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Author Topic: first draft, any feedback appreciated!  (Read 816 times)

swtlilsoni

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first draft, any feedback appreciated!
« on: January 07, 2011, 06:51:00 AM »
I finished my first draft, and I'm hoping to get some feedback. I was planning on editing it and submitting my app by the end of the day so really anything would be helpful! Thanks so much =)

The protagonist listened inquisitively, as David Sosa spoke. “We know that the world operates according to fundamental physical laws. We're just physical systems too, our behavior is not going to be an exception to these laws. So it seems like there's not a lot of room for freedom. What about quantum mechanics? It's a probabilistic theory. But is that going to help with freedom? Should our freedom just be a matter of probabilities? Just some random swerving in a chaotic system? That's even worse. “ I paused the movie and turned to my friend.

   “Did you ever think about that?”, I asked. “Whether causality exists or not, freedom is still threatened. Do you think the concept of a free world is even possible?”

   “That's it, I can't handle this anymore”, he exclaimed. “I'm turning this movie off.”

   That had been the 4th time I paused the film in attempt to discuss an issue introduced by it. My friend felt overwhelmed with its numerous attacks on his foundational beliefs. He claimed that philosophy is a futile investigation which leads nowhere. Its continuous attempts at criticizing our beliefs without offering definite answers or resolutions to the problems it identified frustrated him.

   After four years studying the subject, I have to admit that it is guilty of many of those accusations. Philosophy does not offer definite answers. With every argument, there are counter-examples and exceptions. Premises are challenged, logic is questioned. There are endless paradoxes and philosophical problems which have never been solved.

   Nevertheless, I have come to realize that this field derives its value not from the answers it brings but the questions it asks. Is it not useful to doubt the unfounded principles we have blindly believed in the past and examine their accuracy? In the Platonic dialogues, Socrates would ask probing questions, forcing others to clarify their own claims until the contradictions became apparent. The subjects were then able to realize the prejudice in their judgments. Philosophy offers us perspective and helps us have a more thorough interpretation of things. Its emphasis on reason and pursuit of truth is invaluable in our uncertain world.

   Through the study of philosophy, I have increased my ability to articulate thoughts into words. Formal logic has helped me understand the foundation of arguments and spot out inconsistencies and contradictions. I can understand seemingly complex arguments by constructing logically analogous arguments with replaced predicates. This enables me to see the arguments clearly and precisely without the distraction of extraneous details. I would not have been able to do this without a clear understanding of formal logic. During debate tournaments, I would use my knowledge and experience of formal logic extensively in order to craft clear and precise arguments, draw numerous inferences and illustrate fallacies and contradictory implications made by the opposition. Philosophy has taught me not to take things for granted. We often believe falsities which are actually more complicated than they seem. The more I learn and discover, the more I realize I don't know.

   When I took my first philosophy course, I did not know what to expect. I had always been an analytical person. One who felt the need to break things down logically, ponder the reasoning behind everything, and avoid contradiction at all costs. The people I grew up with were quite the opposite. In class, for the first time, I was around people who enjoyed thinking theoretically and examining the nature of everything observed. I was surprised that there exists a course that encourages my natural tendencies. As I enter the study of law, a discipline that is characterized by the value of interpretation, I am excited to further utilize and expand on the analytical skills my study in philosophy has rewarded me with.

EDIT:
I am thinking of changing the last paragraph to:
When I took my first philosophy course, I did not know what to expect. I had always been an analytical person. One who felt the need to break things down logically, ponder the reasoning behind everything, and avoid contradiction at all costs. The people I grew up with were quite the opposite. In class, for the first time, I was around people who enjoyed thinking theoretically and examining the nature of everything observed. I was surprised that there exists a course that encourages my natural tendencies. As I enter the study of law, I once again cannot be certain of what to expect. However I am certainly excited to further utilize and expand on the analytical skills my study in philosophy has rewarded me with.

I thought that it would offer a closer parallel between not knowing what to expect in philosophy, and not knowing what to expect in law. Sort of ties it together?

belleindc

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Re: first draft, any feedback appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 09:39:20 PM »
I think your essay is captivating and I like how you tweaked the last paragraph.

Specks

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Re: first draft, any feedback appreciated!
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2011, 07:45:05 PM »
You might want to tweak your opening paragraph. I mean, I got the context of it later, but "the protagonist" at the beginning was a bit disorienting. Let us know you're talking about a movie. Give us a setting in which the "protagonist" comes from.

kurtybear

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Re: first draft, any feedback appreciated!
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 01:46:39 PM »
Just keep in mind that law school really is more about analyzing the relationship between facts and law.  In the last paragraph, you state you have always had an analytical mind.  That will serve you well in law school, and you might want to call attention to it.
Esq. in California