How to write Philosophy

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Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 08:55 pm
I was wondering when writing philosophy if there is a general format to follow outside of the forums. Is philosophy best written formally or imformally? Is there is structure format to follow? :hmm:
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 11:41 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I don't exactly know what type of format you are referring to. If you are talking about "format" format, then MLA style is the best to use. If you are talking about "how to write a philosophical thesis," or more precisely "how to write an academically presentable paper," then you would want a supported thesis with abstract.THESIS STATEMENT. A thesis statement is basically an assertive idea you want to put forward in your paper which you intend to prove with your own particular research and unique ideas. This is the most important part of your paper which you will revisit over and over again. Make sure you get a good thesis statement before you move on to the rest of your paper.
A thesis statement would be something like, "Corporate persons are not entitled to personhood." It can be a sentence to a paragraph long. But the longer the thesis, the more difficult it is to keep everything together.


2 - RESEARCH

Perhaps one of the most important parts of your academic paper is the research. There are a few requirements. No doubt, the paper is about your ideas. You can talk about anything you want in order to prove your thesis (i.e. support your assertive idea). But you need research. You yourself may not need it, but the reader will, because we assume they are also avid philosophy readers as well and will be able to draw the same conclusions you would from the same pool of texts and concepts.

So, to support my thesis statement "Corporate persons are not entitled to personhood." I need to research in specific areas such as; Corporations, Personhood, Law, etc. Anything that would pertain to the subject of Corporate personhood and lend weight to my argument. This research may be in form of books, internet articles, etc. I would use books like West's business law, or even case citations chronicling the evolution of corporate personhood like Dartmouth College v. Woodward or Noble v. Union River Logging Railroad Company. This is the ammunition you will need to make a legitimate argument.

Of course some don't feel the need to provide any citations or research. or would you believe a person's argument if they provided solid evidence and acknowledged facts to support an examined thesis. Simply, if you just put your own thoughts down and reject any outside opinions and facts, your just writing a rant and not an academic argument. I guess the informal way is just that.


3 - THESIS STRUCTURE

I don't want to make this post too long, so I'll give you a basic outline of what a thesis may look like.

I.INTRODUCTION

a.Thesis statement, "Corporate persons are not entitled to personhood."
b.State how you are going to prove this thesis statement in your paper by outlining what steps you are going to take to prove this statement. So, I am going to prove that corporate personhood is a benefit to society by;
i.Examining personhood
ii.Etymology of personhood
iii.Different accounts of personhood
iv.Corporations and personhood

1.INSERTION OF THESIS ARGUMENT.
a."Corporate persons are not entitled to personhood because of the problematic accounts of personhood. To affirm this statement, I will examine 3 aspects of corporate personhood
i.Corporate personhood as legal fiction
ii.Corporation as a legal entity
iii.Concept of a corporation as a "loophole" person.

II.
EXAMINING PERSONHOOD
a.Account of what a person is according to S.F. Sapontzis.

III.
ETYMOLOGY OF PERSONHOOD
IV.
DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS OF PERSONHOOD
a.Accounts of personhood according to Hobbes Leviathan "on personhood and things personated.
b.Account of personhood according to Carl J. Mayer

V.
CORPORATIONS AND PERSONHOOD
a.INSERT THESIS STAMENT
b.State your arguments for why corporate persons are not entitled to personhood

VI.
Corporate personhood as legal fiction

VII.
Corporation as legal entity

VIII.
"loophole" personhood

IX.
CONCLUSION

That is a basic structure of a thesis. The abstract comes after the paper has been made and basically describes the paper in a short paragraph. If you submit your paper anywhere academically, you need an abstract.
I'm sure I could elaborate further. Hope this helps.
 
one-philosophy
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 05:53 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
I was wondering when writing philosophy if there is a general format to follow outside of the forums. Is philosophy best written formally or imformally? Is there is structure format to follow? :hmm:


lol, if your talking about the structure, composition and substance of philosophical writings you've pretty much mastered it already with what you have just asked!

I say that there doesn't have to be any boundaries, but in general principle I say that the structure of a philosophical debate is usually something like this.

1-Philosophical thought or question or claim or theory
2-Justification for thought/question/claim/theory.
3-Counter argument
4-Justification against thought/question/claim/theory.
5-Counter argument
6-Repeat steps 2 to 5 eternally, mosts philosiphers won't put down their guns and unfortunately end up repeating what they say in the first place.

Sometimes as is often the case, the two main entities of argument will argue continuesly with counter arguments and sometimes just keep slandering each other. But don't worry, everyones nice on this forum:D *except those God Forsaken Athiests! Grrr (just messin', they can be nice too)

Lets take the example of God as it is pretty well known.
1-Is there a higher diety called God outside this space and universe?
2-If there is a creation there must be a creator.
3-What if we are an accident from another cause like the big bang?
4-We can study how the big bang came into being so we were caused from the big bang.
5-What if God caused the Big Bang?
6/2-The Big bang is such a finely detailed process, so including many other factors, and slight change in history even to the likeness of an atoms difference would mean the big bang would not of happened the way it did meaning that we would not exist.
6/3-If there was the slight change, maybe life would appear in another part of the universe.
6/5-You cannot know that because it never happened.
6/3-Then You can't know God as we've never seen him
6/5-We've seen his actions and in the good that is brought about.
6/3-Then what about suffering?
6/5-People suffer because of mans evil
6/3-What about hurricanes, tsunamis etc.
6/5-If someone is hurt on account of someone else then they shall be punished on judgment day.
6/3-You cannot know that as it hasn't happened.
6/5-But it will happen
6/3-I dont believe you
6/5-You dont believe anything
6/3-I believe you should go to hell
6/5-You don't believe in hell
6/3-Shut up!
6/5-Make Me
6/3-Hey whats that gun for?
6/5-You gunna die!
6/3-Oh GOD NO I'M TOO YOUNG TO DIE
6/5-Relax its a toy gun, but look who you call upon now. You call upon God in times of need.
6/3-That was a force of habit

And so on...
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 10:59 am
@Holiday20310401,
Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper

http://oregonstate.edu/cla/philosophy/sites/default/files/pdf/WRITING_GUIDE.pdf

Some sites that I have used as a starting point.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 02:06 pm
@de Silentio,
To write anything is to write philosophy. It is not what people think, but what people do. And the abstraction of knowledge is the beginning of it. So write in the dust, or write in Granite, and you are asserting your being with equal vigor.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 05:44 pm
@Fido,
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 07:51 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:

Non sense old Vid. We write to communicate, and communication requires abstraction, and abstraction requires truth. Truth, knowledge, is that which we most presume and most need to prove. The other presumed fact is that we exist, and this too is in want of proof. So, these two things are philosophy, and one may be chicken and the other egg, but my guess is the natural order of philosophy, the process if you prefer is: Am I, and, am I truth? Before we can know truth we must prove it, and before we can prove it we must know what it is, and excluding all else, show the relationship between what is known, and what is good. However this story is presented, it is always the same story, seeking the real to prove we are real. Once the truth is known it is a small matter to tell it. The truth is proved when it results in good for ourselves and others, so the truth proves us as we prove it.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 08:04 pm
@Fido,
Yeah, I mean my writing can be so abstract, and so hard to understand b/c of it and lack of coherence that well, I'm still finding it hard to see why we would be wanting to incorporate a writing structure:rolleyes:
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 09:12 pm
@Holiday20310401,
To write ACADEMIC phiosophy, I agree with VideCorSpoon's and any other structured way to write philosophy. Students ought to pay heed to thesis, argument, counterarguments, conclusion format.

But to write philosophy, one can be as irrational as Shestov, as mathematical as Frege, as unclear as Hegel and Heidegger, as clear as Mill, as poetic as Kierkegaard, as narrative as Descartes, as fables as Plato, as confessional as Augustine and Rousseau, and so and so on.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 10:34 pm
@Victor Eremita,
FidoHoliday

You ask why it is necessary for us to incorporate a writing structure? It's not exactly the fact that there is a specific structure to writing philosophy, just a necessity to write philosophy cogently. If you have a solid grasp of syntactical structure, semantics, good grammar, and a cogent argument you can put your argument forth in any domain, academic or not. Victor Eremite brings up an excellent point about academic philosophy and philosophy in general. But Descartes, Hegel, and the pretty much all the others had training and familiarity on how to construct cogent writings because of their extensive education in philosophical discourse. Undoubtedly they all have their own styles, but they incorporate fundamental elements of formulation in their writings.

Victor,
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 11:56 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:


Since when did philosophy become subservient to science? Wasn't it Heidegger that said 'science is the handmaiden of philosophy'. And wasn't it Aquinas before him that said 'theology is the handmaiden of philosophy'. What happened to this once great discipline called philosophy, where we play 2nd fiddle to religious fundamentalists and the scientists
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2008 08:51 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Vid; Consider that when you concieve of reality, you are abstracting it into another form, and that in doing so, the measure of the value of your abstraction; how well it reveals reality, is truth. The step from nothing to everything in philosophy is covered in the same three steps of all knowledge. Only the human element remains, which is the driving force, and the will behind it, the wanting to know, as the primary truth, if we are real, and is life real. Sure you want to organize your thoughts, but some paths cannot be rectified, and people see their goals, but in seeing them are blind to all the twists and turns and pitfalls that await them. And getting there is half the fun, and it makes the goal a real pleasure to achieve.

When you write philosophy, you are telling your truth, your story, your method. The best you can give is an example, because everyone has to find truth on their own journey, and write their own story. But, I wish you would look at my suggestions, and consider them. It would save you a lot of confusion since it is quite common to see people abstract reality and then abstract it again in hopes of making better sense of it only to reap greater confusion. What is the relationship of your conceptions of reality to reality. If they are theories, are they not in appearance true?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2008 09:41 am
@Fido,
Victor,bottom."

Was there ever a great discipline known as philosophy? Sure. But it is constantly changing. Moreover, philosophy is (to my mind) less about oratory and semantics and more about critical problem solving. . Academic philosophy imparts this notion to its students through formality and knowledge of the different schools of thought.

Fido,

For the most part irrelevant. Yes there is a drive for knowledge, sure we can discern phenomenological thingy's, granted that we can see a relativistic sense of perspective, etc, etc, etc.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2008 09:54 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
When you write philosophy, you are telling your truth, your story, your method. The best you can give is an example, because everyone has to find truth on their own journey, and write their own story. But, I wish you would look at my suggestions, and consider them. It would save you a lot of confusion since it is quite common to see people abstract reality and then abstract it again in hopes of making better sense of it only to reap greater confusion. What is the relationship of your conceptions of reality to reality. If they are theories, are they not in appearance true?


Fido,

It's not that I don't take a look at your suggestions, in fact I have to spend a good deal of time deciphering them. But your type of philosophy is poetics. And it is irrevocably axiomatic. Aristotle ran into this very problem when he was conveying his own thoughts on ontology. Hesoid, a very great poet of his time, conveyed the phenomenological theories of cosmogony in what was at the time the best means of explaining various phenomena. His work was well known and somewhat valuable. But Aristotle points out in the first page of the metaphysics
 
Heratical
 
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 02:29 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Thanks for this fascinating thread Videcorspoon. Perhaps the domination by science and the rationalist paradigm is limiting philosophy to only those insights which can be 'verified' or justified as true. But lived reality is embodied and rich and often irrational, even delightfully so. So the rules of good philsophical writing can just reinforce a way of seeing and its limitations. There was another thread started by Plato which is dramatic and dialogical and character based and metaphorical. We have taken up only one of his invitations, the one to pursue truth. Couldn't we write character studies where opponents tease, challenge and affirm each other as full people just as those in Platonic dialogues did? Couldn't we spend more time chasing the great metaphor rather than the perfect truth tree? Story and symbol could be as much good philosophy as sound arguments. Couldn't they?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 08:09 pm
@Heratical,
Heratical wrote:
Thanks for this fascinating thread Videcorspoon. Perhaps the domination by science and the rationalist paradigm is limiting philosophy to only those insights which can be 'verified' or justified as true. But lived reality is embodied and rich and often irrational, even delightfully so. So the rules of good philsophical writing can just reinforce a way of seeing and its limitations. There was another thread started by Plato which is dramatic and dialogical and character based and metaphorical. We have taken up only one of his invitations, the one to pursue truth. Couldn't we write character studies where opponents tease, challenge and affirm each other as full people just as those in Platonic dialogues did? Couldn't we spend more time chasing the great metaphor rather than the perfect truth tree? Story and symbol could be as much good philosophy as sound arguments. Couldn't they?


Truth is easy. Don't lie, or if inclined, shet yourself. What seems to be wanting is meaning. For physical reality, being is essential. Our world is rather populated with moral realities which cannot be except for their meaning. Our defined moral realities far surpass our supply of meaning. We have a moral meaning deficit. Write about that, and find the well from which meaning flows and you will sell more books than Nietzsche.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 08:23 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Fido,

It's not that I don't take a look at your suggestions, in fact I have to spend a good deal of time deciphering them. But your type of philosophy is poetics. And it is irrevocably axiomatic. Aristotle ran into this very problem when he was conveying his own thoughts on ontology. Hesoid, a very great poet of his time, conveyed the phenomenological theories of cosmogony in what was at the time the best means of explaining various phenomena. His work was well known and somewhat valuable. But Aristotle points out in the first page of the metaphysics

I don't think you get it. My philosophy is Ethics. Moral philosophy is my game. The problems which seem most intractible are the first to get my attention because their solution is our survival. There is nothing formal in my approach because I am practically minded, and the world offeres many examples of happy people and happy societies that may whither under the glare of capitalist work lights, so look fast.

I pursue truth so much as it has been proved by practice. I seek no ideal man, but an ideal understanding that sheds light on the practical man, or woman. You have to understand that people are not better because they know how to be, but in spite of their knowing how to be better. They do not know what is troubling them except in general terms; and most never have time in their lives or opportunity to capture the big picture with sweeping panoramas. We all suffer from narrowness of vision, and few can ever manage to free themselves from the cave of blindness. And having seen life from the mountaintop, no one can ever be certain that their vision is complete, and that blindness does not rule in some shadow in their soul; so doubt must be accepted as much as fact. There are no young philosophers, and age makes all willing minds philosophical.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 09:10 pm
@Fido,
Fido,

"I have not yet encountered a commentator on this forum with such a good grasp of oratoric revolution as you have displayed. Your thoughts are not discounted, but somewhat random." (post #14)
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 12:55 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Fido,

I don't really agree that "the measure of the value of your abstraction; how well it reveals reality, is truth".

Isn't actuality more so the truth and how our perception (reality) is its potential.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 03:51 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Fido,

I don't really agree that "the measure of the value of your abstraction; how well it reveals reality, is truth".

Isn't actuality more so the truth and how our perception (reality) is its potential.

If you see a bit of reality, a phenomen of sorts, perhaps a blue sky, a few birds, some high clouds; and you wish to capture that just so color of blue, so you mix up some paint just so, and you splash it on a convass just so it will reveal the subtle shift to bright as the sky begins to touch the sun, and then the paint dries off three shades light, and the effect is gone. The aquamarine, the turquois, the greens and the glistens of tiny motes dancing in sunlight are gone, washed out, faded. How can the painting as a conception, tell the truth it intended? Maybe the painting would stand for any blue sky on any clear day, if you did not know the conception behind the creation. Our concepts are true to reality, and it is there they serve us, because when we build we do not build from scratch, but from conceptions of nature. We wear coats in the winter because we can concieve of the animals pelt. We see the way water drips from one leaf to another, and sheds away from the tree base, and we concieve of shingles for a house. All of our knowledge is how we concieve of nature, and if it is true knowledge it is true in relation to nature. Do we make it true? No. We judge it true. Or false. If it is powerful, having potential, it is because it affects us as something good, or dangerous.
 
 

 
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