How to write a philosophy essay is a common question that occurs very often in the minds of the students. Writing this paper is completely different from other essays. Here, you will take a position on the given topic and give logical reasons to back it up. So, you must learn how to do it in the right way. In this blog, you will get some useful tips on how to write a philosophy essay which will make the whole writing process easier for you.
What should you achieve in your philosophy essay?
You will be providing a reasoned defence of the claim you are making. It cannot be based on your personal or any other philosopher’s opinions. You must give logical and solid justifications or reasons to the readers to agree or accept your claim. In your philosophy paper, you will start by creating your thesis, and after this, you might have to do one or more than that from the below-mentioned points:
Defend the argument against any criticism made by others
Provide a criticism of the argument or illustrate that particular arguments are unacceptable for the thesis.
Make a comparison between the strong and the weak points of two views on that thesis which oppose each other
Provide justifications for believing the argument
Provide examples to back up the thesis and to help in comprehending it clearly
Present counter-examples for the thesis
Whatever be the purpose of your essay, you must give clear reasons for the thesis you are making. You should never consider that you don’t need to present arguments because you already know that the thesis is true. It is your readers who need to believe, and for that, you will have to clear it out for them.
Your philosophy essay will have a logical argument, but you must ensure that you make it unambiguous and to the point, and provide sound reasons to support it. It must not be poorly explained.
While writing this essay, you have to present your original thinking, your own critical explanation, and your own argument to support or criticise the argument. This will show that you know what you’re talking about and have critical thinking skills.
How to write Philosophy essay?
Here we are going to describe the process of crafting a beautiful philosophy essay along with examples. So you can develop a proper idea how to impress your supervisor when assigned a philosophy essay.
From the beginning, you must get to the point straight. You must keep it concise, and write in a way to guide the readers about what they will find in the essay. Present the topic of the essay, its structure, the importance of the topic and the thesis in the introductory paragraph. Don’t forget to define any special term used in the thesis.
Example- For an essay whose topic is ‘Human’s ability to tell whether he/she is dreaming or not according to Descartes’, the introduction part can be like the following:
“Since the appearance of ‘The Meditations’ by Descartes in the 1600s, it has become a principal discussion in Philosophy that whether it is possible for one to know if he/she is dreaming. This question was fuelled by the compelling logic provided by Descartes. According to him, since we can be tricked by our senses, it cannot be said with a guarantee that we are capable of seeing the reality. Hence, in conclusion, Descartes has said throughout the first two Meditations that certainty can be given to the presence of a being called ‘I’, which is nothing but a mind.”
The body paragraphs
You should determine how many arguments or points you will provide to establish your thesis. You can start each paragraph with a topic sentence representing one idea in support of your thesis statement. Explain the concepts, prospects, and opinions that can back up the thesis. Following this, present your personal arguments in favour of your claims in the thesis. A good way to strongly establish your argument is to present the counter arguments and views that oppose your position and assess them. Remember that you can’t just claim that an opposing view is wrong; you have to show why they are wrong. Make sure that each idea will lead the readers to believe in your position.
Example: A small example of the body paragraph can be as following:
“According to Descartes, it is our intellect, which is responsible for the senses or awareness. So, he was only certain about the presence of a mind. However, this gives rise to the questions of how one can know that he/she is awake. If he or she knows, how that person can be certain that this perception of being awake is not a dream itself.
The awareness of our experiences does not let us decide if we are having dreams or awake. So the question remains the same both in being awake and dreaming. So, we cannot differentiate between dreaming and being awake. An example illustrated by Descartes is, “How often, asleep at night, am I convinced of just such familiar events- that I am here in my dressing-gown, sitting by the fire- when in fact I am lying undressed in bed!” If it is to be believed that there is no difference between a person’s awareness while dreaming and the awareness at the time of being awake.
In the closing paragraph, you must repeat your thesis and present your arguments in a summary. You can also write about any limitations related to your claim or thesis. However, the conclusion is not a place to introduce new points, which you did not discuss in the essay.
Make sure that in the essay, one paragraph continues to the other in a flow and for that, you can use transitional phrases.
Example- The conclusion can be as following:
“It is not possible to prove that a person’s sensational experiences are not illusory. The implication of successfully refuting this would bring a big problem in the real world. It is not possible to turn face from the real issues of the real world by considering it to be a deception by the senses. This way, it won’t be possible to react and take actions for critical problems of the practical world.”
If you want to produce a good philosophy essay, you will have to show your mastery of this discipline. You can’t do that just by reiterating the relevant philosophical arguments, ideas, and views. You have to analyse them and critically explain them to the readers utilising your own examples, words, and description of the philosophical concept.
So, if you remember the above mentioned points and utilise them in your philosophy essay, you will easily develop a thoughtful and impressive paper.
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