Sherlock-05
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#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
Help please,
i need some useful tips and advice for writing a philosophy essay.lol

i find it realy hard to actually get what i mean, on the page.

please help me
and advise me on how to write this essay, named;

what reasons are there to suggest we are not free?
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Xerophelistica
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#2
Report 12 years ago
#2
Well "finding it hard to get what you mean on the page" is a pretty big problem, haha.

I'm sure it's easier than you think... Maybe get a scrap piece of paper and write down the names of some philosophers you've been studying, then try to make a list/mindmap of all the things they said about "reasons for not being free"?

You should get some good content ideas from that.
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DAFOne
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#3
Report 12 years ago
#3
I just write what I want to say on a piece of paper in a way that I understand it. Once it is on paper, it is a lot clearer, so it will become easier to simplify and then simplify again. Basically I used to write about three drafts per one essay of this kind.
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Kneechuh
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#4
Report 12 years ago
#4
I did Unit 1 in January of the new AQA spec, and did "Reason and Experience" and "Why Should I be Governed?". I scored 100%, so the school let me get my script back. Here's what I wrote:

1 (a) Explain and illustrate one account of the origin of our conceptual schemes. (15 marks)
"Conceptual Schemes are concepts that our mind holds and with which allows one to interpret one's sensory experiences.
Empiricists, such as John Locke or David Hume say that one ascertains one's concepts entirely through sense experience. Locke argues that the mind at birth is a 'blank slate' or 'tabula rasa'. Locke compares the mind to a wardrobe, in how it 'lets in ideas' which furnish the wardrobe with simple ideas such as the 'shape' and 'colour' of objects. The mind then gives names to and groups the simple concepts, and one remembers and these. After this has been accomplished, the mind then abstracts these ideas, and one then gains knowledge of these concepts.
Conceptual scheme can therefore vary a lot if Locke's explanation of how we acquire them is correct; as although we physically interpret things the same, it is our mind that abstracts and gives names to certain experiences."
1 (b) How convincing is the view that we are born with at least some (innate) knowledge? (30 marks)
"The view that we are born with innate knowledge is one of the main epistemological debates that has yet to reach a definite answer. on one side, there are empiricists like David Hume and John Locke, who deny the claim that we have innate knowledge, and on the other side there are rationalists, like Plato and Descartes, who believe that one does have synthetic a priori knowledge at birth.
John Locke defines innate knowledge as knowledge that all humans have, and one that we can all assent to. He therefore claims that such knowledge does not exist, as there is no one truth or piece of knowledge that we all, be it children or 'idiots' know. Locke is also a strong proponent for the view that everything that we know about the world comes from our experience. One can't know of the concept of colour if one's never seen it, and you can't describe something like 'yellow' to a blind man - he has never experienced anything yellow, and so Locke argues that he can therefore know nothing about it.
This view and definition of innate knowledge has never been argued against, but Nativists (people who support the idea of innate knowledge) do not accept Locke's definition. They claim that innate knowledge is knowledge that wasn't gained by sense experience, and support this view with examples like 'self' and 'causality'. We haven't directly experiences ourselves, but we have knowledge of ourselves, and we haven't directly experienced causal effects.
Nativists maintain that it is experience that 'triggers' our innate concepts that we have from birth. Carruthers gives a good example with the fact that certain cognitive abilities are genetically encoded. A bird can sing if it hears other birds singing a song, and a child can only learn to talk if others around it speak.
David Hume dismisses this view, saying that the aforementioned type of 'knowledge' are confusions of identity, and are more or less complex concepts, made up of smaller ones which are gained from experience.
However, rationalists still claim that there are things we don't directly experience, and yet we have knowledge about them. Plato states an example as 'beauty', and argues it in his favour by validy pointing out that if we destroy all things that we find 'beautiful', we still have knowledge of it, and we certainly can't experience it - so where do we get this knowledge from? Plato answers this by saying all concepts and knowledge is obtained through the metaphysical 'Realm of Perfect Forms'.
Descartes also demonstrates how one can gain knowledge just through a priori knowledge and rational intuition. He first established what he can know for certain, and states that any knowledge gained through the senses is open to sceptical doubt, and therefore we can't be certain of it, and we therefore can't 'know' it. An example of how our senses can be deceived is that while we're dreaming, despite the incoherent reality of our dream world, we still believe that it's happning, and trust our senses - even though it's not 'real'.
Descartes states that there is one thing he can know, and this is that he exists. He states in his cogito, that because he is thinking, something must be thinking somewhere, and so his mind exists, and can exist without his body. There cannot be an evil demon deceiving us, as God would not allow such a thing, as God is analytically perfect by definition, and so we must be experiencing something. Descartes argued all this through a priori reasoning alone.
One philosopher argues that the aforementioned arguments for what is real and unreal are useless, as all philosophers are taking them to be opposites. Nietzsche states that all arguments are just the results of a thinker's preset ideas and bias to the subject.
A valid example of innate knowledge, outlined by Chomsky is that we have natural tendencies to pick up things like grammar innately. A child is rarely corrected for all the grammatical mistakes they make, and they aren't taught the proper syntactical structures of the language, yet they still manage to learn it.
So there are two opposing views on innate knowledge, with both sides backing up their views with equally relevant points.
However, one philosopher unites both views. Immanuel Kant says that we do have innate knowledge, but experience plays a major part in how we acquire knowledge, and we need to use both. He points out the flaw in Locke's premise, about how the mind 'lets in ideas'. Kant states that we must have some knowledge at birth, so that we're able to split our sense data into coherent knowledge. Without these innate concepts and knowledge, Kant argues that we would have no way in making sense of the data our senses receives - we are able to split things up into 'shape' and 'colour' and 'size' and Kant argues that it is with this innate knowledge that we are able to do it".
There's also the "Why Should I be Governed?" questions I answered, but I don't feel like typing it out right now :P
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Xerophelistica
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#5
Report 12 years ago
#5
(Original post by Kneechuh)
I did Unit 1 in January of the new AQA spec, and did "Reason and Experience" and "Why Should I be Governed?". I scored 100%, so the school let me get my script back. Here's what I wrote:

1 (a) Explain and illustrate one account of the origin of our conceptual schemes. (15 marks)

1 (b) How convincing is the view that we are born with at least some (innate) knowledge? (30 marks)


There's also the "Why Should I be Governed?" questions I answered, but I don't feel like typing it out right now :P
Very nice essays man... I did "Reason and Experience" last year, and this year I'm currently half way through "Why Should I be Governed?"

You getting full marks makes me angry however :p:. Gah! For the want of one more UMS.... Maybe I should use the word "one" more often

Holy crap! That's it!

Still - congratulations on your achievment there.
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Kneechuh
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#6
Report 12 years ago
#6
(Original post by Xerophelistica)
Very nice essays man... I did "Reason and Experience" last year, and this year I'm currently half way through "Why Should I be Governed?"

You getting full marks makes me angry however :p:. Gah! For the want of one more UMS.... Maybe I should use the word "one" more often

Holy crap! That's it!

Still - congratulations on your achievment there.
I, too, am one mark off of an A overall. I got 59/100 for 'Introduction to Philosophy 2'
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Aesop
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#7
Report 12 years ago
#7
Don't get fanciful; be clear with your ideas. Too much philosophical debate is inundated with fruitless rhetoric. Write as if you were explaining your thoughts to a child.
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deb8er
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#8
Report 12 years ago
#8
Congratulations on 100%! That is very hard to achieve, well done. :-)
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amyalisa
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#9
Report 11 years ago
#9
(Original post by Kneechuh)
I did Unit 1 in January of the new AQA spec, and did "Reason and Experience" and "Why Should I be Governed?". I scored 100%, so the school let me get my script back. Here's what I wrote:

1 (a) Explain and illustrate one account of the origin of our conceptual schemes. (15 marks)

1 (b) How convincing is the view that we are born with at least some (innate) knowledge? (30 marks)


There's also the "Why Should I be Governed?" questions I answered, but I don't feel like typing it out right now :P
In showed this to my teacher (who is also an examiner) as I was going to use it as revision notes and he said that he'd have given it a C.

Are you sure you got 100%?
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Kneechuh
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#10
Report 11 years ago
#10
(Original post by amyalisa)
In showed this to my teacher (who is also an examiner) as I was going to use it as revision notes and he said that he'd have given it a C.

Are you sure you got 100%?
I'm positive.. :yep:
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amyalisa
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#11
Report 11 years ago
#11
(Original post by Kneechuh)
I'm positive.. :yep:

reeeeeeeaaaally?
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moojuice97
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#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
that looks like a pretty damn good essay to me! Well done on getting full marks, looks like you deserved it! How many pages was that hand written just so I can get an idea of how many I should be aiming for in my philosophy exam..?
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