How to Write a Philosophy Paper Professor Amy Kind Students often find philosophy papers difficult to write since the expectations are very different from those in other disciplines, even from those of other disciplines in the humanities. What follows is some general advice about how to go about writing short 4 - 5 page philosophy papers on pre-assigned topics. Before starting to write Make sure that you have read all of the relevant texts very carefully. Even though you have probably read these texts previously, it is a good idea to reread them in light of the question you plan to answer.
Major Historical Contributions 1. Indeed, on this matter, as with so many other major philosophical issues, Plato and Aristotle give importantly different emphases that inform much subsequent thought.
In the absence of justice, the individual is enslaved to the passions.
While Aristotle shares with Plato a concern for cultivating virtues, he gives greater theoretical attention to the role of choice in initiating individual actions which, over time, result in habits, for good or ill.
Furthermore, mature humans make choices after deliberating about different available means to our ends, drawing on rational principles of action. Choose consistently well poorlyand a virtuous vicious character will form over time, and it is in our power to be either virtuous or vicious.
A question that Aristotle seems to recognize, while not Philosophical question essays answering, is whether the choice an individual makes Philosophical question essays any given occasion is wholly determined by his internal state—perception of his circumstances and his relevant beliefs, desires, and general character dispositions wherever on the continuum between virtue and vice he may be —and external circumstances.
One might worry that this seems to entail that the person could not have done otherwise—at the moment of choice, she has no control over what her present character is—and so she is not responsible for choosing as she does. Aristotle responds by contending that her present character is partly a result of previous choices she made.
We note just a few contributions of the subsequent centuries of the Hellenistic era. This period was dominated by debates between Epicureans, Stoics, and the Academic Skeptics, and as it concerned freedom of the will, the debate centered on the place of determinism or of fate in governing human actions and lives.
The Stoics and the Epicureans believed that all ordinary things, human souls included, are corporeal and governed by natural laws or principles. Epicurus and his followers had a more mechanistic conception of bodily action than the Stoics.
They held that all things human soul included are constituted by atoms, whose law-governed behavior fixes the behavior of everything made of such atoms. Epicurus has often been understood as seeking to ground the freedom of human willings in such indeterministic swerves, but this is a matter of controversy.
If this understanding of his aim is correct, how he thought that this scheme might work in detail is not known. A final notable figure of this period was Alexander of Aphrodisias, the most important Peripatetic commentator on Aristotle.
In his On Fate, Alexander sharply criticizes the positions of the Stoics. He goes on to resolve the ambiguity in Aristotle on the question of the determining nature of character on individual choices by maintaining that, given all such shaping factors, it remains open to the person when she acts freely to do or not to do what she in fact does.
Augustine — is the central bridge between the ancient and medieval eras of philosophy. His mature thinking about the will was influenced by his early encounter with late classical Neoplatonist thought, which is then transformed by the theological views he embraces in his adult Christian conversion, famously recounted in his Confessions.
He clearly affirms that the will is by its nature a self-determining power—no powers external to it determine its choice—and that this feature is the basis of its freedom. Scholars divide on whether Augustine was a libertarian or instead a kind of compatibilist with respect to metaphysical freedom.
It is clear, however, that Augustine thought that we are powerfully shaped by wrongly-ordered desires that can make it impossible for us to wholeheartedly will ends contrary to those desires, for a sustained period of time.
Will is rational desire: Freedom enters the picture when we consider various means to these ends and move ourselves to activity in pursuit of certain of them.A collection of short essays & notes. Tim Neal undergraduate philosophy A collection of short essays & notes What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything?
In Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (), the answer is Philosophical Essays ›. The essays have been typed exactly as each student wrote his or her essay, without corrections to spelling, punctuation, or paragraph breaks. Practice using sample essay 1.
Practice using sample essay 2. Philosophical Essays and Texts of Leibniz Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Philosophical Essays and Texts of Leibniz is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel..
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Other articles where Essays is discussed: Michel de Montaigne: French writer whose Essais (Essays) established a new literary form. In his Essays he wrote one of the most captivating and intimate self-portraits ever given, on a par with Augustine’s and Rousseau’s.
- Philosophy Essays Plato An allegory, by def inition, is a f igurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other then the literal. An allegory is ref erred to as a f igure of language but it does not need to be expressed this way.
To my mind, the best essays are deeply personal (that doesn’t necessarily mean autobiographical) and deeply engaged with issues and ideas.
And the best essays show that the name of the genre is.