Dissertation Ideas

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Philosophy 101
  3. » Dissertation Ideas

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

markoos
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 07:35 pm
If you've done one what did you do? If you haven't and could what would you do?

I'm thinking about Hume's logical critique of beliefs and then apply that to religion. But is there 10,000 words there?

Suggestions would be much appreciated!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 11:08 pm
@markoos,
First, are you talking about a dissertation or a thesis? You probably mean a thesis because a dissertation requires doctoral candidacy, which in turn requires a preliminary thesis developed by you and your assigned mentor before your application for examination can be approved. If you are asking a general question about "what kind of thesis have you done," I did a fundamental analysis of Aristotle's Metaphysics Zeta from book 1 to 10 based on David Bostock and Richard Hopes translations my senior year. It was very arduous and took two consecutive classes to do (one for the class and the other as the subject of my capstone thesis).

On Hume's critique of beliefs applied to religion, there's a ton to write on. In order to talk about Hume's theory of belief, you have to first examine the nature of cause and effect, which was Hume's primary aim in both Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. You would need to at least talk about the relation between cause and effect. And this is at least. Take into consideration Enquiry 4.4.1, where it says that in order for us to exercise our understanding, our minds require the seven "reasoning" relations: resemblance, identity, space and time, quantity or number, quality or degree, contrariety, and cause or effects. What you should come to as a conclusion is that a cause is always necessary. From the inference of that cause, you can then explore Hume's notion of belief.

What you are looking for is specifically located in Treatise on Human NatureTreatise 1.3.7.2, where we have basically come to the understanding that our belief in existence brings no new ideas to those which in a sense form the idea of the object (GOD). Hume says it best by saying, "When I think of God, when I think of him as existent, and when I believe him to be existent, my idea of him neither increases nor diminishes." (Treatise 1.3.7.2) This is in a sense the center point for you and your goal of linking belief with God (the theological aspect). After that, it all depends on you whether or not you want to elaborate more on impressions and ideas, vivacity, etc. You can also go into the cause of belief inTreatise, 1.8.3.2 and the influence of belief, which actually was formed as a precursory note in Treatise Treatise with what is in Enquiry.
 
markoos
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:55 am
@markoos,
Fantastically helpful VideCarSpoon! Thank you very much!

In the UK we write a dissertation in the final (third) year of undergraduate study. It is 10,000 words yes and is probably something more similar to the thesis you mentioned that you do in the States rather than what you call a dissertation. You have given me a lot of confidence in the area and it is a massive help, thank you once again.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 07:51 am
@markoos,
markoos wrote:
If you've done one what did you do? If you haven't and could what would you do?

I'm thinking about Hume's logical critique of beliefs and then apply that to religion. But is there 10,000 words there?

Suggestions would be much appreciated!


There are 10,000 words (and more) everywhere. Of course the question is, what is the value of the words. IMO if you are already thinking about counting the words, you are not ready to do a dissertation. (What sort of dissertation? Ph. D? MA?)

No one can suggest anything without knowing what interests you. The suggestion you make is too vague. So, what have you written on before? What classes interest you? What issues do you like to discuss with others, or think about? What philosophy do you like to read about. Do you want to write an historical paper, or a systematic paper about some aspect of some philosophical problem; or some amalgam of both, as your own suggestion leads me to think?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:40 am
@kennethamy,
Treatise and Enquiry, which would easily take up a few pages and link that with a summarization and linking context to the beginning of your substantial paper.

From what I have experienced, the lion's share of the thesis paper has little to do with the conclusion more than it has to do with the encapsulating thesis statement. I don't know if you know this (you probably do/probably don't) so I'll say it anyway. The objective of your paper is to develop a thesis statement (not just concluding the paper). This statement is the reason for the reader reading your paper. Contrary to most other papers, the thesis statement does not come at the end. It is inserted at the beginning, middle, and end, but especially in the middle. The introduction which is common in most papers is done away with completely in favor of a broad summarization. DO NOT WRITE AN INTRODUCTION! Introductions are traps that keep you set on one path or one particular note. But you do have a form of a thesis statement, which is Hume's theory of belief and the theological aspects. When you hammer out the body of your paper, always keep that statement in mind when you do your individual papers, because that will ensure you go in the right direction.

At some point in the middle of your paper, you are going to arrive at the theory of belief. This is where you put the bulk of your thesis statement and prove how you are going to move from setting up the paper in the first section to belief and God in the last section. You can, if anything introduce your thesis statement, "Hume's theory of belief and theological aspects" and then stating how you will prove or underline the concept with "I will first examine x, which in turn will lead to Y, and from these conclusions I can extrapolate Z." It's in a sense a mini introduction, which will then lead you through the rest of your paper (linking more of the individual papers we previously talked about) and to a basic conclusion.

Then when you are done, you can a) go back to the beginning and write your summarization of what you have just done in step by step form and underline your thesis (which you did in the middle part) at the end of this first part), b) add more to the substance of the paper by examining small aspects in each of you mini papers (because you are left room to do so because of the summarization and linking section), c) add filler to the paper by inserting before you delve into the substance of the paper the background on previously needed ideas and notions (which does not alter what you had done in your paper because it is background information.

If you need any other constructive help, let me know, I'm happy to help out.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 08:09 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Treatise and Enquiry, which would easily take up a few pages and link that with a summarization and linking context to the beginning of your substantial paper.

From what I have experienced, the lion's share of the thesis paper has little to do with the conclusion more than it has to do with the encapsulating thesis statement. I don't know if you know this (you probably do/probably don't) so I'll say it anyway. The objective of your paper is to develop a thesis statement (not just concluding the paper). This statement is the reason for the reader reading your paper. Contrary to most other papers, the thesis statement does not come at the end. It is inserted at the beginning, middle, and end, but especially in the middle. The introduction which is common in most papers is done away with completely in favor of a broad summarization. DO NOT WRITE AN INTRODUCTION! Introductions are traps that keep you set on one path or one particular note. But you do have a form of a thesis statement, which is Hume's theory of belief and the theological aspects. When you hammer out the body of your paper, always keep that statement in mind when you do your individual papers, because that will ensure you go in the right direction.

At some point in the middle of your paper, you are going to arrive at the theory of belief. This is where you put the bulk of your thesis statement and prove how you are going to move from setting up the paper in the first section to belief and God in the last section. You can, if anything introduce your thesis statement, "Hume's theory of belief and theological aspects" and then stating how you will prove or underline the concept with "I will first examine x, which in turn will lead to Y, and from these conclusions I can extrapolate Z." It's in a sense a mini introduction, which will then lead you through the rest of your paper (linking more of the individual papers we previously talked about) and to a basic conclusion.

Then when you are done, you can a) go back to the beginning and write your summarization of what you have just done in step by step form and underline your thesis (which you did in the middle part) at the end of this first part), b) add more to the substance of the paper by examining small aspects in each of you mini papers (because you are left room to do so because of the summarization and linking section), c) add filler to the paper by inserting before you delve into the substance of the paper the background on previously needed ideas and notions (which does not alter what you had done in your paper because it is background information.

If you need any other constructive help, let me know, I'm happy to help out.


I might add something a former teacher once told me: "If you are going to write a thesis, please be sure to have a thesis". I have never forgotten that.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I might add something a former teacher once told me: "If you are going to write a thesis, please be sure to have a thesis". I have never forgotten that.


Problem is that most times a thesis, much like a basic paper idea, never turns out the way you want it to. I think in a complex thesis, it constantly evolves based on your analysis of the information as you go along. I always leave room for a shifting of the topic.

Like Napoleon said, "It is a bad plan that cannot be changed."
 
markoos
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 02:42 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;42967 wrote:
Problem is that most times a thesis, much like a basic paper idea, never turns out the way you want it to. I think in a complex thesis, it constantly evolves based on your analysis of the information as you go along. I always leave room for a shifting of the topic.

Like Napoleon said, "It is a bad plan that cannot be changed."


That is true, and one of the beauties of philosophy. It can show you that you hold opinions you never knew you did. Anyway, thanks again guys!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 07:33 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Problem is that most times a thesis, much like a basic paper idea, never turns out the way you want it to. I think in a complex thesis, it constantly evolves based on your analysis of the information as you go along. I always leave room for a shifting of the topic.

Like Napoleon said, "It is a bad plan that cannot be changed."


I don't think that I said that the thesis could not be revised. Only that there should be one at the end.
 
ogre
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 07:34 am
@markoos,
I have only just joined the Philosopy forum. It seems that I may have made a mistake as the only thing I see here so far is the mere pendantics as to whether one is better than the other.

I will comment no further as first impressions can often be wrong.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:20 pm
@ogre,
Kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I don't think that I said that the thesis could not be revised. Only that there should be one at the end.
Ogre,
ogre wrote:
I have only just joined the Philosopy forum. It seems that I may have made a mistake as the only thing I see here so far is the mere pendantics as to whether one is better than the other.

I will comment no further as first impressions can often be wrong.



Sorry to hear that you made a mistake ogre, we will miss you here on the forum. Life goes on I suppose.

Also, pedantic may be the wrong word to use as you reference a general use of pedantry.
 
markoos
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:52 am
@VideCorSpoon,
So would his quote "When I think of God, when I think of him as existent, and when I believe him to be existent, my idea of him neither increases nor diminishes." (Treatise 1.3.7.2) suggest that God does not exist because you must add something new? Basically, in what way is that an argument against the existence of God?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 10:10 am
@markoos,
It's not really an argument against the existence of God. It is a supporting argument for a different conception (which is a tricky meaning for Hume) of God within his philosophical framework.

One of the first cautions I would point out is that there is no real existential quantification for or against God's existence because Hume is taking his whole notion in a new direction. So don't look at it as Hume trying to prove or disprove God. God to the empiricists (as well as the rationalists) is not as much a representational figure of faith but rather a figure of belief. And I don't mean belief as in "I believe in God," but more of an epistemologically centered definition which is independent of God and merely utilizes the notion of God. So on that note, take Hume. Every idea for Hume carries the implicit understanding that it necessarily exists. They are for the most part bi-equivalent.

Now your question as I take it is whether or not the specific quote (Treatiseprove rather than disprove Gods existence. It makes for a much more interesting paper because you are in a sense bleeding a turnip. What is the direction of your paper?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Philosophy 101
  3. » Dissertation Ideas
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 10/19/2019 at 02:59:25