Philosophical Writing: An Introduction / Edition 3

Philosophical Writing: An Introduction / Edition 3

by A. P. Martinich, Aloysius Martinich
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Philosophical Writing: An Introduction / Edition 3

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.

  • Traces the evolution of a good philosophical essay from draft stage to completion
  • Now includes new examples of the 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405131674
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/02/2008
Edition description: REV
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About 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).

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.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This new edition of Martinich’s classic handbook is a treasure-trove of clear and intelligent advice about how to write philosophy essays. It is the product of decades of reflection by a master teacher about how to help students master the skills of philosophical thinking, reading, and writing. With excellent exposition and illuminating examples Martinich talks through the process of writing a quality philosophy essay, and the book is filled with excellent advice, bits of wise guidance, warnings, and helpful strategies. Teaching philosophy typically involves written assignments, and there are few places to turn for help about how to write an excellent philosophical essay. Martinich’s book is simply the best book available on the subject. Part of the book deals with informal logic and the process of argumentation, but to me the most helpful chapters deal with composition and the process of writing itself – of identifying a topic, arriving at a theme or problem for a paper, developing a strategy for dealing with it, and writing coherent paragraphs and beyond. Martinich takes the whole process seriously and walks the student through it with wit, sensitivity, and attention to detail. All of us have students who can benefit from Martinich’s guidance. Writing with such clarity and sensitivity about how to think and write philosophy is a remarkable achievement; the book is a resource that every philosophy teacher should know and recommend." Michael Morgan, Indiana University

“There are several introductory texts to philosophical writing; Martinich’s is the best. Clear, concise, and cogent, Martinich not only discusses the qualities of good philosophical writing but, as always, displays them in a work that undergraduates from all disciplines can read with great benefit.” Mark Bernstein, Purdue University

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