipated empiricists such as George Berkeley, who revived idealism in 18th-century Europe by employing skeptical arguments against materialism.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Reality

In philosophy, reality has become a commodity. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.

Philosophers, mathematicians, and others ancient and modern such as Aristotle, Plato, Frege, Wittgenstein, Russell etc., have made a distinction between thought corresponding to reality, coherent abstractions, and that which cannot even be rationally thought. By contrast existence is often restricted solely to that which has physical existence or has a direct basis in it in the way that thoughts do in the brain.

Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, (only) in the mind, dreams, what is abstract, what is false, or what is fictional. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are considered not real.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sugar-apple

Annona squamosa (also called sugar-pineapple or sweetsop) is a species of Annona native to the tropical Americas and widely grown in Colombia, El Salvador, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. Its exact native range is unknown due to extensive cultivation, but thought to be in the Caribbean; the species was described from Jamaica.

It is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 6–8 meters (20–26 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2.0–6.7 in) long and 2–5 centimeters (0.79–2.0 in) broad. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3-4, each flower 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.2 in) across, with three large petals and three minute ones, yellow-green spotted purple at the base.

The fruit is usually round, slightly pine cone-like, 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) diameter and weighing 100–230 g (3.5–8.1 oz), with a scaly or lumpy skin. There are variations in shape and size. The fruit flesh is sweet, white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. The edible portion coats the seeds generously; a bit like the gooey portion of a tomato seed. Sugar-apple has a very distinct, sweet-smelling fragrance. The texture of the flesh that coats the seeds is a bit like the center of a very ripe guava (excluding the seeds). It is slightly grainy, a bit slippery, very sweet and very soft. The seeds are scattered through the fruit flesh; the seed coats are blackish-brown, 12–18 mm (0.47–0.71 in) long, and hard and shiny.

There are also new varieties being developed in Taiwan. The atemoya or "pineapple sugar-apple", a hybrid between the Sugar Apple and the Cherimoya, is popular in Taiwan, although it was first developed in the USA in 1908. The fruit is similar in sweetness to the sugar apple but has a very different taste. Like the name suggests, it tastes like pineapple. The arrangement of seeds is in spaced rows, with the fruit's flesh filling most of the fruit and making grooves for the seeds, instead of the flesh only occurring around the seeds. Unlike other Annona fruits, the Sugar Apple has segmented flesh.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hippeastrum

Hippeastrum /ˌhɪpiːˈæstrəm/ is a genus of about 90 species and 600+ hybrids and cultivars of bulbous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean. Some species are grown for their large showy flowers. For many years there was confusion amongst botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, which are widely used as indoor flowering bulbs. The generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a bulbous plant, with each bulb being 5–10 cm in diameter. It has several strap-shaped, green leaves, 30–50 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, arranged in two rows. The leaves are produced in the autumn or early spring in warm climates depending on the onset of rain and eventually die down by late spring. The bulb is then dormant until late summer. The plant is not frost-tolerant, nor does it do well in tropical environments since they require a dry resting period between leaf growth and flower spike production.

From the dry ground in late summer (August in zone 7) each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 30–60 cm tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped flowers at their tops. Each flower is 6–10 cm diameter with six tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). The usual color is white with crimson veins, but pink or purple also occur naturally. The common name "naked lady" stems from the plant's pattern of flowering when the foliage has died down.

The species was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They reproduce slowly either by bulb division or seeds and have gradually naturalized from plantings in urban and suburban areas throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the West Coast of the USA since these environments mimic their native South African habitat.

Many bulbs sold as Amaryllis and described as 'ready to bloom for the holidays' actually belong to the allied genus Hippeastrum, despite being labeled as 'Amaryllis' by sellers and nurseries. Adding to the name confusion, some bulbs of other species with a similar growth and flowering pattern are also sometimes called this plant's common name "naked ladies". Some of those species have their own more widely used and accepted common names, such as the Resurrection Lily (Lycoris squamigera).