Reading tips

Reading tips - Seana Shiffrin1 Tips for Reading Philosophy 1 Take notes as you read Try to identify for each paragraph or section what claims the

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Seana Shiffrin 1 Tips for Reading Philosophy 1. Take notes as you read. Try to identify for each paragraph or section what claims the author is making and what arguments are offered in their support. The author may be doing any one of a number of things in a given section of text. Here are some possibilities to consider: a. The author is laying out a claim or an argument that is supposed to be obvious or commonsensical. Try to assess whether the author endorses this position or whether he or she aims to show we should reject it. b. The author is announcing what position he or she aims to defend in what follows. c. The author is identifying someone else’s argument or position. d. The author is introducing a distinction or a term that he or she will later deploy in argument. e. The author is identifying some desiderata: some consideration or motivation that a good argument will accommodate, make sense of, or explain. f. The author is offering a counter-argument or a counter-example to his or her opponents’ position. g. The author is offering a possible counter-argument to his or her own position and will then go one to try to defuse it. h.
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PHIL 156 taught by Professor Shiffrin during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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Reading tips - Seana Shiffrin1 Tips for Reading Philosophy 1 Take notes as you read Try to identify for each paragraph or section what claims the

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