The first step in developing a thesis (once you have decided on a topic) is to determine what your position is. To do this, you will need to thoroughly review all the relevant course materials. In most cases, you will have been presented with a number of arguments on both sides of the issue. Carefully analyze and evaluate all these arguments, taking notes as you do. In the process, you should develop your own take on the issue.
Your thesis should narrow the focus of your paper. Suppose you are asked to write on the mind-body problem. It’s important to realize that it won’t be possible to address every important philosophical issue concerning such a broad topic in just one paper. You’ll need to choose a thesis that narrows the focus to something more manageable. Don’t be too ambitious here. You’re not going to solve something like the mind-body problem in five, or even twenty, pages. Of course, it’s also important not to go too far in the opposite direction. Your thesis mustn’t be trivial. Instead, your thesis should make an interesting assertion, one over which reasonable people might disagree.
It is imperative that you clearly define your thesis before you begin writing, for it is your thesis that will guide you throughout the entire writing process—everything you write should somehow contribute to its defense. This doesn’t mean that your thesis can’t be revised, narrowed, or refined during the writing process; it’s likely that it will need to be. The point is that you won’t even know where to start unless you have at least a working thesis to guide you.
Your thesis should be quite specific, thereby defining a sharp focus for your paper. Don’t make a claim such as “People should donate money to hunger-relief organizations.” This is vague. Are you saying that donating money to hunger-relief organizations is moral obligatory, or are you merely claiming that doing so would be supererogatory? In either case, you should state your reasons for making the claim that you do, for your thesis should provide some hint as to what the main argument will be.
Two copies of the Thesis are due by the Friday two weeks before the Friday on which the Reading Period begins, which will usually fall close to April 15th. They are to be handed in to the Thesis Advisor. Theses should be computer-printed, on one side only of paper; they do not need to be bound. Some people like to present them in a special folder or binder; this is fine, but not required.
It is possible in principle to choose a topic which you don’t know much about in advance; but typically the result of that is that you have to spend a larger amount of time reaching base camp, so to speak—getting a decent grasp of existing approaches to the topic—and you have less time for heading up to the summit—developing ideas of your own. Many of the best theses come when a student has already got some idea of a problem area, e.g. from a 1000 level course that might have spent a week or two on the detailed topic in question, and might have introduced the class to materials and methods used in related areas that might constitute a useful tool-kit for this topic too. If you already know a bit about the existing approaches to the topic, but have a feeling that you’re not quite satisfied with any of them, then you’re probably in a good position to go deeper into it, researching further proposals from other people and working out a distinctive contribution of your own.
When you have a first idea of the area in which you’d like to work, you can approach a potential advisor direct, e.g. by e-mail or in Office Hours, or you can discuss the matter with your Concentration Advisor, who should be able to point you towards Faculty Members with interests in areas close to your proposed topic. Don’t let your ideas become too fixed too early: often a good discussion will leave you thinking of unexpected directions you’ll want to head off in. The normal time for approaching an Advisor is in the first week of the first semester of your Senior Year (or a few days earlier), or at the end of the last semester of the Junior Year.
You can register for PHIL 1995 just for one semester (followed by registering for either 3 or 4 classes in the other semester). Alternatively, you can register for PHIL 1995 for a second semester. Which you do is a matter for negotiation with your advisor, taking into account, e.g. the number of meetings, and the amount and scope of reading and writing that is done. Obviously the work-load for a Reading course needs to be about the equivalent of a normal course.
You may think that since your TA and I already know a lot about this subject, you can leave out a lot of basic explanation and write in a super-sophisticated manner, like one expert talking to another. I guarantee you that this will make your paper incomprehensible.
Philosophers sometimes do say outrageous things, but if the view you’re attributing to a philosopher seems to be obviously crazy, then you should think hard about whether he really does say what you think he says. Use your imagination. Try to figure out what reasonable position the philosopher could have had in mind, and direct your arguments against that.
Give your outline your full attention. It should be fairly detailed. (For a 5-page paper, a suitable outline might take up a full page or even more.)
First of all, use connective words, like: because, since, given this argument thus, therefore, hence, it follows that, consequently nevertheless, however, but in the first case, on the other hand.
Civil religion of Rousseau against The Laws of Plato.
The European Union and the model of perpetual peace.
Comparison between Plato’s allegory about slaves in the cave and influence of modern social media.
Paradigm shift of Kuhn and current economic crisis.
Are you struggling to find some original topics for a philosophy thesis ?
Idea No 1 (Anarchism): It will be a good idea for students to write their thesis on the subject related to anarchism. “Free Love” will be a good topic for students to explore for the thesis.
Whatever the case you are suffering from, you should worry no more as your queries about philosophy thesis are going to get resolved through this article. Students pursuing degrees in philosophy have to think beyond extremes to come up with ideas for their thesis which have never been presented before. In simple words, originality and creativity are the two essential requirements to write a philosophy thesis .
Many students of philosophy go after free philosophy thesis examples to model their thesis by pursuing those examples; consequently, they are being caught by their supervisor since there is nothing original in their thesis. Students should never forget that they have to present original ideas throughout their philosophy thesis; that means: ideas have to be original from their philosophy thesis statement to conclusion of the thesis.
The thesis proposal should include the following:
Student must submit a final draft to committee members 6 weeks before the library due date. Committee members must return this draft to the student with comments and proposed revisions (if there are any) within 2 weeks of receiving the final draft. Student must send a final version which takes account of comments and proposed revisions to committee members within 2 weeks of receiving the committee’s comments. At this time the committee either accepts or rejects the thesis The thesis will be expected to be between 40-80 pages to be determined by the director. The thesis will be expected to be of high quality as reflected in the clarity of the writing, the cogency of the argument, the thoroughness of the research.
Your thesis director and at least one other member of your committee must be members of the GMU Philosophy faculty and must be GMU full-time faculty.
cover sheet table of contents brief explanation of the elements of the thesis, including a list of relevant courses you have taken rationale for the study; the purpose of doing the research literature review of the research related to your topic research question/hypothesis methodology section explaining how your research will be carried out (this will include the systematic collection of evidence and evidence) annotated bibliography timeline for completion.
Some students prefer to study specific theorists and their major ideas. Such topics can lead to fruitful theses. For example, you can concentrate on the philosophy of Wittgenstein or Spinoza, or you can choose to refine your topic even further, to just one theory, such as John Rawls’s political philosophy. Other possibilities include research on applications of philosophy in other disciplines, like doing a case study on the relationships between philosophy and art, science or literature.
From the time you first learn about philosophy, you hear the names Plato and Aristotle, two Greek philosophers who spent their lives considering the world and the implications of human intellect. Some of the often-trodden paths of thesis research reconsider the classics. Along those lines, you can examine interesting angles such as the relationship between Aristotle’s “Metaphysics” and mathematics, the nature of politics in Plato’s works or the role of science in philosophy. You can also embark on a historic analysis, discussing, for example, the philosophy of early musical lyrics or poetry, or the philosophical basis of social structure in ancient Greece or India.
Another track that one can take with a philosophy thesis is one that looks at the major ideas that define the discipline, redefining them anew or refining their meanings or applications. For instance, you can look at the idea of moral philosophy for its morality, or you can study the benchmark educational theories of John Dewey for their relationship to the idea of truth. Along the same lines, you can examine the philosophy which argues that education should lead to social transformation, perhaps contrasting it to theories such as pragmatism or utilitarianism.
According to the free online “Catholic Encyclopedia,” philosophy, a word which comes from the root words “philein” and “sophia,” basically translates into the love of wisdom. For the student interested in the workings of the human mind, particularly in how intelligence works, philosophy, like psychology, will offer many rewarding research experiences. The thesis allows these students the chance to both do that research and articulate their own visions.