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Lecture 12

PHL365 Lecture 12: Lecture 12
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2 Pages
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Fall 2015

Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL 365
Professor
Glenn Parsons
Lecture
12

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November 2nd, 2015 Session on Essay Writing
Choosing a Topic
Pick from list or clear with me (strongly recommended)
Must be a Philosophical essay
o Argumentative (defends a thesis); not a summary or review
o Philosophical thesis: not empirical
Choose a thesis with a modest scope
Grade reflects how well you developed your argument
Types of Philosophical Thesis
View X is wrong (View X is correct)
This argument for view X is no good
This argument against view X is no good
There are counter-examples to definition X
View X is superior to View Y
This philosopher is actually committed to view X, even though she never explicitly
defends it
View X has important consequences, if it is true
Is my paper supposed to just express my opinion?
Yes, and No
We want your paper to tell us what you think
It is okay to use the first person
The paper isn’t just giving your opinion – we want to get your reasons for believing (well
informed, well supported)
Who is the reader of your paper? Not professor
o This assumes that your reader knows about your topic
o Not effective way of communicating your views
o Assumptions of what your reader knows
o Think of your reader as a random Ryerson student uninformed about the topic
o Naturally sceptical
A good paper will convince such a reader of its thesis
How do I come up with my own arguments?
Think through the material
Go back to the lecture
Go back to your notes
What if I change my mind about my thesis?
Don’t start over: just flip it around!
Be open to changing your mind as the process goes on
Do I need secondary sources?
Generally speaking, no…

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Description
November 2 , 2015 – Session on Essay Writing Choosing a Topic  Pick from list or clear with me (strongly recommended)  Must be a Philosophical essay o Argumentative (defends a thesis); not a summary or review o Philosophical thesis: not empirical  Choose a thesis with a modest scope  Grade reflects how well you developed your argument Types of Philosophical Thesis  View X is wrong (View X is correct)  This argument for view X is no good  This argument against view X is no good  There are counter-examples to definition X  View X is superior to View Y  This philosopher is actually committed to view X, even though she never explicitly defends it  View X has important consequences, if it is true Is my paper supposed to just express my opinion?  Yes, and No  We want your paper to tell us what you think  It is okay to use the first person  The paper isn’t just giving your opinion
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