There are multiple purposes for this blog. First, I'd like to share with you how mental illness can interfere with or enhance the writer's life. Second, I want to explore a more disciplined approach to the writing life. This blog will hold me accountable as I navigate story throughout my battle with mental illness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doing Philosophy - A Short Summary

Doing Philosophy by George MacDonald Ross et al. is a great introduction to the study of, or doing of philosophy, which includes reading, taking notes, discussing and writing essays. It is aimed toward university undergraduates beginning their study of philosophy, but it can be applicable to anyone wanting to study philosophy, of which I belong to the latter.

I really enjoyed the section on Reading Philosophy as I found it more applicable for my immediate needs, and is in fact, the cornerstone to doing philosophy. Different kinds of texts are discussed. If that journal article has you stumped, it's okay; the authors claim that even professional philosophers sometimes need to read an article several times to understand it. They say that when reading about a subject, it is essential to review arguments both for and against an idea. When reading philosophy, you must be careful to read thoroughly, and not skim. No speed reading! They offer a "structured reading" guide which will enhance your experience. Reading philosophy poses many challenges, such as technical language and translation issues, just to name a few. The authors cover this adequately.

Applicable to university students, they explain how plagiarism can take many forms, and how to avoid it.

Included in the "Writing Philosophy" section are four types of sample questions that one may need to write essays about. They discuss how you should think about the issue or question.

I believe my having read this book will benefit me in my self-study of philosophy and can do the same for you, whether a university student or on your own.

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