Short Essay about Dracula

The theme of vampires revived in modern literature after the success of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Dracula became a common name for vampires and certain sort of evils described in modern literature. Dracula was screened by numerous movie makers, it’s plot was remade and enriched by a number of modern writers. But it’s very interesting that from a number of literary pieces: novels, poems, legends and sagas, Dracula is nearly the only literary character of the world of evil who is interesting for modern audience. It’s not a secret that legends and detailed about vampires, witches and other representatives of the world of evil were very common in mediaeval Europe and survived due to the superstitious beliefs of Europeans, deepened by the domination of Catholicism and horrors of Inquisition. Stoker’s novel Dracula appeared to be a uniting link of the world of modernity and world of mediaeval evils.

Dracula legends goes all the way back to Middle Age Transylvanian legends about bloody and notorious Prince of Wallachia Vlad Dracula (Vlad the Impaler). Vlad was considered to be a brilliant militaryman but at the same time he was tyrannical and ruthless to his enemies, he was known for drinking blood of his enemies, murdering homeless and forcing women to commit cannibalism. The story of Bram Stoker is about the curse of Dracula descendents which chased these family for centuries. The story starts as English lawyer John Harker travels to Transylvania to Dracula’s estate to complete one important transaction. He was impressed by the beauty of Romanian nature, picturesque views and at the same he was impressed by the terrible poverty and ignorance of peasants who were scared by vampires and evil forced which reigned in the evil. Everyone mentioned Dracula as the leader of vampires. Harker was impressed when he met count Dracula, who was a very educated gentleman with noble and aristocratic manners. Later Harker nevertheless discovered that Dracula had diabolic nature and that he was a leader of vampires as local people told him. The description of count Dracula correlates with common observations of foreigners from Western Europe who visited Eastern Europe and especially Russia in the nineteenth century. Aristocratic manners of educated noblemen coexisted with hatred and bigotry towards their serfs or peasants. Such dualism and hypocrisy was one the main reasons which prevented those remote states from gradual development relying on the achievements of modernity in politics, government, ethics and technology. That’s why remote mountainous provinces of Romania appeared to be subjected to the brutal forms of evils which tyrannized its population for centuries. From the other side, even at the end of the story nothing had reality changed in Transylvania, as even the termination of vampires did not terminate the system of evils which dominated in the region for years.

The plot of the story perfectly suits Victorian epoch to which it belongs. The second half of the nineteenth century in England was much dictated by social, ethical and technological changes which occurred in previous decades, directing the future development of Western society for years. Old aristocracy was experiencing decline and moral crisis, tradition ethical values were forced out by changes which appeared in family ethics and sexual ethics and relations between people of different social classes. Discoveries made in technology, natural sciences, medicine and biology overturned former views and ideas about the surrounding world destroying religious dogmas which dominated consciousness of Europeans for centuries. At the same time it was a serious strike on traditional morality and ethics of Europeans which was based on Christian values. Ideas to abandon former traditions and beliefs made heroes of Stoker’s novel vulnerable to evil forces represented by count Dracula and his suite. It’s clearly marked in the novel in the words of old professor Van Helsing to his protege John Seward: “You are a clever man, friend John; you reason well, and your wit is bold; but you are too prejudiced. . . . Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new; and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young. . .” (Stoker)

Description of women in the novel Lucy and Mina is also made in Victorian tradition, which despite the rise of modernism was very strict towards family values and sexual relations. A Victorian woman could be either a virgin or a devoted mother and loving wife. Her behavior was dictated by strict morality which did not allow any demonstration of sexuality, which was only permitted in fantasies. Such attitudes were already survivals in the society with changing morality and declining attitudes towards religion and Christian ethics. The conflict of human’s sexuality and Victorian morality is brightly demonstrated on the example of Lucy Westenra, who as a result was tempered by vampire and turned into demonic creature as well. Continue reading “Short Essay about Dracula”

Essay on Thomas Jefferson and His Contributions

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most important and prominent figures in the American history that’s why a lot of scientists and historians have investigated his political and private life for many years. Jefferson is not just a good politician, he is one of the founders of civil rights and main democratic principles in America. Jefferson is a mysterious person and that’s why his life attracts people’s attention and R. B. Bernstein is one of the few writers who is able to penetrate into Jefferson’s mystery in his book called “Thomas Jefferson”.

This or that author usually tries to emphasize one particular feature of Jefferson’s character because Thomas is many-sided individuality, while Bernstein makes an attempt to depict all the features and so to present the whole character and the author’s attempt is very successful. Continue reading “Essay on Thomas Jefferson and His Contributions”

Peer Relationships in Middle Childhood Essay

It’s been proven by scientific researches and simply by the life experience that we all need to belong somewhere or to someone. This feeling of “belonging” and “fitting” is inborn because every human on earth needs to be connected with others, to be by the side of those, who he shares attitudes, interests, and circumstances with.

Developing friendships and other kinds of relationships is a healthy and essential part of growing up. Relationships and cooperation help one first of all get to know other people and become familiar with their inner peculiarities, differences and similarities as well as cognize and understand oneself. Continue reading “Peer Relationships in Middle Childhood Essay”

Robert Altman Critical Essay

Robert Altman, 81, a film director whose “unconventional style stunned audiences in the 1970s and went on to subvert nearly every genre, including Westerns, mysteries and musicals,” passed away on November 20 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he had lukemia…(1)

Writer/producer/director Altman was and still is considered to be the one of the most productive, if not the most significant and momentous filmmakers of the New Hollywood Cinema. He directed 13 films throughout the decade in 1970s, including the Oscar-nominated hits M*A*S*H in 1970 and Nashville in 1975. His rather complicated and often quite idiosyncratic work dealt with various subjects from women’s issues to crimes and punishments and his movies always faced a varied critical and popular response. Continue reading “Robert Altman Critical Essay”

Essay on Negotiation Process

The substance of the conflict between the Employer and the Employees in the situation described is that the Employer wants effective work, while the Employees wish to appropriate working conditions. It’s evident that both sides are ready and able to provide what the other side demands, but only in case their needs are also satisfied to the maximum extent.

To resolve this impasse different negotiation strategies can be used. If we use positional bargaining, we try to reach a compromise between the demands of both sides. When using positional bargaining the sides are not forced to change their position, and when the positions are not extreme, the satisfying outcome can be reached using this strategy. In the given case, the positions of the sides of the conflict are not excessive. Thus the possibility to reach a satisfying compromise is quite high. Continue reading “Essay on Negotiation Process”

Modern Political Science Essay

Modern political science is characterized by freedom of thought and a great variety of political theories, every one of which has found its followers and opponents. Despite the existence of a great variety of political theories, only some of them prevail nowadays as their followers try to analyze and solve the most important issues of the modern world using these theories. By the 21st century the majority of countries either developed or developing ones have transformed to democratic political regime, because only democracy provides people with equal rights, gives people an opportunity to have a free choice of their political leaders by means of elections and gives people the right to express their opinion about government and every event taking place inside and outside the country. For this reason, his the two most popular political theories nowadays are, of course, democracy and liberalism. Exactly on democracy, liberalism, as well as the theory of environmentalism and feminist social theory famous contemporary political philosophers, focused. They have been studying the patterns of development of democracy and liberalism in the modern society, development of modern feminism and environmental politics, which is an essential part of human life. Continue reading “Modern Political Science Essay”

Philosophy of Mind Research Paper

Part 1.

Fred Dretske uses information-theoretic approach to semantics. His theory explains how physical things possess the ability to represent. The theory is based on the assumption that physical entities are able to occupy states, which are connected with physical world. He uses contentful mental states for explaining human behaviour. According to his theory, the content of mental states is responsible for human behaviour. Dretske uses indicators and representations. He states that representation is an indication, which is attributed to some subject. Representation is a function to indicate X, choosing it from many things, which could have been indicated. Only indicators, which have a function of indicating some condition of the world, may become representations. This can be explained by the fact that mere indicators do not possess the ability to misinterpret. “An indicator is given its indicator function by being converted into a switch for behaviour.” (Dretske, 88) According to Dretske recruitment is responsible for turning an indication into representation. For example, a cat hears a sound when the food is put in its place and it distinguishes this sound from many other sounds. When some internal mechanisms make the cat distinguish this sound from many others the cat has representation of this sound.

Dretske himself defines two charges, which threaten indicator semantics. He calls this charges distality and disjunction. Distalilty problem deals with defining what is identified by indicators.

Disjunction problem deals with time continuum. Indication is switched to representation under condition that indicator is saved in the memory correctly and it does not change its value in the external world. For example, once having learnt the word cow we use it for representation of all cows. Till conditions do not change our representation will be correct, but as external conditions change, we will meet a problem. If we turn to example with cat, who hears the sound of found when it is put in the place. If we put small stone on the same place the sound will be indicated in a same way as it would have happened with food and it will have the same representation value as food did. Dretske puts much effort to explain possible difficulties, which arise when applying his theory, and I believe his arguments to be quite convincing.

Part 2.

Dennett rejects this thesis and gives his alternative interpretation. He developed his own “multiple drafts” model of consciousness. Dennett denies the Cartesian Theater of the Mind. Dennett used the term Cartesian Theater to underline a defining aspect of Cartesian materialism, which is often used in materialistic theories of mind. Dennett states that: “Cartesian materialism is the view that there is a crucial finish line or boundary somewhere in the brain, marking a place where the order of arrival equals the order of “presentation” in experience because what happens there is what you are conscious of. […] the persuasive imagery of the Cartesian Theater keeps coming back to haunt us — laypeople and scientists alike — even after its ghostly dualism has been denounced and exorcized.” (Dennett, p.107)

According to this theory all the perceptions come to the consciousness all together and in this way form a single mind. His theory of “Multiple Drafts” assumes that his perceptions are not joined together and pass through the brain separately in the form of drafts or possibilities. The mind derives from the combination of these drafts. (Dennett, 1991)

The data about the split brain causing double consciousness he explains by the damage of the links between left and right hemispheres the patients get during the treatment (Dennett, 1991). During the treatment of some mental diseases, epilepsy, for example, the hemispheres lose wires of interaction between them and this finally causes the split. “There are more than a few anecdotes about such ingenious jury-rigs invented on the spot by patients with split brains, but we should treat them with caution. They might be what they appear to be: cases exhibiting the deftness with which the brain can discover and implement autostimulatory strategies to improve its internal communications in the absence of the ‘desired’ wiring. But they might also be the unwittingly embroidered fantasies of researchers hoping for just such evidence.”(Dennett, 198) Dennett states that the center of consciousness found in the right hemisphere of some patients appears there only after the operations when ties between two hemispheres are damaged and that disconnected right hemisphere possesses nothing but a transitory consciousness. At the same time he states that the conciseness, which appears in the right hemisphere, is identical to the consciousness of the left one. (Dennett, 1991) In this case both hemispheres must have a transitional consciousness but the experiments show that they don not (Gazzaniga, 1970; Bogen, 1985) Dennett rejects double consciousness theory, as he states “not because ‘consciousness is only in the left hemisphere’ and not because it could not be the case that someone found himself or herself in such a pickle, but simply because it is not the case that commissurotomy leaves in its wake organizations both distinct and robust enough to support such a separate self (Dennett, 426).

Speaking about mistakes in perception Orwellian and Stalinesque give different explanations of this phenomenon. Orwellian explains mistakes in recall by interference, while Stalinesque states that they occur during perception. Orwellian states that all the mistakes appear after the object is saved in the memory. He believes that perception is always right and makes an exact reflection of reality but, as soon as the process of perception is finished and information is saved as a memory past experience can interfere with these memories and change them. That is the reason a person does not recollect things right. Stalinesque presents another point of view on the subject. He believes that mistakes occur during the very process of perception. He states that information is perceived inaccurately and later inaccurate memories are saved. There are some problems with both approaches. In Orwellian’s case it is difficult to distinguish a type when memories are changed to the wrong ones. When it comes to Stalinesque, the question makes us wonder about the reasons of wrong perception.

Dennett rejects the mind to be a countable thing and calls it a mere abstraction. On the other hand, there are cases, when people survived having only one left hemisphere functioning. If to follow Dennett’s theory, these people would not have mind at all, but researchs show that they do have mind. In addition, Dennett’s theory of “Multiple Drafts” can not give reasonable explanations of different kinds of dissociation of consciousness. This happens because the theory does not make any distinction between real and apparent streams of consciousness.

Part 3.

There are several theories, which explain the origin of our mental states content. One group of scholars states that content of the mental states depends on the experience a person gets being alone, i.e. this content does not belong to the environment. Other group of scientists believes that external factors partially influence the content of our mental states. The last theory got the name externalism. Tyler Burge, one of the main proponents of this theory stresses an important role of the environment of the content of human mental state. As he states, “individuating many of a person or animal’s mental kinds… is necessarily dependent on relations that the person bears to the physical, or in some cases social, environment” (Burge 1988, 650).

This view also favors anti-individualism, Burge insisted on this notion because he was preoccupied with the sources of individuation of content rather than with the location of the content. Burge uses hypothetical example in order to support his thesis. He bases his examples on the thought experiment about the Twin Earth initiated by Hilary Putnam. Inspired by Putnam’s thought experiences, Burge gives hypothetical examples about arthritis and Twin Earth in order to support his thesis. In the example with arthritis Burge concludes that content of the mind depends on conventional meanings, which are determined by linguistic community. An example with the Twin Mind proves that thought depends on physical environment. Burge’s anti-individualism has provokes loud disputes among scientists. Some adherents of externalism reject the existence of a priory knowledge. They believe that content of human mind can be achieved only through the interaction with the environment. “For example, to know whether we are having water thoughts or twater (twin-earth “water”) thoughts we may have to conduct an investigation into the chemical composition of the stuff we call ‘water’.” (Ludlow, 89)In this case we cannot count on a priory knowledge any more.

A number of scholars argue Burge’s views. For example, McKinsey believes that externalism can undermine authoritative knowledge of people about their thought content. Fodor states that Burge’s theory does not explain the way in which mental states cause behavior. (Fodor, 1991) In his response to the proponents, Burge states that he does not see any controversy with anti-individualism and ability to know the content of our mental states.

There are several possible solutions for this dilemma, which do not reject the theory of externalism. In the first case scholars reject the very concept of a priori self-knowledge and believe that self-knowledge is only a part of empirical investigation. According to this view, argued for example by Norah Martin, knowledge of our mental states may be partial, and may be in error at times, but we are nevertheless in a kind of privileged relation towards our mental states because we are usually in a better position than others to investigate our own mental states.

(Ludlow, 116) Another group of scientists states that in reality there is no controversy between self-knowledge and externalism. They state that these two notions supplement each other. Davidson, Burge and Heil share such position. (Bure, Davidson, Hail) They all believe that second-order thought content is already fixed on the environment. For example, when the person thinks that he thinks that the water is wet, he already thinks about the type of water he has in his environment.

The group of authors, who do not agree with explanations given by the followers of compatibility, challenge their explanations. Boghossian, for example, argues that slow-switching can be a good reason again computability of self-knowledge and extremism. Slow-switching is described like a phenomenon, when agent’s environment is switched without his knowing about it. Finally, new environment challenges ideas about the environment, which agent had before. Using Burge’s example, we can talk about fiction scenario when a person is moved to Twin-Earth without knowing about it.

Without knowing about the change of the environment a person will think about the environment as about one he used to know. Only after some time his thought about water will be replaced by the thought about twater. In this case we can talk about slow-switching. Ludlow restricts this example by talking not only about fiction scenarios but also using examples from our everyday life. For example when a person knows certain meaning of a certain word he will most probably use and understand the word in this very meaning until some time passes and he starts using the meaning, which the word has in his new environment. To see this, just consider the case of someone who defers to his language community for the individuating conditions of the word ‘chickory’ and who moves from England to the United States without realizing that ‘chickory’ has a different meaning in those two locations. Then, as the agent continues to defer to his immediate language community, the content of the term ‘chickory’ will shift. (Ludlow, 119) The phenomenon of slow-switching is used in order to undermine compitability of self-knowledge and externalism. As states Boghossian, “Burge’s self- verifying judgments do not constitute genuine knowledge. hat other reason is there for why our slowly transported thinker will not know tomorrow what he is said to know directly and authoritatively today?” (Boghossian, p.44 ). Externalism is an interesting view on the nature of the content of our mind. Burge and those, who share his position, give some convincing arguments to support their thesis. On the other hand, controversy, which arises if we apply Burge’s anti-individualism to all kinds of content of the mind, shows that this theory has some weak points. I believe that environment has an important role in forming the content of our mind but I do not think it to be the only source of this content.

References:
1. Burge, Tyler. “Individualism and the Mental”,
Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4:73-122, 1979.
2. Burge, Tyler. “Individualism and Self-Knowledge”, Journal of Philosophy 85:649-63, 1988.
3. Dennett, C. Daniel. Consciousness Explained, Little, Brown & Co. USA, 1991
4. Dretske, Fred. Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press, 1981.
Dretske, Fred. “Misrepresentation” in Belief: Form, Content, and Function, R. Bogdan (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986.
5. Heil, John. “Privileged Access”, Mind, 1988.
6. Ludlow, Peter. “Externalism, Self-Knowledge, and the
Prevalence of Slow-Switching.” Analysis, Jan. 1995.
Boghossian, Paul. “Content and Self-Knowledge”,
Philosophical Topics. 17:5-26, 1989.
7. Putnam, Hilary. The Meaning of meaning. Gunderson
(ed.), Language, Mind and Knowledge. Vol. 7, Minnesota

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Causes of Family Violence Essay

Aggression and violence in modern families

The topic of domestic violence is often discussed in psychological researches and published in scientific and mass magazines. Domestic violence can be observed from different points: either psychological or physical. The latter includes not only beating, but sexual actions and debauches. However I might admit that psychological trauma may be as painful as physical one. It suppresses children’s feeling of happiness, love and identity. As a result children suffer from certain inner disorder. It often leads to criminal actions, asocial behavior or even parents murder.

The problem needs deep complex research with the help of psychologists, medical scientists, sociologists, lawyers etc. Violence against children faces moral accusation and criminal punishment as well. Psychologists, government and other institutions wishing to solve the problem, take certain measures to change the threatening situation. However not much of them appeared to be really efficient. Violence often takes place in families with high level of conflicts, drug and alcohol problems, unlawful behavior and asocial values. Continue reading “Causes of Family Violence Essay”

Communication in Aviation Essay

Communication always played an extremely important role. In the course of time, human relations grew more complicated and so did the process of communication. Gradually, communication became vitally important, especially in such fields as aviation. At the same time, it should be said that the effectiveness of communication influences not only on the safety of flights but also on the quality of services. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the functioning of the airplane engine repair center, in which the effective communication is one of the basic conditions of reliable work of all units of the organization. Continue reading “Communication in Aviation Essay”

Essay on Color and Race Discrimination

Dealing with the topic of racial discrimination, it’s important to mention that nowadays lots of measures have already been taken to solve this problem. Revolutionists stood for equality of all people, apart from their race, sex, language or religion. All people are born equal and they have right to be free. In this way, racial discrimination is supposed to be false, blameworthy and unfair in every respect. No matter whether a person is black or white, whether he is from West or East, he should be respected as a representative of human race. People are equal before God.

Speaking about racial discrimination it’s important to mention an outstanding person Athalie Range who defended rights of Afro-Americans. She is famous for her unbelievable prospects in life, being the first Afro-American woman to occupy high positions in government. At first, she used to serve in Miami Commission and later in the government of Florida. Athalie Range actively participated in political affairs. Maybe that was the reason for her outstanding knowledge of politicians. Speaking about her activities I can’t help telling about probably the most amusing ones. At the age of 80 Athalie took responsibility for the reconstruction of Miami Museum into a “colored” beach, trying to renovate old views.

Although Range is known for being intelligent and polite, she never lost a chance to criticize poor, miserable sides of life. On the whole, she was a real activist in the problem of racism. This can be justified by her struggle for Haitan immigrants, desperate attempts to find working place for Blacks, born in America. She even took part in less important sides of improving life conditions. That is to say Range fought for the building of new playgrounds and proper refuse collection. She even fought against women discrimination, giving them a chance to become political leaders. Athalie greatly improved the situation of Blacks in America, being motivated by her own sad life experience. She once told about awful conditions in an overcrowded school for blacks where she used to study. Educating more than 1000 students it afforded only 13 toilets. There wasn’t enough space for toilets, let alone auditoriums. Her own poor life conditions made her deeply concerned in taking certain measures in order to improve even unimportant elements of Blacks’ life.

Lots of other activists used to fight against racial segregation in the USA. Many of them continue to take measures even now, when people became more tolerant to colored nation. They used different methods of resisting the oppression. Black children had to study apart from their white colleagues.

Even public toilettes used to be separate. Moderate black revolutionists were called “Uncle Tom”, for they were not strict and persistent in their actions. Along with “soft” activists there still were hard-edged leaders. Continue reading “Essay on Color and Race Discrimination”