Philosophical Writing: An Introduction / Edition 3

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Substantially updated and revised, the third edition of Philosophical Writing is designed to help those with little or no experience in philosophy to think and write successfully.
• Trraces the evolution of a good philosophical essay from the draft stage to completion
• Now includes new examples of structures of a philosophical essay, new examples of rough drafts, tips on how to study for a test and a new section on how to utilize the internet effectively
• Written with clarity and wit by a bestselling author.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A. P. Martinich understands that clear thought and clear writing go hand in hand. His latest revision of Philosophical Writing makes a good book even better. It should be a companion to virtually every philosophy course.” John Corvino, Wayne State University

“Every teacher of philosophy struggles to explain to students how to write a coherent, well-argued philosophical essay. Martinich solves this problem, explaining fully the steps needed for a successful paper. I strongly recommend it.” Avrum Stroll, University of California, San Diego

“Itself a model of lucidity, Philosophical Writing shows how to infuse clear thinking into prose. The new tips and sample essays make this edition an indispensable resource for both students and teachers." Jo Ann Carson, Texas State University

“Martinich’s guide to philosophical writing is a gem. Most exciting, I think, is the guidance about how to prepare an essay through a ‘successive elaboration’ of a first account of the paper’s argument. No teacher of undergraduates in philosophy should be without it.” Michael Morgan, Indiana University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405131674
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/2/2008
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 971,732
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

A. P. Martinich is the Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Professor of History and Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Hobbes: A Biography (1999), The Philosophy of Language (4th edn., 2001), and A Companion to Analytic Philosophy (Blackwell, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents.

Note to the Third Edition.

Note to the Second Edition.


1 Author and Audience.

The Professor as Audience.

The Student as Author.

Three Attitudes about Philosophical Method.

2 Logic and Argument for Writing.

What is a Good Argument?.

Valid Arguments.

Cogent Arguments.

Consistency and Contradition.

Contraries and Contradictories.

The Strength of a Proposition.

3 The Structure of a Philosophical Essay.

An Outline of the Structure of a Philosophical Essay.

Anatomy of an Essay.

Another Essay.

4 Composing.

How to Select an Essay Topic.

Techniques for Composing.


Successive ElaborationConceptual Note Taking.

Research and Composing.


Evolution of an Essay.

5 Tactics for Analytic Writing.







Reductio ad Absurdum.

Dialectical Reasoning.

6 Some Constraints on Content.

The Pursuit of Truth.

The Use of Authority.

The Burden of Proof.

7 Some Goals of Form.





8 Problems with Introductions.

Slip Sliding Away.

The Tail Wagging the Dog.

The Running Start.

Appendix A: “It’s Sunday Night and I have an Essay Due Monday Morning”.

Appendix B: How to Study for a Test.

Appendix C: Scholarship: Notes and References.

Appendix D: Philosophy Resources on the Internet.

Appendix E: On Grading.

Appendix F: Glossary of Philosophical Terms.


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