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Such examination may even help to develop new and firmer ground.Doing philosophy, then, begins with asking questions about the fundamental ideas and concepts that inform our ways of looking at the world and ourselves, and proceeds by developing responses to those questions which seek to gain insight into those ideas and concepts - and part of that development consists in asking further questions, giving further responses, and so on.
A philosophy essay is something a little different again.
However, it is not an unfathomable, mysterious affair, nor one where anything goes.
Just what a philosophy essay is will depend a lot, as you'd expect, on just what philosophy is.
Defining philosophy is always a more or less controversial business, but one way to think of what is done in university philosophy departments is to think of the difference between having a philosophy and doing philosophy.
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We would like to invite all of our soon-to-be Shakespeares to take part in our quarterly contest.The purpose here is to demonstrate academic excellence. This guide is intended to give new students of philosophy some preliminary advice about writing philosophy essays at university.Human beings across the world have been engaged in this sort of dialogue of question and response for many centuries - even millennia - and a number of great traditions of reflection and inquiry have evolved that have fundamentally influenced the development of religion, art, science and politics in many cultures.The influence of philosophical thinking on Western civilization, in particular, can be traced back more than 2,500 years to the Ancient Greeks.You are assessed not on the basis of what you believe, but on how well you argue for the position you adopt in your essay, and on how interesting and insightful your discussion of the issues is.That is to say, you are assessed on how well you do philosophy, not on what philosophy you end up having.In doing so, we try to clarify the meanings of those beliefs and concepts and to evaluate critically their rational grounds or justification.Thus, rather than having their heads in the clouds, philosophers are really more under the surface of our thinking, examining the structures that support - or fail to support - those who trust that they have their feet on the ground.If you have chosen to study Arts, it is likely that you will have a particular interest in - even a passion for - ideas and the variety of forms and genres in which ideas are expressed and explored.The argumentative or discursive formal academic essay is one such form, and one which can be a pleasure to read and to write.