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Philosophy

Philosophy should be understood by working from the main concepts down to the details. If a concept is unclear, work with details, trying to put them together and understand them as concepts or ties to what you do understand. Here are some tips to think about when reading philosophy.

Top Margin

Summarize page (this gives quick summary for when you need to
find an example for a class, paper or a linkage, etc.)

Bottom Margin

Questions/Comments (questions at the bottom of the page can be easily addressed in class, and these questions may be the same ones that the exam is based on)

Side Margins

Summarize main ideas


Other Suggestions

  • Circle: the other philosophers' names that the author you are reading refers to. By recognizing the other philosophies/ers, you can link various philosophies/ers by looking at how they look for answers, make connections (and understand connections as the theories.)
  • Parenthesize: sub-topic ideas/ supporting theories
  • Underline: important and quotable information
  • Title Page (of shorter articles) and Chapter Page (of longer works):
    • put the names of other philosophers
    • bullet main ideas
  • the other philosophers' names that the author you are reading refers to. By recognizing the other philosophies/ers, you can link various philosophies/ers by looking at how they look for answers, make connections (and understand connections as the theories.) Parenthesize: sub-topic ideas/ supporting theories Underline: important and quotable information Title Page (of shorter articles) and Chapter Page (of longer works): 

  • Symbols: Make it easier to economize questions, conclusions, and ideas that come up throughout the text. Some examples are:

*

Questions or holes in an argument/general comments regarding passage

!

Extremely valid, Wow! (something that really stands out in the given text)

: )

Makes me laugh (Irony/Good point)

?

Don't understand and need further explanation by Professor

-Go over on 2nd or 3rd reading
-Try to figure out on own and get back to when through with reading

Prepsheet: Useful for more concrete understanding of material

I.

Analysis: what author's argument is or a summary of their argument
What is happening at the time of writing (i.e. civil war/postdarwin era)

II.

Strength of Argument- What holes are there in argument?
Significance- Why is this important to philosophy?

III.

Question on Reading: could be main part of test/paper

IV.

Personal Response

Red Impact Bar