Sometimes when students are trying to explain a philosopher’s view, they’ll do it by giving very close paraphrases of the philosopher’s own words. They’ll change some words, omit others, but generally stay very close to the original text. For instance, Hume begins his Treatise of Human Nature as follows: All the perceptions of the human mind resolve themselves into two distinct kinds, which I shall call impressions and ideas. The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought or consciousness. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions; and under this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions, and emotions, as they make their first appearance in the soul. By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning. Here’s an example of how you don’t want to paraphrase: Hume says all perceptions of the mind are resolved into two kinds, impressions and ideas. The difference is in how much force and liveliness they have in our thoughts and consciousness. The perceptions with the most force and violence are impressions. These are sensations, passions, and emotions. Ideas are the faint images of our thinking and reasoning. There are two main problems with paraphrases of this sort. In the first place, it’s done rather mechanically, so it doesn’t show that the author understands the text. In the second place, since the author hasn’t figured out what the text means well enough to express it in his own words, there’s a danger that his paraphrase may inadvertently change the meaning of the text. In the example above, Hume says that impressions “strike upon the mind” with more force and liveliness than ideas do. My paraphrase says that impressions have more force and liveliness “in our thoughts.” It’s not clear whether these are the same thing. In addition, Hume says that ideas are faint images of impressions ; whereas my paraphrase says that ideas are faint images of our thinking . These are not the same. So the author of the paraphrase appears not to have understood what Hume was saying in the original passage.
Most often, you won’t have the opportunity to rewrite your papers after they’ve been graded. So you need to teach yourself to write a draft, scrutinize the draft, and revise and rewrite your paper before turning it in to be graded.
As a professor of mine used to tell his classes, “There is, and can be, no direct correlation between the grade you receive on a paper and the amount of time or effort you have spent on the paper; which is not to say that hard work does not produce results, but only that some people can do with great ease what others cannot do at all or can only do with great effort. In an hour, Mozart could produce a piece of music that I would be unable to match even if I spent my whole life working at it.”
Also make sure that you have spent some time thinking about the question itself. You want to make sure that everything you write is relevant to the question asked, and if you don’t understand the question, then you won’t be able to write an assignment that is to the point.
The second of these introductions is superior to the first. Notice that only the second presents an actual thesis statement.
Very often, what distinguishes an excellent paper from a merely decent paper is the depth and quality of their explanations. The decent paper may not make any obvious mistakes or omit anything crucial; it often just does not communicate its message as clearly and effectively as the excellent paper does. Thus, always try to find ways of strengthening your explanations. Examples will help here. Almost all philosophy relies on the use of examples, both for illustrative and persuasive purposes.
I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology . To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do , and (b) what the law might require you to endure . With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito :
Note, first of all, the concise, crisp introduction. The problem is plainly stated, and then I explain clearly what I’m going to do in the paper–all in just a few sentences. There’s no rambling introduction with sentences starting with “Since the beginning of time, mankind has pondered the mysteries of etc.”
The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.
Sample Essay Question : Is Socrates’ position in the Crito , concerning the moral authority of the state, consistent with his view that one should never do anything that is wrong? Is it consistent with what he says, in the Apology , about what he would do if commanded by the state to cease practicing philosophy, or about what he did when commanded by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution? Explain.
Why may you need a philosophy paper example? In fact, there are many reasons why so many students are looking for a philosophy paper sample. The most common reason is when you simply struggle with writing your paper – in this situation looking at another person’s successful work can give you the inspiration you need!
Some students try to prove the rightness of their thesis by using too many facts. It’s a so-called ‘fortress approach’ that also leads to a total failure. For example, it seems that you have used quite a lot of arguments in your educational philosophy paper, but all of them aren’t discussed properly. In addition, you haven’t sorted them into strong and weak ones, and your reader can’t find your own thoughts and ideas you have written in your paper.
When you study Philosophy at a college or university, you may discuss a wide range of topics and you may get a task to write an essay about nearly everything. For instance, you might be asked to express your ideas about the most common educational problems.
Writing about your personal philosophy of nursing paper isn’t difficult. You just choose a good thesis and then try to prove it by using appropriate ideas, thoughts and theories. Finally, don’t forget to use your own ideas about the philosophy of nursing paper to prove that you are a real thinker who is able to analyze, structure and create something new and fresh! This is what you need to know about a philosophy of education paper.
Edit boldly. I have never met a person whose first draft of a paper could not be improved significantly by rewriting. The secret to good writing is rewriting – often. Of course it will not do just to reproduce the same thing again. Better drafts are almost always shorter drafts – not because ideas have been left out, but because words have been cut out as ideas have been clarified. Every word that is not needed only clutters. Clear sentences do not just happen. They are the result of tough-minded editing.
Lengthy introductions. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader. There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years. Introductions should be as brief as possible. In fact, I recommend that you think of your paper as not having an introduction at all. Go directly to your topic.
Cuteness. Good philosophical writing usually has an air of simple dignity about it. Your topic is no joke. No writers whose views you have been asked to read are idiots. (If you think they are, then you have not understood them.) Name calling is inappropriate and could never substitute for careful argumentation anyway.
When arguing against other positions, it is important to realize that you cannot show that your opponents are mistaken just by claiming that their overall conclusions are false. Nor will it do simply to claim that at least one of their premises is false. You must demonstrate these sorts of things, and in a fashion that does not presuppose that your position is correct.