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Writing essays in philosophy - Philosophy Essays Free Essays on Philosophy


Essays which limit themselves to such an exposition can not earn an A, and generally receive no better than a B- grade.


Philosophy Paper Writing Guidelines Philosophy Paper Writing Guidelines 2000 Tim O Keefe and Anne Farrell 1 BEGIN YOUR PAPER WITH A THESIS STATEMENT Avoid general, historical, or flowery introductions.

Don t be too precious about what you have written, if it appears that it should be sacrificed in the revision process. Another good book, more general in scope, is William Zinsser s, On Writing Well.


eg As Nietzsche succinctly put the point, There are no moral phenomena at all, only a moral interpretation of phenomena. I used this as a teaching assistant teaching Philosophy 110. It s also OK to split an infinitive, if you need to. Discuss the issues with others As I said above, your papers are supposed to demonstrate that you understand and can think critically about the material we discuss in class. He makes this claim- where the words quoted from Descartes are in single quotation marks. Of course, by all means go on, after finding fault with some philosopher, to answer in your own way the questions tackled or raised by the author. The practice is to raise particular objections to q, difficulties or that are deemed sufficient to eliminate it or show why it should not be accepted.


Again, the overriding consideration is the of your essay if your treatment of the subject matter demands it, then certainly you should append a short conclusion, stating briefly what you have been arguing and why but do not put in a conclusion merely for the sake of it, and do not simply repeat what you have already clearly said. Read on to find out what they will be looking for. Another common mistake is to think that your case will be stronger if you mention, even if briefly, virtually every argument that you have come across in support of your position.

Most first attempts at writing philosophy essays fall down on this point.


When you have looked at a reasonable amount of secondary material you should then- if your reading of that material has not already forced you to do so- go back to the primary texts and read them carefully. Often, this science can be described as a form of ideology, or a theory, the discipline of a human action, which includes knowledge of the processes.

You should never introduce any points in your paper unless they re important to your main argument, and you have the room to really explain them. presupposes that science follows one basic method.

Never copy passages from books, articles, or the internet without acknowledging a reference.


Criteria for marking In the following I specify criteria for marking a philosophical argumentative essay, answering a given philosophical question. Make sure that you give reasons and arguments for the position that you hold.


This lets you organize the points you want to make in your paper and get a sense for how they are going to fit together.

Among the general introductions are various philosophical dictionaries, encyclopedias and companions.

While it may be of interest to others whether you believe in a deity, believe that abortion is wrong, or think that there are no moral absolutes your statement of such no matter how eloquent or detailed will not suffice in meeting the requirements in this course.


Further, you will have to give reasons for why your own approach should be considered.

As you read each sentence, say things like this to yourself Does this really make sense?


Finally, re-examine everything that you have written down. Make sure that you have read all you can on the subject including journal articles before you claim that a particular position is your own. Features of philosophy Worldview with help of philosophy, a human being forms his outlook. Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation Learn more about this feature in our Do you really want to delete this prezi? THINGS TO AVOID IN YOUR PHILOSOPHY ESSAY Lengthy introductions. WEAK ON THEORIES AND OR PRINCIPLES Philosophy and ethics is about descriptive and prescriptive theories.


It s also OK to split an infinitive, if you need to.


A good conclusion to a philosophy essay, then, will usually combine a realistic assessment of the ambit and cogency of its claims with a plausible proposal that those claims have some philosophical substance. In these cases I recommend that you read the classic texts first, so that you approach them with an unprejudiced eye or at least an eye unprejudiced by modern commentary, perhaps in the rapid, surveying manner suggested above, before looking at secondary material. Socrates said, The unexamined life is not worth living p.


You should also indicate, very briefly, your main line of argument. 5 The most damaging problem with cultural relativism is that if it is true, then a number of unacceptable implications arise. essay colloquialisms which can really get up your reader s nose writing whose syntax merely reflects the patterns of informal speech unnecessary abstractness or indirectness unexplained jargon flattery and invective questions do you really need me to tell you what they are? How to write a philosophical essay Go to Instructions for a Philosophical Essay Summary Give an answer to the question set for the essay and defend it with arguments.

Sometimes the easiest way to say what you mean is by splitting an infinitive. Finally it will be in a barely legible handwriting, will have no name at the top and no margins for reader s comments at the sides. You are not to presume that your reader is someone who is already fully familiar with the topic you are concerned with. The above detailed of such papers should help you understand my expectations those desiring high grades will endeavor to approach the highest ideal, while those who are not so motivated may choose to set their sights somewhat lower. Be careful not to get distracted by, or bogged down in, your examples.

Emphasizes the of a well-developed thesis statement. There should be a logical progression of ideas- one that will be easy for the reader to follow.


Notice how much the paper improves with each revision Writing tutor for Introductory Philosophy Courses.

In general terms, do not be content simply to get your paper out of your hands.


Melbourne Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, 2002, pp. For example it can be something like the following I will first present my argument, then consider an objection that states A because B, then explain why I don t find the objection to be convincing because C. If I detect plagiarism I will make your life miserable by reporting you to my chair, the academic dean, the president, the bishop, cardinal, and the pope. Reading, especially in philosophy, should be an active and interactive endeavor. Unless you have a very good understanding of what you re looking for- and what you re not looking for- most of you will be much better off simply carefully reading and thinking about a central text for your course, eg Descartes First Meditation, rather than wandering about the internet clicking on all the hits for Descartes.

Genuine originality This is rare in academia and much prized. He not only wrote the Republic, but also a later dialogue, the Statesman.

Thus, the fact that an appropriate expert holds your sort of view provides no good reason, in and of itself, for you or for anyone else to hold this view.


More advanced students might do well to read Philosophical Writing An Introduction, by A. It will be assumed that you can spell- which is not a matter of pressing the spell-check key on a


Comment by December 31, 2014 Very helpful- will show to my students Comment by December 30, 2014 Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment You are commenting using your WordPress.


Philosophical style Among the marks of a good style are these clarity, directness of approach to problems, a strong sense of relevance, reliance on the simplest language that will make your point.


Moreover, you should not add a possessive s after a group or family name that ends in s.


Second or There are three elements in Plato s conception of the soul, namely. In the case of a critical appraisal of a particular author s text, you can negatively criticise the author s arguments by pointing out questionable assumptions, invalid reasoning, etc.

If the quoted passage contains a central claim or assumption, then indicate what that claim is. Note that abstractness and generality are not the same thing. In writing such a paper you must not only clarify the views of the author s in question, but you must also offer your own critical assessment of whether we should accept, reject, or remain neutral regarding this orientation, view, or position. All of these are easily correctable you allow yourself sufficient time.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR WRITING PHILOSOPHY EXAMS 1. 10 2 James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism in Joel Feinberg, ed.


But the student hasn t really engaged with Philosopher X s view in an interesting way. Or perhaps those weaknesses will have affected our overall impression of the paper, and we just didn t offer any specific recommendation about fixing them. A s students write their papers and, of course, while they are reading and thinking about the current readings, lectures, and discussions, I encourage them to endeavor to integrate the knowledge they have acquired in their other philosophy courses both those taken with me, and those taken with my colleagues, and from the other courses they have taken with the material they are currently studying in my courses.

I have never met a person whose first draft of a paper could not be improved significantly by rewriting. Here are some tips about how to figure out a passage you don t understand.

The problem with rhetorical questions is that philosophy papers should clarify, defend, and argue. It was discovered in a later study, however, that the sole reason for the infanticide was to ensure the well being of the family. Suffice it to say that they are offering a non sequitur.


Defining philosophy is always a more or less controversial business, but one way to think of what is done in university philosophy departments is to think of the difference between having a philosophy and doing philosophy. Take care, in a short essay, not to allow quotation and paraphrase to constitute an excessively large part of your permitted wordage!


He could have argued that B doesn t really follow from A, after all.

Note that the number of questions you mark need not be the same as the number you are required to answer you can leave it till later to make any necessary final decision between equally attractive or unattractive rivals one reason for leaving these final decisions is that you may simply waste time agonising about that at this early stage, whereas if you postpone the decision you may well find that when you get to the point where you have to make it it has already made itself.

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