How to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy

A safe and supportive forum for early-career philosophers. Finding a Topic Like many other people I know, I got seriously hung up in grad school at the dissertation stage.

How to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy

What do you do? How do you do it?

9 Examples of prize-winning Ph.D. theses and dissertations

Will you ever manage to finish it? Doctor Bob is here to answer your questions. First of all, What is a doctoral dissertation? In theory, a doctoral dissertation is a masterwork, which is to say a work by an apprentice in a Guild that is presented to a committee of the Masters of that Guild as evidence that the apprentice is ready to be included in their company.

It is a finely wrought silver bowl, if you are an apprentice Silversmith, or an elegant pair of lady's slippers, if you are an apprentice Shoemaker. The Academy is the last medieval Guild, so a doctoral dissertation is a piece of scholarship judged good enough by a committee of Master academics to admit you to their company.

Or that is the story we tell each other on cold nights. The truth is somewhat less exalted. In Microbiology or Anthropology or History, a doctoral dissertation is a research report, which is to say a report, in stylized form, of research that the candidate has been carrying out under the guidance of a Director.

In Philosophy, a dissertation is The Defense of a Thesis. It is a proposition, expressed in a declarative sentence. Here are some examples of theses: Contrary to popular opinion, David Hume and Immanuel Kant have almost identical views on the role of the mind in empirical knowledge.

God is not dead; he has just been on vacation. In all situations, I am morally obliged to choose the act that will produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.

how to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy

Here are some examples of things that are not theses: Kant and Hume on the role of the mind in empirical knowledge Nietzsche's view of religion Act utilitarianism Each of these is a topic, not a thesis. You cannot write a dissertation defending a topic.

Some theses in Philosophy are historical. For example, here is an historical thesis about American academic philosophy: With the notable exception of Pragmatism, every school of philosophy that has held sway for a while in American academic circles has been an import from Europe, arriving just about when the practitioners of the previous school are getting tenure, with the result that American academic philosophy resembles an alluvial river bed in which now extinct species are preserved as fossils in layers of sedimentary rock.

In order to write a dissertation, you must be prepared to defend a thesis. If you cannot state the thesis of your dissertation in a single declarative sentence, you are not ready to write. Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you begin writing, your thesis will become clear eventually That way lies disaster.

You ought to be able to begin your dissertation with the sentence, "In this dissertation, I shall defend the thesis that p. In Microbiology or Anthropology or History, that can require a great deal of re-writing, or even the selection of a new thesis. In Philosophy, this problem can be handled by inserting six words into the statement of your thesis in the first sentence of the dissertation.

Instead of "In this dissertation I shall defend the thesis that p," you write "In this dissertation I shall defend the thesis that it is not the case that p. What do you do if someone publishes first?Jul 21,  · Prior to writing a dissertation, grad school taught you how to write individual papers.

Finding a topic for a single paper is hard enough. Finding a topic for a single paper is hard enough. Now, all of a sudden, you need to find a single, great book-length topic. Jul 16,  · how to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy You were admitted to graduate school, you have completed all of the preliminary requirements for the Ph.

D., you are now what Americans call ABD ["all but the dissertation"], and the time has come to write your dissertation. How To Write A Doctoral Dissertation In Philosophy how to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy The Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) was created out of our strong desire to Want to know more?

You’ll receive a doctoral guide when you fill in this form. Also, Only Half of /10(). In philosophy papers, your thesis will state a position or claim. The thesis is the most important part of your paper; it tells the reader what your stance is on a particular topic and offers reasons for that stance.

Jun 03,  · Since doctoral dissertations must be published, their quality can be seen as an example for all postgraduate and undergraduate theses. Each university has its own rules As you peruse the examples below, consider that all universities have their own guidelines for writing theses/5(63).

Is it possible to write a PhD dissertation in philosophy that is less than a hundred pages long? What are some examples?

* By “possible,” if you mean will the ProQuest database include dissertations in philosophy that number fewer than pages?.

how to write a doctoral dissertation in philosophy
How To Write A Doctoral Dissertation In Philosophy