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how to read philosophy

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Letters from a Stoic by Seneca. Disagree upon premises, find fallacies, and contradictions. Mark-up the text as you go. Now that we have the right mindset to read philosophy, we must further comprehend it if we want to get anywhere. read philosophy well we will increase learning and when learning is increased, student enjoyment and retention tend to rise as well. Below is some general advice on reading philosophy. Your task as a philosophy reader is not just to take in information, as you would do with a biology textbook: you are engaging with an argument. The easiest way to decipher the paper is to understand what the author’s objective is and what overall point of the paper is. After all, when the student is ready the teacher appears. Do not use intuition alone. If it's an essay, read the first and last paragraphs in their entirety. The entirety of Philosophy is like one continuous story. As you read on, you’ll learn why.) Bear in mind that when you are reading philosophy what you are actually doing is trying to understand a piece of writing. One of the best ways to understand and analyze a philosophical piece is to discuss it with others. Reading is an enormous part of doing philosophy. Philosophy is hard, so work hard and set yourself up to be able to pat yourself on the back. In contemporary philosophy, the mind-body problem and the problem of consciousness are often viewed through the lens of physicalism, which claims that all that exists is physical. If you're reading for a class, you'll almost certainly be asked to write or … First, don’t try to work it all out by yourself. Andrea Borghini, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the University of Milan, Italy. A helpful step when you have a philosophy text in your hands is to place it in its context. How to Revise Philosophy Papers 18 References and Acknowledgments 20. So try reading a book of philosophy as if it were a comic book or pop song — only one’s that’s demanding but, in any case, one that is not the purview of experts. If it's a book, look at the table of contents and go through the opening remarks. Seneca, like Marcus, was also a powerful man in Rome. When you read a philosophical piece you are reading the opinion of an author who is trying to persuade you of the plausibility or implausibility of a position. How I Read Philosophy [This is a draft of a tutorial I’m working on to help my students feel more comfortable reading philosophy. Reading philosophy can reaffirm your beliefs or open the door to a new perspective. I read philosophy to identify, clarify, and test my current beliefs and values. The textbook often provides background information about the text as well as commentary on individual parts of the argument. How to Read Philosophy Papers 8 4. First of all, a bit of context. Keep a pencil and highlighter with you and mark down what seems to you the crucial passages: where the main thesis is stated; where key concepts are introduced; where key arguments or reasons are provided. Go Back and Read the Article Carefully Evaluate the Author's Arguments Skim the Article to Find its Conclusion and Get a Sense of its Structure A good way to begin when you're trying to read a difficult article is to first skim the article to identify what the author's main conclusion is. Philosophy is a discursive subject; in other words it is about engaging with the thoughts and opinions and arguments of others, about debating arguments and clarifying concepts with others, and experimenting with these ideas to see where this takes you. In the early days of history, almost all human knowledge could fit into a single academic discipline, and that was philosophy. This can be done by asking yourself a series of questions, like when was it written? Congratulations! So, it’s okay to not know what they’re talking about especially with all the jargon used in academic writing. Philosophical reading is an exercise in understanding and should be treated as such. What excites me so much about reading philosophy is the opportunity to have my beliefs and values challenged. These e-mails are delivered every morning so that you can read about philosophy with your morning coffee. develop paper topics, etc.). Your task as a philosophy reader is not just to take in information, as you would do with a biology textbook: you are engaging with an argument. It’s also okay to disagree. Consider whether and how each sentence contributes to building an answer for any of those sentences. This context can be found by consulting a philosophy dictionary or a good encyclopedia. He shows how a single strange sentence from the American philosopher Quine unsettles our familiar sense of the world. It is a way of learning how to think and essentially how to find meaning in existence. Philosophy, like all great literature, is not the jurisdiction of academia. So, there’s really no one way to read philosophy. 3 5 Myths about Philosophy Philosophy is very different, in several ways, from other subjects that are offered at high school or college. Our experiences have given us certain dispositions on how we view the world. One simple solution is to read these works with a dictionary beside you, and to take note of any words that are unfamiliar to you. The Basics 1. Press Esc to cancel. Philosophical writing comes in many different varieties: essays, books (primary texts), textbooks (secondary sources), dialogues (e.g., Plato), meditations (e.g., Descartes), novels (e.g., Dostoevsky), plays (e.g., Sartre), etc. You can see it's nothing like a novel or an encyclopedia entry. If you need a burger, then get a burger. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This exercise can improve your understanding of a philosophical text dramatically, showing you viewpoints that were not clear to you before. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  Reading lists can look long and daunting, vocabulary can be confusing and it seems... Read moreHow to read Philosophy (a step-by-step guide for confused students!) You may agree or disagree — but either way, you need to know why you've formed a particular opinion. While reading philosophy, even if it is philosophical fiction, you have to give yourself the time to understand the material. How to read philosophy. In sum, if (i) the skills required to read philosophy well are dif-ferent from other reading skills, (ii) reading philosophy well is doing philosophy, and (iii) people build new skill more completely when they Don’t expect to understand everything on the first reading. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. If your interest in philosophy stems from wanting to do well on the LSAT, which relates to logical reasoning and reading comprehension, the skill of finding the objective of the paper and stance of the philosopher may be the most important to hone. Was the author part of a movement or was he involved in a particular debate? Philosophical writings are dense and difficult. However, philosophy is not the study of individualistic dispositions and experiences – discussing history would be better for such a topic. ( Log Out /  So, remember: be humble, patient, and meticulous. It’s okay to not understand right away. Change ). When you read philosophy you should look for arguments, reasons, and conclusions. to read great works of literature and philosophy. 1. So we recommend, when you read and analyse these texts that you compare your analysis with other people … The summary usually found on the flyleaf or cover of … Much of that advice survives in the form of letters. Even though I absolutely love philosophy, I’m not blinded to the difficulties novices face. Philosophy, but also Wikipedia will normally give you a su cient understanding of the other concepts. How to Write Philosophy Papers 11 • Professor Pink’s 9-step Plan 11 • General Writing Advice: Dos and Donts 14 5. Will you buy the author's position? Take care of yourself Take breaks, sit where you won’t be distracted, give yourself enough time to read well, sit in an uncomfortable chair to avoid dozing off, etc. This is remarkably different from other forms of reading, like — say — going through a newspaper page to collect information or reading a novel to enjoy a good story. You may agree or disagree — but either way, you need to know why you've formed a particular opinion. It isn't always easy to find friends interesting in discussing philosophy at length — but often other members of your class will be willing to talk about the content of assignments. There is more than one way to read. Once you've skimmed the piece, you'll be better equipped to dive in and read the entire text intelligently. All of which, now that I think about it, seems rather bizarre. Read Secondary Texts. As a result, I rarely attempt this sort of lengthy reading list. Try to get a sense for … Understanding philosophy is almost like learning a new language –it’d be too harsh to compare a beginner to someone who is fluent. While reading a page of a novel can take as little as thirty seconds, some pages in philosophy require at least ten minutes or even more. Internet resources such as Wikipedia or Sparknotes. Fuck experts. Introduction Even if you are very smart and very literate, as I assume you are, confusion and frustration may occur if you do not read philosophy in the way philosophers expect you to. If you need help, ask for help. I am not an expert on Nietzsche, but in my exploration of philosophy as a philosophy major, I've noticed that it's very difficult to predict ahead of time which works of philosophy will provide me with the most value at a given time. Philosophy is reflective: while it's perfectly OK to think while you are reading, you should go through your responses at least three times to be sure they really hold up. how to read philosophy papers. From there, we can start deciphering their argument and logic they are implementing to reach their conclusion, as analytical philosophy tends to have a structured essay. He was also a great writer and from the looks of it, a trusted friend who gave great advice to his friends. Many of these philosophers are polyglots and have Ph.Ds. I also cannot recall ever discussing how to read philosophy with anyone. All are difficult. Reading Philosophy is a difficult task, especially coming to uni with little or no background in the subject. Try also to get a sense also of the weakest points in the overall piece. When reading, set realistic goals. As you read slowly, scrutinise the text with the questions above in your mind at all times. Here are three tips that I consider to be useful when trying to understand such an ancient adversary. It is also, in my experience, something of an artform -- an artform which affects the way one does many other things (e.g. They’re undoubtedly more knowledgeable than a typical undergrad considering we’re reading their papers and not the other way around. But if you want to get the most you can out of your philosophy class, you won't want to do this often. Philosophical writing is persuasive writing. As we accumulated more and more knowledge, thinkers started to specialize in particular areas, since they couldn’t accumulate all existing knowledge. So you have a philosophical piece in your hand, for the very first time. His research focuses on metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of biology. Before actually starting to read, skim the paper to get a sense of the main point the author is trying to make and the structure of the piece. Who wrote it? As you are sorting and fine-tuning your critical remarks, double-check the text to refresh your memory, sharpen your thoughts, and make sure you properly interpreted the author. How to Read Philosophy (Warning: Do not use a highlighter when reading this. How do you approach it? The easiest way to decipher the paper is to understand what the author’s objective is and what overall point of the paper is. I read a lot of philosophy during my graduate years. Philosophical criticism does not typically go well with speed-thinking. Writing philosophy is challenging. Now, reading anything takes time, but reading philosophy can be especially time consuming if you’re not practiced in efficient reading strategies.

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how to read philosophy

Letters from a Stoic by Seneca. Disagree upon premises, find fallacies, and contradictions. Mark-up the text as you go. Now that we have the right mindset to read philosophy, we must further comprehend it if we want to get anywhere. read philosophy well we will increase learning and when learning is increased, student enjoyment and retention tend to rise as well. Below is some general advice on reading philosophy. Your task as a philosophy reader is not just to take in information, as you would do with a biology textbook: you are engaging with an argument. The easiest way to decipher the paper is to understand what the author’s objective is and what overall point of the paper is. After all, when the student is ready the teacher appears. Do not use intuition alone. If it's an essay, read the first and last paragraphs in their entirety. The entirety of Philosophy is like one continuous story. As you read on, you’ll learn why.) Bear in mind that when you are reading philosophy what you are actually doing is trying to understand a piece of writing. One of the best ways to understand and analyze a philosophical piece is to discuss it with others. Reading is an enormous part of doing philosophy. Philosophy is hard, so work hard and set yourself up to be able to pat yourself on the back. In contemporary philosophy, the mind-body problem and the problem of consciousness are often viewed through the lens of physicalism, which claims that all that exists is physical. If you're reading for a class, you'll almost certainly be asked to write or … First, don’t try to work it all out by yourself. Andrea Borghini, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the University of Milan, Italy. A helpful step when you have a philosophy text in your hands is to place it in its context. How to Revise Philosophy Papers 18 References and Acknowledgments 20. So try reading a book of philosophy as if it were a comic book or pop song — only one’s that’s demanding but, in any case, one that is not the purview of experts. If it's a book, look at the table of contents and go through the opening remarks. Seneca, like Marcus, was also a powerful man in Rome. When you read a philosophical piece you are reading the opinion of an author who is trying to persuade you of the plausibility or implausibility of a position. How I Read Philosophy [This is a draft of a tutorial I’m working on to help my students feel more comfortable reading philosophy. Reading philosophy can reaffirm your beliefs or open the door to a new perspective. I read philosophy to identify, clarify, and test my current beliefs and values. The textbook often provides background information about the text as well as commentary on individual parts of the argument. How to Read Philosophy Papers 8 4. First of all, a bit of context. Keep a pencil and highlighter with you and mark down what seems to you the crucial passages: where the main thesis is stated; where key concepts are introduced; where key arguments or reasons are provided. Go Back and Read the Article Carefully Evaluate the Author's Arguments Skim the Article to Find its Conclusion and Get a Sense of its Structure A good way to begin when you're trying to read a difficult article is to first skim the article to identify what the author's main conclusion is. Philosophy is a discursive subject; in other words it is about engaging with the thoughts and opinions and arguments of others, about debating arguments and clarifying concepts with others, and experimenting with these ideas to see where this takes you. In the early days of history, almost all human knowledge could fit into a single academic discipline, and that was philosophy. This can be done by asking yourself a series of questions, like when was it written? Congratulations! So, it’s okay to not know what they’re talking about especially with all the jargon used in academic writing. Philosophical reading is an exercise in understanding and should be treated as such. What excites me so much about reading philosophy is the opportunity to have my beliefs and values challenged. These e-mails are delivered every morning so that you can read about philosophy with your morning coffee. develop paper topics, etc.). Your task as a philosophy reader is not just to take in information, as you would do with a biology textbook: you are engaging with an argument. It’s also okay to disagree. Consider whether and how each sentence contributes to building an answer for any of those sentences. This context can be found by consulting a philosophy dictionary or a good encyclopedia. He shows how a single strange sentence from the American philosopher Quine unsettles our familiar sense of the world. It is a way of learning how to think and essentially how to find meaning in existence. Philosophy, like all great literature, is not the jurisdiction of academia. So, there’s really no one way to read philosophy. 3 5 Myths about Philosophy Philosophy is very different, in several ways, from other subjects that are offered at high school or college. Our experiences have given us certain dispositions on how we view the world. One simple solution is to read these works with a dictionary beside you, and to take note of any words that are unfamiliar to you. The Basics 1. Press Esc to cancel. Philosophical writing comes in many different varieties: essays, books (primary texts), textbooks (secondary sources), dialogues (e.g., Plato), meditations (e.g., Descartes), novels (e.g., Dostoevsky), plays (e.g., Sartre), etc. You can see it's nothing like a novel or an encyclopedia entry. If you need a burger, then get a burger. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This exercise can improve your understanding of a philosophical text dramatically, showing you viewpoints that were not clear to you before. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  Reading lists can look long and daunting, vocabulary can be confusing and it seems... Read moreHow to read Philosophy (a step-by-step guide for confused students!) You may agree or disagree — but either way, you need to know why you've formed a particular opinion. While reading philosophy, even if it is philosophical fiction, you have to give yourself the time to understand the material. How to read philosophy. In sum, if (i) the skills required to read philosophy well are dif-ferent from other reading skills, (ii) reading philosophy well is doing philosophy, and (iii) people build new skill more completely when they Don’t expect to understand everything on the first reading. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. If your interest in philosophy stems from wanting to do well on the LSAT, which relates to logical reasoning and reading comprehension, the skill of finding the objective of the paper and stance of the philosopher may be the most important to hone. Was the author part of a movement or was he involved in a particular debate? Philosophical writings are dense and difficult. However, philosophy is not the study of individualistic dispositions and experiences – discussing history would be better for such a topic. ( Log Out /  So, remember: be humble, patient, and meticulous. It’s okay to not understand right away. Change ). When you read philosophy you should look for arguments, reasons, and conclusions. to read great works of literature and philosophy. 1. So we recommend, when you read and analyse these texts that you compare your analysis with other people … The summary usually found on the flyleaf or cover of … Much of that advice survives in the form of letters. Even though I absolutely love philosophy, I’m not blinded to the difficulties novices face. Philosophy, but also Wikipedia will normally give you a su cient understanding of the other concepts. How to Write Philosophy Papers 11 • Professor Pink’s 9-step Plan 11 • General Writing Advice: Dos and Donts 14 5. Will you buy the author's position? Take care of yourself Take breaks, sit where you won’t be distracted, give yourself enough time to read well, sit in an uncomfortable chair to avoid dozing off, etc. This is remarkably different from other forms of reading, like — say — going through a newspaper page to collect information or reading a novel to enjoy a good story. You may agree or disagree — but either way, you need to know why you've formed a particular opinion. It isn't always easy to find friends interesting in discussing philosophy at length — but often other members of your class will be willing to talk about the content of assignments. There is more than one way to read. Once you've skimmed the piece, you'll be better equipped to dive in and read the entire text intelligently. All of which, now that I think about it, seems rather bizarre. Read Secondary Texts. As a result, I rarely attempt this sort of lengthy reading list. Try to get a sense for … Understanding philosophy is almost like learning a new language –it’d be too harsh to compare a beginner to someone who is fluent. While reading a page of a novel can take as little as thirty seconds, some pages in philosophy require at least ten minutes or even more. Internet resources such as Wikipedia or Sparknotes. Fuck experts. Introduction Even if you are very smart and very literate, as I assume you are, confusion and frustration may occur if you do not read philosophy in the way philosophers expect you to. If you need help, ask for help. I am not an expert on Nietzsche, but in my exploration of philosophy as a philosophy major, I've noticed that it's very difficult to predict ahead of time which works of philosophy will provide me with the most value at a given time. Philosophy is reflective: while it's perfectly OK to think while you are reading, you should go through your responses at least three times to be sure they really hold up. how to read philosophy papers. From there, we can start deciphering their argument and logic they are implementing to reach their conclusion, as analytical philosophy tends to have a structured essay. He was also a great writer and from the looks of it, a trusted friend who gave great advice to his friends. Many of these philosophers are polyglots and have Ph.Ds. I also cannot recall ever discussing how to read philosophy with anyone. All are difficult. Reading Philosophy is a difficult task, especially coming to uni with little or no background in the subject. Try also to get a sense also of the weakest points in the overall piece. When reading, set realistic goals. As you read slowly, scrutinise the text with the questions above in your mind at all times. Here are three tips that I consider to be useful when trying to understand such an ancient adversary. It is also, in my experience, something of an artform -- an artform which affects the way one does many other things (e.g. They’re undoubtedly more knowledgeable than a typical undergrad considering we’re reading their papers and not the other way around. But if you want to get the most you can out of your philosophy class, you won't want to do this often. Philosophical writing is persuasive writing. As we accumulated more and more knowledge, thinkers started to specialize in particular areas, since they couldn’t accumulate all existing knowledge. So you have a philosophical piece in your hand, for the very first time. His research focuses on metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of biology. Before actually starting to read, skim the paper to get a sense of the main point the author is trying to make and the structure of the piece. Who wrote it? As you are sorting and fine-tuning your critical remarks, double-check the text to refresh your memory, sharpen your thoughts, and make sure you properly interpreted the author. How to Read Philosophy (Warning: Do not use a highlighter when reading this. How do you approach it? The easiest way to decipher the paper is to understand what the author’s objective is and what overall point of the paper is. I read a lot of philosophy during my graduate years. Philosophical criticism does not typically go well with speed-thinking. Writing philosophy is challenging. Now, reading anything takes time, but reading philosophy can be especially time consuming if you’re not practiced in efficient reading strategies. 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