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Milap Patel

Milap Patel
Milap Patel


The depth part of my Humanities and Arts requirement will be in the field of Philosophy and Religion. All three of my milestones done in London will be used to satisfy my depth requirement. My first milestone focuses on understanding Aristotle's philosophical work, Nicomachean Ethics, and how it relates to the modern society. My second milestone focuses on understanding John Locke's philosophical work, Two Treatises Of Government, and how it impacted America. My final milestone, milestone three, focuses on understanding John Locke's and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy on humans in the state of nature and how they compare to each other. Aside from my experience in London, I have had no prior classes taken in Humanities and Arts through Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Some of my major takeaways from going through this experience include, understanding some of the great philosophical works that govern our society, understanding how those philosophical works influenced our modern society, and exploring London, a city of infinite adventure.

Milestone 1

Aristotle's Ethics
Objective: To understand Aristotle's philosophical work, Nicomachean Ethics, and how it compares to modern society.

This milestone focuses on understanding Aristotle's philosophical work, Nicomachean Ethics, and how it compares to modern society. The first section of this milestone will discuss in depth, Aristotle's central thesis regarding individual's happiness as outlined in Nicomachean Ethics. In the second section of this milestone, Aristotle's philosophy will then be compared to modern society. In this section, it is discovered that modern society will never be a happy community, as defined by Aristotle, because of the presence of vice like characteristics embodied in the individuals today.
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Milestone 2

John Locke's Two Treatises of Government
Objective: To discuss John Locke's political philosophy outlined in the Two Treatises Of Government and understand how it influenced America.

This milestone covers John Locke's political philosophy as outlined in Two Treatises Of Government and its impact on America. The first section of this milestone discusses Locke's life in England and how his philosophy was influenced by the turbulence during this time. This section will then go into depth covering key components of Locke's political philosophy regarding the government being in place for the benefit of the people. In the second section, Locke's philosophy will then be evaluated on how it influenced the American Revolution, the creation of American government, and how life is seen in America today.
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Milestone 3

State Of Nature
Objective: Comparison of John Locke's and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy on the state of nature and how it relates to the modern world.

This milestone discusses John Locke's and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy on humans in the state of nature and how they compare with each other. In the first section, both of the philosopher's philosophies are covered in depth regarding the state of nature. Locke believes humans in the state of nature were originally good, but the presence of the state of war caused them to join societies. Rousseau, on the other hand, argued that humans were also good in the state of nature, but they were forced to join societies as a result of the growing human population. Both of their views are further compared and contrasted in depth in the second section. This section will also cover how those philosophies are reflected in modern society.
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Activity Journal

The activity journal represents an ongoing log of reflections gained through each and every project activity on the calendar.

Activity #1 Westminster Abbey and Tower of London (5/8)

Westminster Abbey was our first stop. In Westminster Abbey, I toured the cathedral and learned about its history. I learned that it was originally founded by an early British king who wanted a private church for him and his royal family. The church, to this day, is still under the direct authority of the leading royal family, the queen, as a result. Because of the establishment and royal ties to this church, the royal family usually gets married in this church along with being buried here after death. This church also houses the grave sites for many well achieved people such as Albert Einstein. The first unknown soldier grave is located in this church which honored the unknown soldiers who died in world war one.
Tower of London is the next place I went to. Here we toured the royal jewels building, the tower, and the castle walls. The royal jewels building displayed the jewels that were created for the royal families over the centuries. It also displayed their decorations and clothing. I particularly remember all the golden utensils and the 530-karat diamond that were on display. The tower, on the other hand, exhibited the aspects of war such as displaying weapons and armor used by the royal family and soldiers.
Overall, today's sites were enjoyable to visit but they were irritant to my milestone.

Activity #2 The National Gallery (5/9)

The British National Gallery was the first art gallery that I toured. I was astonished at the fact that admission was free to the public. I was also amazed at the size of the gallery with rooms after rooms cascading back to infinity. My initial tour started with viewing 13th to 14th century paintings. These paintings mostly showed scenes of mythical Greek mythology or depicted aspects of Christ's divinity. The Greek style painting seem to have a central theme of nudity, angel, love and divinity. The "Immortality" was one of the paintings that I found particularly interesting where it depicted a child being carried by angels to his mother so he can drink her milk to become an immortal. That theme seems to repeat in multiple painting with different backgrounds and intentions. Another major trend I saw during that time period was the virgin mother and child that also seemed to show divinity. This type of paintings were not as mythical as Greek style but still had the aspect of divinity among it. Portraits were another style of painting that were displayed in that time period. There were only a few of these types of painting but they all seemed to be common with a serious face, or if women, with some nudity. Moving towards the modern era, the paintings started to blend in common day to day life of average citizens, depicting landscapes, and more focus on detailed objects and portraits. The modern paintings showed barely any divinity unless it was related to religion. This tour helped me realize that there is a direct relationship between religious philosophical mindset and early art that can still be seen today.

Activity #3 Evensong (5/9)

In the evening, I went to the Westminster Abbey with my scavenger group to attend the Evensong. It was my first experience attending a formal service at a cathedral. For the most part, I had no idea what was going on, but I enjoyed listening to the choir accompanied by organs. The choir itself was impressive with its amazing singing, something I have never heard before. Overall, the 45-minute experience was interesting and enjoyable however it had nothing to do with my milestones.

Activity #4 British Museum (5/10)

British museum's glass roof was the first aspect of the museum that caught my eye. Warm morning light bleeding through the roof made me feel welcome into the main white marble hall. The hall's dome shaped architecture was another aspect that woke me up for the adventure that awaited. I still remember my initial pause as I entered the museum. All white marble walls and floor with a massive column in the middle gave me a sense of power emanating from this place and it forced me to acknowledge its beauty. This column, marble, dome and glass roof architecture aroused a question about whether it represents Greek, Roman and modern styles.
Moving on, I begin my journey in the history of Africa section. The first piece I saw, centered at the entrance, was a chair crafted from pieces of guns used in world war two. This chair was called "the thrown of guns". It gave me a sense of violence in African history which the Africans are trying to rebuild from. This theme of violence continued to be seen throughout the African exhibit, where it showcased weapons and war tactics used by the people throughout the history of Africa. Clock room was another exhibit I enjoyed exploring. In the center of the initial room displayed one of the first advanced clock created with weights that drove mechanical gears used to keep time. I was intrigued by how heavy the hanging weights seemed which drove the second's gear. Surrounding the main mechanical clock, there were series of clocks that showed the progression of clock over time. The clock exhibit ended with a visually pleasing mechanical clock that kept time by having a metal ball roll from one side to the other every thirty seconds. Currency room was another exhibit that intrigued me. The money printing machine was the first thing that caught my eye. It was a large steel machine that had a long bar attached to a screw. The screw would twist and press down, printing the coins with correct features according to the printing plate attached. Moving on, the currency showcase of coins used in Europe over time was another feature that caught my eye. Examining the coins up close, I saw a common resemblance between most of the coins where they all had a face printed on it. Remembering the miniature portraits on half dollar sized platform made me question if that is why the currency had a face on it.
Other notable exhibits that I explored were the Egyptian exhibit, Greek exhibit, and Roman exhibit. I didn't find much interest in the Egyptian exhibit where the Rosetta Stone was the highlight of this exhibit with ten different languages engraved into a stone. The Roman and Greek exhibit, on the other hand, was quite fascinating. The Roman sculptures, war gear and currency showed prosperity and rich culture with Greek theme. This may help prove the theory of Greek culture and philosophy having an influence on historical Europe.

Activity #5 St. Paul's Cathedral (5/11)

I found the dome roofs and the quire of the Cathedral to be the most interesting. The main dome roof had eight black and white paintings of Saint Paul created by James Thornhill. These paintings dictated Saint Paul's major accomplishments such as his explanation of Christian religion to the roman emperor. There were three other smaller domes located above the Quire. These domes also had paintings engraved on them. These paintings, however, were made from different colored rocks aligned at different angles. The setup of these paintings caused them to shimmer as light hit it. Directly below the domes, there were more paintings in color and statues that had a Greek cultural feel to them.
The quire was the area where the songs are sung and where the organ pipes are located. Originally, this area was concealed by a wall of organ pipes located in the middle between the nave and the quire, but in the recent years, the organ was cut symmetrically in half and placed on either side of the quire entrance. The intent of this was to open of the quire to the public as they came in to the nave for service. I found it quite interesting that the organ itself can remotely be played from a different location. It also has enough organ pipes to imitate a full orchestra.
The last place I found interesting was the whisper gallery. This was located along the walls of the main dome far above the ground floor. I was able to see each of Saint Paul's paintings up close and study the statues directly below them from this location. I also found it interesting to see how the windows, located along the main dome, made the dome itself feel divine looking up at it from the ground.
This Cathedral also housed modern arts for the first time. I distinctly remember the plasma TV's that depicted four people being mutilated by the four classical elements. It was said that it may represent how people were crucified in the past. There was also a modern art statue of Virgin Mary and Child that had no distinctive features. It was a carving of basic shapes so it could represent Virgin Mary and Child for Christians and the intimate relationship mother and child for other beliefs. These displays of modern art are great examples of evolving philosophical mind set of modern eras that shows the change, acceptance, and tolerance of other religions along with a changed style of art.

Activity #6 Natural History Museum (5/12)

Natural History Museum housed mostly geological and biological exhibits of Earth. The entering exhibit was a volcanic rock and earthquake exhibit. In this exhibit I found the rock formation machine to be interesting. This machine showed the type of rock formed based on the choice selected, between pressure or heat, at different stages of the formation. The earthquake room and earthquake resistant building models were fascinating as well. The earthquake room simulates an earthquake in a department store while having spectators located in it. This allowed me to feel a notable earthquake for the first time. To counter the destruction of earthquakes, building is built with pistons in the wall that absorb vibrations. This technology reduces violent shaking, as showed by the models, that can stop buildings from collapsing at lower magnitude earthquakes. I also learned that the density of Earth and composition of it was determined by recording vibrations of earthquakes at different location on Earth.
Moving on, I entered the history of Earth, solar system, and earth's weather exhibit. Here I found the erosion and sand machine to be fascinating. The erosion machine showed how rivers are carved by moving water. The sand machine showed how fluctuating water, known as ocean waves, causes displacement of minerals and ripples along the ground. These discoveries changed my perception of water from being gentle to something more. This theory was further reinforced after viewing spectacular rock structures formed by eroding water. The weather wheel was another machine I enjoyed viewing. The wheel was filled with water that rotated along with the direction of spin. This dictated how weather moves along with the spinning of Earth. Lastly, I enjoyed viewing the planetary display wall in this exhibit. The wall showed all the planets in our galaxy along with their related gravity and temperature compared to Earth.
The last few exhibits were Earth's resources and biology on Earth. I found Pyrite, also known as fool's gold, to be the most interesting to look at. Pyrite had cubic perfect structures growing on top of each other at different angles. I found this to be fascinating as it made me ponder and appreciate the power of nature.
Unfortunately, this activity did not particularly add to my milestones research, but I did appreciate learning about the workings of Earth.

Activity #7 Victoria and Albert Museum (5/15)

Today's museum tour was quite interesting. There were exhibits that showcased regional cultural objects, aside from just displaying sculptures and arts. Of these kind, I found the Asian exhibit to be the most interesting. Asian exhibit started in Korean gallery where decorative pottery from that region dominated the displays. Among them, I found the hanji paper collage to be the most interesting piece. It was a collage of paper twisted together in 3D. Another gallery I enjoyed in the Asian exhibit was the Pre-Mughal India gallery. In this gallery, there were ancient Indian architectures on display along with furnishing and daily necessities. I found the decorative window screens to be the most fascinating. I also found the carpets and instruments to be interesting as well. Looking at the instruments, I wonder if modern western instruments are related to them.
Rest of the tour was kind of boring with viewing repetitive western sculptures, arts, and architecture. I, however, did enjoy viewing historical furnished rooms such as bedrooms from England. This activity could give me background on early of philosophy seen in various parts of the world.

Activity #8 Tate Modern (5/16)

I found this activity to be boring. Aside from a few exceptions, most of the modern art I saw seemed too random for me to enjoy. Among those exceptions, I loved viewing 2D and 3D allusion paintings. My favorite was a 2D allusion painting with different colored horizontal lines. The longer I looked at that painting, the more I seemed to get sucked into it with the lines moving and changing colors. There were other similar paintings that I appreciated in 3D as well.
Aside from looking at the art, my most fond memory from this site was viewing London from the tenth floor. From that level, I was able to see most of London. I particularly remember viewing the shard and being amazed at the beauty of it from this high angle.
This activity seemed boring, but it could be a great source of information on how culture and philosophy evolved into the modern era.

Activity #9 Museum of London (5/17)

I found this museum to be enjoyable. Unlike the previous museums, this museum focused on the technological and cultural development of London. The memorable aspect of this museum was the chronological pathway through the exhibits. Entering the museum, I was first encountered with the early formation of London. There, I was amazed to learn that London was only composed of few zones found today including West Minster. Another aspect of that particular exhibit was trade. I was amazed to see and learn how some of the trade building operated during that age like the trade ports and markets. I also learned that trade with Asia and rest of Europe influenced the life of London. This is particularly interesting because this can give me insight on how philosophy emerged in London.
Another exhibit I enjoyed was the modern city exhibit. There, I was amazed to see how classic transportation looked such as the classic London taxi. I also enjoyed learning about the classic printing press and about the impact of world war two on London life. Walking through 20th century London streets with recreated shops was the best part of that exhibit among all.

Activity #10 Tate Britain (5/19)

Today was another art gallery tour. Like other galleries, this gallery specialized in displaying paintings and sculptures. My personal favorite paintings were of horses. I found different themed paintings such as a Greek painting that portraying a horse fighting a shake. This particular theme of animals fighting was further seen in sculptures and divine modern classical paintings where god like creatures and humans defended other weaker people from them.
One thing I did find different about this gallery, however, was that it displayed modern art alongside "classical" art. This was quite interesting as it showed me how art progressed over time into what we now call modern art. Comparing classical and modern art, I found that both had themes of nudity and angels among them. Nudity, particularly female, seems to occur frequently in almost all the eras, post Greek, which poses a question of whether that is the reason we relate beauty with female.
This tour does not directly relate to any of my milestones but it could potentially explain the philosophy between classical and modern art.

Activity #11 Hampton Court Palace (5/22)

Hampton Court Palace seemed like a castle at first glance. I had to go through a drawbridge to get into the main palace area. Looking around the courtyard, I found it appealing to see human props in various locations. Some of them were kind of funny, such as the sleeping one at the fountain. Moving into the palace, my first initial thoughts were about the decorative ceilings. They were absolutely beautiful with paintings merging from the ceiling into the walls. My favorite painting of these kind of was located in the kings sleeping room. It had angelic paintings curving down from the center of the ceiling, into the surrounding walls, and down to the floor.
Speaking of the rooms, it was very funny to see all the rooms designated to a particular person. Both kings and queens had their own sets of rooms where one would be for sitting, another would be for sleeping and so on. My personal favorite rooms were the game room and the toilet room. The game room had bunch of board games on tables with a spectacular view of the gardens outside. The toilet room, on the other hand, was fascinating because it was so small compared to other kingly rooms with a toilet that had a red silk seat. That just goes to show the kings meant business when it came to luxury.
Today's tour concluded with viewing the gardens. Gardens were the highlight of this tour for me. There were three sections of garden. The first section was the main garden with a wide-open area. It almost seemed like a park with how big and open it was. The second section was the semi large garden with beautiful golden fencing and a maze like smaller gardens with sculptures surrounded by flowers. This section also had a large fountain in the middle along with a fantastic view of the palace. The last section had smaller gardens. These gardens seemed more private gorgeous decorations. There were three of these types of gardens with their own unique style.
This was an amazing tour but unfortunately it does not relate to any of my milestones.

Activity #12 Museum of London Docklands (5/23)

Today's journey took me to a museum that showed the history behind the formation London docks. It started in the early trading era where London started booming. Some of the instruments used to trade in those time periods were on display. I particularity found the weighing scales interesting. Most of those scales were balance scales with square weights. They ranged from industrial scale, the size of a building, to personal mobile scales, the size of a suitcase.
From there, I moved onto the triangular trade exhibit where it showed, in detail, how it was done. My personal favorite exhibit came next were a street at a harbor was recreated from those days. Aside from the perfect lighting and props, that street also had sounds and smell to go along with the display. Walking through there gave me a true feeling of how someone in those days would feel.
From there, it was basics of how docks evolved, how ships were created, the types of ships created, and the history of events. In the end, with the nature of this tour and its main focus, I will not be able to use any of the information here for any of my milestones.

Activity #13 Imperial War Museum (5/24)

Today's museum tour was very enjoyable. I was amazed at how they displayed some of the props partially cantilevering out of their designated floors. Of the many props in the entrance hall, I found the fighter planes and the V1 and V2 rockets very interesting. V2, compared to V1 was quarter the size and they both were unmanned rockets used in world war two. My personal favorite prop was the t34 tank which was towards the end of the entrance hall. It was kind of surprising to see how compact it was compared to how it looked in some of the video games I played.
Seeing some of world war two vehicles and equipment were another highlight of the tour. I especially remember being curious at seeing the actual size of anti-tank batteries and the size of their ammo. Learning about the German U boats and seeing an actual torpedo was also pretty amazing. I ended the tour going through the holocaust exhibit. I found it very sad learning the history behind it, especially how Hitler determined pure Germans through measuring various parts of his citizen's bodies. Unfortunately, this activity had nothing to do with my milestones.

Activity #14 Horniman Museum (5/25)

I don't actually know what I went to today. I was in a museum one second and then I was taking a stroll through a garden the next. It was enjoyable and disappointing at the same time. The enjoyable part of the trip was the museum and the gardens. While I was in the museum, I really enjoyed learning about how the families of animals evolved. In particular, I was amazed to learn how the family of dogs evolved from their wolf predecessors. I also enjoyed learning about how brain structures evolved over time. It was kind of surprising to see how similar dog brains are to human brains. This discovery now posed a question of whether human brains evolved in the same fashion as dog brains but at a faster pace.
The more disappointing part of this trip was the robotic zoo exhibit. I was excited to see the exhibit after seeing their amazing poster. I was actually hoping to see a working zoo with moving robotic animals, but I was faced with viewing around eight stationary robotic art pieces all put in one room.
Overall, today's tour does not relate to any of my milestones but it is a great place to learn about evolution and do some work in the gardens.

Activity #15 London Science Museum (5/30)

Today's trip was kind of special. I was able to experience virtual reality for the first time as I explored how an astronaut travels from a space station back down to earth. The best moment going through that journey was seeing the sun peeking through the atmosphere as it came around from the other side. It was kind of amazing to see how thin the gas atmosphere was that keeps us safe.
I was also able to experience my first time being in a full flight simulator. The simulator was able to produce actual movements as I flew in an attack mission. Doing that mission gave me a clear sense how taxing of an occupation it is being fighter pilot.
Aside from all the highlights of this trip mentioned above, I was able to experience the evolution of space technology, computers, personal transportation and much more going through various scientific exhibits. Even though this was an amazing tour, it is unrelated to my milestones.

Activity #16 The Wallace Collection (5/31)

Today's trip felt a bit repetitive. At the The Wallace Collection, all I saw were similar style painting, sculptures and medieval weaponry that I have already seen in other museums. The venue, however, was unique. It felt like the collection was in someone's house. The rooms were well furnished and decorated. I found it fascinating to study the decoration on the furnishings that weren't exactly royalty. This activity is also unrelated to my milestones.

Activity #17 The Globe Theater (6/7)

Today I went to the Globe Theater. It was an interesting experience standing close to the stage and watching a two and a half hour play in an open environment. At first, I was fascinated with how the building was structured. The building itself looked quite vintage as though it was from the time of Shakespeare. The center stage was surrounded by a layer of open field without a roof for spectators to stand in. Then that layer of open field was surrounded by a layer of roofed balconies, rising up three stories, for the spectators to sit in and watch the play. The premises it also had modern aspects to it such as the fake trees placed around the building. These trees seemed to be modern art with a real tree trunk cut at the top and replaced with artificial branches and leaves.
Now, moving onto the play itself, I found it to be eye catching. The performers were excellent with convincing emotions within the play. I believe the emotions were what kept me engaged with the production because it made it seem real. Personally, I found the ending to be the highlight of the entire performance with dramatic scenes preformed with intense emotions by Romeo and Juliet.
Aside from the performance, I also found the humor within the performance appealing. I especially liked the fight scenes where they made it overly dramatic with dancing, intense lighting and intense music accompanied by random background actors. Another humor I liked was the Indian priest with a heavy Indian accent. He played the role well while making it seem interesting with a different approach.
Overall this experience was fantastic. The only down side was watching the play soaked by heavy rain at the beginning. This activity also had nothing to do with my milestones.

Activity #18 Stonehenge, Bath (6/8)

Today our entire London HUA group went on a tour around England. We began our trip at the London Eye where we met up with our tour guide. The tour guide was explicitly reserved for our HUA group along with touring in a private bus. The tour guide, I thought, was fantastic. He gave a rich history of all the sights that we went to in a funny and engaging way. I found that to be the highlight of this trip's experience.
Our first sight that we went to was the Stonehenge. This was less exciting then I originally thought. I finished looking around the Stonehenge in fifteen minutes, which I thought was way too quick. It was quick because, I was just looking at a pile of stone stacked in an interesting way. It was quite interesting to look at as a first glance, but after that it just got boring. The whether was also bad making the experience feel miserable.
The next sight we went to was the town of Bath. This was the place were the tour started to liven up for me. The initial view of the town and the country side going over a steep hill was just breathtaking. The town itself felt fresh which reminded me of my hometown. To begin with, the town was surrounded by hills giving it this amazing natural feel. The air smelled fresh which energized me. The roman buildings were also amazing to look at. It truly felt like I was in England now. I had lunch, which was fantastic, followed by a walking tour of Bath for the remainder of the time there. On the walking tour, we got to see the Kings bath which was a natural hot spring.
Our last stop of this tour was a walk through of an old town. The town was so old that it was still made of clay. In the town, we got to see the buildings where Harry Potter's movie scenes were shot.
Aside from the amazing experience, this tour had very little to do with my milestones, unless I look at the Stonehenge history when the humans were still in the natural state.

Activity #19 Windsor Castle (6/12)

I went to the Windsor Castle today. It was not as amazing as I expected it to be because most of the cool places were off limit for visitors. One of those places was the large round tower, next to the palace, which I wanted to check out, but it was closed for visitors. On the other hand, I did find the moat garden, scenery, and the play room to be interesting. I particularly remember the giant model doll house in the play room. It had spectacular craftsmanship, making the building seem real.
Overall, I did not believe Windsor Castle was worth visiting because the trip to it was long and most of the attractions were already seen at other places. The tour also only lasted for one and a half hours, which I believed was way to short for a trip of this caliber. Plus, this activity had nothing to do with my milestones.

Activity #20 St. Martins-in-the-field (6/16)

Today I went to a concert at St. Martins. The concert was preformed using only wind instruments where the peaces played were modern, post world war two, music. I really enjoyed listening to the wind instruments because it made me feel relaxed. The flute, particularly, made me feel like I was sitting in nature with other instruments illustrating the different aspects of it. I really enjoyed this concert as a whole, but it had nothing to do with my milestones.

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