General, Philosophy

How do you attain a Careful Perusal for Analysis and Questioning

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Careful Perusal for Analysis and Questioning

Methodology you can adopt in research and writing

After reading through the essay for the first time and gotten a feel of the language, the key concepts and their usage, and the reader can begin  to formulate the author’s argument,  it is time to go back to carefully re-read the article. Look more closely for those signpost words. They will probably indicate not only the overall argument, but how individual pieces such as definitions fit. Write down each of those definitions.

They will probably come in handy as you read, ask such questions as:

  • Are there distinctions that the author makes (from other authors, between words, concepts and theories)?
  • Are there distinctions that the philosopher fails tomake?
  • Are there assumptions or stereotypes the author is relying on?
  • How do the thoughts connect with one another?

Careful Perusal for Analysis and Questioning

As a reader reads the essay for another time, it is time to start asking such important questions. This puts one in a better position to evaluate the argument(s) put forward. In other words, once a reader understands the argument(s) put forward, he or she can start deciding whether or not he or she agrees or disagrees with the argument.

If a reader finds that he or she is disagreeing with the author because he or she is putting forward  a position that makes no sense at all, then the reader might have missed a thing or two about the author’s argument for it is very rare to find a philosophical essay devoid of any meaning. The reader needs to go through the essay again to  get the main points down again before proceeding  to analyse and evaluate them.

If the reader disagrees with the author, even though the author has a compelling argument,  then  he or she needs to state the specific reason(s) for disagreeing.

  • Do the conclusions not follow from the argument?
  • Are the definitions flawed or is something missing?
  • Are there implicitly taken-for-granted assumptions that force the reader to question the soundness of the argument?

Careful Perusal for Analysis and Questioning

Often these arguments are webs of interconnected ideas and trying to understand everything the philosopher put forward would be a nearly impossible task. Even if the reader could understand everything, he or she wouldn’t be able to put everything learnt in a single essay. Hence, a reader should not worry about trying to understand everything but should still be able to articulate the overall structure of the argument.

 

  • Why will you look more closely for the signpost words?

Look more closely for those signpost words. They will probably indicate not only the overall argument, but how individual pieces such as definitions fit.

 

 

Different methodology you can adopt in research and writing

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