Doing Philosophy: A Guide to the Writing of Philosophy Papers / Edition 2

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Overview

Clear and concise, this brief text is designed to assist students with no previous formal background in writing philosophy papers. Contents include topic selection, outlines, and drafts, proper and improper quotation, argument development and evaluation, principles of good writing, style and logic.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A guide for college students enrolled in introductory courses in philosophy, covering nuts and bolts such as selecting a topic, the outline, quotation and attribution, abbreviations, and plagiarism, as well as criteria for grading student papers, general principles of good writing, and mistakes in grammar, diction, and style. Discusses logic and language, basic deductive logic, and logic without necessity, and overviews varieties of philosophy papers. The tone is informal and often humorous, with many examples. The author is retired from the University of Arizona. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534516826
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 116

Table of Contents

Preface ii
Contents iii
1. Methods of Proceeding 1
Introductory 1
Selecting a topic 2
The irrelevance of most library research 2
Resolving controversies 4
Appreciating philosophers of an earlier period 4
The outline 5
Preparation of the final draft 6
Writing blocks 7
2. Rules of the Game 9
Plagiarism as a legal wrong (violation of another person's property right) 9
Plagiarism as a moral wrong (cheating and lying) 9
Quotation, attribution, and acknowledgment 10
Alternative formats for notes 12
Acceptable abbreviations in the notes 14
3. Criteria for Grading Student Papers 17
Clarity 17
Presence of argument 17
Cogency of argument 18
Originality, subtlety, imaginativeness 18
Degree of difficulty 19
Ordering the criteria 20
4. General Principles of Good Writing 22
Clarity again 22
Simplicity 22
Economy 24
Padding 24
Repetitiveness 25
Redundancy 26
Misplaced emphasis 26
Pretentiousness and fancy words 27
A miscellany of further judgments 29
5. Mistakes of Grammar 31
Grammatical and nongrammatical errors 31
Criteria of correct grammar 31
A sampler of grammatical rules and their problems 34
The vanishing apostrophe 34
Ain't misbehavin' 36
Between or among? 37
Conjunctions as first words 38
Ungrammatical danglers 39
The problem of "sexist pronouns": some proposed solutions 40
Double negatives 43
Different from or different than? 44
Which or that? 44
Prepositions as last words 47
Split infinitives 49
Who (or whoever) or whom (or whomever)? 50
Summary 54
6. Some Common Mistakes in Diction 57
Diction and grammar 57
Linguistic correctness and controversy 57
Constantly changing usage 58
Linguistic liberals and conservatives 59
Sample mistakes in diction 60
"Criteria" for "criterion" 60
"Disinterested" for "uninterested" 61
"Enormity" for "enormousness" 62
"Fortuitously" for "fortunately" 62
"Infer" for "imply" 63
"Refute" for "rebut" 64
"Irony" for "coincidence" 64
7. Stylistic Infelicities 67
The concept of style 67
Prose writing as a source of pleasure 67
The paragraph 69
Motion metaphors 72
Smoothing the flow 75
Conspicuous over-use of favorite words 76
Forget adornment and eloquence 77
Types of poor writing style 78
8. Logic and Language 81
Correct and incorrect reasoning 81
Deductive and inductive reasoning 81
Sentences and propositions 82
Arguments 83
Premises as unproved "assumptions" 83
Logical necessity versus psychological certainty 84
Necessity and contingency 85
Three types of impossibility 85
9. Basic Deductive Logic: Some Fragments 89
Possible truth value combinations 89
Validity and soundness 90
Definition of truth-functional connectives 91
Necessary and sufficient conditions 94
Valid deductive argument forms: a sampler 95
10. Logic Without Necessity 105
Some informal fallacies 105
Some inductive inferences, good and bad 107
Begging the question 108
Analogical reasoning 109
A sampler of fallacies 110
11. Varieties of Philosophy Papers 113
Rules of Strategy 113
Manageable philosophical tasks 113
Modest partial reasons 114
Interpretation 114
Generalization and counterexample 115
Definition 116
Other categories of philosophical papers 117
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