How to Write a Crap Philosophy Essay

James Lenman of Sheffield University:

Essay_-_Stations_of_the_CrossAlways begin your essay along these lines: “Since the very dawn of time the problem of free will has been considered by many of the greatest and deepest thinkers in history.”

Always end your essay along these lines: “So it can be seen from the above arguments that there are many different points of view about the free will problem.”

Whenever in any doubt as to what to say about X, say, apropos of nothing in particular and without explanation, that X is extremely subjective.

When that gets boring, try saying that X is all very relative. Never say what it is relative to.

Use language with as little precision as possible. Engage heavily in malapropism and category mistakes. Refer to claims as “arguments” and to arguments as “claims”. Frequently describe sentences as “valid” and arguments as “true”. Use the word “logical” to mean plausible or true. Use “infer” when you mean “imply”. Never use the expression “begging the question” with its correct meaning but use it incorrectly as often as possible.

More here. [Thanks to David Livingstone Smith.]

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