Premium Essay

How to Write an Essay on Philosophy

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Pm128
Words 762
Pages 4
Good writing is the product of proper training, much practice, and hard work. The following remarks, though they will not guarantee a top quality paper, should help you determine where best to direct your efforts. I offer first some general comments on philosophical writing, and then some specific "do"s and "don't"s.

One of the first points to be clear about is that a philosophical essay is quite different from an essay in most other subjects. That is because it is neither a research paper nor an exercise in literary self-expression. It is not a report of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic. It does not present the latest findings of tests or experiments. And it does not present your personal feelings or impressions. Instead, it is a reasoned defense of a thesis. What does that mean?

Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish - something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept - together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.

Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show. This is harder than it sounds. It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove. If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it.

The next task is to determine how to go about convincing the reader that your thesis is correct. In two words, your method must be that of rational persuasion. You will present arguments. At this point, students frequently make one or more of several common errors. Sometimes they…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Suffering

...BROCK UNIVERSITY • DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY • 2014-2015 PHIL 1F94 - Introduction to Philosophy: Problems Essay 2: Existentialism Evaluation: 20% of final grade Length: 1400-1500 words Due: After uploading to Assignment2 students are required to hand in a hard copy of their essays at the beginning of their seminars on March 10, 2015. Late papers will be penalized 3% per day. Students must write this essay in order to complete this course with a passing grade. Choose 1 essay topic from the following list of 16: Sartre Write an essay which explicates and evaluates some of the central claims in Sartre’s “Existentialism” (the first essay of Existentialism and Human Emotions.) You should frame your essay around a particular philosophical claim or theme which you would like to write about in Sartre’s essay. For example: 1. How does Sartre argue that “existentialism is a humanism” and is his argument a good one? 2. What is Sartre’s notion of freedom and how does it relate to ethics? Is this a viable ethics? 3. Explain and evaluate the claim that “existence precedes essence.” What are the implications for living if one accepts this claim? Defend or consider problems with this position. 4. What does Sartre mean when he says that “man is condemned to be free” but also that we are nonetheless responsible for who or what we become? In what way are we free, in which ways are we responsible, and to whom are we responsible? Is Sartre right? If so,......

Words: 1163 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Pathways to Philosophy Writing a Philosophy Essay

...There is no technique, or recipe, or set of guidelines for writing an essay in philosophy. — That statement might not appear very helpful. To the beginner, the very idea of a philosophy essay seems mysterious, and the prospect of having to write one quite intimidating. Any attempt to explain the nature of philosophical writing in the abstract, however, merely serves to deepen the mystery. All one can say is that once you have started to grapple with various actual examples of such writing, you will begin to form an idea of the type of approach that is needed. Then, all you can do is have a go yourself. In short, like the very first things we were taught as infants, one learns by imitation and by trial and error. But why is it necessary to write philosophy anyway? Isn't it enough just to study the works of philosophers? Writing — whether in the form of books, articles, essays, or dialogues — is, quite simply, the way one works at philosophy. Reading, thinking, talking philosophy are all parts of the process. But none of these is a satisfactory substitute for the discipline of expressing your thoughts on paper. (The lone figure of Socrates is perhaps the only recorded exception to this statement.) A student who has not yet produced his or her first piece of written work has simply not reached first base. — That is why at Pathways we encourage our students to get into the practice of writing from the start. By 'writing' one does not mean simply jotting down thoughts as......

Words: 623 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Philosophy 201

...Course Syllabus ------------------------------------------------- PHIL 201 Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas Course Description A survey of the major positions and figures in philosophy and the cultural worldviews and practical applications that derive from them, focusing specifically on theism, naturalism and humanism in contemporary thought. Rationale PHIL 201’s purpose extends beyond degree completion to the spiritual edification of Liberty University students both as disciples of Christ and ambassadors of the Christian faith. It equips students to defend their faith against the intellectual attacks of non-believers by exposing the issues and problems of philosophy. I. Prerequisites None II. Required Resource Purchases Dew, J. K., & Foreman, M. W. (2014). How do we know? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830840366. (E-book available through MBS Direct). Evans, C. S., & Manis, R. Z. (2009). Philosophy of religion: Thinking about faith (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830838769. Foreman, M. W. (2014). Prelude to philosophy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830839605. (E-book available through MBS Direct). Hasker, W. (1983). Metaphysics: constructing a worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780877843412. Holmes, A. F. (2007). Ethics: approaching moral decisions (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830828036. Disclaimer: The above......

Words: 854 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosphy Tao

...Timothy Lee 12/07/15 Professor Parise Philosophy 80 – Intro to Religion Tao I have chosen the article of Taoism: The Tao Te Ching, and have decided to expand my knowledge in Taoism. The article begins with the introduction of Chinese philosophy, and enters the definition of Confucianism and Taoism. They continue with the definition, and explain that Chinese philosophy was interplayed by these two concepts. The article explains Confucianism is based on will and intuition, while Taoism are more concentrated in instinctiveness and intuition. These are important in Chinese philosophy, because China always questions balance. They give examples in the article by bringing yin and yang, light and dark, heat and cold, etc. The article tells a story about Lao Tzu who quit his occupation, and decided to go west to achieve solitude. He created the book The Tao Te Ching, which had been translated many times to show the importance and genius of the book. Before starting the essay, it is important to understand “Tao,” which is translated in English to way, or a synonym. The book begins with an introduction of The Tao Itself, and it explains to the readers how Tao works in our lives, and the infinite possibility of Tao. The author writes, “The Tao is like a well: used but never used up.” It compares Tao to the well, and no matter how many times it has been used; there would still be resources to use. Showing that Tao can never expire, and it continues by connecting the emptiness......

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Essay Writing

...Mennesker i verden. How can I write a critical essay? Actually, writing such an article is very simple if you know the main characteristics of an essay. For sure, you have learned how to write the introduction, the body and the conclusion parts. Now, it is time to get familiar with the critical essay which considerably differs from other types of writing that are likely to be assigned during the studying process. Actually, its main goal is to provide an analysis of the article that you wish to work with in the future. Let us summarize the main steps in writing a critical essay and learn a tip or two to perfect your writing skills. 1. Study your topic interest. This gives you an edge to prepare in writing an essay because you can learn more about the article that you wish to “criticize”. In any case, you are still going to read an article before writing a critique about it so you might as well understand clearly what the subject is all about. 2. Look for information. Writing an essay will always involve the search for information. At the very least, looking for other sources of knowledge that are to affirm a notion in an essay is always necessary. 3. Create a thesis statement. Once you have finished with the article in reference, you can create a thesis statement that will serve as the guiding medium for you to write your critical essay. The main philosophy behind it is to make a thesis statement that will present a notion of either you agree with the author’s......

Words: 586 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Philosophical Life Essay

...you may have to pick from a set of questions. If you're doing higher level work, you'll need to pick a topic which may then be formed into a question. * Writing about a subject you're passionate about always proves easiest. What subject speaks out to you? (Beware of not having an open mind or not enough distance when choosing a subject you care about.) If you're having difficulty choosing which questions to answer in an exam or homework situation, for each question, ask yourself the question "how difficult would it be for me to answer this question?", and choose a number between zero and five. Put the number next to the questions on the exam paper or homework sheet and then choose the highest ranked questions. 2) Work out how to answer the actual question. Too many people fail in academic situations because they don't answer the question on the page. The question is set specifically to get you to think in a certain way, not so you can spot a name or theory you know and just write out everything you know about that person or idea. In an exam or homework type situation, you need to answer the question that has actually been set, not the question you wish had been set - the two are often quite different. * Many questions will start with a quote followed simply by the word "Discuss." There are two possible things you need to do here: firstly, it may be asking you to discuss the quote because it explains a vague idea that needs explicating. In this case, your first task......

Words: 1821 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Eastern Philosophy

...Eastern Philosophy Matrix and Essay Part 1 Matrix: Analyze Eastern philosophy by completing the following matrix. Provide a definition of the branch of philosophy as given in a philosophical source (the readings, supplemental materials, or outside academic sources) and list a minimum of three historical developments, theories, key contributors, and principal issues. Bullet point answers are acceptable. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ......

Words: 832 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Thomas Manns Influences

...influential writers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner, and Hermann Bahr. Aside from the writers that Mann was influenced by, Mann was influenced by the German culture that surrounded him growing up in Lübeck, Germany. Researching Mann and finding sources that were critical of Mann was difficult, especially when it came to finding print sources. This is perhaps due to Mann's life being rather unimportant when compared to how influential and philosophical his works are. His works have so much depth and hiding meaning and cause contained within their covers that critics would much rather criticize his works than Mann himself. Another reason quite possibly be, that to criticize Mann's work a critic does not have to know Mann's background because of how well and precise Mann conveys and illustrates the ideals and philosophies of those who influenced him while writing. Nietzsche, influences nearly all of Mann's short stories and novels, whether it be that Mann quoted him or built antitheses off Nietzsche ideals or even based an essay completely off of a writing of Nietzsche. Mann has been accounted stating that he was undoubtedly a Nietzschean (Robertson 27). This being, Mann wrote in his “A Sketch of My Life,” that he saw in Nietzsche, above all, “the man who conquers himself”: “with him I took nothing literally, I believed almost nothing, but precisely this gave my love for him its multi-layered[sic] and passionate quality — gave it depth (Robertson......

Words: 2034 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Mackenzie

...Philosophy  144:  Introduction  to  the  Philosophy  of  Science     Professor  Andersen     Spring  2013   Monday  and  Wednesday,  12:30-­‐1:20PM   Blusson  9660     Email:  handerse@sfu.ca     Office  phone:  778-­‐782-­‐4851  (does  not  accept  messages)   Office:  WMX  5611   Office  hours:  Monday  10:30AM-­‐11:30;  Tuesday  1PM-­‐2PM;  or  by  appointment       Overview:  This  course  will  provide  an  introduction  to  issues  surrounding  the  history   and  philosophy  of  the  sciences.  We  will  consider  the  trajectory  of  how  science  as  we   now  think  of  it  came  to  be,  where  new  ideas  and  new  technologies  transformed  major   worldviews  into  what  we  now  recognize  as  the  beginnings  of  modern  science.  The   historical  part  of  this  course  will  begin  with  the  physics  of  Aristotle,  look  at  important   episodes  in  the  development  of  science  such  as  the  work  of  Copernicus  and  Galileo,   and  conclude  with  Newton  and  his  massive  achievement  in  creating  a  framework  for  ......

Words: 882 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Bus 681 Entire Course Compensation and Benefits

...purchase this tutorial copy and paste link in your browser. BUS 681 Entire Course Compensation and Benefits Week 1 Compensation Strategy. Discuss the general goals of an organization’s compensation system, including how a compensation strategy works to support the organization’s business strategy. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings. Compensation Practices. Discuss the various factors that influence a company’s competitive strategies and compensation practices. Assess how a company can mitigate these factors using effective compensation practices. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings. Journal Article Research and Analysis. Using a variety of research techniques, write a 3-5 page essay that summarizes the impact and affect of compensation within an organization. This essay should be based on research obtained through a minimum of three Journal articles. Week 2 Seniority and Merit Pay. Define the concept of seniority and merit pay plans, including the strengths and limitations of such plans within an organization. Discuss the job, organizational and/or other factors that should be considered when deciding between the two. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings. Incentive Pay Plans. Discuss how incentive pay plans – both individual and group – motivate employees to achieve high levels of performance. Identify potential weaknesses of these plans and suggest steps that can be taken to make these plans......

Words: 1284 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Business

...Haha lolz PHIL 1F90: Winter term essay 2013. ric brown Value: 20% Due Date: Friday, February 15th, 2013, NOON. Where: Philosophy drop box at 573 Glenridge. Late Penalty: 2% per day. No comments, written or verbal, on late work. Length: 6-8 typed pages, 12 font, double-spaced. with appropriate margins. *YOUR TITLE PAGE MUST INCLUDE: 1. THE COMPLETE QUESTION AS PRESENTED BELOW 2. YOUR NAME 3. YOUR STUDENT NUMBER 4. THE COURSE NAME (PHIL 1F90) 5. THE NAME OF YOUR TA 6. YOUR TURNITIN receipt number NB. Failure to include this information will result in 2% deduction per item and a zero for any paper submitted without the turnitin.com receipt. Question ONE: Write a dialogue between Silenus, the satyr; Hench; and Michael Gorr, in which each explains his respective position vis-à-vis determinism, libertarianism, and compatibilism. Remember that at the beginning of the story, Hench completely agrees with Silenus’ position even though Hench was himself a libertarian. But at the end of the story? Which of three positions: determinism, libertarianism, or compatibilism are you most inclined to accept? Why? Question TWO: Write a dialogue between Harry Vladek, Dr. Nicholson, and John Perry. Supposing that the boy whose brain Tommy could receive is named Sam, who is Harry Vladek most likely to bring home from the hospital, Tommy or Sam? What does Perry think about the outcome? How certain is he? Is there any reason to believe the...

Words: 529 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

English Essay Tips

...over essay writing, knowing that their essays account for a major portion of their score on the exam. Understandably, there is concern. They want to do well. I wish there were a magic formula to essay success, but there isn't. I have tried to come up with a essay planner that works, but the trouble with something like that is that it cannot possibly account for all the variables that exist when a particular student reads and responds to a passage. Therefore, this little essay is an attempt to steer my AP students towards a philosophy of essay writing instead of trying to have an approach or a system. Where to begin? A few thoughts on beginning any essay ________________________________________ Before all else, as writers we must have something to say. And if it's not important or significant, then it is not generally worth saying. From what I can tell, all passages used on AP tests have something to reveal to readers. Before we write one single word about imagery or diction, we MUST figure out what that something is. What does this author have to say to us about being human, about our shared experiences, about our fears, our sorrows, our victories? Find this and you will have something to say. This something is what I call the "So What" and without it, your essay will be meaningless. So, if there is a step one, it is this: read and understand the passage given. This understanding of the meaningful, of the So What, is what will allow you to write an insightful essay.......

Words: 1254 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Autocratic Management

...Management Essay on Autocratic Leadership Are you struggling with your management essay? Worried you won't gain the grade you require, bringing down the standard of your degree? You don't understand what you're studying – shouldn't you get help? Is it worth failing and wasting all the time and money you spent on your course? Your essay may be difficult but don't let it get you down or stressed - let us help you! Our team of 4,000+ qualified professional experts – many of who practice as business analysts, finance directors and management consultants – are waiting to write your essay for you. Just send us your essay question, tell us when you need it for, and sit back – we guarantee the quality, originality and delivery time of the work so you have nothing to worry about. Trust us, trust our guarantees and trust our 4,000+ qualified experts to help you with your management essay! Management essay on autocratic leadership An autocratic leader will always be successful in an organization. What is autocratic leadership? Leadership is, writes Shackleton (1995), about recognizing a goal and having the motivational power to influence a group towards achieving that goal. Successful leadership therefore means that this goal is achieved by the leader and their group. There are many different means and styles of leadership, one of which is by autocratic means. Autocratic leadership is based upon an approach whereby the manager retains the maximum amount of power that they can....

Words: 2204 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Philosophy

...University of Phoenix Material Metaphysics Matrix and Essay Part 1 Matrix: Analyze metaphysics in philosophy by completing the following matrix. Provide a definition of the branch of philosophy as given in a philosophical source (the readings, supplemental materials, or outside academic sources) and list a minimum of three historical developments, theories, key contributors, and principal issues. Bullet point answers are acceptable. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ...

Words: 632 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Hlt 310v Week 2 Complete Assignment and Dq

...your answer. What is a personal analysis of your own experience with illness and disease and how several factors colored that experience? How can you relate to The Death of Ivan Ilych? WEEK 2 TOPIC 2 DQ 2 What is the Christian concept of the imago dei? How might it be relevant to our unique approach in health care and why is it important? WEEK 2 ASSIGNMENT (BENCHMARK ASSIGNMENT) HEALING HOSPITAL: A DARING PARADIGM Max Points: 125 Details: Consider how the paradigm of a healing hospital might influence your philosophy of caregiving and write an essay of 500-750 words that addresses the following: 1. Describe the components of a healing hospital and their relationship to spirituality. 2. What are the challenges of creating a healing environment in light of the barriers and complexities of the hospital environment? 3. Include biblical aspects that support the concept of a healing hospital. Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Please refer to the directions in the Student Success Center. WEEK 2 CASE STUDY ON MORAL STATUS Max Points: 80 Details: Write a 250-500 word analysis of “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality.” Be sure to address the......

Words: 938 - Pages: 4