Sunday, June 15, 2014

Jordin Sparks on How to Write a Philosophy Paper

This song offers a nice outline of the steps one should take when writing a philosophy paper!


Of course the start of any well developed idea is going to be messy at first. Part of the point of philosophical writing is to develop an idea more carefully by articulating the assumptions you've made and offering justifications for these assumptions in tiny steps. Be sure to carefully explain your ideas and justifications in detail. This will make it easier to see where your argument is flawed and where your argument is vulnerable to attack.
Philippa Foot (2001) offers a similar sentiment when describing Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophical method:  
"Wittgenstein interrupted a speaker who had realized that he was about to say something that, although it seemed compelling, was clearly ridiculous, and was trying (as we all do in such circumstances) to say something sensible instead. 'No,' said Wittgenstein. 'Say what you want to say. Be crude and then we shall get on.' The suggestion that in doing philosophy one should not try to banish or tidy up a ludicrously crude but troubling thought, but rather give it its day, its week, its month, in court, seems to me very helpful. It chimes of course with Wittgenstein's idea that in philosophy it is very difficult to work as slowly as one should." (Natural Goodness, p. 1)
So, remember, "one step at a time, there's no need to rush."

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