Reading academic philosophy

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Reading academic philosophy

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 06:52 am
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?

In my experience, philosophy courses( junior, senior, and graduate) taught at top universities tend to focus on research papers. As such, students learn to quickly pick up the basic essentials, and go quickly to the research level debate. What do you think of this approach?


I think it is much more easy to read philosophy paper, than a math paper. Philosophy paper are still quite technical, but they are also able to capture the general idea in the introduction. In general, philosophy is easy, and fun to read. How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 07:09 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145542 wrote:
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?

In my experience, philosophy courses( junior, senior, and graduate) taught at top universities tend to focus on research papers. As such, students learn to quickly pick up the basic essentials, and go quickly to the research level debate. What do you think of this approach?


I think it is much more easy to read philosophy paper, than a math paper. Philosophy paper are still quite technical, but they are also able to capture the general idea in the introduction. In general, philosophy is easy, and fun to read. How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?


It would depend on the paper. I suppose that would be true of everyone.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 02:24 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145542 wrote:
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?

In my experience, philosophy courses( junior, senior, and graduate) taught at top universities tend to focus on research papers. As such, students learn to quickly pick up the basic essentials, and go quickly to the research level debate. What do you think of this approach?


I think it is much more easy to read philosophy paper, than a math paper. Philosophy paper are still quite technical, but they are also able to capture the general idea in the introduction. In general, philosophy is easy, and fun to read. How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?
Only philosophy I enjoy spending time on, is war philosophy, where it REALLY matters to get the damn job done, most other philosophy waste time with stupidity.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 04:20 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145542 wrote:
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?

In my experience, philosophy courses( junior, senior, and graduate) taught at top universities tend to focus on research papers. As such, students learn to quickly pick up the basic essentials, and go quickly to the research level debate. What do you think of this approach?


I think it is much more easy to read philosophy paper, than a math paper. Philosophy paper are still quite technical, but they are also able to capture the general idea in the introduction. In general, philosophy is easy, and fun to read. How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?


I might actually make it a habit now that you mention it. Im sure my college has a few shelves devoted to philosophy journals and such. I have not actually started my major in philosophy yet (it starts this coming Fall for me), but I read what I call a 'Great Books' list, which is basically important works that have arisen throughout the history of Western Philosophy.

Are you talking about papers that students have written, or professional sources? I enjoy both but I have not read copious amounts to really say anything further on the topic.
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 04:23 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Those that I have access to and cover an area of interest of mine, sure - why not?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:24 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
TuringEquivalent;145542 wrote:
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?

In my experience, philosophy courses( junior, senior, and graduate) taught at top universities tend to focus on research papers. As such, students learn to quickly pick up the basic essentials, and go quickly to the research level debate. What do you think of this approach?

I think it is much more easy to read philosophy paper, than a math paper. Philosophy paper are still quite technical, but they are also able to capture the general idea in the introduction. In general, philosophy is easy, and fun to read. How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?


I Definitely don't make a habit of reading the journals for fun, but used as a resource they are very useful instead of looking to full book research. And what I like best about philosophy papers compared to a long book or something else of that nature is that they usually (and they should) have a very through abstract explaining exactly what the exact thesis is, what the subject matter covered is (as well as most other prevalent information) and the conclusions reached in the paper in a short half page summarization. But I think it depends on what source you get the paper through.

Philosophy now papers are pretty good, although they are not peer reviewed, they do not enforce Chicago style citation which is especially irritating when you really want to know where a certain notion came from, etc. I usually read a few every now and then. And what's great is that a few of the papers that I have come across have multiple language translations. Access to the database is a pain though, you have to go through FRANCIS and then commute to CSA Illumina in order to actually read the full paper. Routledge Philosophy is also pretty good. It very accessible, especially if you don't know what you are looking for. Lexus nexus is great, and of course, JSTOR is the quintessential supplier of all things academic papers.

I would think that many universities, not only top universities, focus on research papers. I think if anything this is because it is a reason of practicality. You cannot read a whole book the way you can read a paper and get a good amount of information out of it. Even a lot of the compendium books students get are just collections of research papers. But you are definitely right about the methodology there. Students can pick up on the style, the structure, etc. of a paper and try to emulate it as best they can.

As far as philosophy being easy to read, I never really thought of philosophy papers being easy. A few months ago I was attempting to read a paper (which was actually a condensed section of Law's Empire
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:27 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;172683 wrote:
I Definitely don't make a habit of reading the journals for fun...

They certainly aren't meant for light recreational reading on the beach. I have to make sure I'm fully alert in order to have my mind endure reading them. Often I just have to settle for reading small excerpts at a time.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:01 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Any links of some favourite academic philosophy articles/papers, if there could be such a thing?
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:15 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I too would be interested if anyone has any online links/resources to share on these.

Generally, I'm a bit hesitant on reading papers since everyone with a keyboard has their own opinion. I've found that the more established published philosophers of all eras are just so because they've enunciated the basics that are more likely to be understood and noteworthy.

Even so, I'd very much like to dive into some of these to see for myself.

Thanks
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:19 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;173793 wrote:
I too would be interested if anyone has any online links/resources to share on these.

Generally, I'm a bit hesitant on reading papers since everyone with a keyboard has their own opinion. I've found that the more established published philosophers of all eras are just so because they've enunciated the basics that are more likely to be understood and noteworthy.

Even so, I'd very much like to dive into some of these to see for myself.

Thanks

I had a look at The Journal of Philosophy

I actually, at one time not long ago, looked at ALL their papers (of course skimmed and see if they were any interesting), but they were all quite deep and inaccessible to general readers.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 08:50 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I used to at least skim through a couple of journals when they came out; most of the articles seem of interest to specialists, and most, alas, are not exactly well-written, especially those by grad students.

While reading secondary literature is important, I prefer lengthier studies, written by recognised authorities in the subject matter. For this reason, I tend to read the book reviews in the scholarly journals more than the actual articles.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 09:11 am
@Khethil,
E-Resources Search
Philosophy Articles and databases
E-Resources Search
Philosophy e-journals
E-Resources Search
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:14 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Most university campuses are open to all, and so are most of their libraries, especially their reading rooms containing a wealth of scholarly journals. Others are quite generous in granting permission to physical access upon application.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:24 am
@jgweed,
I've read a few, and there have been some that I thought were well written.

This one by Hubert Dreyfus has been helpful.

http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~hrp/issues/2003/Dreyfus.pdf

I think this one was a fun read. He explores the idea of the matrix and writes about what other philosophers in history might say about the idea.

But no, I haven't made it a habit.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 11:05 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;173821 wrote:

http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~hrp/issues/2003/Dreyfus.pdf

I think this one was a fun read. He explores the idea of the matrix and writes about what other philosophers in history might say about the idea.

(Excuse the sidetrack; this should probably be a new thread.)
Quote:
The Homeric Greeks thought that human beings had no private life to speak of. All their feelings were expressed publicly. Homer considered it one of Odysseus's cleverest tricks that he could cry inwardly while his eyes remained like horn.2 A thousand years later, people still had no sense of the importance of their inner lives. Saint Augustine had to work hard to convince them otherwise. For example, he called attention to the fact that one did not have to read out loud. In his Confessions, he points out that Saint Ambrose was remarkable in that he read to himself. "When he read, his eyes scanned the page and his heart explored the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still."3 The idea that each of us has an inner life made up of our private thoughts and feelings didn't take hold until early in the 17th century when Descartes introduced the modern distinction between the contents of the mind and the rest of reality.

In one of his letters, Descartes declared himself "convinced that I cannot have any knowledge of what is outside me except through the mediation of the ideas that I have in me."4 Thus, according to Descartes, all that each of us can directly experience is the content of his or her own mind. Our access to the world is always indirect. Descartes then used reports of people with a phantom limb to call into question even our seemingly direct experience of our own bodies. He writes: I have been assured by men whose arm or leg has been amputated that it still seemed to them that they occasionally felt pain in the limb they had lost-thus giving me grounds to think that I could not be quite certain that a pain I endured was indeed due to the limb in which I seemed to feel it.5 For all we could ever know, Descartes concluded, the objective external world, including our body, may not exist; all we can be certain of is our subjective inner life.

This Cartesian conclusion was taken for granted by thinkers in the West for the next three centuries.
I keep reading things like this, and I continue to find all such statements starkly unbelievable.

No-one in the ancient or medieval world knew when to keep their mouths shut? Even with the threat of severe punishment if they said the wrong thing in the presence of the powerful?

It took Descartes to come along and say, "Hey guys, you know what? I don't know what you're thinking, and you don't know what I'm thinking! How about that? What's that you say, you don't believe me? OK then, guess what I'm thinking. Go on, have a guess! Nope ... Nope ... Nope ... No, you're all wrong. Give up? OK. Cogito ergo sum, that's what! How'd ya like them apples? Huh?"

On the other hand, at the deepest levels of my own supposedly private self, I seem to find that I am connected with other persons in a way which I hadn't consciously suspected, and which I seem to have been deliberately keeping from myself. So I'm in favour of attempts by Heidegger and others to expose the illusory nature of the apparent separation of the individual self from other selves, and from the world as a whole.

I don't take solipsism seriously. But however much I would like to, I cannot deny the simple and evident fact of the complete isolation of one consciousness from another. Even telepathy (which I believe happens sometimes) doesn't give us clear knowledge of what is happening in another person's mind, only fleeting intuitions, at best.

We are connected to one another in mysterious and important ways, but each person's consciousness is separate from every other person's consciousness; and surely it was always so.

What am I missing here? What am I failing to imagine? It's not as if I don't want to!

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 07:24 PM ----------

The Odyssey
If wily Odysseus could do all of that without even having a private inner life, surely that was his greatest trick of all!
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 02:41 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip wrote:
I keep reading things like this, and I continue to find all such statements starkly unbelievable.


Yeah...I haven't read the article (perhaps I will) but it seems like these:

Quote:
The Homeric Greeks thought that human beings had no private life to speak of. All their feelings were expressed publicly. Homer considered it one of Odysseus's cleverest tricks that he could cry inwardly while his eyes remained like horn.2

For example, he called attention to the fact that one did not have to read out loud.


Could easily be explained...

1) It is very hard to not show grief outwardly...
2) Well, they didn't read much back then, or spell consistently, etc.

But, I admit I find that idea fascinating. It reminds me of how they say that the ancients thought that thought came from the heart...that seems inconceivable to me. It feels like my thoughts are in my head. And the idea that we developed a private internal life over time opens the door to new developments...
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 02:54 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173879 wrote:
And the idea that we developed a private internal life over time opens the door to new developments...

Yes, with that much, at least, I am very much in sympathy. I like the idea of progress (not just technical progress). I just can't even begin to grasp the idea of a human being having nothing that could be described as a private inner life. I do mean to get around to reading Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, to see if that sheds any light on the question.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 06:39 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;145542 wrote:
I want to ask if anyone here actually make it a habit to read academic papers in philosophy?


It is only a habit for me because I am always researching something. I find that subscribing to a particular journal wouldn't be best for me, as I only want to read articles that interest me at the time. Being enrolled in a university is benificial for this because I have access to hundreds of journals. With a simple search, I can find almost anything I am looking for.

Every undergrad class I have taken in philosophy thus far has required a research paper (excpet logic). I find that when doing research it is important to read what others think on the topic, but not to over do it. The most enjoyable thing in philosophy for me is to come up with some original ideas. To much research limits the scope of my originality (sometimes).

Part of "training" in philosophy is coming up with original ideas, even if they have been tried before. What I mean is that when I write a paper for a professor, it is okay if the idea has been tried before and I was ignorant of it.

Last, my favorite type of paper is a response paper. Journals often provide great material for this type of paper.

Quote:
How easy is it for you to read philosophy papers?


I find that philosophy papers are enjoyable for me because that is my interest and field of study. Papers in economics do not interest me and my knowledge in that area is limited, so I find those papers much harder to read.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Reading academic philosophy
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 06/26/2019 at 10:56:14